Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
1989 Ford Mustang LX Coupe - Snakeskin Coupe
Jason Hall's homebuilt 1989 LX coupe may look mild, but it packs a Super Snake punch.
When it comes to mod-motor–swapped Fox-bodies, it seems like we've seen it all—V-10s, Two-Valves, Three-Valves, Four-Valves, and about a million Terminator-swapped Foxes.
We're even beginning to see a handful of GT500 powertrain transplants. So when we heard that a guy and his buddy were swapping a GT500 powertrain into a Fox, it piqued our interest.
As we began prodding for more information, we found out just how cool the build actually was. We located the FOX500 build thread on www.TorqueAddicts.net, and were blown away by what was happening. Owner Jason Hall of Decatur, Mississippi, and his buddy JR were swapping not only the engine and transmission out of the Snake, but the whole firewall and floor panel—and the whole interior to boot. And they were doing it in Jason's carport on jackstands. These guys flat-backed this entire build.
But it didn't happen on a whim. Jason had owned over a dozen Fox-body Mustangs already and had an '89 LX coupe roller waiting to be built. Then, as if it was meant to be, the right donor car became available.
"My friend totaled his '07 GT500 and bought it back from the insurance company," says Jason. "I was offered a chance to buy it, because he really didn't want any part of it."
Not yet knowing what to do with it after purchasing it, Jason stripped the totaled car down to a bare shell. "I couldn't find an '05-up roller that interested me, and after taking a few measurements off the '89 coupe, I said, ‘Damn, this GT500 dash is only a half-inch wider than the Fox dash.'" The vision was established and the wheels were put into motion.
Over the next two years, working almost every weekend, Jason and JR transformed a bare Fox shell into a Super Snake-powered sleeper with an appetite for almost everything. The pair cut out the Fox's original firewall and floor, and grafted in the S197 firewall and floor. "Problems sprouted like spring flowers," says Jason. "But I was very fortunate to have a God-gifted natural mastermind (JR) to help me through and finish it."
Since most of the interior bolts to either the firewall or floor, the dash (which had to be modified slightly), console, and front seats bolted right in. Door panels were made custom, and the rest of the interior remained Fox. They swapped over the pedals, brake master cylinder and booster, clutch master cylinder, steering column, and a few other major components that few would even consider trying to salvage. The TR6060 fits naturally in its original location (in relation to the floor) and retains its hydraulic actuation. Coast Driveline & Gear supplied the custom driveshaft.
In order to fit the massive Kenne Bell-blown 5.4L Four-Valve under the flat stock hood, they utilized a UPR tubular K-member and spaced it down. They added Strange 10-way front struts and rear shocks, 10th Anniversary replica wheels, and New Edge GT brakes. For the Bright Atlantic Blue hue, Jason turned to Redline Racing in Brandon, Mississippi; Precision Paint & Body helped out as well.
When it was finally complete, Jason sent the coupe to JMS Chip & Performance in Lucedale, Mississippi. There, Monty Johnson tuned the combination to make 748 rwhp and 620 lb-ft of torque. When we shot the accompanying photos, we had the chance to take a ride with Jason. Sitting inside, it feels like you're actually in a GT500 (sounds like it, too), but it pulls hard—really hard.
If there's one thing that Jason's notch does well, it's showing people young and old alike that it doesn't take fancy tools or overpaid techs to pull off an amazing build. Jason and JR built this thing in two years, working only weekends, with their bare hands and handtools. They did it in a driveway, without a lift, or even a shop—proof that anything is possible with a dream, the right skillset, and a few handtools.
Jason's coupe is showing people that it doesn't take fancy tools or overpaid techs to pull off an amazing build.