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Third Time’s the Charm With This 1993 Ford Mustang LX
Sometimes it takes more than one attempt to build the ultimate dream car
Everyone has a dream build. The plans run through our heads during every idle moment, sometimes making it hard to concentrate on the important things.
For Shaun Benner of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, those dreams have become a reality with his 1993 Mustang 5.0 LX.
Shaun has owned two Mustangs prior to this one—a 1987 LX and a triple-white 1993. They were cool, but they didn’t quite meet the mark, so when he found this 1993 Calypso Green LX about 5 miles from home, he brought it home and got to work.
“I picked the car up and immediately started modifying it,” he says.
As is usually the story, Shaun dealt with quite a few misgivings along the way. He initially swapped out the heads, camshaft, and intake, but quickly burned up the clutch. He sought out Len Sabatine of Sabatine Automotive in Easton, Pennsylvania, who quickly gave him the lowdown on his powerplant.
Shaun says, “I found out that I needed a new motor also. The guy that had done the work had forgotten to do a few minor things, like adjusting the cam lock plate, ultimately destroying the motor.”
Shaun then had a 331 stroker motor built, but that, too, was short-lived. The block ended up splitting in half.
The third time was the charm. Shaun entrusted the Mustang to Len and his son, who started with a Boss 302 block. With an income tax refund check burning a hole in his pocket, Shaun decided to go ahead with his dream motor build: a 331 stroker with a 67mm turbocharger.
The resulting build goes a little something like this: The Boss 302 block is bored and stroked 0.030 over, with a compression ratio of 8.5:1 with custom pistons. A Canton 7-quart oil pan seals the bottom end, paired with a Melling oil pump. The engine features a Lunati roller camshaft, Harland Sharp 1.6:1 rocker arms, and Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum heads with machine work by Len, as well as a Performer RPM intake manifold.
Handling the air and fuel portion of the build are 42-pound injectors, and an Aeromotive 340 fuel pump paired with an Aeromotive regulator, with Anderson PMS electronic fuel injection. A Crane ignition box and coil work with Taylor wires and NFK plugs. An Abaco 87mm mass air meter and BBK 75mm throttle body were also installed. Of course, Len Sabatine tuned the car to make it all work together harmoniously.
A Precision 67mm turbocharger paired with an intercooler produces 12 psi of max boost. Custom turbo headers were created, which flow through to Flowmaster mufflers via 3 1/2-inch pipes.
A Tremec TKO500 transmission handles shifting duties paired with a Spec Stage 3 clutch. Shaun chose a Steeda Tri-Ax shifter for the cockpit of the Mustang.
KYB struts, Ford Motorsport springs, and a Cobra sway bar round out the suspension components up front. Factory 5 control arms, Ford Motorsport springs, KYB shocks, and a Cobra sway bar are in the rear.
Speaking of the rear, it’s stock with 3.73:1 gears and 31-spline Yukon axles. Meanwhile, custom subframe connectors keep the body tight.
When it came to Shaun’s vision of what his Pony should look like, he kept it classic and understated. A set of Cobra R wheels wrapped in BFG rubber up front and Mickey Thompson ET Street Radials out back keeps the Mustang planted to the pavement, and 2003 Cobra-spec brakes help it to stop on a dime. He of course kept the original Calypso Green hue on the car, but he added a Steeda aero spoiler and a Cervini’s Stormin’ Norman hood.
Inside, Corbeau TRS seats keep occupants safe and comfortable, surrounded by a Len and Scott Sabatino rollcage—which is important given the Fox’s 10.8-second quarter-mile time with a trap speed on 126 mph. Shaun tells us that his Mustang makes 570 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque.
“It’s daily driven, and my favorite part about it is the stance,” he says. “I usually spend about a mortgage payment per month on tires because I love doing burnouts. My wife would say I’m addicted, but my daughter gets it. She loves my Mustang too—especially the sound the turbo makes.”
With Len Sabatine’s expertise and a little help from Shaun’s father, Allen, this 1993 Fox-body is everything Shaun dreamed it could be.