September 1, 2007

A suspension upgrade was one thing, but a veteran 1986 LX sporting grey primer and a worn interior something else. A day after dropping off the car, Johnson got a phone call from Brooks while out with his family. John asked Morgan if he had plans to paint the car and redo the interior. The response was a yes. Then Brooks came back and said to Johnson that a new company he'd help start, G-Force Concepts, would like to use the '86 as a promotional tool and the car could made all pretty, outside and in for a price that was just a little above cost. The next day, Morgan agreed. The car was stripped down to a bare shell and work began in earnest. Corrosion was found around the rear floor pans, due to a leak in the quarter window. Some brackets were replaced and the exhaust was updated with a Magnaflow X-pipe and cat back system. John had originally suggested to use a 16-inch Pony wheel and tire package, but Morgan wanted to stick with 17-inch wheels. That meant a five-lug conversion, including new hubs, axles and ultimately SN95 front spindles to clear the front wheels, along with an upgrade to Powerslot 13-inch front disc brakes, plus braided lines. The Kenny Brown Super subs were left in place and Morgan chose K-B adjustable control arms and adjustable sway bar, along with the caster camber plates, while the Stage II suspension stuff went on. Ultimately, it ended up being a sort of Brooks Stage III-1/2 in lieu of the Kenny Brown pieces already in place and the few extras tacked on. Next up were the cosmetic chores.

Johnson originally wanted to repaint the car in its original shade of Dark Sage Green, but Brooks felt that a 1986 version of the Bullitt would be a neat idea. So that's what it became. "I added a Cervini's 2 1/2-inch cowl hood and the 1993 Cobra rear bumper, tailights and spoiler because I liked them," says Morgan "and John had a custom hood graphic made with 'Bullitt' lettering instead of the normal GT script found on these cars back in the day, plus Bullitt lettering was added to the trunk." With the 2001 Dark Highland Green metallic paint and the 17-inch 'Bullitt' wheels and tires, the car looked quite menacing to say the least. By late 2004, Johnson was back driving the '86 as much as he could, taking it to a few cruise-ins and also the Carlisle All-Ford Nats in 2005. Although the LX definitely shows well with a little polish and elbow grease, possibly Morgan's favorite thing about the car these days is its handling prowess on the track. "With all the chassis and suspension upgrades, this car has really surprised me with what it can do. I joined the Capital Area of the SVTOA and John advised me to attend the two-day On Track at Summit Point in West Virginia. One thing I can say about that is ... WOW!" So, now hooked on open tracking with some possible alterationsto the car down the road, plus the statement "I'll be keeping it for another 20," we wonder if chasing a black Dodge around San Francisco might be on the cards? Guess we'll have to find out, won't we?

Morgan Johnson's 1986 Mustang LX

Ford Racing 1987-93 spec 5.0-liter V8 long block

Engine Modifications
Ford Racing E-camshaft with .498/.498" lift, 220° duration @ .050, 65 mm throttle-body, Cobra upper and lower intake assembly, 1-5/8" shorty headers; Ford 19 lb/hr injectors, BBK 110 lph fuel pump, Magnaflow 2.5" True X-pipe, 2.5" mufflers and tailpipes; 3-core replacement radiator, silicone hoses, Classic Tube stainless steel fuel lines

Engine Management
Factory 1993 Ford EEC-IV processor

Tremec T-56 six-speed manual gearbox, courtesy of D&D Performance, Ford Racing King Cobra clutch, pressure plate, aluminum flywheel, 3.55:1 gears; Moser 31-spline five-lug axles, Auburn differential

Kenny Brown Super subframe connectors, jacking rails, Matrix Braces, upper strut tower brace, lower 4-point brace, caster-camber plates, rear shock tower brace; Steeda adjustable front anti-roll bar

Powerslot 13" front disc brakes, Stainless Steel brakes 10" rear disc conversion, braided brake lines

Ford Racing front lower control arms, 1995 Mustang front spindles, Eibach struts and shocks, Kenny Brown lowering springs, offest steering rack bushings, adjustable upper and lower rear control arms, TracKit (consisting of Parnhard Rod and control arm relocation), rear Quad shock delete

Ford 'Bullitt' 17 x 9" wheels Hankook P245/45-17 tires

Cervini's 2-1/2" fiberglass cowl induction hood, decklid wing, Cobra rear bumper cover; 1993 Cobra tailights, repainted 2001 Dark Highland Green; custom lettering and graphics by G-Force Design Concepts

Grant GT steering wheel, billet door handle bezels, G-Force Design Concepts graphics, Ford Racing floormats, custom painted dash, Mustang GT seats, custom upholstered, Ford Motorsport 140 mph speedometer