Modified Mustangs & FordsFeatured Vehicles
1985 Ford Mustang GT - All- Rounder
Having Saved This Tired '85 GT From An Uncertain Future, Jeff Colvin Built It Into A Mustang That Takes The Concept Of Multi-Tasking To The Next Level.
Without a garage in which to work on the car and not a whole lot of money to throw at it, Jeff was clearly quite limited in what he could do, but nevertheless made the most of it. One night though, things almost came to a head. "I'd been out riding my Motocross bike and broke my ankle. Still, I figured that I could install a new set of springs in the GT. With the car on jack stands, I was trying to pry out one of the old rear springs and I guess I pulled too hard. One of the jacks sank into the ground and the car fell on top of me. Luckily I wasn't pinned. That was a day I can tell you." As with a lot of things, it is trial and error that brings out the best results. "I'll admit that I've made a few costly mistakes with this car," says Jeff. "The worst has been saving up for a mod, getting the part and then finding that it doesn't fit right and having to spend more money on modifications to make it fit. When my rebuilt engine started making a ticking noise, I figured one of the stock rockers had collapsed. So I ordered some replacements, but they were shipped to the wrong address. When I finally got them and they were installed, I found that they wouldn't clear the stock valve covers, so I had to fork out for a new pair. I put the motor back together and guess what? It was still ticking. So I ended up pulling the engine apart again and found that I had cracked piston skirts. Once I'd rebuilt this engine again, it lasted probably for another 30k miles or so, but one time, when doing burnouts in front of my house, the crank let go and took out everything except the cam, rockers and intake." Now surely, that would be enough for anybody to seriously question keeping a car such as this, but Colvin had other ideas. He bit the bullet, literally and got his hands on a D.S.S. 306 motor assembly.
With a Tremec T3550 installed behind, he now had a combination that was designed to last a little longer. "I know there are guys who've complained about the D.S.S. motors, but mine has held together really, really well. Every time I dyno the car it seems to gain a little power." Although Jeff has won tons of awards with this Canyon Red beauty and has enjoy giving it plenty of workouts, mainly autocrossing and drag racing, even he admits, that today the car doesn't see as much road time as it once did. "This car is great and I love it. At Year One's Bristol Bash in 2001 I had a blast. I actually mis-read the awards and thought the Year One Cup was for the best average in all three events, so I competed in all of them. I must've changed my tires 17 times over the course of three days, but I still managed to finished runner up in the car show. That was a lot of fun, but now it's been moved to Georgia, so it's tougher to get to for me. I plan on going, but having children, both a son and a daughter, kinda changes things and because of our crazy child seat laws in Virginia I've been doing more off-roading with my Bronco, as it's more family oriented than going to an Autocross or track day as we don't have to take two vehicles." Still, Colvin takes the '85 out when he can, for drives in the country and to local cruise ins. "Not too long ago, I met up with a bunch of Mach 1 Registry guys and we cruised Skyline Drive, our local mountain parkway. Even though it was raining, it was a good time and my T-tops held out pretty well against leaks." When we talked to him, he mentioned that he still has further plans for the '85. "I might install a custom or tubular K-member and do the five lug conversion - a few people beat on me because the car still has four lug wheels and disc/drum 'junkyard' brakes, but the '87 front rotors, SVO 73mm calipers and '93 Cobra Master cylinder stop this thing fine and right now I don't plan on road racing it. I also have a built 347 stroker for it that's been sitting for almost two years, but I'm afraid at this point, because the car runs so good. Because, if I take the 306 out, I know that I'll want to start filling in all the holes in the engine bay, clean things up and, well, it'll just start snowballing into another major project." Now how many of us can relate to that?