Modified Mustangs & FordsFeatured Vehicles
1989 Mustang GT - Never Out Of Style
This Home-Grown GM Boy Falls For A Fox Mustang, ’Cause They’re...
As the saying goes, you can pick your enemies and you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family's car preference... or something like that. It's a tough thing growing up in a GM family, particularly when your dad worked there and your brothers marry into other GM families. Sounds a little like hill country to me, but for Scott Walker there was a happy ending that had nothing to do with his cousin.
There are a few skeletons in Scott's closet, though. A 1967 Chevy Nova with a 421 cid stroker motor is one that'll rattle your teeth. There was also a slammed 1979 Blazer and a 1971 4 x 4 pickup. However, since Scott got hooked up with a Mustang, he's seen the light. "There has been a conversion here," he told us. "I will always have a Fox body."
Scott hails from Gainesville, GA, and just happened to be hanging around Milton Robson's place the same day when our columnist, Brad Bowling, stopped by. If you read Brad's story last month, about the Mighty Mouse Mustang, you might appreciate that there's not too many junkers to be found in the vicinity of Milt's place. And, so it is with this Pony that started out life as a 1989 GT. With the extensive help of J.J. Classic Mustang in Soddy-Daisy, TN, the car has morphed into a 1993 Cobra clone ... a clone of some repute, mind you.
Soddy-Daisy? What the... OK, wait. Just so you know, Soddy-Daisy is a small town a little north of Chattanooga, TN. Lying between the foot of the mountains and Chickamauga Lake, it is the merging of two villages - Soddy and Daisy. Soddy is believed to come from the Cherokee word "Tsati" which means homeplace.
This Mustang was originally white and, unless you look in the spare tire well, you'd never know it. J.J.'s rotisserie paint job is that good, according to Scott. The white paint in the tire well was intentionally left white. Before the paint went on, though, a whole raft of original Ford parts were sourced, so that the exterior transformation could proceed. All that work was completed using NOS parts, also known as "new, old stock" pieces ... and you thought we were talking about nitrous oxide. NOS pieces are the holy grail of classic restoration because they are original parts and they fit right the first time. Later, when it came time to put the interior together, the same approach was used. At this point in time, fewer than 4,000 miles have been put on the car since its rebirth.
If you've done subframe connectors on your Mustang, you might wonder why this owner chose to have a set custom made from 2 x 3-inch rectangular steel tubing. Those subframes certainly aren't going far when tied together by that structural profile. Well, the other point of note about Scott's car is that he dropped in a Ford Racing crate engine. When he chose it, he went straight to the big block column and picked out a 460 cid V8. That 550 flywheel HP monster came with aluminum Super Cobra Jet heads that feature 2.2-inch intake valves and 1.76-inch exhaust valves. As supplied by Ford Racing, the wedge motor also comes with an MSD billet distributor, Edelbrock Victor intake manifold and 545 ft-lb of stump pulling torque.
Now, for Scott that was the beginning of the engine story, not the end. Into this old school motor, he also added a new camshaft that dials out at .588-inch lift on the intake and .614-inch on the exit side. The original intake was swapped out for a dual plane Edelbrock Performer RPM unit, so that the Holley 850 carburetor could feed that monster cam appropriately. Only thing, there was a slight issue with the manifold because when you put it on top of a 460 engine, there's no way you'll get the hood closed. No problem, really. The old school rules say "cut a hole" and that's exactly how this Mustang got its signature look. If ever you look in your rearview mirror and see that kind of hardware poking out through the fiberglass ram air hood, you'll know that this is not your day for bragging rights.
Adding a big block engine to a ponycar calls for certain well-known measures, as well as some that have to be taken on the fly. In addition to the monster subframe connectors, a six-point roll cage was added to keep the body straight under all conditions. Custom headers had to be made up and these were ceramic coated after verifying the desired fit and performance. The distributor was also re-curved for improved performance. That's how you did it in the old days ... none of this computerstuff need apply. A Holley Blue 280 lph fuel pump was needed to keep the carb bowls full and a Griffin four-core radiator was put into service. An MSD Ignition 6AL controller is used to keep the home fires burning and Auto Meter gauges in an A-pillar pod report continuously on critical functions.
Now, serious power needs equal measures to get that power where it's needed.A Ford C-6 automatic tranny does thejob here, feeding Ford's 4.10 rear axle gears mounted on a Ford limited slip differential,that is helped out by an SVO axle girdle.The final link in that chain is the ROH17 x 9-inch rims, covered with Fuzion rubber - 245/45R17 up front and in the 275/40R17 size out back. An Anthony Jones Engineering front K-member replaced the original, helping the Koni-based suspension keep thoseFuzions on the road.
During its time with Scott, the car has gone through some other changes. At one time,it had a 1050-cfm carb on it. In that trim, Scott ran the quarter mile in 11.9 seconds on street tires and with a leisurely launch.There are still a couple of issues to sort out with carbs and tuning, but once handled,Scott is confident that his reward will be breaking into the nines. Proving that this car's fit and finish arejust as good as its get up and go, Scott brouught home both the Best in Class and Best Mustang awards form last year's Fun Ford get-together in Commerce, GA. Not too bad for a fellow that may have grown up riding around in a Chevy Vega. Without a doubt, the Fox Mustang platform is among the most suitable for modifications. After all, show and go in the same package is never out of style.
Scott Walker's 89 GT
Ford Racing 460 V8 Crate Engine
Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold; Holley 850 carburetor, Blue 280 lph fuel pump; Griffin 4-core radiator; MSD Ignition 6AL controller; Custom ceramic coated headers; Flowmaster 3-inch mufflers
Ford C-6 automatic transmission; 4.10:1 axle ratio
Interior / Exterior
Scott Walker's 89 GT
New old stock Ford 1993 Cobra ground effects; Cervini's Stormin' Norman fiberglass hood; 'Rotisserie' paint job by J.J. Classic Mustangs
New old stock Ford 1993 Cobra interior; 6-point roll cage; Auto Meter gauges, including monster tach with shift light, water temperature and oil pressure
Wheels And Tires
ROH 17 x 9-inch wheels with Fuzion tires, 245/45R17 front and 275/40R17 rear
Custom 2 x 3-inch subframe connectors; Anthony Jones Engineering K-member
Hotchkiss camber/caster plates; Koni struts and shock absorbers
550 Flywheel HP, 545 Flywheel TQ (Est.)