Inside Scott Triolo’s TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout Winning 1985 Mustang GT
When it comes to TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout competitors, New Jersey’s Scott Triolo fits the mold perfectly. He competes with a beautiful 1985 Mustang GT that he’s owned for decades. And he enjoys driving his Fox Body on the street and strip. All while rowing the gears with a TREMEC Magnum 6-speed transmission.
Triolo is the most recent winner in the three-race 2022 TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout series, taking the crown at the NMRA Ford Performance Nationals held at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
“I had an ’85 Mustang years ago and I got rid of it because I bough a 1991 LX. Then I sold that car to build a garage and I finally got another ’85 in 2001,” Triolo said. “It had 16,000 miles and was built for road racing, but it was mostly original, which is what I wanted. It had aluminum actually Ford J302 heads on a stock short block and a carburetor.”
“I wanted more power, so I put a Vortech S-Trim on the car and added the hat on the carburetor. It made about 560 hp at the wheels, but I had stalling issues with the carburetor, so we decided to install EFI. I was using an A9L at first and I tried to make it work with an SCT chip. It was still stalling, so rather than go with a stand-alone EFI, I decided to do a Coyote swap,” he said.
“I gutted the entire engine harness in my living room and bought a Gen 2 Coyote from Tasca Ford with a controls pack and a Boss 302 alternator. I also converted the brakes and steering to hydroboost with a steering rack from a 1996 Cobra and I left the TREMEC 3550 5-speed transmission in the car.
“Ultimately though, I swapped in an Eaton True Trac and I went with a more durable TREMEC Magnum 6-speed transmission with the 2.97:1 First gear ratio. I bought the transmission from Hanlon Motorsports; those guys are awesome,” said Triolo. “I added a Quick Time bellhousing and a McLeod RXT, which is the best clutch of the three I tried. Lastly, I installed Strange 35-spline axles and a Strange S-Trac carrier.”
Additionally, Triolo set the car up for drag racing. He added a 100-hp wet nitrous system from Nitrous Outlet, and that allowed the GT to dip in the 10s with a best-ever run of 10.70 at 133 mph. He also has a 2018 intake manifold and the combination is tuned with HP Tuners software.
This was his second time running the TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout and he was able to win the class, beating Jason Epstein in the final.
“I had the engine tuned by Kevin Hand by Wicked Motorsports out of Toms River, New Jersey,” said Triolo. “And I’m using UPR upper and lower control arms, Viking Performance Warrior shocks and struts and a Team Z K-member. This was my second Stick Shift Shootout, but last year I went out first round. It was just incredible to win this event. TREMEC puts on a special race for us and it’s so cool to participate. But to make it through the three True Street passes, qualify in the top 8 and then win three rounds was just awesome. I can’t wait to make the car quicker and do more of the TREMEC Stick Shift Shootouts.”