Michael Johnson Associate Editor
December 1, 2002
Photos By: Steve Turner

Horse Sense: Being part of a local Mustang club has its advantages. Several of the modifications on Tom's LX came as the result of fellow club members jumping in and lending a hand. However, Tom says the majority of the work was done by himself and Fred Peters, who's not only a friend, but also Tom's brother-in-law.

More often than not, the first Mustang a person buys is stock. Editor Turner's first 5.0 Mustang was an '82 GT, which was bone stock when he purchased it. Tech Editor Houlahan ordered his '90 LX from the factory, so it was all stock as well. This author's first 5.0 Mustang, an '89 coupe, was also bone stock, right down to the factory air silencer and seven degrees of initial timing. Before the 5.0, yours truly had a '65 Mustang coupe for a few years, which had a 302 and a C4 in it. But the bottom-end torque during that first 5.0 test drive set its hook, and the rest is history. Of course, before we became highly paid magazine editors (uh, yeah), modifications were few and far between. Be that as it may, we still believed our cars, in their stock form, were the fastest and coolest ones on the road.

Obviously, great minds think alike, since Tom Fyffe of Springfield, Ohio, felt the same way about his '93 LX, pictured here. The LX didn't look or run as good as it does today, so let's take his story one step at a time.

Tom purchased the LX brand-new. He says, "I thought my shiny new Mustang was the fastest and coolest car on the road. Little did I know." The following spring, Tom joined the Mid Ohio Street 'Stangs, a local Mustang club. Becoming a member caused him to change his way of thinking about the performance side of things.

After joining the club, he met Fred Peters and Mike Howell, both of whom owned mildly modified Mustangs. Seeing and experiencing Fred's and Mike's cars introduced Tom to the world of modifications. "Then it happened," he says. "I was bitten by the mods bug." Fred and Mike talked Tom into his first performance purchases: underdrive pulleys and a DynoMax after-cat. "I have always leaned my modifications toward the show side of things rather than the racing side," Tom says. "However, as time went on, the modifications came more often and were more extreme.

In the past few years, silver has become one of the most popular colors on the Mustang scene. Tom's silver metallic LX still wears the original paint on the factory exterior panels. Of course, he had the Saleen ground effects, the Cervini's ram-air hood, and the Cervini's Saleen double-stack wing painted to match. The contrast provided by the chrome Cobra R wheels makes Tom's LX hard to miss.

"My strategy on changing things was to work on one specific area, stockpile parts, then install everything at once." Tom's first plan of attack was in the horsepower department. He added Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads, Ford Racing Performance Parts 1.7 roller rockers, an FRPP GT-40 intake with a ported lower, an Accufab 65mm throttle body, a Pro-M 80mm mass air meter, and a Crower camshaft.

Next on the docket was upgrading the suspension and wheels. This included swapping out the stock springs, shocks, struts, caster/camber plates, and lower control arms. In their place went FRPP C-springs, Koni Red shocks and struts, Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plates, and Steeda lower control arms. Tom also added a Kenny Brown Street Cage and subframe connectors. But the most visual punch came from the addition of AFS chrome Cobra R wheels wrapped in Nitto NT555 shoes.

The LX's exhaust system moved to the next level with the addition of BBK long-tube headers and a Dr. Gas X-pipe. This also presented the perfect time to add a beefier clutch, which Tom did by adding a Zoom Kevlar unit to keep up with the horsepower.

Most recently, Tom has taken the exterior up a notch by adding ground effects from Cervini's, along with a ram-air hood and wing. The interior was enhanced by the addition of Corbeau racing seats with five-point harnesses.

Displaying a top-notch interior is just one part of putting yourself in place to take home a show trophy. The interior of Tom's LX doesn't disappoint either. Corbeau seats, Saleen white-face gauges, and a Kenny Brown Street Cage are just a few of the interior highlights, while a Hurst shifter protrudes from the stock T5 transmission.

But the biggest performance change came in the form of a Vortech S-Trim supercharger. With an eight-rib, 3.33-inch pulley, the S-Trim has been good for 10 pounds of boost. An inexperienced drag racer, Tom has raced the car only once since installing the blower, which was good for a 13.0 at 116 mph on street tires. Once things are broken in more, he's going to give the dragstrip another crack, gain more experience, and lower that time.

The underhood area of Tom's LX screams show car, but his goal has always been to build a car that could hold its own at the track, rip up the streets, and still be able to bring home a few trophies. "So far, so good," Tom says.

Though he would love to add Baer brakes to the car, modifications are currently at a stopping point-at least according to Tom's main sponsor, Holly, his wife. Holly is also sister to the aforementioned Fred Peters. Tom met Holly shortly after joining the Mustang club. They began dating in 1996 and have been married more than four years. Obviously, Ford performance brought them together, so it should be no surprise to hear they have a slew of Ford products at the house. Holly has a 2000 Lightning, while Tom's daily driver is a '98 SVT Contour. "I think it's safe to say," Tom says, "that if I hadn't bought that shiny new Mustang, my wife and I probably never would've met."

Oh, come on, Holly. After hearing Tom say that, how could you deny the boy those beloved Baer brakes?

5.0 Tech Specs

Block Stock
Cylinder Heads Trick Flow Twisted Wedge, FRPP roller rockers
Intake Manifold GT-40, ported lower
Camshaft Crower 15511
Power Adder Vortech S-Trim, Anderson Ford Motorsport Power Pipe
Exhaust BBK long-tube headers (Jet Hot-coated), Dr. Gas X-pipe, DynoMax mufflers with turndowns
Fuel Pump 190-lph in-tank, T-Rex inline
Fuel Injectors FRPP 30 lb/hr
Transmission T5, Zoom Kevlar clutch, Hurst shifter
Rearend Stock 8.8, 3.55 gears

Engine Management Stock
Ignition Stock, Screamin' Demon coil,Live Wires plug wires
Gauges Saleen
Springs FRPP C-springs
Struts/Shocks Koni Reds
Rear Suspension Steeda lower control arms, polyurethane bushings
Wheels AFS chrome Cobra R
Tires Nitto NT555
Brakes Stock, Hawk pads