Frank H. Cicerale
December 1, 2007

No matter what brand it was or what condition it was in, you never forget that one car that made an impact on your life. It could've been a second-hand Fox-body Mustang you used to whip up on that certain high school classmate's Camaro, or maybe it was a classic, late-'60s big-block- powered fastback. For John Scott, it was a certain pedal car.

"I had a Mustang pedal car with a shifter when I was four years old," John says. "I guess it was destiny." After previously owning a '90 Mustang that met an untimely demise when an uncaring driver pulled out in front of him, John knew he had to have another Stang.

"My first prerequisites were the car had to have a V-8, be rear-wheel drive, and have a trunk," he says. "That left a Mustang, a Thunder-bird, a Mercury Cougar, or a Chevy Monte Carlo."

Since the T-bird, Cougar, and Monte SS were slower and/or more expensive than the nimble notchback Mustang, John says it was a no-brainer. He scrounged together the proper amount of cash and bought the red '92 LX you see here with only four miles on the clock. In fact, the laborer from Newark, Ohio, let the Mus-tang languish on the lot for a mere two hours.

With red being the international color of love, it was only natural that John would embark on a labor of love to make his second Mustang a car he'd never forget. The path to righteousness started in the engine compartment, where the venerable 302 small-block Ford lurked. The short-block stayed as Ford designed it, but John swapped on a set of GT-40 iron heads. Dave Elk, who now swings wrenches for Pro Stock driver Larry Morgan, performed the machine work on the heads, which consisted of a full port-and-polish job, a three-angle valve job, and the shaving of 0.020 inch off the deck. Once the heads were placed on the 5.0L powerplant, a B303 bumpstick was promptly pushed in. The lobes of the roller cam open and close the valves with help from Crane Cams springs and a set of 1.6-ratio roller-tip aluminum rockers. Sitting between the heads is a GT-40 intake manifold.

While the GT-40 components are a low-buck way to make decent naturally aspirated power, John wanted to feel the power beneath his right foot, so he decided to point the Mustang down the forced-induction path. A B&M supercharger was the blower of choice, and the centrifugal huffer forces 9 pounds of boosted outside ambiance through a K&N air filter, a C&L mass air meter, and a GT-40 70mm throttle body. A 255-lph fuel pump provides the blown small-block 39 pounds of fuel pressure, which is distributed to each of the eight cylinders evenly courtesy of a set of 24-pound injectors. An Accel coil, Taylor plug wires, and Motorcraft plugs light the mixture in the combustion chambers each time the PMS computer from Anderson Motorsports sends the signal down the line.

The tuning chores for the Mustang were handled by John himself. What goes in must come out, so the spent nastiness is shuffled out of the cylinders via JBA 1 1/2-inch shorty headers and a 2 1/2-inch exhaust system complete with DynoMax mufflers. John kept the T5 manual gearbox stock, but he swapped in an aluminum driveshaft and a Ford Racing Performance Parts short-throw shifter for good measure.

Turning his attention to the legs of his Pony, John installed a set of subframe connectors to stiffen the chassis, and then rolled underneath the front end and fortified the front suspension with Energy Suspension bushings, Gripp caster/ camber plates, KYB shocks, and Brothers front springs. In the hind quarters, he added another pair of KYB shocks and Brothers springs. He left the rear mostly stock, save for a switch to 3.55 cogs. Finalizing the stance and look of the Stang are chrome Cobra rims shod in Yokohama A520 rubbers.

The last couple of items on the checklist involved body and interior enhancements. The car has just a touch over 30,000 miles on it, and the factory red paint job still looks sharp, though a set of mudflaps and a nifty splatter-paint side-molding treatment set off the retina-searing color just a bit more. The inner portion of the car showcases a stock grey interior, though a fuel-pressure and boost gauge were installed on top of the dash in an SN-95 pod. When John wants to tune out the tone of the 302, he hits the power switch to the Blaupunkt stereo system.

"The car drives and handles great at all speeds, though I don't race it," John says. "I do enjoy what it has to offer. I'm looking for a newer Mustang, but I love the rarity of this one."

While a new S197 might soon grace John's driveway, you can be sure his '92 will always hold a special place in his heart, as well as his garage. Though we do wonder if he plans on restoring that old pedal car.