Dr Jamie Meyer
May 1, 2004

If you had access to dozens of Mustangs each year, which would you choose as your own? It would be tough, right? You'd be like a kid in a candy store. Would you choose a classic 5.0 GT or LX? Would you go for something newer, such as a late-model modular GT or Cobra? How would you modify the car-big cubes or a power adder? These are just some of the questions that David Parsons-a certifiable Mustang nut and the owner of International Motorsports, a used-car superstore in San Antonio-has to ask himself.

Referring to the '87 coupe shown here, David says, "I ended up with the vehicle after a second trade. I love buying, selling, and trading-or 'horse trading'-as most people say in Texas. I allowed the owner to trade it in for a down payment on a sport utility vehicle, and I let him finance the rest. I guess it's just part of being a car dealer."

So, David, who is no stranger to the world of modified 5.0 Mustangs, had his raw material.

He had done the "drag-race thing" before and was looking for something that wasn't so one-dimensional. He envisioned a street car with shocking power that didn't rely on a power adder-with the refinement of creature comforts, at least as functional as the factory offered.

The finished product is an amazing blend of street-car refinement with backyard bully. David went to great lengths to ensure that the factory options that came on the car-air conditioning, cruise, killer stereo, and power windows and locks-stayed intact and functional. But, under the hood, he made sure the car would rock and roll with the best of them, no matter what supercar pulled alongside.

Turning the car over to Angel Padilla of Automotive Specialties and Keith Campbell (then with The Hot Rod Store), the two decided to have Pete Kotzur build up one of his 351-based bullets and then top it off with one of his fabulous top-end combinations. An Eagle stroker kit found a home in the Ford Sportsman block, while the Trick Flow heads, intake, and cam feed the air, fuel, and revs. The finished product checks in at 408 ci of pure Ford power.

Another unique feature for a car this fast is that David decided he was man enough to choose gears for himself, forgoing the ubiquitous slushbox automatic. A Tremec 3550 five-speed unit transfers power to the 8.8 rear and then on to the well-abused Nitto drag radials.

Should the need arise, there's a 75-horse shot of NOS stuffed in the trunk. David uses this only under the most extreme cases-such as when the car ran a 10.01 at more than 140 mph on the Nitto drag radials! With a 3,420-pound curb weight, David estimates the 408 puts out at least 750-800 horses to the tires. Change the jetting, add some slicks, and this thing will go toe-to-toe with the elite street racers in the country. But that's not what this LX is about.

In case you're wondering about the future of this car, David says, "This Mustang is now a permanent toy for International Motorsports-unless a better trade comes along!" Nope, we weren't surprised with that line.

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