Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
May 1, 2005

When you carry 10-second timeslips in your glovebox and you still drive your car on the street, it doesn't much matter what your automobile looks like. Chances are, people won't see much else except your taillights. To these hard-core enthusiasts, showing their taillights to the competition is all that matters. Paint? What paint? That's just extra weight. But when you ramble to the faithful the importance of having clean lines with a hot hue, as we often do, you have to practice what you preach.

Motor City's Luis Henriques dismantled the coupe, beginning with the decklid. As you can see, there was a bit of car-cancer residing underneath the lip. In order to take off the trunk lid, Luis removed the wiring harness and unbolted the hinges.

If you've been hanging around these pages for a while, you'll remember our '01 Lightning-powered Pony, dubbed Project Frightning. The 5.4 Triton-inspired coupe sees a good bit of print on the pages of MM&FF, so we thought it was time to rejuvenate our dented and demented project Frightning. While relatively quick (mid-10s are the norm), the appearance was definitely lacking, all with its rust and dents and lack of interior. Heck, it's been good to us on the strip, so it's only fair we reciprocate.

Our '86 notchback's sheetmetal has seen better days, receiving its fair share of spray paint from its previous owners. The massive fiberglass cowl-induction hood never did get painted, not to mention it has been hacked--umm, modified--to allow the towering upper intake manifold to peer out like a periscope.

Having two sets of hands helps. Here, Motor City's Custom Project Specialist Joe Carreiro helps Henriques remove the decklid. Despite the rust, the piece looks salvageable.

In order to get the LX looking as good as it runs, we enlisted the service of Motor City Auto Body in Newark, New Jersey, to revitalize our notorious notchback. Motor City has customized several Mustangs that have graced the covers and pages of MM&FF, and having to visit the shop for tech articles also gives us a good excuse to head downtown for a quality, Rodizio-style dinner. For those who are unaware, Rodizio is an all-you-can-eat barbecue where the waiters bring skewers of meat cooked to perfection and sliced right at the table.

Anyway, our plan is not to overindulge on meat, but to completely disassemble, paint, and reassemble Frightning. First we'll have to repair what has been abused, and then we can slap on some shiny, stylin' paint.

While we haven't quite decided what Frightning's new look will be, the early polls suggest something in Silver. We're considering going with the '86 GT appear-ance, but we're also considering some stripes or flames. We haven't completely ruled out going hog wild on it either, so check back in the next couple of issues to see how Frightning goes from scuff to shine with the help of Motor City Auto Body.

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