Drag Week Reader Build: Gary Putnam’s Chevy Powered Fox Mustang Is A Multi-Year, Killer Project

Drag Week Reader Build: Gary Putnam’s Chevy Powered Fox Mustang Is A Multi-Year, Killer Project

Last week we put out the call for those racers who had managed to wedge themselves into the tiny eight minute window of Drag Week registration to send us photos and information about the cars that they are building or will be taking on the greatest gearhead adventure known to man, Hot Rod Magazine Drag Week. Well, the good news is that you all answered the call in spades and over the next couple of weeks, everyone that sent photos and a story to me will be getting some love right here on the front page. Our personal favorite stories are those that center around a long term project that is finally getting ready to see the light of day under its own power and that’s exactly what Gary Putnam’s ProCharged, 565ci big block Chevy powered Mustang is.

Gary got the Drag Week needle buried in his arm after riding shotgun in Keith Lopez’s blue Fairmont wagon in 2012 and again in 2013. The pair finished in 2012 but were struck down with transmission issues in 2013. Having already been on this Mustang for a couple of seasons, Gary decided that he’d go the hard way and build a car capable of both running with the lead pack at his local strip in the x275 category as well as one that would be a contender at Drag Week and more importantly, one that will survive Drag Week. He has seen both sides of that coin with the Lopez car and now he is ready to try it hisself.

Gary is an ace fabricator and when you look at the headers and various other pipes on the car know that they came from him. We stalk his every move are friends with him on FB and have been seeing this great car come together. We think it looks mean and we cannot wait to see it turning the tires in Tulsa this September.

Here’s what Gary sent us on the car – 

I have a few pics of my car that I have entered in Drag Week. As you might remember, I was co pilot with Keith Lopez (blue fairmont wagon) for our 3rd place finish in super street power adder 2012. We had to park the car in bowling green last year due to unexplained trans issues.

I built this car in my garage over about a 3-4 yr time frame. It didn’t start out being a Drag Week capable car but after going on the event in 2012, I was hooked. About the last 25% of this build was to make the car user friendly and easily maintainable and Drag Week friendly and still be a strong running car to compete in our local X275 program at our local track.

Here’s some details about the car:

1990 Mustang GT

565″ BBC built by Advanced Engine in salina Kansas……

T400 trans from Proformance Racing Transmission……

Gear Vendors overdrive……

Racecraft suspension front and back with racecraft 9″ housing…….

Holley dominator EFI with individual cylinder coils…….

Procharger F3 136……

Weld V series wheels…..

Paint by Paints Unlimited in Salina Kansas……..

image image image2 image3



  • Share This
  • Pinterest
  • 0

25 thoughts on “Drag Week Reader Build: Gary Putnam’s Chevy Powered Fox Mustang Is A Multi-Year, Killer Project

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    This car will attempt to kill him in a humongous explosion of motor, trans and assorted body parts! Stuffing one of Henry’s finest with the spawn of the devil is a recipe for disaster – be warned……..

    I think the owner should appease god of speed by grinding this hunka Chevy doody down into tiny pieces, eating it and installing a full on Ford – that’s if he knows what’s good for him!


      1. GuitarSlinger

        ” Maybe he wants to go fast ” – Seriously ???? – Oh wait . I get it . You’re one of those GM True Believer delusional types that keeps forgetting it was FORD not GM that won races from F1 to WRC to LeMans and everything in between while GM was loitering around in the lower ranks of racing . Wishing they were in any way , shape or form … World Class .

        Suffice it to say the man would go just as fast if not faster [ not to mention a hell of a lot more reliably ] if he’d dump the pretentious Go To Chevy : have the stones to NOT be status quo Pollyanna White Bread and stuff some serious FORD power under the hood .

        1. Nick D.

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but 5 Ford Mustangs won their class in Drag Week last year and only 1 of those had Ford power. There’s a reason you see tons of Fox/SN95 Mustangs with LSx power, yet 3rd/4th-gen Camaros with Ford engines are near non-existent.

          1. Nick D.

            Also, I will add that a Ford-powered, or even-Ford-based, vehicle has yet to take the overall win at Drag Week. There have been multiple Chevys and even a Mopar, but no Fords.

          2. Jeff Sias

            I was the one guy that won with a ford engine in my car. I didnt build a ford BASED motor because i bleed blue, i found good deals on parts i used and thats the direction i went. Guess what, the only ford part on the inside of my engine is, well, oh thats right, there are none! Its all aftermarket stuff at this level.

            All this arguing about brand loyalty is so tired. You can go fast with anything, what people should be talking about is Gary’s fabrication ability, which is obviously top notch judging by those pictures. If people saw the car in person, they would probably mumble something under their breath so that nobody outside of a 3 foot radius could hear them, and walk away. Do the internet a favor, look at the pics and keep it moving, nobody cares if you dont like brand swaps…

        2. CH3NO2junkie

          If performance is the goal, why handicap yourself with brand loyalty? I don’t own Ford or GM stock. I just enjoy things that run good. Also it’s fun to watch you get your panties in a wad over such silly things.

  2. George

    Different strokes for different folks, I say. Me? I prefer my Ford engine in my Fox body Mustang, but I’ve never had Ford folks offer to pay me for the upgrades I’ve made. Brand loyalty is what the automobile manufacturers want. They don’t get it from me.

  3. GuitarSlinger

    To borrow a quote from the TV series ; ” FireFly ” on shoving a GM engine into a Mustang [ of any year ]

    ” Does that seem right to you ? ” [ Jubal Early – ” Objects in Space ” episode ]

    The obvious answer being ; No it does not

  4. George

    I have a Ford 347 stroker in my ’89 Fox body Mustang; Ford 302 in my ’35 Plymouth coupe; an AMC 360 in my ’39 Dodge; a Chevy 355 in my ’47 Ford pickup; and a stove bolt six in my ’57 GMC pickup.

  5. ls7gto

    Thanks for the reminder of why I didnt send info on my DW car. Some of the keyboard warriors, should stop talking and start doing. Oh yea, great write up Brian, and Awesome Build Gary.


    All you brand guys suck.You are not a car guy just a bunch of idiots that never really get the whole picture of being a car guy.I have buick grandnational,67 ranchero,95 mustang,69 javelin ls2 5 speed,and my twin turbo 71 gremlin yea small block chevy. I went 207 in a mile at ohio, made it in hot rod mag,went to super chevy in maple grove and won runner in fastest street car after 7 years of trying.everyone got a plaque but me ,the runner up because they just so happen to lose it.A AMC GREMLIN WINS RUNNER UP IN A ALL CHEVY SHOW AND THEY LOSE THE PLAQUE,YEA OK. just saying.

  7. Steve

    I’ve known Gary almost 30 years. If any of you know anything about him at all, then you would know how many Ford powered Fords he’s worked on for other people. He’s not biased in any way, he’s a great fabricator, and a great guy who would do anything for anyone, just for the love of racing. I’m proud to call him a friend!

  8. John

    The car is cooler in person, most people posting apparently don’t know Gary, he is not caught up in the Ford/Chevy thing.. A very quality build.

  9. Carl Loder

    Great article Brian!

    Excellent build Gary and congratulations on the well deserved publicity! If everyone could just see it in person!


Comments are closed.