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Discussion Starter #1
I recently aquired this car and it will undergo a complete restoration to bring it back to it's appearance when it was first built in 1976 and appeared in Hot Rod Magazine in '77. The car has become somewhat of an urban legend. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of sharing it with the hobby for the first time in 30 years. For the doubting thomas's out there, I do have a copy of the original Ford Motor Credit title, dated 1975 with Ruggirello's name on it, so its provenance is beyond question.

The car deserves to be saved and shared with others and I hope to do just that.

More to come!
 

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The above image of the Mustang II is of vehicle built specifically for Pro Stock...and really match racing.

The 'Sudden Death' Mustang II was built by Wayne Gapp and Jack Roush (Gapp & Roush) for a customer who wanted to beat up on the local street racers.

It was profiled in a 1977 edition of Hot Rod magazine by Gray Baskerville.

I have a link to the text of the article here

Should be a fun project.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It is the street car that Gapp&Roush built for a serious street racer in Detroit in the 70's, Joe Ruggirello. He bought a brand new 75 Mustang II and immediately took it to them to build. They back halved it, built a 505" 460 for it, set it back in the chassis 10", a C6 trans. The car had a really subtle look to it being silver with no stripes, big scoop, or anything to draw attention to it. I have scans of the article and a couple of extra period photos...just email me. I don't have a photo host yet and still need to take current detail photos as soon as I can get time.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Here is an old photo taken the same day the photo shoot was done for the article in the April '77 Hot Rod issue. Gray Baskerville, the author of the article behind the wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is the car today. Biggest changes from the 95 photo to now is the addition of an intercooler, and coil overs in the rear, and time/weather taking a toll on the old white paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, thats a brief photo history on it. If anyone out there knows the car from the Miami area and/or how I can contact the guy that owned it down there, please, please let me know. He may still have the headers/hood/leaf springs off of the car.

Thanks!

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here is the article I recently came by that shows the car during construction. They tried hard to put all that motor under a stock hood, but it just wouldn't quite make it. Check out the window sticker on the drivers window!

 

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What a great find!
I;ve seen pics of that car in a Ford dealership, in london,Ontario i think.
Its going to drive me crazy until i remember where & when those pics were!
And yes, do keep us posted as you move forward with Jaws!
 

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Interesting car. I wonder if they reworked the frame rails to get that motor in there or just used the motor plate and moved a few things around. One issue you'll have (unless already done?) if you plan to put it on the drag strip is that modern sanction rules require a cage in any car with a modified floor or firewall. And that car has probably both for sure LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Interesting car. I wonder if they reworked the frame rails to get that motor in there or just used the motor plate and moved a few things around. One issue you'll have (unless already done?) if you plan to put it on the drag strip is that modern sanction rules require a cage in any car with a modified floor or firewall. And that car has probably both for sure LOL.
Wayne Gapp and his crew moved the firewall back several inches. Motor setback is 10" using a motor plate setup. The car has never been on an NHRA track, since its never had a harness, legal fuel lines, open lug nuts, etc for a car this fast. It wasn't originally built with a cage at all. Somewhere along the way, it had a 6 pt piece installed. It was never intended for the strip, and spent its entire life street racing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What a great find!
I;ve seen pics of that car in a Ford dealership, in london,Ontario i think.
Its going to drive me crazy until i remember where & when those pics were!
And yes, do keep us posted as you move forward with Jaws!

Wow...if you come by those pics, please, please contact me. I'm trying to put together the history of this car and there is a window of time...1995 to 2000 that I've not been able to get anything on it.
 

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I remember buying that issue of Hot Rod and still think it's around somewhere. Baskerville also did a story on a nice 427 SC. I also remember in about 1983, Ruggilerro built a stroked Cleveland and put it in a Fox body. He said Sudden Death was kind of a handful and sold it to build the Cleveland powered car. I think the car was a 4 cylinder '82 hatchback and was around 393 cubic inches. It was referred to as Sudden Death II. I will have to dig out my old issues of Mustang to find that article. Both cars were crazy fast, but the Cleveland was normally aspirated.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I remember buying that issue of Hot Rod and still think it's around somewhere. Baskerville also did a story on a nice 427 SC. I also remember in about 1983, Ruggilerro built a stroked Cleveland and put it in a Fox body. He said Sudden Death was kind of a handful and sold it to build the Cleveland powered car. I think the car was a 4 cylinder '82 hatchback and was around 393 cubic inches. It was referred to as Sudden Death II. I will have to dig out my old issues of Mustang to find that article. Both cars were crazy fast, but the Cleveland was normally aspirated.
The issue by Baskerville on Sudden Death was April 1977.

I have the other issue on the fox body car. It was a brand new 81, midnight blue hatchback. They used the TRX centers welded into centerline outer rims! I'll find that issue and get you the date.

Article was titled "Flashback"..
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I remember buying that issue of Hot Rod and still think it's around somewhere. Baskerville also did a story on a nice 427 SC. I also remember in about 1983, Ruggilerro built a stroked Cleveland and put it in a Fox body. He said Sudden Death was kind of a handful and sold it to build the Cleveland powered car. I think the car was a 4 cylinder '82 hatchback and was around 393 cubic inches. It was referred to as Sudden Death II. I will have to dig out my old issues of Mustang to find that article. Both cars were crazy fast, but the Cleveland was normally aspirated.
The other article, "Flashback" was in Hot Rod, October 1983.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Sudden Death Update

Here are a couple of updated photos. I've replaced the fuel system, battery cables, master cylinder, calipers, new 5 lug rotors, hoses, etc. Installed the restored wheels and correct size tires. Rears are 30-13.5-15 M/T's and fronts are now D70-14 Firestone Wide Ovals. I think swapping the front to 5 lug using same vintage ET slots was a good choice. The car sits right now in the front. I adjusted the coil overs down, but still could use another inch lower until I get to restoring the rear suspension back to leaf springs.







Its a start!
 

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What a neat update on a really cool car. I remember well reading about that car in Hot Rod. Great to see it come back to life. Good luck with it.
Ron
 
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