To paraphrase a popular axiom from the motorcycling community, you don’t stop racing when you get old, you get old when you stop racing.
After 76 trips around the sun, age is nothing more than a number for Gary Pundsack, a life-long car enthusiast who was initiated into the world of drag racing at a very young age. Like most car guys, he remembers his first race car vividly. It was a lightweight ’63 Dodge 330 sedan that he acquired in 1965. It had a 383 CID engine with a four-speed trans, and he souped it up with a Racer Brown cam, an Edelbrock dual-quad intake with a pair of Carter AFBs, Doug’s fenderwell headers and a 4.56:1 ring-and-pinion gearset.
From there a steady succession of newer and more powerful cars followed. Gary bought his first new car in 1967; it was a Dodge R/T with a 375-horsepower 440 that he campaigned in NHRA’s Stock Eliminator class, making as many power mods as was allowed. In 1969 he broke away from the Mopar contingent briefly to purchase his first Mustang, and it was a nice one. The Mach I coupe had the up-spec 428 CID Cobra Jet engine with a shaker scoop, A/C delete and a stout C-6 automatic backed by a 4.30:1-geared 9-inch rear.
Next came a car that he competed with for nearly 10 years, from 1969 to 1977. Arguably one of the most popular models that Chrysler had to offer during the muscle car era was the Coronet-based Super Bee, Dodge’s B-body counterpart to Plymouth’s Road Runner. Gary’s metallic green machine was powered by the potent 440 Six Pack. While the Super Bee produced gobs of power in factory trim, this particular car saw heavy modifications for Gary’s foray into NHRA Super Stock competition throughout the western United States.
Of particular interest is the Super Bee’s intake manifold, which Gary says was a prototype unit from Edelbrock topped with a trio of John Bauman-modified carbs. We were unable to come up with any in-house documentation or records to substantiate the prototype status of the manifold – even our recently retired engine guru of 50 years, Curt Hooker, had no data on this one – but a collection of archive photos that Gary provided of the Super Bee and the engine seems pretty legit.
In addition to the Edelbrock Six Pack manifold and carbs, the “Gary Pundsack” Super Bee had a prototype cam and valvetrain, Harland Sharp aluminum roller rockers, Delta electronic ignition, a manual-shift Torqueflite, inboard rear springs and wheel tubs, and Keystone wheels. Gary says that he accumulated numerous wins and track records with this car that opened the door to relationships with many of the sport’s big manufacturers of the day.
Gary officially retired from drag racing in 1977 but his affinity for fast vehicles continued. Since retiring, his stable of vehicles has included performance cars both foreign and domestic as well as trucks, off-road 4x4s and motorcycles. Gary was quick to point out that everything that he’s owned have been powered by supercharged, turbocharged or highly modified naturally-aspirated engines.
So when most folks hit the age of retirement, it’s usually a time to celebrate a life well lived and start planning out that cross-country tour in a new RV. But for 76-year-old Gary Pundsack, a leisurely existence in a rolling house on wheels is the furthest thing from his mind. In fact, Gary seems like he’s just getting started. He’s had a featured vehicle at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show for the past three years in the form of a highly modified 2017 Ford Mustang GT that he fondly refers to as “Roxie.” In fact, Roxie was scheduled to appear at SEMA 2020 until the pandemic forced the cancellation of the show in Las Vegas.
“I’m making plans to attend the 2021 SEMA Show along with another 50 or so more races and car shows throughout the Arizona, California, Colorado and Nevada in 2021,” says Gary. “Even in these pandemic times, I’m estimating that 200,000 people or more will see Roxie either in person or on various web forums, social media postings and magazine feature articles.
Roxie was ordered from the factory with the 6R80 automatic that, and 3.55:1 rear end. Gary displayed the car at the 2017 SEMA show with only aesthetics mods that included air suspension and 20-inch wheels. In 2018, Gary’s drag racing roots took hold and the more serious modifications began. Roxie quickly transformed into a proper street-strip car with a long list of engine, transmission and suspensions mods, all while maintaining a stock long block, heads and valvetrain.
“I’m on a quest to be one of the fastest stock long block drag race S550 Mustangs in the western US,” says Gary. He provided us with a detailed list of engine, driveline, suspension and interior mods that he expects will help him to achieve his goal. But the main ingredient to Roxie’s speed formula is under the hood. The supercharger is Edelbrock’s Stage 3 Pro Tuner #15899 kit featuring the TVS 2650 rotor pack capable of deliver power well beyond the 1,000 HP mark with the right mods and tune. Gary runs the Edelbrock 103mm Throttle Body, 8-Rib Belt Drive, 15-percent overdrive crank damper and a 2.75-inch pulley for 18 pounds of boost. The cold-air intake system is also Edelbrock with a Velossa Tech ram air kit and an Edelbrock harness and sender.
“I expect Roxie to run in the low 9s at over 150 MPH in the quarter-mile. She’s currently ranked 27th on Palm Beach Dyno’s list of their fastest customer cars in the nation. And she’s the highest-ranking Edelbrock Supercharger-equipped car on that list. I believe she is currently the fastest stock motor Mustang with an Edelbrock Supercharger in the West.”
When it comes to elapsed times and miles per hour, we all know that records and rankings are set but never permanent. If you have an Edelbrock-supercharged car that you feel is a record holder, let us know. We’d like to see it.