Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
April 24, 2012
Photos By: Steve Turner

Another friend, Mark Spicer of Spicer Specialties, did the bodywork on the car, applying the Sikkens G4 Redfire paint not only on the body, but in the jams and engine bay to complete the color change. "Mark smoothed the panels of the car to a mirror-like finish before even spraying the paint," Robby explained.

As you can see, the depth of the paint is amazing. "Looking into it from 15 feet away you can still count the blades of grass," Robby added.

Robby didn't stand pat with the factory '81 body work, either. However, he didn't go the aero route. He simply added an '82 GT nose with an H.O. Fibertrends cowl hood. Robby and Mark applied satin black paint to all the trim, which matches the car's True Forged Mach 5 wheels perfectly. Mark was unsure of Robby's choice to add the '82 GT nose, but after the pair cut and buffed the paint a final time, and fit wheels to the car, the two backed up for an overall look at the car. They were rendered speechless, which turned into both of them smiling and giggling like a couple of school girls.

Up to this point in the car's build, Robby wasn't quite sure what mechanical direction he would go. That decision was made a little easier when he ran across an ad for a Four-Valve Fox Mustang needing nothing but a new body. That seemed the perfect answer for Robby's T-top. Robby bought the car and even drove it a month to make sure the mechanicals would serve its intended purpose.

To pull off the swap, he decided to part with his beloved Mystichrome Cobra to focus all his attention on the T-top. "I coughed up the Mystichrome and started pouring my heart and soul into finishing up this car," Robby confessed.

He wanted to have the car done in time for the '11 Mustang Week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. "I knew with 300 show cars it would be the best place to present the car," he added. Plus, he wanted to find out if his vision was truly rare, and Mustang Week presented the perfect opportunity to find out.

After a month of making sure the modular mechanicals were sound, he began tearing apart the modular Fox to transfer parts to the T-top. He made sure to separate and use the good parts, while selling off the parts he didn't want to use to help offset costs. Having the donor car right there, and in good mechanical order, it was a lot easier than starting from scratch.

He started by swapping over the donor car's 8.8 rear with welded axle tubes, FRPP 4.10 gears, five-lug axles, and an '03 Cobra rear disc conversion. The donor car's 8.8 featured a rear disc conversion, but Robby decided that was one area he wanted to improve.

Another area he wanted to improve was the transmission. The donor car had a T45 behind the Four-Valve, but a five-speed wasn't enough for Robby, he wanted six. As such, he sourced an '03 Cobra T56. Rounding out the trans swap, Robby added an aluminum driveshaft, an MGW shifter with a Hurst Pistol Grip knob, and a SPEC Stage 2 clutch. The donor car provided the clutch pedal assembly and Steeda Autosport aluminum quadrant, as well.

Running out of time before Mustang Week, Robby didn't have time to build up the engine so he left it stock, simply adding MAC's long-tube headers and Pro-Chamber with a Flowmaster after-cat exhaust, Steeda Autosports underdrive pulleys, and a polished Cobra intake.

"It served its purpose by getting me to Mustang Week, and while I was there, I picked up Best in Class for '79-'86 Mustangs," Robby says. Accordingly, the car stockpiled compliments from show- goers, the Mustang Week staff, and sponsors, and a lot of attention from Editor Turner's camera since that's where the car was photographed. "I was humbled to say the least," Robby confessed.