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GETTIN' JUDGED Judge and Jennifer Gibson’s 1988 Mustang is a daily-driver dynamo!

GETTIN' JUDGED

Judge and Jennifer Gibson’s 1988 Mustang is a daily-driver dynamo!

With a name like Judge, you know there’s a heaping helping of smack-down on-hand inside this ’88 Fox-body! This Judge has got the ultimate authority, and the muscle to back it up. But, amazingly, its owner also enjoys drives on the highway and the occasional grocery run. Kind of like your domesticated Kraken, if you will.

But, let’s get right down to why we’re here. Imagine having a Bennett Racing Engines  338ci small-block built on an R302 block that is stuffed full of .060” over-sized pistons. This combination metes out over 1,000 horsepower and is stuffed in a street car with a full interior which is repeatedly driven to, and from the track, and on long-distance cruises. 

1988 Fox-body Mustang race car interior

Assembled by Judge under the guidance of Jon Bennett himself, the engine houses a “mild” hydraulic roller camshaft which bumps out the tunes to those Bennett Racing Engines High-Port heads. A set of Oliver  rods connect the Callies Magnum crankshaft to the 10.5:1 compression topside.

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1988 Fox-body Mustang race car rear
‘Chutes AND plates!

Airflow is king. That’s why Judge relies on an Edelbrock Super Victor EFI intake, port-matched by Bennett with a 90mm Accufab throttle body controlling the throttle settings. A set of Siemens Deka 96 lbs/hr injectors get their squirtin’ orders through a Holley  Dominator ECU that has been tweaked by KBX Performance’s Justin McChesney and Ben Thomas handling the tune.

1988 Fox-body Mustang race car front

In Judge’s own words, the ECU uses, “a LOT of inputs to support the build.”  And, if the atmosphere won’t get enough air into the engine to support the amount of fuel this monster can ingest, then Judge relies on the Forced Inductions turbo system to keep the air/fuel ratio safe. The Distributor-less Ignition System (DIS) turns the fuel into fumes as they work their way to the turbine wheel to make even more power. 

1988 Fox-body Mustang race car interior
Does THIS look like the cockpit of an 8-second car?
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After the fuel has expended its usefulness, it rides to the exit point in the passenger’s side of the front fascia through a 4-inch exhaust. The cool side of the compressor twists and turns its way into a Wilson Manifolds elbow that directs the air down into the intake. 

1988 Fox-body Mustang race car steering while

The by-product of all that fuel and fury leaves the crankshaft via the 9.5-inch PTC torque converter and gets jumbled around in the PTC-built, Reid-case-equipped, Turbo-Glide transmission set up with a 1.69:1 first gear. From there, the torque gets spun around a Denny’s 3.5-inch driveshaft. It makes a right-turn inside the 8.8-inch rear diff with 3.55 gears and beefed up with 35-spline Moser Engineering axles using 9-inch bearings. 

The interior of the car is a tasty blend of the necessary safety equipment and the OEM-spec’d goodies it left the factory with back in the ‘80s. Sure, there are lighter, aftermarket bucket seats, and the Quinn’s Chassis Shop cage. The factory one-click-wonder seatbelts have also given way to a full-house set of Simpson straps to keep both driver and passenger securely in those new bucket seats. 

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1988 Fox-body Mustang race car shifter

Of course, when you realize that Judge and Jennifer’s Mustang has a current best E.T. of 8.19 at 166 MPH and well north of 1,000 hp on the dyno running VP Racing Fuels’ C16, it’s easy to understand why these parts are welcome additions to the interior of their car. Many believe that a seven-second pass is somewhere in the near future of the car at its current build. 

Even with all the necessary survival bits, Judge and Jennifer still enjoy short drives in their Mustang and their trailer-less trek to the track whenever they race. It just goes to show even with all the muscle in the world tucked up under that black robe, it’s not a bad thing to speak softly once in a while. It just makes it all the more impressive when you do bring out the big gavel! 

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