There are some cars that just have tough written all over them – and this silver Ford Mustang staring you down with some evil twin turbo eyes meets that description.
Melbourne’s Dom Luppino, 39, is the pilot of this quick Pro Street bullet. It all begin about six years ago when he decided to modify his Ford Fairlane after getting a little embarrassed seeing the back end of a Subaru WRX.
“I vowed never to be dusted like that again. So off I went to my mechanic and told him to build me a banger Windsor to be reckoned with and so he did,” Luppino explained.
“It ran 11.3 on pump fuel and ran its personal best of 9.94 with a 200 horsepower shot of nitrous.”
That kind of performance made Luppino aware that he needed to make sure he was safe at the same time as having fun so not wanting to chop up the pristine Fairlane he moved on to a Capri race car.
“Again I chose a small block Windsor with a 200 shot and went as fast as 8.34 @ 162,” he said, but it wasn’t long before the need to go quicker bit yet again.
“As usual I wanted to go faster and the Capri was at its limits so I was on the lookout for a car that would handle the abuse I wanted to throw its way. Hence the birth of the Mustang.”
Here Luppino had a car designed to go sixes which he considered more than enough for the time being.
After spending a lot of time on the bottle, Luppino began to have a few whispers in his ear that the turbocharger should be his next choice of power adder.
“I have a lot of friends in the states and they were telling me to jump on the turbo revolution and I was very hesitant as I was a one eyed nitrous boy,” he said.
“But I bit the bullet and with the help of Pistol Pete I decided to buy a Proline twin turbo deal from America.”
The 2003 Mustang has a 440 cubic inch small block Ford with twin 80mm turbos. The car has been as quick as 7.03 @ 204 and 7.12 @ 204 in true legal Pro Street trim.
Luppino is glad he shifted from hairspray to hairdryer for the boost in his Mustang.
“It’s probably the smartest move I’ve ever made. Once its sorted you really don’t have to adjust the tune. Just make sure all is safe and let’s go racing,” he said.
He has now competed at Calder, Sydney Dragway and Willowbank Raceway – and he says he would love to tackle Perth Motorplex one day too. Currently his work limits his racing a little but that ensures it is all the more enjoyable when he is on the quarter mile.
“My favourite place to race is Willowbank. They treat you like you’re a racer and always give me a great track to race on,” he said.
Luppino said after achieving his first ambition of being the number one Pro Street Blown car in Australia, his next target is to be the first one into the sixes.
Racing opportunities are limited though he said it was great to be back out at Calder recently.
“It was fantastic. To race in front of my family and friends was an awesome feeling and to take home the win in front of a home crowd, speechless,” he said.
“It would be nice for Calder and ANDRA to kiss and make up so we can have championship racing back in Melbourne. Also I would like to see all tracks recognise APSA heads up racing.”
In the near future, Luppino is stepping up again.
“My plans are to race the Mustang with a 632 big block Ford which is currently on the water on its way over here from Proline race engines,” he said.
It’s all come thanks to an extensive list of people who Luppino wanted to mention.
“My sponsors BBE Transmissions and Firefly Coaches,” he said.
“My crew consists of Frank Marchese (Dandy Engines), Adrian Pascuzzi, Charlie Borg, John Massara. All I can say is that without the help and support of my crew my dream and passion for the sport would not be possible. They are the heart beat of the team.
“Pistol Pete for all his support and sharing his wealth of knowledge.
“Peter Kapiris and Jeff Cutajar for all their help with parts, setting up the car and guiding me down the track safely.
“John and Mick from BBE Transmissions for all their ongoing maintenance on ther banger Powerglides.
“Westernlink Automotive for their maintenance on the Mustang.
“My friends Micheal and Jackie Vee, Manny, Max, John Massara, Enzo Morabito and Adam Pulitano who support me at every race meeting.
“Sam and Jim Corso for their prompt repairs on the Mustang.
“Andrew Sanders and Browny from Specialised Power Porting for his killer fabrication work.
“Kevin Dennis Holden, Joe Gauci from Profab and last but not least I’d like to thank Steve Petty from Proline Race Engines for coming here and helping me turn my dream into reality. Truely an amazing person with plenty of knowledge and all the staff at Proline who are professional and passionate about what they do.”