Fulfilling an Edelbrock-Powered Bucket List Dream! A 76-Year-Old Car Guy Returns to Drag Racing in a Supercharged Mustang After a 44-Year Hiatus

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.

2017 Ford Mustang GT, S550, Edelbrock Supercharger
At 76, former drag racer Gary Pundsack is returning to his quarter-mile roots after a 44-year hiatus in this Edelbrock-supercharged 2017 Mustang GT that he calls “Roxie.”

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.

2017 Ford Mustang GT, S550, Edelbrock Supercharger
Gary Pundsack accepting the keys to his new Mustang GT in 2017. With the magic of vinyl wrap, the nondescript metallic silver Ford took on a bright new look for its first SEMA Show appearance in 2017. Roxie was just a show car then with airbag suspension and 20-inch wheels.
2017 SEMA Show, Gary Pundsack Mustang
The first version of Gary’s Mustang debuted in Las Vegas at SEMA 2017. Modifications made to the engine and suspension were mainly to draw attention. The serious power parts would come later.

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.

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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.

Super Stock 1969 Dodge Super Bee with 440 Six Pack engine, Edelbrock 6-Pack Intake Manifold
Scanned photos of the Light Green Metallic 1969 Dodge Super Bee from Gary’s archives show the car making a pass on the dragstrip in 1973.
Super Stock 1969 Dodge Super Bee with 440 Six Pack engine, Edelbrock 6-Pack Intake Manifold

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.

Super Stock 1969 Dodge Super Bee with 440 Six Pack engine, Edelbrock 6-Pack Intake Manifold
Gary says that he received an STR Six Pack manifold for the 440 straight from Edelbrock in the early 70s to do some high-altitude testing and provide feedback. He found that fuel puddled in the plenum so the R&D department added some dams near the runners and put him in touch with Chrysler’s head carb guy who modified the carburetors. “The car ran like a champ after that,” said Gary. “It set records at every track. I raced that ’69 Super Bee from 1969 to 1977 with that setup.”

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.

Super Stock 1969 Dodge Super Bee with 440 Six Pack engine, Edelbrock 6-Pack Intake Manifold
Another photo of the Super Bee from ’73 shows Gary and a friend talking about something important at the back of the car.

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.

2017 Ford Mustang GT, S550, Edelbrock Supercharger
Seventy-six-year-old Gary Pundsack claims to hold the record as the fastest Edelbrock-supercharged S550 Mustang in the nation with a sealed, stock motor. Gary may have to revisit the track to back up that claim as quite a few stock-block Mustangs have been clocking some equally quick ETs since this photo was taken.

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.

Edelbrock-supercharged 2017 Mustang
Edelbrock Supercharger Kits for the 2015-17 Mustang 5.0L Coyote are available in Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3/Pro-Tuner levels. The Stage 2 Supercharger Kit for the Mustang is one of the most potent bolt-on power-adders that is 50-state emissions-legal and carries the industry-leading Edelbrock 3-year/36,000-mile warranty when used with the supplied tune.

Learn more about all Edelbrock Supercharger kits and accessories HERE

“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.

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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.

2017 Ford Mustang GT, S550, Edelbrock Supercharger

“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.