5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
1989 Ford Mustang Fox GT - Socially Acceptable
Chad Miller gives us a lesson on building the complete Mustang
Growing up, there were maybe one or two teachers I thought were actually pretty cool. The rest of 'em, of course, were a little more excited about whatever subject they taught than I was. I was more interested in what to do after school than what they wanted to teach me during school.
However, if any of them were like Chad Miller, I would have been a straight-A student. Well, let's not get carried away, but I might have gotten an A in Chad's class.
Chad is a social studies teacher at Laurel Highlands High School in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. I can't really remember what Social Studies are about, but in his class, I might have paid attention. You see, he owns the Mustang you see in front of you. Yes, a teacher owns a supercharged, 663hp Fox GT. How cool is that?
Chad purchased the GT in 1999 at the end of his first year of teaching. Being a teacher, he was strapped for cash, so he had to sell his Honda 250R quad in order to make the GT his own. We're sure he misses that 250R, but we know he's not second-guessing the decision now. Chad bought the car for $3,000 from a guy who was selling it less than a mile from his house.
When he bought the GT, it featured a few bolt-ons, and ran low 13s. "Over the course of three years, I had it running 11.90s with a stock block, stock heads, a stock T5, and an old Paxton SN-89 blower that I bought off eBay," Chad says. Those numbers were accomplished with a measly 5 pounds of boost, but with a pair of Trick Flow heads atop the stock short-block, the car ran 11.50s at 122 mph.
With the car performing well, Chad got the itch for fresh paint on the GT-or so he thought. His buddy, Bernie Kasievich from Karnuts Auto Center, had other ideas. Like us, Bernie believes in the complete-car concept. Meaning Bernie likes cars that make a lot of horsepower but are also completely streetable, and boast a show-quality fit and finish. So instead of simply getting a paint job, the car received a complete restoration.
After three and a half years of disassembling, painting, rebuilding, and reassembling, the car not only emerged with new paint, but it came out with a smoothed and detailed engine compartment, a painted engine block, a painted underside (which gets a twice-a-year, on-the-lift cleaning), and a better-than-new interior.
Oh yeah, did you catch the part where we mentioned it makes 663 hp at the wheels?! The car featured a Tremec TKO when it first hit the streets, but that proved a handful when ripping through the gears, so Chad and Bernie swapped in a Performance Automatic C4. With the automatic in place, the car is not as unruly.
Chad's GT has a full interior, including rear seat, power everything, a Clarion mp3/iPod stereo, and is Pennsylvania state-inspected. "The car runs extremely well and has made several 50 to 60-mile round-trips," Chad says. The car is not some hacked-up racecar that looks good from 10 feet away or a trailer queen that doesn't see the street.
After all, Chad's wife, Joan, probably wouldn't be thrilled with the car being a trailer queen after enduring the car's build. However, Chad says she's been completely supportive through the whole build, including the late nights, and even accompanies Chad to local shows, cruises, and the like. "Couldn't ask for a better woman," Chad says. Chad's parents even built a garage at their house for him to use when he needs it, although Bernie and all the guys at Karnuts Auto Center might get jealous if he works on the car at mom and dad's house.
At the end of the day, Mustangs like Chad's are the kind we love to feature. His car is the complete package-it's really nice, and really fast. Chad's car bridges both aspects. We don't know if Chad's GT is socially acceptable, and frankly, we don't care-he gets an A from us.