5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
1989 Ford Mustang LX Coupe - Rocket Rod
This Run-And-Stun LX Coupe Is Not Your Dad's, It's Rodney Madill's
Horse Sense: Kennedy's Dynotune of North Tonawanda, New York, has on premises an all-wheel-drive dynojet, which is able to dyno front and rear-wheel-drive vehicles in wheelbases ranging from 98 to 144 inches. The dyno is good for testing up to 1,800 hp and 200 mph.
If you're reading this magazine, someone at some point introduced you to the world of performance cars. Whether it was the neighbor down the street who passed you every morning while you waited for the school bus or your mom or dad's penchant for speed, somewhere along the way you were infected with the same affliction. Some outgrow the affliction with the onset of a spouse, kids, and a growing career, and are relegated to driving minivans or Cadillacs. But others, such as Rodney Madill, will always have the desire to own a fast car, and that's a good thing.
"It all started when I convinced my parents that they should cosign for a brand-new '66 Ford Falcon sports coupe with a 289 four-speed," Rodney says. That's right-Rodney is only slightly older than the average 5.0&SF reader at the young age of 60, but he says he turns 20 next year. The Falcon didn't make it through the wife, family, and the Canadian government career in the Department of Transport. What did survive was Rodney's need for speed, which was also instilled into his two sons who came of age during the 5.0 Mustang's heyday.
Naturally, both sons gravitated toward Fox Mustangs, and it wasn't long before Rodney rejoined the game with this '89 LX coupe. The car was actually owned by one of his sons when it was stolen from his driveway, but Rodney bought the LX back after it was recovered. The LX was mostly stock when it was stolen, so when Rodney became the titleholder, the car's transformation hit fast-forward.
The suspension was changed out for more nimble handling, along with the Bullitt wheels and Goodyear treads, which Rodney says made the LX a real driver through the backroads of his Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, hometown. He attended an open-track event with the LX, which convinced him the coupe needed further improvements to turn it into a real handler. "Although the potential of the car was incredible, the smell of brake dust from fading brakes and getting passed really peeved me."
Rodney has taken big steps to keep problems at bay. First, he added a Ford Racing Performance Parts M-2300 brake kit with 10th Anniversary Cobra calipers and cross-drilled rotors. Second, he added an intercooled ProCharger P-1SC supercharger system to the mix, which provided the kick he needed to tune 422 hp to the wheels. Rodney hopes to have a built stroker engine under the hood soon, but for now he's enjoying the newfound power resulting from the supercharger and some quality dyno time at Kennedy's Dynotune with a custom SCT tune-up.
The car has been a dream come true for him because of the modifications. But Rodney says his son Erin's knowledge has helped bring up the performance of the car, and he also made sure it looked just right-not overdone. Rodney wants to thank Holcomb Motorsports and Kennedy's Dynotune, both of which were instrumental in providing excellent parts service and advice during the car's buildup.
This proves an old dog-ahem, young man-can learn new tricks. Rodney says the car is always a work-in-progress. Plans include a torque arm, a Panhard bar, and the aforementioned stroker engine, so this enthusiast shows no signs of slowing down.With a nickname like Rocket Rod, how could he?
As far as Fox Mustangs and ground effects go, you can't go wrong with a Saleen body kit. As if that wasn't enough, add in a Cervini's Auto Designs Cobra R hood, a Design Concepts fiberglass trunk lid and Cobra grille insert, and a Blue Oval Industries rear wing, and you have a stunner. The color is PPG Deltron Sonic Blue, and it was applied at Brock Ford in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Providing the stance is a set of BBK lowering springs matched with Bullitt wheels, which shelter a Ford Racing Performance Parts M-2300 brake kit with 10th Anniversary Cobra calipers. Brock Ford not only applied the paint, but also added the brakes.
To make the coupe a runner, Rodney Madill and his son Erin added a ProCharger P-1SC supercharger after these photos were taken, but not before adding Edelbrock Performer heads with Crane roller rockers, a Cobra intake with a Professional Products 70mm throttle body, a Lightning 90mm mass air meter, and an MSD 6AL ignition. When the supercharger came on board, Rodney also added a BBK 255-lph fuel pump and FRPP 42-lb/hr injectors. With MAC 151/48-inch equal-length, short-tube headers, a Bassani X-style crossover pipe, and a Flowmaster after-cat, Rodney's coupe is now good for 422 hp and 404 lb-ft of torque to the wheels, thanks to Kennedy's Dynotune and a custom SCT tune.
From the nothing-to-see-here file, the coupe's interior is a lesson in stock simplicity-stock couches for bucket seats, stock gauges, and even roll-up windows. It doesn't get any simpler.