Marc Christ Associate Editor
December 1, 2009
Photos By: Paul Rosner

Since the first horseless carriage took to the road, people have been trying to get their rides to go faster. By 1932, with the introduction of the Ford Model 18, you could buy a V-8-powered two-door right off the lot, with suicide doors to boot.

For it's time, the '32 Ford was a powerful and unique machine. Still, the "Deuce Coupe" has remained one of the most-modified cars, even more than 70 years later.

The same phenomenon occurred with Ford's Mustang. Although the Mustang is quickly approaching 50 years of production, the theme has remained the same. Like the '32, Mustangs are available with an optional healthy V-8, yet almost every Mustang owner spends his/her hard-earned cash on upgrades to make it faster than Joe Schmoe's four-barrel down the street.

This ever-changing, yet familiar competitiveness brings friends, family, neighbors, and complete strangers together to form a culture known as "hot-rodding." Larry Waters Sr. and Larry Waters Jr. have joined this community in a big way with two blue coupes.

Wild-A-Beast, 1988 LX
After searching for months to find the car he wanted, Larry Waters Jr. of Cumming, Georgia, found an '88 LX coupe in Florida, then owned by Steven McClune. Originally a four-cylinder model, McClune began modifying the body for drag racing but didn't finish the project. Larry Jr. purchased it, and father and son spent the next six months building one fine example of a street/strip hot rod.

Larry Jr. works for a Ford dealership, and Larry Sr. owns and operates his own business, Waters Paint and Body (Gainesville, Georgia), which is where the pair worked nights and weekends getting the car ready for action. A Voss Racing Engines (Live Oak, Florida) 408ci short-block came with the purchase of the coupe, and features an Eagle Specialty Products forged 4340 steel crankshaft and H-beam rods, JE flat top pistons, and a DSS Racing stud girdle. The pair added a pair of 58cc Dart Windsor Sr. cylinder heads, a Cam Motion stick, Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, and an AED Performance 750-cfm carburetor.

To feed the "beast," Panhandle Performance (Panama City, Florida) plumbed the fuel system and installed a Barry Grant 220-lph pump. Larry Jr. then turned to Jeff Prock of Applied Nitrous for a 150-shot of juice. Then Waters added a MSD Ignition 6AL ignition control, a Blaster coil, and a Pro-Billet distributor, as well as Taylor Cable Products wires and NGK plugs.