Home: AFM Feature Cars: Mel Gregory’s 1986 Mellow Yellow 351 V8 Mustang
Mel Gregory’s 1986 Mellow Yellow 351 V8 Mustang
AFM Feature Car: Mel Gregory’s 1986 351 V8 Mustang!

Mel Gregory’s 1986 Mellow Yellow 351 V8 Mustang

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"A Ray of Newfie Sunshine"

After just one pass down the track, you can easily see why for the last three year's straight, Mel's Mellow Mustang has laid claim to being the "Fastest Street Mustang" in his home province of Newfoundland, Canada.

A title especially well deserved when you consider, in full street trim at 2800 lbs, without boost or NOS, this lightweight Newfie Bullet pulls off 10.80 @ 123 miles per hour on the quarter mile! You can see how this Mel's mellow masterpiece can easily run with the Fast and Furious!

Mel saved his stang, when he purchased the car in the fall of 1997. For years, it was street driven and drag raced with a well hammered 406ci chevy engine jammed between its struts. By 1997 the 406 motor was long gone and all that remained was the shell, which fit the bill perfectly as to what Mel was looking for! From the get go, Mel set out to build himself an small block Ford engine that would beat the best quarter mile time of 11.79, which his newly acquired '86 Mustang, had set running the old 406 chevy engine.

For the first 2 years, Mel ran a 5.0 liter roller block equipped with a set of 1969 Windsor heads, 3:73 gears and the usual round of performance upgrades. His first pass that first season earned him 13.00. By end of the season, Mel was pulling 12.20 at the track. The following year, Mel continued his quest to beat his stang's previous best track time of 11.79 and decided to upgrade the carburetor, convertor, and install a set of 4.10 gears. On his first pass in only his second season, Mel ran 11.75 and voila, mission accomplished! Easy as that, with only a small amount of performance gear and running in pure street trim, not only was the old 406 engine history but now, so was it's track record. By the end of the second season, Mel had fine tuned his 5.0 liter combo to run an impressive 11.69.

Heading into his third season, Mel decided it was time to get even more serious and upgraded to a 351 balanced engine assembly, complete with a set of totally hogged out 306 Dart heads and an even bigger torque convertor. This time however, things did not fall together quite so easily. Without any luck on his side and nothing but trouble, Mel's started out with a 12.20 track time, along with a ruined crank. After considerable effort, Mel managed to pull things back on track and ended this past season with an incredible best ET of 10.80 @ 123. As Mel is quick to point out, "It's taken me three years to really sort through this current combination to a point where I am finally satisfied... At least for the moment."

Drive Train

  • 351 Windsor Engine bored 40 over with a Fully Balanced Stock Bottom End
  • DSS Stud Girdle with Tray
  • Keith Black Pistons
  • SFI Flywheel and Fluid Damper
  • Dart Heads 2.02/1.60 Valves
  • Comp Cams Full Roller Hydraulic Cam
  • Victor Jr. Intake Manifold
  • Holley 750 Double Pumper carburetor
  • Crane Hi-6 Ignition with Stock Distributor
  • MAC 1 3/4 Long Tube Headers
  • Tri-Y with 2 1/2" Dynomax Super Turbo Exhaust
  • C4 Transmission with Shift Kit and Hurst shifter
  • TCS 3800 Stall Torque Converter
  • 8.8 Rear End with 4.10 C Clip Eliminators and Baer Hardened Axles

Chassis

  • Light Weight Front End
  • Chassis Connectors
  • Drive Shaft Loop
  • 6 Point Roll Cage
  • SSM Traction Bars
  • Lakewood Rear Shocks with Stock Front Struts
  • Polished Centerlines with Skinnies Front and 10.5x28x15 ET Street Rears

Body and Interior

  • Cervini 4" Cowl Hood and Fiberglass Trunk Lid
  • Sun Yellow Exterior Paint with Grey Interior
  • Body Weight Reduction to approximately 2900 lbs
  • Race Bucket Seats
  • Custom Dash Insert with 6 AutoMeter Gauges
  • Radio delete

By using a Cervini 4" cowl fiberglass hood, fiberglass trunk lid and a whole lot of additional work to reduce weight, Mel managed to trim his pride and joy down to a meager 2800 lbs. Mel is quite proud of the fact that his stang is no trailer queen but instead, is street driven and raced regularly and proven to be one hell of a hoot to drive! Next season, the 351 ci small block is back for at least one more year, however there is a 514 ci engine in inventory that could make an excellent winter project.

Visit our Feature Car Comments and Discussion forum to pass along your comments, and view those of others regarding this article and Mel's Mustang. If you would like to pass along your comments directly to Mel, click here to send him an email.

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