1000hp blown & injected Windsor-powered 1965 Mustang

When a 782hp aspirated combo isn't enough, you cook up a 1000hp blown and injected bent-eight!


Nick Novak, owner of this weapons-grade ’65 Mustang, subscribes to the theory that if some is good, more must be better.

“After I bought it in 2019, [I found ] the 347ci small-block the car had just wasn’t cutting it,” Nick begins. “So a mate of mine, Morris, introduced me to [engine builder] Jason Mansweto.”

First published in the February 2023 issue of Street Machine

Nick and Jason initially looked at amping up the 347 with a tunnel ram and other goodies. However, their plans soon morphed into an all-new 438ci small-block, set to kill. By the time Jason downed tools, the big-cube small-block spun the dyno all the way ’round to 782hp. Combined with a toughened C4, it was a mighty stout set-up in the lightweight Mustang.

Both Nick and Jason agree that whoever originally built the car did a really good job. “Other than the driveline and the new wheel and tyre combo, we’ve pretty much left everything else alone,” Jason says.

“Everything else” includes schmick body and paint, crisp white interior, mini-tubs and a four-linked rear.

While Nick was definitely happy with the new combo, after about 12 months, he found himself wanting something even more aggressive and a bit more attention-grabbing. “A mate was selling this blown engine combo – all brand-new gear, all still in boxes,” he says, and, as he’d always wanted a blower, he jumped at the deal.

“I’d gone to a lot of trouble making the first build as nice as possible,” says Jason. “I was shocked when Nick told me to pull it all out and start again!”

After yanking the Mustang’s aspirated mill, C4 and fuel system, Jason had to then transplant it all into Nick’s XW Falcon (read more below). “I had to get the XW up and running, including making another set of custom pipes, before tackling the Mustang’s new engine build,” Jason explains.

But even after completing Nick’s XW, Jason still had to keep the ’Stang pushed to one side while he put the finishing touches to his own Summernats Grand Champion-winning X-dub, which was followed by show appearances in almost every Australian state! “Nick was very patient and understanding,” says Jason of the delay. “We’ve actually become good friends.”

Looking at the photos, it’s blatantly obvious the extended wait was worthwhile, as the new combo is a brain-snapping step up.

“We went with what we had, and it was all good gear,” says Jason. “I didn’t have to change or upgrade much.”

That good gear includes a 9.5 Dart block displacing 427ci, filled with a Callies crank, Oliver rods, JE pistons, BAM lifters, a Crow solid-roller cam and 0.220in-wall pushrods. All of this is topped with a pair of 220cc AFR heads, which have received a bit of Mansweto die-grinder magic.

As impressive as all that is, it’s what’s on top that really sets this mill apart: a humungous 8/71 Blower Shop pump and Enderle Big & Ugly hat with a Joe Blo Speed EFI injector block tucked inside.

“This is my first-ever EFI engine; it was a steep learning curve,” Jason concedes. “I didn’t really want to do it, but Nick insisted. He was dead-keen on the EFI and talked me into tackling it.”

With a basic tune in the FuelTech ECU, the combo fired straight up and ran fine. Unfortunately, a good chunk of time was subsequently spent chasing a tuning issue, which was eventually traced back to an intermittently faulty throttle position sensor. Jason freely admits it would have been a struggle to get on top of things without the help and advice of Nathanial Ardern from FuelTech and Frank Marchese of Dandy Engines.

For his part, Nick is full of praise for Jason’s tenacity: “Jason was great to work with. He never gave in, never got overwhelmed. I pushed him well out of his comfort zone, but he stuck with it and got the problem sorted.”

The new, extra-gnarly engine required a tougher TH400 from Al’s Race Glides and a whole new fuel system. The custom tank houses two submerged 460L/h Walbro pumps, and all-new fuel lines had to be fabricated. Then there’s all the wiring associated with the EFI and FuelTech digital dash. “Paul Zammit does my electrical work for me; he did a really neat job,” Jason says.

To integrate the digital dash, Jason took a factory glovebox lid and massaged it into the Mustang’s dash opening.

“It was loud before, but with the blower, the exhaust has a real rasp to it,” says Nick of the finished product. “As soon as you touch the throttle, you can feel the urgency. Power-to-weight is brutal – something like 100hp per 100kg!”

Jason backs this up: “I’ve never driven anything with this much throttle response. The instant you crack the butterflies it blows the tyres!

“We haven’t dynoed it, but it’s easily 1000-plus horsepower,” Jason continues. “We could chase a fair bit more, as it’s got enough cylinder head and enough pipe. But it’s not about making a number; it’s more about making a statement, so why risk hurting it?”

Well, Nick’s now got his blower, the Muzzy’s a lot more aggressive, and it’s infinitely more attention-grabbing. Mission accomplished!

Transplant recipient

With the Mustang relegated to sunny Sunday outings, Nick wanted something he could head out in on a more regular basis – enter this ultra-neat XW Falcon (below).

It too was purchased as a finished project, into which Jason transplanted the previous combo from the ’Stang: A 782hp, naturally aspirated 438ci Windsor, built C4 and fuel system. When Nick says he likes old-school muscle cars, he’s not kidding!

Nick Novak
1965 Ford Mustang

Brand:427ci Windsor
Blower:The Blower Shop 8/71
Induction:Enderle Big & Ugly
EFI:Joe Blo Speed Shop
Heads:AFR 220cc
Camshaft:Crow solid-roller, 0.750in lift
Crank:Callies 4.00in
Conrods:Oliver 6.200in
Pistons:JE forged 4.125in
Oil pump:Moroso high-volume
Fuel system:Twin Walbro 460L/h
Headers:Custom 1¾in stepped, 3in collectors
Exhaust:3in with twin 3in mufflers
Ignition:Eight Delphi LS coils with ICE leads
Trans:Al’s Race Glides TH400, JW bellhousing
Diff:Full-floater 9in, 4.11:1 gears, 35-spline axles
Front:Lowered coils
Rear:Strange coil-overs, four-link
Brakes:Wilwood four-spot (f & r)
Master cylinder:PBR
Rims:Weld Magnum; 17×4.5 (f), 15×10 with beadlocks (r)
Rubber:Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R 26×6.00R17 (f), Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S 275/50R15 (r)

Jason Mansweto at Mansweto Racing; Paul Zammit (electrical), Nathaniel Ardern and Frank Marchese (tuning); George Klioufis at Finesse Detailing; most of all, my wife Susan for forgiving me every time I’ve come home with a new build!