Magazines are an integral part of the aftermarket. Shops like us are obviously ecstatic whenever we get one of our creations featured, and we in turn get ideas and what’s the latest from foreign magazines. I have been weaned on Sport Compact Car (rest in peace), Turbo and High Tech Performance (rest in peace), Import Tuner and yea, even Super Street. These titles focus more on what the Americans call “import” cars, which to us primarily means made in Japan. And it’s what really most of us can relate to, since a huge majority of vehicles on the road, and that people modify come from the land of the rising sun. Sport Compact Car and Import Tuner in particular love to put down “antiquated push rod” engines that are mostly found on American brand vehicles, particularly Camaros and Mustangs.

I admit, when I browse my local Booksale branch, I often would skip titles such as 5.0 Mustangs, Modified Mustangs, GM Performance in favor of the above mentioned. But with half of the import titles now magazine heaven, I got curious and picked up a few copies of 5.0 Mustang. The P35 price tacked on the plastic was actually a key swing point “Hey this magazine costs less than my lunch! What have I got to lose?”

Boy was I wrong. Dead wrong.

Flipping through the pages and through the ads, it was immediately obvious that the Mustang market is absolutely enormous! Most of us equate Mustang with Eleanor of Gone in 60 seconds fame, and rightfully so, but majority of the Mustangs featured were late model 07s up to 11s and they were making insane amounts of power, way above the 500whp range!

Big deal! A Nissan GTR or Subaru STI can easily make the same power with lots of mods no sweat.

Remember all the countless turbo vs supercharger topics on the internet? Well almost all of the featured Mustangs are sporting a supercharger from big names such as Kenne Bell, Whipple, Roush, Magnacharger, Vortech or Paxton. And for good reason, a supercharger makes the most sense in a V6 or V8 engine configuration. With a tight engine compartment, removing the intake manifold is a ton easier than removing the headers and exhaust systems. And the power they make is simply stunning!

Reading through the magazines I have bought, it became obvious why the Mustang, or any American V8 car is so appealing. A quick check shows a 2013 Mustang GT with a 5.0L V8 and 420whp with an MSRP of $35,300 easily out muscles a 2013 Subaru WRX STI with a 2.5L turbo 4 that makes ONLY 300whp and costs $36,000.

And with supercharger systems costing from $6,000-$7000 dollars, a 500hp RWD daily driven horsepower on 100% stock internals is pretty much normal in the Mustang world. A Subaru or Evo can never hope to achieve those power levels without taking out the engine and stuffing in forged internals and a Godzilla sized turbo, all of which will certainly add up to more than $7k parts to parts. That’s not counting expensive American labor rates.

While it may not be evident in how the Ford Philippines operates. Ford in the USA, wholly supports the mustang with wide open arms and legs, with the inside front cover ad and page one advertising their multitude of crate engines available, as well as complete wiring harnesses and ECUs to get everything up and running should you decide to stuff one of their engines in a Ford Deuce or Fiesta.

And the Mustang has a long, as in long tradition, first appearing in 1964, a full ten years before the first Honda Civic came out of the factory. And unlike the Civic, the Mustang was all about power and 2 door fun from the get go, not a small economy gas sipper.

Mitsubishi has the Tommi Makinnen Evolution, Honda has the Alex Zenardi NSX, and until someone comes out with a Michael Schumacher anything, Ford has the got the late great Caroll Shelby lending his name to the top performance factory Mustangs for decades. And Shelby’s name commands a LOT of respect around the automotive world (god rest his soul) and is unarguably one of the best known brands in the automotive world. And for good reason. The top dog Mustang Shelby GT500 boasts a supercharged 650hp 5.8L V8, and according to the articles I have read, taking out the factory supercharger and throwing in a bigger Kenne Bell or Whipple unit would get you into the 700whp range!

I remember the first time I read Sport Compact Car more than 10 years ago and had to laboriously find out what B16, SR20 or 4G63 meant. Same thing in the Mustang world, and with the help of the almighty Wikipedia, I learned that Mustang fanatics actually have way cooler names for their engines like Coyote, Roadrunner, Terminator and Trinity. Sure sounds a lot better than a letter and a number.

 Read on next time for more of my American Muscle discovery!