Photography by Al Rogers.
Jack Roush is the kind of guy who stands above the crowd. He’s a larger than life legend who has earned his stripes as a motorsports superstar and today is the Chairman of the Board of ROUSH Enterprises, an international corporation that employs nearly 2,000 people. His corporate empire includes ROUSH Racing, ROUSH Industries, ROUSH Performance Engineering and ROUSH Manufacturing. Clearly Jack Roush is a man passionate about high performance automobiles.
Roush’s success didn’t come overnight. After leaving Ford Motor Company in 1969, Roush spent his time between engine building, drag racing and teaching. In 1976 he formed Jack Roush Performance engineering where he focused his attention on engine development and motorsports racing. Then in 1988, ROUSH Racing was launched. His racing division would later go on to win titles in all three NASCAR divisions.
In 1988, Roush approached Ford to market his 400 horsepower twin turbo Mustang through their dealerships. And while Ford was enthusiastic about the product, they decided his cars would be too expensive. While disappointed, Roush continued to develop performance vehicles that eventually led up to the 1995 ROUSH Mustang.
Its roots began with one component, a high performance dual-plane intake manifold developed by Jack. His goal was to sell the manifold through Ford Racing. Ford wasn’t particularly interested as they had already made the decision to replace the aging 5.0-liter V8 with an overhead cam 4.6-liter V8. Having invested nearly $500,000 in its design, Jack began looking at ways to get a return on his investment. In a series of meetings, it was determined to put together a “kit of parts” that Ford dealers could install on a Mustang GT. But as luck would have it, the dealers passed on the idea. As a result, Roush opened up several installment centers throughout the nation to assemble the components.
The ROUSH Mustang was available in three stages. Stage 1 vehicles included 17-inch ROUSH wheels, special side rocker skirts, rear deck lid wing and front spoiler. For those who questioned the heritage of the car, a quarter-window decal package cleared things up. Inside, a ROUSH logo package decorated the front seats. The finishing touches were a ROUSH Dash medallion and ROUSH embroidered floor mats. Buyers could also tack on performance side exhausts and rear valance.
For those wanting more than just visuals, the Stage 2 ROUSH Mustang added a handling package. The Stage 2 received everything in Stage 1 plus a pinion snubber, rear anti-roll bar, special front and rear springs and Koni adjustable struts all around. Both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 Mustangs were powered by Ford’s 5.0-liter V8 rated at 215 horsepower.
If visuals and handling weren’t enough, the Stage 3 was available. The package started out as a Stage 2, then tacked on a 65mm throttle body, custom three-piece ROUSH dual plenum intake assembly, high flow air filter and special fuel rail. A custom designed cowl induction hood covered all of the niceties. Dyno tests proved an additional 47 horsepower with the additions. Optional CNC ported cast iron heads or aluminum heads could be ordered for added horsepower.
The exact number of 1995 ROUSH Mustangs is unknown but believed to be just a few hundred. Only four Stage 3 ROUSH Mustangs were produced according to Ed Wayland, a key member of the ROUSH team in 1995. “Old Blue,” owned by Terry Karges, is one of those four.
Fuel For Thought
Jack Roush started ROUSH Performance Products in 1995
Optional GT40 aluminum heads received larger Manley 1.94-inch intake valves
Stage 2 Mustangs received 30mm front and 27 mm rear sway bars
Stage 3 Mustang with GT40 aluminum heads retailed for $5,278
Number built – exact amount unknown
Construction – Unibody
Engine – 302 cubic-inch V8
Power/Torque – 215 horsepower/285 lb-ft torque (Stage 1), 262 horsepower/torque N/A (Stage 3 with stock heads)
Transmission – five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Suspension front – modified MacPherson struts with lower A-arms, coil springs and anti-rollbar
Suspension rear – live axle with angled upper and lower trailing arms, coil springs and anti-rollbar
Steering – rack & pinion
Brakes – four-wheel disc
Length/width/height – 181.5/71.8/53.1 inches
Wheelbase – 101.3 inches
Weight – 3,280 lbs. shipping weight
0-60mph/quarter-mile – 6.7 seconds, 15.1 seconds at 92.8 mph (Motor Trend, August 1994)
Top speed – N/A
MPG – 15-22 mpg EPA est.
Price – $ 20,688 (GT coupe price $17,905 plus $2,783 for stage 3);
Today – With only four 1995 Stage 3 ROUSH Mustangs known to exist, we’d price this as “Very” collectible.
Insurance cost is $250 for a 1995 Ford Mustang GT valued at $9,175. This is based on 3,000 miles per year of pleasure driving.
*Based on a quote from Heacock Classic Car Insurance
The ROUSH Stage 3 engine added 47 horsepower to the mix giving lightening fast performance. While the 5.0-liter V8 was at the end of its lifecycle, it proved to be reliable and dependable. Its biggest flaw was limited breathing capability that would be corrected with ROUSH CNC ported heads.
The Stage 1 ROUSH handled like a stock Mustang GT but adding the Stage 2 suspension pieces turned it into a rocket like roller skate staying flat even in high speed turns.
1995 Camaro Z28
Number built – 30,335 (Z28 coupe)
0-60/quarter-mile – 5.7 seconds, 14.2 seconds at 98.8 mph
Top speed – N/A mph
Price – MSRP – $16,779;
Today – $1,650 - $2,975
1995 Pontiac Trans Am
Number built – 10,943 (Trans Am coupe)
0-60/quarter-mile – 6.1 seconds, 14.6 seconds at 97.6 mph
Top speed – N/A mph
Price – MSRP – $21,184;
Today – $1,975 - $3,375
Outstanding performance and handling in Stage 3 package
Stage 1 vehicles looked great but performed like any other Mustang GT
Some aftermarket parts difficult to find
Old school powertrain
Owners are a tight knit group and enjoy showing their vehicles. However few are driven on a regular basis.
What To Pay
1995 Ford Mustang GT
MSRP – $22,795
Low – $1,200
Average – $1,875
High – $2,425
*Prices courtesy of NADA,
Mustang Special Editions by Brad Bowling and Jerry Heasley
How to Tune and Modify Your 5.0 Liter Mustang by Steve Turner
Mustang by Peter Sessler
Mustang 5.0L Muscle Portfolio by R. M. Clarke
The 1995 ROUSH Mustang was the first of many ultra high performance Mustangs to come out of ROUSH Performance Products. Today, this rare piece of automotive history is a testament to Jack Roush’s quest for automotive perfection.