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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    57
    Country Flag: Greece

    Default Pro-Touring 1989 Mustang Convertible

    My most recent project. 1989 Ford Mustang Convertible, pro-touring/ track day car.
    How I got it. 11 speakers, UPR front suspension, Bullit/Baer Brakes, 5 lug conversion.

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    After a little swapping of parts.

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    The initial plan was to go full Maximum Motorsports SN95 and 8.8 suspension. I had all the parts then realized that I always likes how the 1999-2001 Cobra's IRS felt. I then decided to sell off the SRA 8.8 parts and bought a 2003 Cobra IRS. It was delivered to my garage by the seller, a great guy to say the least.

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    When the car was purchased it was partially converted to 1993 Black spec's from grey. I decided to go with that swap as it looked better than 1989 grey.

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    The coolest part of an IRS is the negative camber, here is a picture of 0 negative camber, then -1 degree camber. It was discovered that the 1991-1993 Mustang Convertible frame sat 4" lower. A complete top and frame was sourced from Chicago and delivered by a good guy. A 1993 Saleen Spyder Tonneau Cover was located and should cover the top when down as well as the rear seats. 1993 Mustang Leather seat skins were swapped. 1993 Mustang rear inner panels, front and rear seatbelts were installed. In 1989 there was only a lap belt in the rear.

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    Mid-build clutter.

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    SN95 Maximum Motorsports forward offset control arms with 17 x 9.5" Stern Face II wheels with 275/40R17 tires. They stuck out 3/4" with full negative caster and camber. Having been able to fit the same wheels before, the 1.5" wider and 1.5" added wheelbase added a learning curve. Before stretching with just a baseball bat.

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    During

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    After final metal pulling and stretching.

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    At this point there was still rubbing on the front valence and the rear section of the front wheels were exposed and that was not what I believed to be safe with a convertible top. Further turnbuckling the fenders from the frame rails helped clear everything.

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    Keeping with the Saleen SC theme the car received rare and factory Saleen parts. This is one of two known Tim Allen RRR car prototype hoods.

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    Ride height is 25-25.5" which created clearance concerns. The Bilstein HD front and rear shocks were sent to Bilstein for revalving and shortening. Additional turnbuckling created more room but started to pull the fenders inward where the side shirts attach. To alleviate this the fenders were cut and turnbuckled which unshrouded the rear of the wheels but created an almost impossible side skirt attachment.

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    Having spent 6 months with the cloth Recaro seats I wanted to find leather and convert the interior to Saleen SC spec. The closest seats I could find were brown, from a Porsche, but I could dye them. Driving at night and evenings with the black gauges became a little boring and a choice to go all white face gauges was made.

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    The IRS was pulled and upgraded to where I could live with it I thought.

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    It was at this point that things started to become apparent. Having an IRS with ABS, why not retain the 4 channel ABS, Hydroboost S281 Saleen Pedals and steering. With the IRS, the apparent issue became the lack of rear wheel space. I measured and discovered that I could gain almost 1" if I had a hard mount. I called Kenny Brown and spoke to Rich Cotrell and the rest is history. I originally asked for the steel parts in order to fabricate a hard mount myself. It was apparent that they would not sell them to me. After trading emails with Rich he made me an offer. Kenny Brown used to make geometry corrections for the 1999-2001 IRS subframes but had stopped with Heidt's and never restarted the project. So I offered to send Rich and Kenny Brown a subframe. Rich offered to restart the program and build a jig off this modification. The work was completed and badass to say the least. I had previously installed a Detroit Locker, Eiback Sway bar and all urethane bushings in addition to a FTBR rear differential that was modified cover with a FTBR delrin differential bushing. The IRS came out again and Delrin lower subframe bushings from Drop Engineering were installed as well as a rear differential lowering bushing that is clearance for an IRS cooler. Front FTBR aluminum differential bushings were installed and the subframe was clearance for the 2003 Cobra front differential brace.

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    IRS ready to go back in. I have to admit I have had no help on this project as the previous owner, a good friend, left for New Hampshire. Installing an IRS three times is a hard work but rewarding.

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    The hardmount had clearancing issues with the rear shock braces. I did not know that removing the rear mount was needed. But a call to Rich at Kenny Brown was made and it was affirmed. So out came the plasma cutter from a good friend. The mounting points for the hard mount are also different for Fox body mustangs and SN95. Those were also plasma cut out and it bolted in easily.

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    A custom metallic red paint was made up. Lighter than the factory plain burgundy, this one has metallic's. It is called fire engine red and the wife likes it so it passes inspection. Originally I wanted to convert to Vibrant Red, 1993 Cobra Red. A factory Saleen spoiler was located.

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    I installed longer rear wheel studs and liked the two sets of 13" Wilwood on both cars so I opted for the Maximum Motorsport Wilwood 13" 4 piston rears for a close match to the 6 piston fronts. ABS sensors were purchased and installed. ABS sensor lines to mate to the ABS unit were fabricated. Factory 2003 Cobra ABS module, hard brake lines and Wilwood Stainless Steel brake lines were installed. Steeda made up the front wheel hubs with longer wheel studs. Spring rates are starting at 300# front and 500# rear per Maximum Motorsport recommendation. Through the floor subframe connectors were installed after purchasing the car. AutoFab RaceCars installed them. The car will go back for a roll bar, matrix bracing and strut tower funny car cage bars. I have discovered putting the convertible on jack stands the car is very flexible even with the through the floors installed. Mainly from the firewall forward.

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    Stern Face II Wheels mocked up. Started as 17 x 9/9.5" wheels. Final sizing will be 18 x 9.5/11" with 275/315 tires.

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    2003 Cobra Hydroboost assembly as well as S281 Saleen pedal assembly grafted onto the Foxbody pedal box. 2000 Cobra R steering rack and Maximum Motorsport bolt through bump steering kit installed. Maximum Motorsports front sway bar and forward offset sway bar mounts installed. FR500 power steering cooler as well as 2000 Cobra R front mount oil cooler and 1995 Cobra R oil filter adaptor installed. The front bumper was cut to clearance the coolers. Stainless Steel braided lines throughout.

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    Maximum Motorsports Caster Camber plates with full negative caster and camber presented a clearance problem as you can see from this picture. I removed the 2003 Cobra master cylinder reservoir as it was in the way. I might add at this point I was going to fabricate a remote reservoir when I found Rick Stevens at Lodestone Billetworks. I measured my reservoir bungs and thank god Rick was there. Without a lathe I was unable to fabricate the parts. It took a while for him to find a dependable company to make the parts but he came through.

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    I had originally bought the 2000 Cobra R engines for a future father son build. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made to install the 2000 Cobra R 5.4L DOHC motor. The car would now be in effect a Saleen SC Spyder bodied, 2000 Cobra R suspended car which makes sense now. Having already installed a 2000 Cobra R T56 for pushrod motors, the original plan was a 369ci 302 stroker with TFS R heads and a Vortech Aftercooled Novi2000 making 750-800fwhp. Needless to say the plan changed for the better.

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    The engine came bare, but the seller, truly a great guy, sold me the supporting pieces I needed to get the ball rolling.

    I had always sourced my engines locally or built them for other people. I have never shipped anything larger than a hood or engine block perhaps transmission personally. How cool is this, the owner of the engine and how he shipped it to me. Motorheads rock.

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    Now how to hell do you get the 600lb box home? Jan Norris, the man at Precision Engine Machine leant me his self loading F150. It would have been a mess otherwise.

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    A full 6 rib serpentine was added power steering and all. Keeping the AC was the plan so a tensioner was taken from another 5.4L Navigator engine.

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    For my other 2000 Cobra R motor I had Todd Warren aka NASVT straighten and polish a NIB 2000 Cobra R lower to help the airflow. This manifold will replace the stock 235 mile lower that is on the engine now. This engine was pulled in 2001 from the owner of FTBR's personal car to make way for an all aluminum 5.4L built motor.

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    Staying with the 750-800hp goal, a Vortech YSI was located at a great price.

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    The major problem with the Vortech is that Vortech never made a kit for the car. A fellow by the name of Bill Anderson in Georgia as well as one other fellow have made a successful install with S and T Trim's with the factory bracket I was told. Here is a pic of how far off the 4.6 bracket is.

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    Having had an ATI Procharger on a 347 in 2003, I knew that belt slip was going to be an issue with the 6 rib factory configuration. As the build progressed 8 rib serpentine pullies were sourced in an attempt to facilitate a conversion. A custom underdrive 2000 Cobra R power steering pulley is currently being made by ASP pullies. An 8 rib AC compressor clutch and the rest of the 8 rib parts are all readily available for other Ford 5.4 engines. The 2000 Cobra R drop motor mounts were also purchased and installed. A Maximum Motorsports Modular swap K Member was also purchased. Stock 2000 Cobra R Shorty headers will have to do for now. There is no swap header made for a Modular 5.4L engine into a Foxbody mustang. Long tube headers will have to be a custom deal.

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    The current state of affairs is the blower bracket. I cut up the Vortech unit and made measurements. I then found emachineshop.com whom sent me free CAD software where I designed a new blower bracket. The problem arose when I could not get the program to go 3D. I then eventually heard back from them and was told that they could not CNC me one or two brackets, that it would cost a lot. Never got a price from them. I had already started buying aluminum bar stock and a Custom Vortech mounting bracket for a V7 Vortech YSI. The plan is to fabricate my own bracket.

    The T56 as is will not work with a Modular 5.4L motor, only a pushrod engine. I have purchased all the needed parts including a front intermediate plate in order to convert the T56 over to Modular spec. I have also managed to source a McLeod clutch and Aluminum Flywheel. The project is slowly coming together.

    The old 302 was going to get a Paxton Novi2000, Edelbrock Heads and Saleen Holy Grail intake manifold. That plan was started and abandoned. The deciding progress started as an oil leak that the factory valve covers had. Let's just say that I decided to tear apart the top end and an end to justify the means of installing the 2000 Cobra R engine.

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    Rear Saleen Valence stock 2003 Cobra cat back mocked up.

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  2. #2
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    Oct 2011
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    Maryland
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    Subscribing! Wow.. I have weakness for a foxbody! Sure looks like you are on right direction! 5.4 is masssssive for a fox body engine bay but once its in and running. The fun starts!

  3. #3
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    Where are you finding these rare parts, like 2 2000 Cobra R motors and the hood?

    - Jesse

  4. #4
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    Sep 2015
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    SW KS
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    Woo! This is fun. I love that, for the most part, Fox bodies are like Legos.

    Can't wait to see this in action.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Country Flag: Greece

    Default Pro-Touring 1989 Mustang Convertible

    They pop up every now and then. A couple of years ago a lot of the prototype experimental 2000 Cobra R test engine parts showed up on eBay. I have enough parts lying around to do a 351ci high compression nitrous motor as well as a dual carb version for an older Ford Ranger project.

    They only made 300 cars and 4 test engines. There are a small amount of those parts still out there.

    In 2003 I thought up a stroker motor version of this. Todd Warren built John Kaase's 2013 engine masters challenge winning engine on those thoughts, let's see what comes of that comment.

    That is what brought me back to trying to build up one or two of these. The original plan was a 351ci high compression NOS motor R version, which is what the lower intake was built for.

    Now, the easier route seems to be a blown 331 version.

    The Saleen parts also show up here and there. It helps having a supportive wife whom respects my hobby.

    The truth is I could have bought a Saleen and cut it up but that would make no sense and it would bother me. It would have costed more as we'll. I sold off a few motorcycles and motorcycle builds to buy the car and start that build. I originally had a two car garage, one mustang on one side, motorcycles and motorcycle builds on the other. I think it worked out well with the convertible. In high school, 1990 or so, I wanted a convertible. 20 years later I got this one. I had another one 10 years ago but that is a long painful story.

    I have another mustang, you can see it in the pics. I gutted it and rewired it, replaced everything. That is my ongoing drag car build. The previous owner of this car wanted handling and a modular swap. I was never into track day cars but I decided to go that route which has been a lot of fun fabricating and assembling so far.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2005
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    San Diego, CA
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    Fun project! Good to hear no Saleens were harmed in the making :D
    John Brown
    1971 Nova - Project Car
    2017 Camaro SS 1LE
    My FQuick Garage

  7. #7
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    Jun 2013
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    57
    Country Flag: Greece

    Default Pro-Touring 1989 Mustang Convertible

    They are the best looking Foxbody mustang other than the Cobra R and Cobra I believe. The body lines and aerodynamics were pretty well thought out almost 30 years ago.

    I might buy one some day. Just now anytime soon. I really liked the 2005 version as well as all the SA and Extreme cars.

    The universal blower mounting plate showed up Thursday. I'll post pics once I get my mounting points marked and drilled.

    Know anyone in MD, DC or VA with a CNC machine? I am going to need the plate to be trimmed down to size.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2013
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    Got the custom ASP 8 rib asp pulley back installed
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    Before and during pictures of the custom 00R YSI bracket that I am building.
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    I am going to have to have 1/2 spacers made to space the blower from the plate due to the feed line. I also had a custom spacer made to make the Vortech 8 rib idler pulley freestanding and not sandwiched like the Vortech bracket.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2015
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    Country Flag: Venezuela

  10. #10
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    Jun 2013
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    The YSI car Bill Anderson has started with an S trim them upgraded to a YSI trim. The s trim is alleged to fit with the stock bracket. The YSI is way off and requires a custom bracket. I spoke to Bill, cool guy to say the least. The other car in VA I got no response from.

    I am leaning toward methanol injection as opposed to an intercooler.

    Getting close to wrapping up the blower install. I am going to need a custom water pump pulley in order to be able to have 5 mounting points. The blower plate will require a 1 1/4" section that was cut has to be welded back on.

  11. #11
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    Oct 2011
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    Katy, Tx
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    Awesome. Love those R engines, very unique.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2013
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    A few updates. YSI bracket is almost complete, just got to drill one more mounting bracket hole. Custom ASP water pump pulley came in as well. Plans for wheels has changed, going with 10.5" front and 12" rear wheels with Toyo Proxes R888 295/355 series 18" tires. To do this I needed more fender. Bought the Tiger Racing flares. 18" rolled lips and barrels are in and centers need painting. McLeod SFI Bellhousing came in as well. Going to finish install the blower and check serpentine belt clearances/ tolerances.
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    Last edited by alexandros; 12-23-2015 at 01:24 PM. Reason: Info

  13. #13
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    Dec 2015
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    Scottsdale, AZ
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    Wow! Such a thorough build! Much respect. Can't wait to see the finished car.

  14. #14
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    Jun 2013
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    Belt alignment is off 1/4", this can be turned down. Custom 1" smaller ASP water pump pulley installed. Looking for rubber hose and aluminum tubing now. Need 8 rib crank pulley, Thump rrr 8 rib tensioner and 8 rib AC pulley before I can measure and buy a serpentine belt. If anyone has Mondo BOV I need one too. Thinking of going E85 instead of intercooler or methanol injection.

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  15. #15
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    Wheels are at the wheel shop getting painted and assembled.

  16. #16
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    First update in a while. Wheel centers, lips, barrels, hardware, center caps and 90 degree valves are at a local wheel restoration shop. Having the
    centers media blasted and painted. They are going to do the assembly as well.

    I managed to get the blower intake tube/TB elbow closer to welding. In order to reduce the number of silicone tubes and hose clamps to 2 hoses and 4
    clamps.

    I have reached an area that requires certain silicone reducers that are not made, namely 30 degree 3.5" to 3" silicone reducers. The intake tubes to
    the TB are 3.5".

    At the same time I have an interesting debate, while I wait for a silicone reducer to show from CXracing. As you can see from the pictures, from above,the blower and intake 180 degree tube have a 30 degree angle. If you look from the front, the blower and the 180 degree intake tube also have a 30
    degree angle. In a nutshell, the silicone reducer is a single plain 45 degree silicone tube. The angles invovled are in two plains, vertical and
    horizontal.

    This is where I wish I would have studied more in College, in my Statics and Dynamics class. Would the corresponding angle be 30 or 45 degrees?

    Here is the kicker, only 45 degree reducer silicone tubes are available to go from 3.5" to 3". Now plan B is, a 30 degree 3.5" silicone tube with
    a 3" section clamped underneath the 3.5" tube to the 3" YSI discharge tube.

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  17. #17
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    Waiting for the welder to weld and smooth the 180 and elbow together. Twin methanol injectiors will go in next. Working on fabricating the blower
    intake tube as well.

  18. #18
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    Oct 2011
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    Maryland
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    That is going to be a beast!!! Hope you wouldnt have a problem fitting it in

  19. #19
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    Jun 2013
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    Elbow welded, methanol injection locations revised, not pictured. Methanol nozzle locations and Vortech Race bypass valve welded/flange/bung locations are next.

    This will complete the blower to throttle body section. 4" tube stock for the blower intake is on its way, still need to buy K & N filter and fabricate cold air mounting area. Once the intake pipe is finished, the motor will be that much closer for install.

    Still Need:
    8 Rib Overdrive Harmonic Balancer
    Rear Head Cooling Mod, top and rear
    Front cylinder head coolant to Y fittings and assemblies
    Install front timing chain crank pulley, Billet MMR
    Reconfigure vacuum lines.

    Small list with plenty of time to complete. Getting cold outside again.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  20. #20
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    Apr 2015
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    Inner monologue:
    "Cool... nuther' fox corner carver build on here... and an 89' at that... How have I not seen this one???"

    scroll scroll scroll

    "Recaro's AND Saleen gauges... you fancy..."

    scroll scroll scroll...

    "KILLER. Hardmount IRS. Pretty sure I need this..."

    scroll scroll scroll...

    "F*** ME RUNNING. Novi 2000 on Cobra 5.4!? I'd kick a nun in the shins for that motor..."


    Outstanding ride sir.
    CAM-T Autocross Fox Mustang
    LX mustang autocross on the "cheap"...
    1953 PickEmUp
    1953 Chev Pickemup

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