Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
May 24, 2010
Photos By: Peter S. Linney

Within this hobby, its hard to imagine that a perfectly good Fox-body Mustang 5.0L coupe could be sold to a salvage yard for pennies on the dollar, but that's exactly what happened to the Mustang you see before you.

While on a junkyard field trip to look for Mustang parts, Adrian Montoya and some friends came across a black 5.0L notchback that was sold to the scrapyard. Though its outward appearance was dirty and dingy, it was a solid 5.0L, five-speed coupe that was just begging for release from the pot-metal penitentiary. For $3,500, Adrian took ownership of the '93 Fox-body, fixed a few things, cleaned it up, and started driving it.

Surrounded by friends and family who are Mustang fanatics, Adrian is no stranger to the Blue Oval. In fact, he had previously owned a '95 GT and a Lincoln Town Car. It was the latter that would later inspire the color change, but before that happened, Adrian equipped the 5.0L with the usual bolt-on modifications, including BBK's ceramic-coated long-tube headers, H-pipe, and a Magnaflow exhaust system. A Ford Racing Performance Parts aluminum driveshaft was installed, along with a set of 4.10 gears, an Auburn limited-slip differential, and a Pro 5.0 gear shifter.

Like most Mustang enthusiasts, those performance additions only satiated Adrian's desire for speed for a short while. Soon, the car was dropped off to Ochoa Racing Engines in Fontana, California, where Alfredo Ochoa pulled the engine apart for a mild overhaul. The stock E7TE cylinder heads were pulled and a pair of Roush 200 cylinder heads with Crane 1.6:1 roller rocker arms was installed, as was an Edelbrock Performer RPM II intake manifold, 80mm C&L mass air meter, and one of Ochoa's custom camshafts, the specifications of which are a company secret.

Using an assortment of components from MSD, Mallory and NGK, the 302 fired back up with a healthy idle, and Adrian's need for speed was satisfied, for a while. At this point, the factory braking system was deemed inadequate, and Adrian and his friends installed disc brakes from a '98 GT. This converted the car to a five-lug bolt pattern, so the factory wheels would not work and were subsequently swapped for a quartet of factory Terminator Cobra wheels. The 17x9-inch hoops were wrapped with Nitto NT555 245/45/17 rubber up front and Nitto's ultra-sticky NT01s out back. The Mustang's flanks were dropped onto the edges of the tires thanks to BBK coil springs, Maximum Motorsports provided the caster/camber plates and subframe connectors, and a BBK strut-tower brace and Energy Suspension bushings further tighten the chassis.

Adrian had purchased a nitrous system for the car but never installed it, opting to go the high-pressure route with a Paxton Novi 2000 supercharger. Complementing the centrifugal supercharger is an Anderson Ford Motorsport Power Pipe, 42-lb/hr fuel injectors, and a Vortech external fuel pump.

With the mechanical modifications complete, Adrian turned towards the Fox-body's fenders and enlisted the help of his brothers, Arturo and Francisco, who helped him change the Mustang from a bland and faded black, to a vibrant and vivid Silver-the very same color that made his previous Lincoln Town Car so elegant. At the time the paint job went down, Adrian had his brothers lay down some charcoal-gray stripes across a Cervini's Auto Designs 2.5-inch Mach 1 hood, but in an effort to show his Blue Oval pride, Adrian later had them changed to the bright blue that you see in the pictures.

With an affinity for fine Fox-bodies, Adrian wasn't going to just give the car a paint and polish. Now it was time to turn his attention to the interior space, starting with the seats. The factory buckets were replaced with '95 GT seats, and a fresh gray rug and floor mats cleaned up the picture quite a bit. White-faced gauge overlays were installed behind the dash lens and a bevy of Auto Meter gauges now adorns the A-pillar and dash, allowing Adrian to monitor boost pressure, water and oil temperatures, and engine rpm. An Alpine CD receiver head unit guides the audio signals to an Epicenter equalizer and MA Audio amplifiers, before they finally hit the Kicker L7 15-inch subwoofer in the trunk and the Infinity mids and highs inside the car.

Beneath the gray carpeting one will find the stock T-5 transmission coupled to a Centerforce Dual-Friction clutch assembly. Since our photo shoot, Adrian upgraded the front brakes to SN-95 Cobra specs with 13-inch rotors and the dual-piston Cobra calipers. He also fortified the rear suspension with adjustable lower control arms.

Adrian's friend Cristian Montalvo told MM&FF that Adrian's father had recently passed away and that he had considered tossing in the towel on the Mustang at one point, but the elder Montoya had instilled strong virtues of hard work and persistence in his family, and finishing the car would honor his father's patriarchal efforts. It would also keep up the family tradition of building muscle Mustangs and fast Fords, of which there is a stout sum of them amongst the Montoya clan. Aside from his strong family ties, Adrian also has a strong peer group in his fellow Elite Fords club members. The group meets frequently in the Orange County, So-Cal area, and as you might have guessed from the club's name, they love late-model Fords.

Having been around so many Blue Oval products, it's not surprising to hear that Adrian picked up a '90 hatchback and '97 Cobra in the last few years. While he often flips most of his build-ups, we heard that the coupe is one that isn't going to get away, and it certainly won't end up at the junkyard again.

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