Dale Amy
December 1, 2005
Contributers: Richard Linden

We're usually the ones who pen feature car stories because, well, that's how we earn those big, fat magazine paychecks. But the following first-person narrative that accompanied Rick Linden's tech sheet tells the tale about his sanitary, yet insanely powerful, '93 notchback concisely and painlessly. Being a dentist, we guess he knows the drill

Growing up in Detroit, it seemed as if everyone had a hot rod in their garage; everyone except me, that is. I had made up my mind at a young age to pursue an education, so I could never afford to build what I really wanted. But I made myself a promise to build my ultimate street car as soon as it was possible.

There never was any question as to what make or model car to build. Every GM product I ever owned ended up with a blown motor. my first car was a Dodge Dart-enough said there-and I had owned a few Ford pickups that I just couldn't kill. To me, the 5.0 Fox-body Mustang just looked and sounded cooler than anything on the street.

My first Mustang was an '89 hatchback stick car that I bought in bone-stock condition with 32,000 miles on it. It was beautiful but slow. Stop me if you've heard this one before, but it didn't take long for me to replace nearly every part on the car. It had a Mexican block, good pistons and rods, a Vortech S-Trim blower, short-tube headers, a Performance Automatic C-4 Supercomp tranny, and some drag suspension components, among other things. It was a killer, super-fun street car that spun the dyno to 498 rwhp and ran 10.1 all day long. Anyone could get in that car and strip off a low-10-second pass; it was that predictable and easy to drive. It would hook on the street and I never lost a street race.

But before long that just wasn't fast enough. So I had the car rebuilt from the ground up. I was going to try to build the fastest stock suspension car in the country. I started with an A-4 block bored 0.100 over, added an 88mm turbo, rollcage, gutted all the creature comforts, and ended up with a car that went 5.5's in the eighth and 8.35 in the quarter. I wrecked the car at our local track in spectacular fashion, so I needed another Mustang.

I built yet another race car and raced it successfully for a year or two, but I soon began to tire of trailers, tow vehicles, expensive repairs, and down time while the race car was broken. I began to miss the fun I had with my first Mustang street car. So I gave up racing with the intention of building my ultimate street car.

I wanted a Fox coupe and I wanted one that hadn't been beaten to death. I wanted a silver coupe with black interior that was in good shape-good luck. I searched the Internet for months and went on several wild goose chases until I found my '93 coupe, complete with black interior and five-speed, unmolested and in fantastic shape. I bought it from Jay Meagher, who worked at Lamotta Performance near Orlando. Jay worked on Mustangs all day long and he was basically "over it" when it came to modifying Mustangs, so he kept his street car stock. I paid him a fair sum for my blank canvas and promised him he would like the result when I was done.

My next move was to contact our local Mustang hotshot, Justin Nelson at J&J Performance in Ft. Myers, Florida. We sat down over lunch and I explained to him what my vision of the ultimate Fox body coupe would be. It would have to look stock; in fact, I insisted that the stock hood be maintained. It would make a ton of horsepower utilizing the stock Ford computer, run on pump gas, and have A/C and a killer stereo. It would have to be a stick, even though my past experiences taught me that an automatic is usually faster in most cases. there is just no underestimating the fun-factor associated with rowing through the gears. I wanted comfortable seats, a stock-looking cockpit without a rollcage, and a smoothed engine bay without those annoying Swiss cheese inner body panels and wires running everywhere. Finally, I wanted a car that would turn and stop.

Several thousand dollars and a year later, I have my ultimate Fox-body Mustang. I don't know what it runs in the quarter, and I really don't care. That's not what I built the car for. I do know that it dyno'd at 590 rwhp, and it stops and turns better than my wife's '03 Cobra. It sounds wicked, but it's not exceptionally loud. And when I pop the hood,people freak out.

I'd like to thank Jay Meagher for keeping the car in such good shape before I owned it, Justin Nelson for doing the assembly, Mike Saponara for his help, Jim Noble at American Enterprise Collision in Cape Coral, Florida, for smoothing the engine bay and providing the wonderful paint job, and most of all, my wife, Maria, the love of my life.

In summary, I think you really need to be a Fox-body Mustang devotee to truly appreciate this car. Chevy people look at it and they see a stock Mustang with a shiny engine. They have no idea that it makes almost 600 hp and will eat their car for lunch. That's what I like most about the car. It's beautiful, has a serious engine with a Dart block and Crower billet crankshaft, turns great, stops well, has A/C, and will lay waste to almost anything in its path. It may not be for everyone, but it's a perfect representation of my ultimate street car. I hope others enjoy it too.

We couldn't have said it better, Rick.

5.0 Tech SpecsEngine And DrivetrainBlock DartBore4.030Stroke3.25Displacement331 ciCrankCrower billet steelRods4340 H-beamPistonsRossCompression Ratio9:1CamCam MotionSpecs576/584 lift, 242/254 duration, 113.5 degree lobe center angleRocker ArmsT&D shaftHeadsTrick Flow Twisted Wedge, with Bennett Stage III portingEngine BuilderJustin Nelson, J&J Performance, Ft. Myers, FloridaIntakeEdelbrock Performer RPM II, ported by J&J PerformanceThrottle BodyAccufab 75mmMass AirPro-M 80mmInjectors42 lb/hrFuel PumpUPR twin Bosch 375-lphHeadersJBA short-tubeExhaustBassani X-pipe, Flowmaster Force II after-cat systemPower AdderPaxton Novi 2000, 12 psiTransmissionD&D Viper T56ClutchSPEC Stage IIIDriveshaftD&D Dynotech matrix aluminumRearend'98 Cobra 8.8, 4.10:1 gearset with stock Traction-Lok diffRollCage"None, it's a street car."

ElectronicsEngine ManagementEEC IV, with Diablosport chip by Willie FigueroaIgnitionMSD 6BTMGaugesAuto Meter

Suspension and Chassis Front SuspensionK-memberUPRControl armsUPRSpringsGriggs GR-40StrutsKoni YellowCaster/CamberUPRBrakes'98 CobraWheelsCobra R 17x8Tires245/45x17 Nitto 555Rear SuspensionSpringsGriggs coiloverShocksKoniControl armsGriggs MCA 4500 N/Griggs torque armBrakes'98 CobraWheelsCobra R 17x9Tires275/40x17 Nitto 555R