Jeff Ford
July 1, 2001

Jim is a guy who knows what he wants-so much so that since he missed the original musclecar rage during the '60s, he was determined to get in on it in the late '80s. Like so many of us, his closest experience with a new musclecar back in the day was probably a ride in its passenger seat during his preteen years. And like so many of us, he probably came face-to-face with the cars of yore at a cruise night or in an illegal street battle.

However, unlike so many of us who fell in love with the brutish good looks and horsepower of the Fox chassis Mustangs, when Jim bought this LX new, he bought it with a single idea in mind: showing. "I knew exactly what I wanted," said Jim. "I wanted a Black coupe with red vinyl interior." Huh? Upon seeing the car, our first reaction was Jim had gone to great lengths to get someone to stitch the quirky seats for him on the way to a top-flight restoration. Actually, there was a method to Jim's ordering madness since 1987. "I knew it [red vinyl] was a rare option," Jim said with a smile. He ordered the coupe in this fashion because he wanted a modern day equivalent of the all-business musclecars with their minimalist vinyl interiors and their huge horsepower engines up front. "The car has never been a daily driver," Jim told us as he polished the wheels (again). "In fact, it has rarely seen rain."

This means the Black paint and the scarlet interior are all original, from the window cranks to the skin-sticking vinyl. Of course, Jim had to pitch over the stock, slushy five-speed shifter in favor of a sneaky Hurst stick. Under the hood, Jim just couldn't help himself, though. "Everything I've done here can be removed, and all of the original parts-which I still have-can be replaced," he said. "(Laughing) I still even have the original oil filter." The 5.0 has been sprinkled with a bit of chrome for that added flash as well as having some mild performance upgrades, this being a musclecar and all. A big cone K&N filter helps pull the air in, and a set of SVO headers and an H-pipe are in place to help get the spent exhaust gases out. The only other components Jim added to the mean little 5.0 were a set of SVO underdrive pulleys and a set of the SVO 9mm wires. However, Jim went a little more radical on the chassis. Azen 17x7.5 front and 17x8.5 rear wheels are wrapped in Comp T/A P225/45ZR17 (front) and P245/45ZR17 (rear) for a nice meaty look, while Saleen springs drop the Black coupe nicely. Out back, the stock 3.08 Traction-Lok handles its business, all the while being assisted by Saleen rear lower control arms and SVO uppers.

Jim's coupe isn't just a show queen, though; he's gone out and done battle at the strip, pulling down consistent 14.30s when the car was new. Since adding the go-fast goodies, he could be one to break into the 13.90s-definitely musclecar territory.