Frank H. Cicerale
November 1, 2008
A friend of Brandon's sprayed the Pony this Burnt Orange hue. The color is perfect when combined with the shine from the Billet Specialties wheels. A 4-inch cowl hood from Cervini's adds even more appeal to the look of the car, and clears the taller-deck Windsor underneath.

It takes the right amount of air, fuel, and spark to make any kind of power, so Brandon made sure he kicked in some pretty nice parts to make his 408 sing at full song. The air side of things is handled by an Accufab 90mm throttle body, a PMAS Velocity 95mm mass air meter, a Wilson Manifolds intake elbow, and an Anderson 4-inch Power Pipe. A set of 42-pound injectors squirt the go-juice after receiving it from a 255-lph in-tank pump. An Aeromotive regulator keeps the pressure in check. As for spark, an MSD 6AL ignition box teams up with an MSD coil, stock distributor, MSD wires, and Autolite 3924 plugs to light things off. Exhaust fumes are funneled through a set of Kooks 1 7/8-inch headers and a custom 3-inch cross-pipe and exhaust system. Flowmaster's new Super 44 muffler cases keep the sound levels to a respectable and ear-pleasing volume. As for the tune, the stock Ford A9L is all that's needed.

Hunkered down in the trans tunnel is the stock T5 five-speed stick, though Brandon plans to swap that out for a TK0600. A King Cobra clutch gets the car to move from a dead stop, while a Ford Racing Performance Parts aluminum driveshaft transfers the power to the 8.8-inch rear out back. Brandon stocked the rear with a bunch of goodies, including a set of 4.10 cogs, 31-spline Superior axles, and a 31-spline Ford limited-slip differential. Brandon changes gears via a Steeda Tri-Ax shifter.

Knowing the Windsor engine would require some frontend suspension modifications, Brandon did what he needed to do before the motor was lowered into the car. An Anthony Jones K-member gets the motor down in the engine bay a bit more than the stock piece, while a set of A-arms from the same manufacturer help handle the extra heft of the 408. Strange 10-way adjustable struts conspire with 140-pound springs to keep the frontend in check, while a manual-steering rack conversion sheds some weight off the car. Alignment and frontend adjustment is made easier thanks to a Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plate installation, and a pair of Maximum Motorsports subframe connecters tightens up the chassis.

Out back, HPM upper and lower control arms, Strange 10-way shocks, and the stock rear springs help keep the hind end planted to the tarmac.

For rolling stock, Brandon chose a set of five-spoke rims from Billet Specialties that give the car its drag-race appearance. The 15x3.5s up front are wrapped up in 155/80/15 BFGoodrich shoes, while the 15x10 rears are enveloped in 275/60/15 Mickey Thompson ET Streets. Hiding behind the rims are '96 GT brakes fore and stock drums aft.

The last thing to tackle on the car's revival was the black leather interior. Brandon left the inside pretty much as Ford designed it, though he made a few subtle changes, such as the addition of a custom dash stocked with Auto Meter Ultra Lite II gauges and some billet trim pieces.

"I have to admit, this was not at all how I had planned for the car to turn out," Brandon says. "I guess you could say I'm a detail freak. I wanted a daily driver, but I wanted it to be as clean as my '93. Like I said, the whole project just snowballed on me. The best part about the car is the stance.The look and stance are just perfect."

While Brandon's '90 coupe may have started out with a different mindset, its completion shows just what a change of direction can do.