Michael Johnson Associate Editor
October 1, 2008
We must confess to really liking Bimini Blue-partly because it's a rare color, but mostly because it looks good. Mark's car really makes us want another Fox coupe. His friend Justin Lathem applied the factory color after adding a cowl hood. Of course, the Weld Racing Magnum wheels don't hurt either. On the street and at the track, Mark utilizes Mickey Thompson E/T Street radials for traction.

Horse Sense: Mark Kennemer is a defense contractor. Many times when we've talked to him and his buddy/co-worker Jerome Shumate, they've been unable to tell us where they were at the time. We do know they've been fishing in Crawford, Texas.

The Mustang community is close knit. Like sharks in the ocean-where there's one, there's many. We travel in packs, which also helps us here at 5.0&SF. That's how we find many of our feature cars.

When we shoot one Mustang, invariably the owner knows at least one other person worthy of a feature, and so on. That's how we came across Mark Kennemer and his '92 Mustang LX coupe. One of Mark's best friends is Jerome Shumate. We shot Jerome's '03 Cobra-fied Fox coupe a couple of years ago. Through him we met Mark, and the result of that meeting is staring back at you from these pages.

Before we talk about the coupe you see here, we need to go Paul Harvey and tell you the rest of the story. Mark had owned several Mustangs, but never a coupe. In 2001, his wife, Crimson, made it possible for Mark to find what he really wanted. She totaled his '93 Mustang GT, so he went on a mission to find a Fox coupe and make his automotive dreams come true. "I found a blue '89 coupe that had everything I was looking for, so I made the purchase," Mark says. "I owned the car for roughly four years and made many modifications, including a supercharger," he adds.

As is usually the case, when you have a nice Mustang, someone always wants to buy it. However, when many people ask how much you'd take for the car, they're just tire-kickers. Well, in the coupe's case, the people asking how much Mark would sell the car for showed up the next day with cash in hand. "Oops. Lesson learned," Mark says. Back to square one.

With that coupe sold, Mark had to start his search all over again, and as many of you can attest, sometimes a Mustang search can be extensive. "I looked everywhere and test drove many," he says.

Ah, the coveted Fox Mustang black interior. It's what every Fox Mustang owner wants, and it's what Mark's Bimini Blue coupe has had since it left the factory. Mark added Corbeau seats, an Auto Meter Monster tach, and a Hurst Quarter Stick shifter with a pistol-grip handle.

Luck came Mark's way when he heard about a certain coupe that was up for sale. The car was known in his Lacey's Springs, Alabama, hometown as being a strong runner on the street. It already had two things Mark wanted: an automatic transmission and a rollcage. "But the main reason I chose the car was its color: Bimini Blue," he says. Mark purchased the car in the spring of 2005, and he drove the wheels off it-or should we say, the transmission out of it.

In the summer of 2005, the transmission went out, which meant a lot of downtime. The car was down for a month and a half before Mark found and installed a new transmission. Fortunately, there was enough summer left for Mark to reestablish the car's street cred.

After attending the NMRA World Finals in October 2005, Mark decided it was time to build the LX into his dream car. He tore it apart and started over. He purchased a turbo kit and a crate motor. By then, the snowball was rolling downhill in a hurry. For the next year, Mark stayed busy on the car, and he had friend Justin Lathem (you'll be seeing Justin's SN-95 soon, too) apply a new coat of Bimini Blue paint. "On August 11, 2006, we fired it up and it sounded great," Mark says.

We saw the Bimini Blue LX for the first time a few weeks later at the '06 NMRA World Finals, again in late-September/early-October. He had some trim items and other little things he wanted to fix, so we let him take care of those things during the winter months. He still took Second Place in his class at the '06 World Finals. We met Mark and his coupe again at the '07 NMRA Reynolds, Georgia, race, where we shot these photos. The car was ready. This time around, Mark's LX won First Place in its class, making it a proven car show winner.

It's obviously a winner among Mark and his crew of friends, to which he owes huge thanks, including his wife, Crimson, and his son, Lucas. "I feel that these guys want to see my car run as fast as it possibly can as much as I do," Mark says. That's what friends are for.