5.0 Mustang & Super FordsFeatured Vehicles
1989 Mustang Hatchback - Charmed Life - Kentucky Fox
This Kentucky Mustang Escaped Certain Automotive Doom Twice
A Mustang is a Mustang is a Mustang, right? Or is it? If that were truly the case, we would buy one Mustang and keep it for the rest of our life. But, for the most part, that never happens, unless you're a weirdo. It could be for any number of reasons that we want that Mustang over there. It could have nicer paint, a bigger engine, or a black interior when ours is gray. We could be at the end of the line with our current Mustang, and ready to start another project. We may own a black hatch, but that little red coupe with big and littles on it is a must-have. We just can't say no. And, it's so easy to sell a Mustang, especially a Fox body-turning over a car is a piece of cake. There are people lining up everyday looking for a nice, clean Fox Mustang.
Speaking of nice, clean Fox Mustangs, Sunfish, Kentucky's Brandon Ashley's ride fits the bill, and then some.
However, this Mustang is far from his first. Barely 25 years old at the time of this issue, Brandon's '89 LX hatch seen here is his 10th Mustang. All of them have been Fox Mustangs, with one exception-a '94 GT he owned for just a couple weeks, so it kind of doesn't count. All the other Mustangs he owned were mostly stock or wrecks he would fix and turn over for a little green in his pocket. But, he helped Jason Lindsey ("Kentucky Show Hunter," June '02, p. 36) get his car going and that's when the bug to build something wild bit him.
Brandon's buddy Ricky Hughes previously owned this particular LX hatch-and he ran it with a nitrous/EFI setup on the car. "Ricky sold the car to a guy who didn't treat [it] very well," Brandon says. When Brandon became the car's titleholder, one side torque box was ripped, it had a bent rear lower control arm, the driver side was wrecked, and the car's paint was eight layers deep. "It was in real, real, real, real bad shape," Brandon adds. Richie Jones and Brad Carroll of Jones Custom Creations had to fix the driver side and strip the eight layers of paint as a result of continuous DA sand and paint operations. Richie custom-blended a few PPG hues to lay down the basecoat, while Brian Thorpe ("Flame Patrol," June '01, p. 180) of Brian's Sign and Graphics laid down some ghost flames.
With a fire-breathing, nitrous-fed 358 Windsor under the hood, and fresh, new paint, you'd think Brandon's story ends there. But, if you'll notice, Brandon's LX doesn't have ghost flames, does it? That's because some vagrants broke into Brandon's car and relieved it of the fuel pressure regulator and a few other items. Not knowing the car had been plundered; Brandon got in and cranked her up. Of course, fuel went everywhere and caught the car on fire, damaging the fenders, hood, and the driver side door.
Some would've thrown in the towel and moved on to another car, but Brandon stuck with the car, giving it another lease on life. The custom blue basecoat remained, but this time around Brian laid down some tribal graphics similar to that of Jason's. Obviously, since you're seeing the car on these pages, the scheme is an attention grabber.
Grabbing for traction when we shot these photos were a pair of Mickey Thompson E/T Streets, but now the car wears Mickey Thompson E/T Drag radials. Brandon will need all the traction-grabbing action the Mickeys can dish out because he plans to spray the Windsor at Beech Bend Dragway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, by the time you read this. A 9-second timeslip would surely put a smile on Brandon's face. If not, adding a turbo probably will.
5.0 Tech SpecsEngine And DrivetrainBlock'69 351 WindsorRotating AssemblyEagle crankshaft and connecting rods, JE pistonsDisplacement358 ciCamshaftComp CamsCylinder HeadsEdelbrock Victor Jr., Total Engine Airflow-ported, Scorpion 1.6 roller rockers, Comp Cams triple valvespringsIntake ManifoldEdelbrock Victor Jr., port-matched to headsCarburetorHolley HP-series, Quick Fuel-modified 830cfmPower AdderNOS Double-Cross plate nitrous system, with purge, bottle heater, and blanketExhaustMAC 131/44-in long-tube headers, custom X-pipe, DynoMax Race Bullet mufflersFuel SystemCarter Race fuel pump (engine), Holley Blue fuel pump (nitrous), Holley fuel-pressure regulatorTransmissionPerformance Automatic C4, Art Carr 3,800-stall converter, Hurst Quarter Stick shifterRearend8.8, Moser 33-spline axles and differential, FRPP 3.73 gears, MAC girdle
ElectronicsIgnitionMSD 6AL, Blaster coil, FRPP 9mm spark plug wiresGaugesAuto Meter Phantom
Suspension and ChassisFront SuspensionK-MemberQA1 tubularControl ArmsQA1 tubularSpringsQA1 160 in-lbStrutsLakewood 90/10Caster/CamberMACWheelsBogart D-10 15x311/42-inTires154R/15BrakesAerospace Components discRear SuspensionSprings Four-cylinder, airbag in right rearShocksStrange 10-way adjustableTraction DevicesGround Pounder Weight Jacket lower control arms, double adjustable upper control arms, UPR antiroll barWheels Bogart D-10 15x9Tires Mickey Thompson E/T Street 26x1011/42-in, Mickey Thompson 275/50 E/T Drag RadialBrakesStock Chassis StiffeningCompetition Engineering eight-point cage, custom subframe connectors