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

Horse Sense: With Shawn owning a body shop, it's no shock that his '86 has won Best-Paint awards at the '01 Bristol Fun Ford Weekend and the '02 NMRA World Finals.

If there are any trades we at 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords would like to learn, they would be paint and body work. We're always jealous of those who can take their Mustangs from zero to hero with carefully skilled metalworking and spray-gun magic. If we had that kind of talent, Tech Editor Houlahan's hood wouldn't be spider-webbed. Instead, he'd add two-stage paint and the moldings would be painted body color. Before Editor Turner sold his supercharged coupe, he would've been able to match the car's exterior bite to what was under the hood. And yours truly would be able to repair the damage on each quarter-panel and add a cowl hood, a Saleen wing, and Saleen SA-10 side stripes. Furthermore, we wouldn't have to call up Jimmy White at Xtreme Custom Paint and Body when you-know-who tears up the 3g GT.

Since we don't have such skills, Houlahan will keep riding around with black moldings and a spider-webbed hood. He'll still have to wax his car every two weeks for it to look good. The guy who bought Turner's coupe will have a cherry car on his hands once he has the car painted. And, yes, my black coupe will continue to ride around with chipping clearcoat, a cracked right rear molding, splitting bondo on the left rear quarter, and hairy quarter-window moldings. By the way, you-know-who has basically been banned from driving the 3g GT.

When Shawn originally repainted the car, he simply used a Sherwin Williams multitone color, but being the owner of a body shop, he felt it needed more detail work. With design help from his wife, Michelle, Shawn added the checkered flag motif, while she handpainted the shreds. "I'm very happy with the results," Shawn says. The '86 also features a Cervini's ram-air hood, a Saleen wing, and Centerline Warrior wheels.

What we need is to have someone such as Shawn Talboo of Streetsboro, Ohio, on staff as the 5.0&SF paint and body editor. Shawn owns Dunham Auto Body in Maple Heights, Ohio. He definitely has a lot more skills than we do when it comes to auto-body repair, and it shows on every inch of his '86 GT.

Shawn purchased the car in 1988 as a daily driver. "I had an '87 SS Monte Carlo that was stolen, and I needed to buy another vehicle," Shawn says. "Looking back, I'm glad the SS was stolen." With the Mustang in hand, Shawn started out the way most of us do, adding a new exhaust, pulleys, and steeper gears. He ran the car down the track in that form a few times, but he wanted more than high 12s.

Shawn's mission with the interior was to have a somewhat stock look with just a few changes to add some character. To that end, the '86's interior plays host to a stock dash, Flo-Fit seats with R.J.S. harnesses, a Wild Rides six-point cage, a slew of Auto Meter gauges, and a Hurst Quarter Stick shifter to control the JT Transmissions C4.

To drop those times, Shawn added a Coast High Performance 347 stroker with a Comp Cams bumpstick, Fox Lake Power Products-ported Trick Flow Street Heat heads (which he had bought way back in the day), and an Edelbrock Victor intake. In naturally aspirated form, that combination lowered quarter-mile times to the 11.60s. "I enjoyed the car a lot and was impressed with how it was running," Shawn says, "but just a short time after that, I needed a little more." Visions of a 514 circled in his head for a while, but he didn't want to go the carbureted route. Knowing he'd probably run only in the 10s, he'd then want even more. "It wouldn't be fast enough,"he says.

As such, Shawn added twin turbos to the car. "I noticed there weren't many twin-turbo cars out there," he says. He got the idea to add twins to the car after seeing some 5.0&SF feature cars with twins on them-especially a certain red coupe built by Turbo Driven Concepts that boasted a similar setup, and that car made mad power. Shawn's in the process of adding an ACCEL Gen VII DFI system and having Turbo People's Job Spetter tune the beast before another trip to the track. "When all is said and done," Shawn says, "I hope to see the nines."

Shawn's goal for the car is for it to be a really fast show car. "I want it to be as clean and detailed as possible for it to compete in car shows, yet to look at it you would wonder if I race it." We don't really care how fast Shawn's car is-we'd just like to see him display some of his mad painting skillz on our cars.