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

Everyone has an opinion on what defines a street car. We're not talking about daily driven 14-second Mustangs. We're talking about fast cars. Some may think a street car is simply one that can be driven on the street, no matter what modifications were done to it-as in it's barely legal, or it doesn't have an Overdrive gear, or it has a spool or some sort of locker rear residing out back with steep gears, or its rollcage sports more bars than a Spring Break town. The bottom line is, these types of modifications lessen a Mustang's street-worthiness. It's difficult to get in and out of the car. The lack of Overdrive combined with steep gears makes highway cruising a major inconvenience. Not to mention the impact running such a car has on your fuel bill.

Javier Bush of New Orleans believes if you look up the term "street car," you'll find a picture of his '85 coupe-and we'd be hard-pressed to argue the point.

Javier bought the '85 while at an NMRA race in Reynolds, Georgia. The car was already fast, but that was part of his plan. He'd owned three Mustangs previously, and they all took a lot of work and money to build. "I was determined to cut out the work and time this trip," Javier says. That's not to say he's left the car alone since signing on the dotted line.

"I planned to come home [from the Reynolds race], add an NOS kit, and go to work," Javier says, "and that I did." Hoping to cash in on the car's sleeper persona, he hit the streets and quickly made his presence known. However, shortly after making a name for him-self, Javier ended up in a fender bender that took out the car's left quarter-panel. The accident put Javier back in a familiar situation. He now had a car that needed lots of work and money to get right.

"I stripped the car to a shell," Javier says. After replacing the door-hinge bushings and all the weather seals, he painted the doorjambs, the undercarriage, and the trunk. Once the paint was complete, the car was treated to new moldings and exterior trim. "Once you start, it's hard to stop," Javier says, "so I added all-new glass, including the windshield." To add the proper flair, he mounted a Skinny Kid Race Cars wing out back.

One thing Javier didn't change was the drivetrain. He liked the 4.6 Cobra engine and T45 transmission, so the combo stayed put. With the nitrous engaged, the coupe has run in the 10.80-range at more than 125 mph. But the car is equally at home on the street. "I have driven it to the track at distances over 60 miles," Javier says. "I race and then I drive home." He has also reached speeds in excess of 140 mph thanks to the T45's Overdrive Fifth gear. Oh, and all of this was done using pump gas.

To recap-Javier's '85 coupe is street driven, runs 10s on the juice, has an overdrive transmission, tops out at more than 140 mph, and runs on pump gas. All this with just 4.6 liters under the hood-no wonder Hot Rod and Car Craft magazines are suddenly on the Mustang bandwagon. Who needs a Chevy big-block?