Joe and his brother prepped the unibody, and Chris sprayed it Ford Laser Red Metallic in two-stage urethane. The result was as arrow straight a paint job as we've seen and part of the reason why this car has collected a fistful of trophies since it was back under its own steam. Another thing that sets this Fox apart from many in the stable is the interior. A Competition Engineering eight-point mild-steel cage ties everything together, and perhaps surprisingly, the futuristic-looking Summit Racing bucket seats don't look out of place in the cabin, and neither does the 120-watt sound system, nor the DVD screens cleverly housed in the sun visors, nor the digital (that's right) Nordskog instrument cluster (when was the last time you saw one of those in a '79-'93 Mustang?).
Although Joe is able to monitor the car's operation via the cluster and a plethora of Auto Meter gauges while sitting in his high-tech tan control capsule, the mechanical aspects of this car remain very much old-school. Underhood is still a 302 H.O., and as it was back in 1984, it's still carbureted, drinking fuel through a time-honored Holley 750 four-barrel bolted atop an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake. With a high-flow mechanical pump, MAC Products' full-length exhaust headers, 2½-inch H-pipe, and classic Flowmaster mufflers, this thing rumbles along the Pennsylvania highways with aplomb. Thanks to the addition of an 8.8-inch rear with an Auburn limited-slip and 3.73 gears, it goes pretty good down the dragstrip, too-to date, Joe has run a best of 13.62 at 107 mph down Atco Raceway's 1,320, not bad considering the stock bottom end and a suspension built for handling more than straight-line stuff.
And how Joe got his hands on the corner-carving hardware is also a bit of a good one-again, he has to thank his brother for that. "Chris was really into turbo Foxes for a while, T-bird Turbo Coupes, SVOs, that kind of thing. He wrecked an SVO and parted it out, so we took all the good stuff, including the adjustable Koni shocks and the disc brakes." Along with a set of coilovers and more recently Cobra front brakes, the little Fox now handles and stops better than ever before.
Even though the car continues to collect yet more trophies, Joe readily admits that he's not done with it. "There's always something else I want to do with it, like the coilovers, the tubular K-member. I think the next thing will be supercharging." But when we asked him if he'd switch to fuel injection he said, "No, that's what everybody else does. So far this car has been a hit, both with me, my 19-year-old son Philip, (who's been a real help and inspiration for building it), and of course, friends, family, and even strangers. I think part of the reason for that is because it's a little different. When you walk by it, you look twice, so when it comes time to go blown, I'm going to stick with a carburetor because it will cause heads to spin even more." Sounds like a good idea to us.
Joe Sofia's '84 Mustang GT
- Ford 302 V-8
- Edelbrock Performer RPM intake
- Holley 750-cfm four-barrel carburetor
- K&N air filter
- Holley 80-gph high-flow mechanical
- fuel pump
- Ford Racing 1.7:1 roller rockers
- Ford Racing tall chrome valve covers
- MSD distributor
- MSD 6 Plus ignition
- Optima Red Top battery
- MSD 8.5mm ignition wires
- March underdrive pulleys
- Summit Racing aluminum radiator
- Flex-a-lite electric fan
- Borg Warner T-5 five-speed manual
- Ford Racing 10½-inch steel flywheel
- Ford Racing King Cobra 10½-inch clutch
- Hurst shifter
- Ford 8.8-inch axlehousing
- Ford Racing aluminum driveshaft
- Auburn limited-slip differential
- 3.73 gears
- MAC Products 1 5⁄8-inch full-length headers
- MAC Products 2½-inch H-pipe
- Flowmaster 2½-inch two-chamber mufflers
- Polished exhaust tips