Pre-Sale Dealer Installed Superchargers, Cams, and Off Road Exhausts? How Was this Possible?

By: Bob Goodson
July 31, 2023
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It’s hard to imagine walking into a dealership today and they offer you a couple of “stages” that give your performance vehicle more power. Bleakley Ford was actually doing this in an era of EPA regulations and stringent laws. They had two stages of options.  We’re going to cover the Stage 2 Impressor modifications in this article.

These modifications in Stage 2 that were considered “competition” items were the ones that my buddies would do to their car if they had the $$$ OR if they had a Dad that was a hot rodder and helped make the car faster. Those items would be camshafts, heads, nitrous systems, and even superchargers. I’ll be brutally honest in that all I could afford was gears and exhaust.  And even then I was buying used stuff at swap meets and from junkyards. I had to buy used to make it work on my budget. I still do to this day. 

The questions that come to mind with these modifications are “Who handles the warranty?”  “What did Ford think of these?” “Would it void the Ford Manufacturer warranty?” “Were the selling dealers talking through those details during the sale?” These are just a few among many other questions that come to my mind.

In our previous article, you’ll find the options for the Stage 1 Impressor. <-Tap link to read. The Stage 2 Impressor includes all of those options. It would be easy to say that the Stage 1 options are non invasive and fairly simple. The Stage 2 options went deeper into the motor to get more power.

That being said it really does baffle my mind that a dealership would go this deep into the motor. At this point in time I’m not aware of other dealers who swapped camshafts.  Especially one that was not emissions legal.  Keep in mind that this timeframe was 1989-1991. So emissions legal parts were mainly aftermarket headers and an intake or two. Superchargers were typically 49 state legal. California was the outlier there of course.
By 1993 the 5.0 craze was in full effect and there were more emissions approved parts in the open market.  There were multiple magazines and ALL the major aftermarket manufacturers were in full swing rolling into the 1993 model year.  But just four years prior in 1989 or even 1990, not all of that was up and running yet. Things were still being developed and Mass Air controlled engine management systems were in their infancy.
Ford Motorsport had a few options showing up for throttle bodies and a camshaft or two.  Most of which was for “off road use only” when you looked up the part in the catalog.
The first line in the options above lists Stage 1.  That means that all of Stage 1 is included.  Kind of confusing if you were to ask me. But I guess a Salesperson would hopefully be explaining that to you if one were purchasing. But this would be everything included in Stage 1.
The next items are a 65mm Ford Motorsport Throttle body and 67mm EGR spacer.  It goes without saying that the little factory throttle body was a big restriction.  However, that did help create the torque that made these cars so fun.
The 1.72 ratio Ford Motorsport roller rockers do add valve lift even on the stock cam.  What’s not mentioned in this Stage 2 package here with the roller rockers is the camshaft.  The three Bleakley Impressor Stage 2 cars I’ve been around ALL have the B303 camshaft in the motor. I also have had conversations with owners of Saleen SSC’s that Bleakley Ford added B303 camshafts.  And they had documentation to prove it along with the original camshaft that came out of the motor.  The B303 camshaft was considered a “competition” part.  Those parts that were not emissions legal did not come with any warranty.

The other items on the Stage 2 list were the spark plugs and spark plug wires.  This is where Bleakley Ford took a play from the Saleen playbook.  Both of these items were used in the Saleen SSC.  Champion Spark Plug wires and Champion Spark plugs. The Saleen SSC also used a Champion battery. 

The tire upgrade and interior brace were added in Stage 2.  It is worth noting that Saleen’s were ordered with the interior brace (people call it a roll bar, but it’s not). Our 1990 Bleakley Saleen was ordered with this brace from Saleen. 

Beyond the Stage 1 and Stage 2 options you have options of which include some “competition parts”.  These are things like the B303 cam and even Paxton Superchargers. I have been told that in the Bleakley shop that the techs referred to these details as “Stage 3”.  I know that internally the supercharger was referred to as Stage 3.  This was not advertised.  Also note that those parts at the bottom that are considered competition parts will void a warranty.  The price to pay if you wanted to go fast.  People do this today with tunes but the computer programmers for the manufacturers have figured out how to reference the file history on the computers.

I am finding out that there are some other dealers who were doing mods like these to cars.  I am curious to know if they were doing it after the purchase but before customer delivery of the car.  I’d assume that was the case.  I do know that is the case with the Summit Ford Dominator GT’s.  I was reminded of those after the previous article on the Stage 1 Impressor was published. Those cars are highly sought after and like the Bleakley Impressor, they are VERY low production numbers.

If you know of other dealers who did mods like this, I’d like to know about them.  Tommy Vaughn Ford was mentioned, Summit Ford Dominator GT’s,  and Anderson Ford with their “Quick Kits”.  Thanks to Bob Vervaeke, Steve Koger, David Willer, and Jeff Lorenz for their contribution to those details. Hit me with more if you have them.  Documentation, advertisements…etc.  Hit the contact button at the bottom of the page and shoot me an email.

As of this writing I only know of Saleen Mustangs that are Impressor cars.  If you have connection to or know of a documented (key word here) Impressor car that is NOT a Foxbody Saleen please email me through the link below. There has to be a few of them out there. These Impressor packages were something offered to buyers of any Foxbody Mustang sold through Bleakley.  All you needed was a big enough wallet. 


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