Michael Johnson Associate Editor
February 1, 2003
Photos By: Steve Turner

Horse Sense: Steve has worked at Trenton Carstar, a paint and body franchise in Trenton, New Jersey, for more than eight years. His talent obviously came in handy during the construction of his '93 LX convertible.

More often than not, a love affair with a Mustang begins after your first ride in one. For Yardley, Pennsylvania, resident Steve Saurman Jr., that first ride must've been a wild one because it was in none other than Wild Bill Devine's Mustang. Steve was a young chap at just 14-and that was 12 years ago-but the car was the same one Bill pedals in Pro 5.0 today. It was a street car then, but it was still plenty wild. Bill is a family friend of the Saurmans. Young Steve, not knowing what he was getting into, says, "I strapped myself in for the ride of my life. I was hooked."

As he approached driving age, Steve searched for the "perfect Mustang." Said perfection came in the form of a '91 LX with a Steeda suspension, a Sony stereo system, and Bazooka bass tubes. "After countless tickets and more time spent in traffic court than driving the car, I sold it," Steve says.

After that first Mustang, he satisfied his need for speed and customizing with a Typhoon and an S-10 lowrider. But a few months without a Mustang was too long. Realizing he needed something that made noise, Steve purchased the '93 LX convertible seen here. The car served daily driver duty until being T-boned, which resulted in extensive damage to the driver's door, the fender, the rocker panel, the quarter-panel, and the convertible top. Even with all that damage, Steve knew he wouldn't sell the car. He soon began "countless nights of bodywork." Good thing that's what he does for a living.

With the damage repaired, Steve researched the brightest hue of Vermillion Red and applied it to the rejuvenated convertible. "For the stripes, I mixed a black with red pearl," he says.

Once the car was looking better than new, the chrome Pony wheels just couldn't keep up. To improve the exterior in a big way, Steve added Cobra R wheels and a Saleen ground-effects kit, including a legendary Saleen wing. The exterior was finished just in time for winter, so Steve took the opportunity to gather parts and adapt more upgrades to the car. First up was a Steeda four-point rollbar and a Global West strut-tower brace. These chassis additions were followed by items aimed at dressing up the inside, such as white-face gauges, Auto Meter Phantom gauges, and a laundry list of interior billet accessories. When all the new stuff made the existing interior components look dated, Steve replaced the factory seats with Corbeau racing seats, a custom back seat, and RJS five-point harnesses.

Although the LX won several show trophies, Steve still had the itch to make the car go fast. With his dad assisting, Steve installed a Cobra intake, GT-40X heads, an Accufab 70mm throttle body, an E303 cam, 24-lb/hr injectors, Ford Racing Performance Parts roller rockers, and March brackets and pulleys. He followed up the performance additions with a complete MAC exhaust consisting of long-tube headers, an off-road H-pipe, and a 3-inch after-cat featuring Flowpath mufflers.

With the newfound power on board, it didn't take long for the stock differential to exit stage left. And, Steve's penchant for modifications meant he couldn't just install a new differential. He had his buddy Jim Swarr install a new Ford Traction-Lok, 4.10 gears, Moser 31-spline axles, a TA cover, and 9-inch ends. "While the rear was out," Steve says, "I decided it was time to make it hook up, so I installed Steeda adjustable uppers, Southside lowers, Eibach springs, Lakewood drag shocks, and airbags." Before he headed back to the track, Steve made sure the LX would stay cool under power by installing a three-core radiator, performance hoses, and a Flex-a-lite Black Magic electric fan.