Kristian Grimsland
Associate Editor, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
March 8, 2013
Photos By: Marc Christ

It’s not often that you are called upon to help save someone you love, but when Mario Pineda of Oswego, Illinois, got the chance to help his father, he didn’t hesitate.

Mario’s father suffers from Type-2 diabetes, and in order to cope with the disease, was required to go through dialysis nine hours every evening for the past year. Mario watched as his father suffered, as well as the emotional toll it was taking on his family.

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Deciding that something needed to be done, Mario opted for a test to see if one of his kidneys would be transferable to his father. The test results yielded a positive match and Mario soon found himself on an operating table. The surgery went well, and for the first time in just over a year, his father no longer had to suffer every night.

Mario has a need for speed, and prior to the surgery, he owned a Suzuki Hayabusa. In order to fund part of the surgery, he was forced to sell his toy. Not new to the Blue Oval scene, Mario was on the hunt for a new go-fast vehicle for use after the surgery. In March 2008, he found exactly what he was looking for. Long-time friend James Myatt sold him the ’92 Mustang LX coupe you see pictured here.

After a little recovery time, Mario was back in the garage building what would become this sinister beast. Utilizing the stock engine, he threw the basic bolt-ons onto the car and enjoyed the Stang. It wasn’t long until he was in need of more power, so he added a Vortech S-trim supercharger. However, pushing the limits of the stock 302 block, the little engine that could cracked right down the valley.

Looking to step up to a more powerful powerplant, Mario reached out to Keith Craft Performance Engines. The shop supplied him with a Dart Sportsman block stroked and bored to 347 ci. Mario was beginning what would become a long and eventful journey.

Internally, an Eagle crankshaft connects the Eagle rods to custom Diamond pistons. Timing is everything, and an F-cam controls the components inside the Trick Flow Specialties Twisted Wedge aluminum heads. On top of the fiery demon rests a TFS intake to help feed it air.

With an engine up to par with what Mario wanted, he turned his attention towards a more cunning power supply. A new Vortech V-7 YSi supercharger found its way underneath the hood and unleashed a whooping 21 pounds of boost. With the help of Mike Post from MP Tuning of Sycamore, Illinois, Mario’s coupe was cranking out 652 rwhp and 612 lb-ft of torque. With Mario reaching his power goal, he needed something that could stand up to the beating and switched out the factory T5 transmission for a TKO 500 five-speed.

According to Mario, purchasing a car in excellent condition made his Bimini Blue coupe a great starting point. Wanting to clean up the exterior and engine bay, he requested the help of All Color Body Shop in Elk Grove, Illinois. The staff painted a new Cervini’s 2.5-inch cowl hood, shaved and eliminated the gas door, and repainted the front bumper. The rest of the car remains the factory color.

With the help from his friend Rich Bryjak, he welded and smoothed out the entire engine bay, making for a flawless piece of art.

“I just wanted something for myself that was clean and simple,” explained Mario. “Once I started seeing the sheetmetal come together all nice and smooth, we just started cleaning up everything and turning it into everything it is today.”

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Mario says that none of this would have been possible without the continuous support from his family and friends. His fiancé and father go to every car show or event they can. There’s no doubt that Mario made a great effort to help his father, but he also did so with his coupe, and it is definitely one beautiful Stallion.

I just wanted something for myself that was clean and simple.