Modified Mustangs & FordsFeatured Vehicles
1984 Mustang SVO Hatchback - Full-Blown Horse
Saved From Neglect, Matt Heimer's '84 SVO Has Done Show Duty, Been A Daily Driver, And Is Now Taking On The Track In Style
Matt Heimer's '84 Mustang SVO
She's called Dazey because I name all of my cars," says Matt Heimer. A native of Jupiter, Florida, Matt is a self-confessed Fox Mustang fanatic. He has no fewer than 10 of them, along with "a few more out back behind the shop." Although the man is clearly on a mission to save and restore our beloved Foxes (he works with Matt Highley at Fox Mustang restoration), he also likes to have fun with them. That's pretty much been the case with Dazey since she came into his life back in 2003.
"I really wanted an SVO to replace the daily driver I had then," says Matt. "These cars were ahead of their time and had lots of neat stuff, so I started actively searching for one at a fair price." He attacked the local classified ads and the Internet forums, but to no avail. "I gave up and started looking at 5.0L cars, but everything I found was junk," he continues. On yet another bad morning, when looking at some cars ended in real disappointment yet again, Matt decided to stop off at a Home Depot to get some supplies. "There she was," he exclaims, "in the parking lot with a 'For Sale' sign on her-a real '84 SVO. I called the number on the sign and test-drove her the next day." After parting with $2,200, Matt took the car home. "It was the first car I'd seen in months that didn't have any accident damage," he says. "The paint was shot. It had been broken into and somebody had scratched the words 'out West' on the hood, but the best thing was the car was complete, save for the rare Hurst shifter handle. After I'd agreed to buy the car, the seller went into the house and she came out with the original, mint-condition shifter in her hand-it had come off and she didn't know how to put it back on." So for just over 2-large, Matt had scored himself a rough-looking but complete SVO-an outstanding find by anybody's reckoning.
Body. No, Suspension
Matt started his new project by tackling the bodywork. He originally intended to paint the car flat black (that would have been great for a feature shoot -Ed.), but before he got started, an offer came along to purchase a complete '03 Mustang Cobra front suspension. It turned out that the Cobra's IRS was also for sale, so Matt picked that up without hesitation as well.
It was then that his plans began to change. "I decided to start with the suspension, so the undercarriage was completely stripped and undercoated," says Matt. "Then I began installing everything. The guys at Steeda really helped me out by matching some springs for the rear-not everybody comes along with a Cobra IRS to bolt into a four-cylinder Fox." Polyurethane bushings were specified, front and back, to tighten up the car's handling. With everything cleaned and installed, our Matt was on his way.
Next was the fuel system and exhaust. "Because the car now had IRS, I needed to reroute the factory fuel lines," says Matt. "Because I wanted to use the Cobra's exhaust, I needed to make sure the lines didn't touch the new tubes." Because of the Cobra tailpipes, Matt also needed to install a Y-pipe to work with the turbo-four's exhaust manifold (since '84 SVOs came with a single pipe system from the factory). Because his '03 Cobra suspension purchase also included the brakes, he needed to upgrade the master cylinder. The car was a Fox, so choosing a '93 Cobra unit and mating it with the SVO proportioning valve achieved the desired results.