Jerry Heasley
December 1, 2009

Jim Curry's '92 Feature Mustang LX 5.0l Convertible
A set of angel wings and a halo in "MOM" air brushed around the trunk lock are a subtle key to Jim Curry's '92 Feature Mustang. Ford built these limited edition convertibles in 1992 and 1993-one variant was the Vibrant Red convertible you see here. Are they collectible? "Absolutely," Jim Curry said. This didn't stop him from modifying his Feature Mustang to his personality. However, radical changes to the Fox body were not part of his agenda. He replaced the original plastic decklid and fender badges-LX and 5.0-with airbrushed versions. Just about as subtle is the taillight swap-'93 Cobra lenses in place of the stock LX versions. Jim considers them a cool upgrade.

The Pennsylvania native grew up around a father where cars were a big thing. Actually, Jim's first ride was a green "7-Up" '90 Mustang LX convertible. When a drunk driver totaled his 5.0L in August 2001, the high schooler got a chance to buy this collectible Fox. He admitted, "I remember seeing the red '92 Feature car that I have now when I drove my green one around my hometown, and I used to feel guilty. I thought I was cheating on my car because I kept lusting after the Feature Mustang."

The one obstacle to this purchase was his Mom, Judy. Jim said, "She was just nervous because I had just been hit in almost the same exact car and it was a convertible. She worried about it flipping over." Actually, she was leery of any muscle car's safety and reliability, but the fact that Jim wanted to purchase nearly the identical car he had his wreck in didn't sit well with dear Mom, insomuch that she even called the car a death trap! Finally, Judy gave in when the whole family went to look at the car together one night after a family outing for ice cream. Jim bought his dream Mustang to drive to high school on October 10, 2001.

Now just because Jim owned his second Fox convertible don't for a second think Judy was still happy about it. Every time Jim had an issue with the car or had to buy repair parts she had something unkind to say about the car. "Her anger would flare even more when I would start the car up to go to school," Jim told us. "I found myself coasting the Mustang down the driveway and firing it up at the end to avoid 'waking the dead,' as she often put it. It was certainly no secret that my Mom despised the car.

"My Mom passed away in February 2006." Jim explained. The same Mom who "hated the car" and impugned the Mustang's reliability paid her own tribute to her son one day during a drive in the Mustang.

Jim recalled, "One time we were going up to my grandmother's house. We were leaving our house (planning to take the family sedan) when she said 'well why don't we take the Mustang?'" Jim was all too surprised, to say the least. Why did she want to ride in the Mustang? No sooner had Jim stabbed the short-throw shifter into reverse than Judy said, "Why don't you put the top down?" Jim was even more surprised because his Mom was under chemotherapy at the time and wore a wig. She tied a bandana under her chin and around her hair.

The '92 LX convertible performed flawlessly, climbing higher and higher into the mountains as they drove mile after mile. "We were in silence just enjoying the ride. And finally she turned to me and said, 'I like this car.'" Jim said, "That was such a great moment between mother and son because it was a sore subject between the two of us about this car. Then to have her say that made me really, really happy."

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Eventually, the car just seemed too "classy" for the daily grind of rain, sleet, and snow in Pennsylvania. So, in June 2006 he took the car he loved so much off the road. A limited edition, Jim felt, was too special for daily driving. Jim decided to build his '92 Feature Mustang into a "creampuff" for occasional weekend cruising and car showing as a tribute to his Mom. Jim drives and shows his LX with his mother's bandana still tied in the same knot she made, now wrapped around the gearshift handle.

The Details
Jim Curry's '92 Feature Mustang LX 5.0L convertible

Engine
5.0L iron block
4.00-inch bore
3.00-inch stroke
Stock crank, rods, and pistons
AFR 185 aluminum cylinder heads
1.90-inch intake, 1.600-inch exhaust valves
Ford Racing 1.6:1 roller rockers
Ford Racing E-303 camshaft
Ford Racing Cobra intake
Edelbrock polished water pump
March Performance pulleys
PA Performance alternator
Canton polished valve covers
Ford Racing 24-lb/hr injectors
C&L Performance 76mm mass-air meter
MAC 70mm throttle body
MSD Pro Billet distributor

Transmission
Tremec T5 five-speed manual
Pro 5.0 shifter

Rearend
8.8-inch rear
Stock Traction-Lok
3.55 gears
28-spline axles
Trick Flow differential cover

Exhaust
BBK 1 5/8-inch ceramic coated shorty headers
BBK 2 1/2-inch off-road H-pipe
Flowmaster American Thunder 40 Series mufflers

Suspension
Front: Stock lower control arms, BBK lowering springs, KYB struts
Rear: UPR chrome-moly upper and lower control arms (powdercoated), BBK lowering springs, KYB shocks, Kenny Brown subframe connectors

Brakes
Front: Stock disc
Rear: Stock drum

Wheels
Front: Ford Racing five-spoke (powdercoated), 16x7
Rear: Ford Racing five-spoke (powdercoated), 16x7

Tires
Front: Hancook Ventus HR II, P225/50R16
Rear: Hancook Ventus HR II, P225/50R16

Interior
Upholstery restored and modified by Paul's Auto Upholstery, Allentown, PA, including door map pockets deleted, armrest pads replaced with black versions, seats recovered in leather, upper door panel trim changed to black, and door insert above armrest added; billet power window and lock controls; billet A/C controls; Auto Meter gauges; H3R Performance Halon extinguisher; Sony head unit; Infinity door and dash speakers; Pioneer rear speakers

Exterior
All stock body panels, repainted factory Vibrant Red base coat/clear coat by Sule's Auto Collision Center, Slatington, PA; all emblems airbrushed by Alan Johnson of Alan Johnson Graphix; '93 Mustang Cobra taillights; all fasteners, brackets, and more were powdercoated for looks and durability