August 1, 2002

Horse Sense: John's LX wears a litany of body parts from Cervini's Auto Designs. They include the all-but-one piece (the Cobra grille insert) of the seven-piece Cobra Conversion kit ($999), the Ram Air hood ($379), and the Stalker front bumper (which includes the Cobra grille, $499). All told, the package gives his car the look of a Cobra-with a bit more bite, thanks to the more aggressive Stalker nose.

Put yourself in John Gentry's shoes. His wife, Kim, wanted a new car. And despite the fact that her father worked at their local Ford dealer, Kim had her eye on a sporty little import. John really wanted to get-er, wanted her to get-a Mustang, but there's that import again. Fortunately fate intervened. When Kim checked out the import at the dealership, she noticed the car had some minor body damage. Of course, the dealer would fix the car and it would be good as new, but Kim wanted to think about it.

About that time, her dad called. They had a new Mustang LX on the lot if she wanted it. It was a 5.0. "Yes!" John said to himself. In less than 30 minutes, John-er, Kim-was the proud owner of a brand-new '93 5.0 LX. Even back then Mustangs were competing against imports and winning.

The stock '93 short-block sports a host of bolt-ons from Ford Racing Performance parts, including the E303 cam, the 1.6 rocker arms, the GT-40X heads, and the Cobra intake. Topped off with the Vortech supercharger, the combination is good for 450 hp at the rear wheels on LaMotta Performance's Dynojet.

For the duration of the loan payments, Kim happily drove her Mustang in stock form. But John had been secretly plotting to modify the car. As soon as the last car payment cleared, John added 3.73 gears, an H-pipe, and two-chamber Flowmasters. Surprisingly (yeah, right), the car was now too loud for Kim's tastes, and she wanted a new car. She got her new car, and John had to settle for driving a cherry '93 5.0 LX-poor guy.

Since he had to drive the used car, John convinced Kim the old LX could use fresh paint. Heck, while they were at it, a new Cervini's Cobra body kit, Ram Air hood, and Stalker nose would update the car's looks. Eventually he saved up the cash to buy the Motorsport R wheels you see in the photos here. They wear 255/40 Nitto 555s in front, and because this is now a weekend toy, 275/40 Nitto drag radials in back. The chrome wheels look great with the red paint, and the drag radials really help put down that 450-rear-wheel horsepower, but we're getting ahead of the story a bit.

As you can see, the Flowmasters were just the beginning. They simply helped John get the car-after all, they weren't too loud for him. His real plan was a bit more elaborate. After wrapping up the cost of the bodywork, John started stashing cash to add some go to all that show. Over time he purchased a Cobra intake, an E303 camshaft, GT-40X cylinder heads, 1.6 roller rockers, and had them installed.

John's interior combination features billet goodies from UPR, white gauge faces, and Auto Meter pillar-mount gauges. What really sets it apart, however, are the FR500-style leather seat covers stitched by Classic Soft Trim.

The extra power pointed out the weakness of the factory AOD, so John stashed yet more cash for a Tremec five-speed. These days the Tremec sports a Pro-5.0 shifter and feeds a Ford Racing Performance Parts aluminum driveshaft whirring back to those aforementioned 3.73s. The stock diff now turns 28-spline, five-lug axles that facilitate 12-inch Baer rear brakes. Up front, John's '93 sports 13-inch front brakes from Baer. Naturally, the brakes mirror the size and capability of the brakes found on modern Cobras.

Basically, John has built his own version of a '93 Cobra thanks to aftermarket gear. Unfortunately, these cars didn't come from the factory with superchargers, but John's version does. He had LaMotta Performance in Longwood, Florida, bolt on a Vortech S-Trim kit. Augmented with an Anderson Ford Motorsport Power Pipe, a 255-lph in-tank fuel pump, a T-Rex inline pump, 42-lb/hr fuel injectors, and an MSD ignition, the blower is good for pushing John's 5.0 well past 400 hp. An impressive feat, considering John runs the stock EEC IV computer with no aftermarket chip or piggyback processor.

In all, we'd say John's plans worked out for the best. His wife didn't get that import, he eventually got the '93 5.0 LX, he made a slew of modifications, and we got pictures of the results. That's what we call getting lucky!

After longing for Cobra R wheels for his '93, John finally saved up the cash. However, by then everyone had them, so he opted for these unique Motorsport R wheels from Performance Wheel Outlet. For a bit more money, these wheels take the familiar Cobra R form and add stylized notches around the circumference of the wheel.

By the time John took over the helm, the '93 5.0 LX was in need of paint, so he added Cervini's body parts and topped off the package with a striking PPG Porsche Red paint.

5.0 Tech Specs

Block Stock
Cylinder Heads FRPP GT-40X
Intake Manifold FRPP Cobra
Camshaft FRPP E303
Power Adder Vortech S-Trim
Exhaust FRPP short-tube headers, MAC H-pipe, and MAC tailpipes
Fuel Pump 255-lph in-tank,
T-Rex inline  
Fuel Injectors 42-lb/hr
Transmission Tremec 3550
Rearend 8.8 with 3.73 gears

Engine Management Stock EEC IV
Ignition MSD
Gauges Auto Meter
Springs Eibach Sport
Struts/Shocks Stock
Wheels Performance Wheel
  Outlet 17x9-inch Motorsport R
Tires Nitto 555 (front),
  Nitto Drag Radial (rear)
Brakes Baer 13-inch (front),
  12-inch (rear)