Frank H. Cicerale
February 1, 2008

Turn on Fox at 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday, and for half an hour you'll be transported to the town of Springfield, where Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, and Maggie Simpson will have you saying "Eat my shorts," "Dude," and "Doh" in no time. The show has been on the air since December 1987, racking up more than a few awards during the course of its 19-season, 404-episode lifespan.

While Dave Stinson isn't a Simpson, he does live in Springfield-Massachusetts, that is. And while his '92 GT may be just a few years younger than the popular animated sitcom, it makes everyone who looks at it say, "Dude, what a ride!"

What ended up a looker started out as a regular old beater. "I bought my Mustang with the original intent of it being my daily driver to replace a beaten-up '87 four-cylinder LX convertible," Dave says. "I was 18 at the time and had no interest in the car-enthusiast hobby whatsoever."

That soon changed. "I had made some good friends in the Mustang scene, and about a year later, I started modifying the car," Dave says. "Throughout the years, I got more and more into the scene and kicked the car up a notch every chance I got."

Dave started with the looks and under-pinnings of the Fox-body before contemplating adding power to the nimble Pony. He left the stock front upper and lower control arms on the car, but swapped in a set of Bilstein shocks that work in conjunction with the MAC progressive-rate lowering springs. Steeda bushings and a caster/camber kit from Maximum Motorsports made sure the alignment was spot on and the wheels pointed in the right direction. The 8.8-inch rear was beefed up with a set of axles from a '95 Cobra and the installation of a set of 3.73 cogs. The chassis was tied together with a set of custom full-length subframe connectors and the same Bilstein shock/MAC spring combo out back.

Dave then moved on to the outside of the car, where he threw a host of body components and a set of shiny shoes at it. The stock headlights and bumper were tossed for a set of Diamond clear lamps and a Cervini's Stalker front bumper. The factory hood was replaced with an ABC Exclusive 2½-inch Mach 1 model lid, while out back, the decklid received a Design Concepts Cobra-style wing, as well as the installation of a Cobra rear bumper and a pair of '93 Cobra taillights. Once the body components were on, Dave sprayed the sheetmetal with numerous layers of DuPont Vibrant Red paint, followed by an appropriate amount of clear. Rounding out the stunning good looks of the topless Stang were the chrome 17x8-inch Cobra rims. The front wheels were shod in Yokohama ES 100 rubbers, while the rears were wrapped with a pair of Goodyear Eagle hoops. Adding a bit more visual flavor was the custom fiberglass cowl cover.

With the foundation for big power laid down and the outside fascia built up, it was time for Dave to move into the interior and drivetrain areas of the Mustang. The factory chairs made way for a set of Cerullo XR seats fashioned in white vinyl. Dave then recovered the rear seats in white leather before installing a custom in-dash gauge pod whipped up by Al Lindgren of Speed and Sound (Memphis, Tennessee). Add in the count-less billet accessories and the custom door panels, floor mats, doorsills, and radio panel, and anyone can see the amount of love Dave put into his pride and joy. A thumping sound system showcases an aftermarket head unit and a trunk filled with a couple of subwoofers.

Dave was finally ready to tackle the chore of giving his Mustang more power. He kept the stock 5.0 in as-cast condition, leaving the crank, rods, and pistons in place. He lowered the compression ratio from the factory 9:1 to a blower-friendly 8.5:1, then added a set of Edelbrock's Performer aluminum heads featuring 1.90-inch intake and 1.60-inch exhaust valves. The stock camshaft runs the valvetrain geometry up the pushrods, through the lifters, and to a set of Ford Racing Performance Parts 1.6 roller rockers.