Frank H. Cicerale
October 1, 2007

They say Memphis is the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock and roll. If you're a musician, one thing's for sure: You can't put out the same old record time and again; you have to spice things up every time you go into the recording studio.

The same can be said for putting together a Mustang. There are tried-and-true combinations, but every now and then you hear of someone who's willing to step outside of the box and come up with something different. Case in point is Bill and Tanya Tumas and their righteous '88 Mustang LX.

What started out as a normal Fox-body quickly transformed into a mix of old and new.

If you open the hood, between the framerails you will see a monster Four-Valve modular motor nestled in all snug and tight. "I bought the car from my friend, Matt Balazs," Bill says. "I've known Matt and the blue LX since it was a 14-second stocker."

The time came, though, when Matt wanted to sell the Mustang. Coincidentally, Bill was looking for a Mustang for himself and Tanya. "I had just sold my '88 Saleen and was looking for a new car," Bill says. "Matt mentioned that he was selling the LX to finance the restoration of his father's '69 Mach 1, so we struck a deal."

With the new ride in his possession, Bill worked to make the car strike a chord like no other. Once equipped with a 393ci pushrod engine backed by a TKO tranny, Bill and Matt embarked on creating their own record label. They started by yanking the old 393 Windsor-based powerplant. The pair then dropped in an honest-to-goodness Four-Valve mod motor between the shock towers. The powerplant is mostly stock, though a few bolt-ons were added to give the 4.6 a bit more go. Enriching the fuel system is an Aeromotive regulator getting go juice from a Walbro 255-lph fuel pump, while matching the fuel with the appropriate amount of air is a Pro-M 80mm mass air meter and a custom-built cold-air kit. The EGR was removed and the upper intake manifold smoothed.

Open the hood on Bill and Tanya Tumas' '88 Mustang LX and you see (gasp!) a monstrous Four-Valve modular engine. The switch makes this Fox-body their personal commitment to being different.

A good-running engine needs to have a good-sounding exhaust system, so they chucked the stock exhaust manifolds in favor of a pair of Hooker Super Comp long-tube headers. The exhaust is funneled down to a Dr. Gas x pipe system and MagnaFlow mufflers. Keeping the engine cool under fire is a Griffin four-core aluminum radiator, which receives help from a Black Magic electric fan.

The TKO trans that was in the car just wouldn't do, so a T56 six-speed manual transmission was installed. The trans, originally from an '03 Cobra, contains a Fidanza clutch and an aluminum flywheel in the bellhousing. Changes from gear to gear are made by a Pro-5.0 shifter, and mating the tailshaft of the tranny to the pinion gear of the 8.8-inch rear is a Performance Shaft Technologies aluminum driveshaft. Speaking of the rear, the hind leg of this Pony was beefed up considerably. Moser 31-spline axles were stuffed in from each end and link up with a set of Ford Racing Performance Parts 4.10 gears through an FRPP 31-spline Traction-Lok differential. Keeping the gearset centralized is a MAC aluminum rearend girdle.