With their lightweight construction, room for big motors and big tires, and a lower price point than most of its competitors, Fox Body Mustangs have become an icon in the racing community. The current theme is to acquire a low-cost shell with mechanical simplicity, and then pile in the power with performance parts and run it. Then strip, rinse, and repeat. However, this is not the exact case with the 1991 LX Fox Body Mustang hatchback that belongs to Cory Bullock.
Bullock attributes his older brother who was into cars for sparking his passion for automobiles and really all things racing. “I have raced everything that has tires since I was 16 years old,” Bullock says. He had cycled through various race cars until eventually settling in with his Calypso Green hatchback, in 2009.
Bullock started with a ride that was just a touch above bone-stock. It was equipped with the popular small-block 5.0-liter with an upgraded cam, five-speed T5 manual transmission, and Weld Racing draglite wheels. It didn’t take long for Bullock to seek more from his small-block Ford powerplant. He opted to swap the heavy iron heads for some better-flowing Edelbrock RPM aluminum heads, as well as bump up to a lumpier camshaft. Finally, the carburetor was swapped in favor of a complete EFI conversion. The new hot-rod combination pushed around 400 horsepower at the crank.
Bullock’s direction with the hatchback went from quick daily driver to race-worthy competitor. Instead of continuing to row the gears of the original T5, he tossed a three-speed C4 automatic transmission behind the engine, which is known in the Ford community to be strong, reliable, affordable, and simple enough to work on in a home garage. Since the new transmission only had three gears to work with, the car began losing its streetability and started the transition into becoming more of a race car.
This is where things really started getting serious. In an effort to keep getting faster, Cory went big and swapped out the tired 302 for an aftermarket 408 cubic-inch stroker capped with Edelbrock’s Victor Jr. heads and a nitrous kit. As he shifted from pump gas to race fuel, he also retired the old reliable C4 for a beefier Powerglide transmission.
As Bullock’s car got faster, so did the opponents he was racing against. To stay in front of them at the finish line, upgrades continued pouring in. The 408 stroker became a 427 cubic-inch beast utilizing a Windsor-based Dart Iron Eagle block, and the chassis increased rear tire clearance with mini-tubs. This setup went through various phases and seasons, all being built off the 9.5-inch deck platform, with the latest rendition running a Holley Dominator ECU and Yates heads.
At this point, Bullock was frequently entering the winners circle in both grudge and no-prep events across the south. The car’s reputation preceded itself, and as he went faster, the opponents he faced were going just as fast and a tier above where he was only a short time ago. The highlight of his racing against Ole Heavy from Street Outlaws.
Up until this point, the Green Monster had relied on huffing nitrous to propel the small-block-powered Fox Body Mustang down the strip. However, the nitrous dream was fading and a large-frame Precision turbo was on Bullock’s mind. The 9.5-inch-deck engine was sent to Ray’s Engines in Tyler, Texas, to be rebuilt for the turbocharger combination. Once the car was reassembled, Botello Performance took over the tuning. The body also received a fresh coat of Calypso Green and it was ready for the next echelon of racing.
Bullock prides himself most on maintaining a small-block Ford throughout this process, as we are living in a world of the LS-swapping sheep. When asked what his favorite part of his car is, he replies, “The fact that it is still a small-block Ford and always will be Ford-powered, as long as I own it.” It is unknown where else the build might advance from here or if this is its true final form. However, his goal will remain the same: to win many more cash-day-style events and be faster than the car next to him.