Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsProject Vehicles
The First (and Probably Last) Comprehensive Guide To Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords Project Cars
Pieces, Parts, and Performance
The year 2006 will mark the 18th anniversary of Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords. During its nearly two decades of existence, the magazine has seen more than its share of project cars come and go.
Some were true successes; some weren't. Some were stolen; others never lived up to their potential. We've had a few that spilled their guts on the track in the name of low elapsed time, and others that have held up to daily driving as well as track torture for years.
Whether you liked them or not, we went through the archives to dig up every cool car, truck, and/or lame-brained idea that we felt was recognizable. We had to access some rather unused brain cells to remember a few, as well as many of the details regarding them. We've listed them here in chronological order and given them a brief history and a report card of sorts to sum up the project.
Project vehicles have been an integral part of MM&FF's history as they have allowed us to test the numerous aspects of high-performance parts, and we pledge to further beat on our machines in the name of product scrutiny for years to come.
Official MM&FF Project Cars
Project Name: Excalibur
Car: '87 Mustang LX
Timeline: April 1992-July 1999
Goal: Project mule for late-model Mustang speed parts when the market was still in its infancy. Some of the legendary parts we use today were first seen in print on this car.
Result: First magazine project Mustang that was a legitimate street car to go in the 10s.
Best Performance: 10.21/131 mph
Biggest mistake: High compression with a supercharger on pump gas; others too numerous to mention (like low-buck retreaded radials).
Best move: Lowering the compression. Proving you could have a truly bad-ass, daily driver Mustang.
Many remember former Tech Editor John Hunkins' black and chrome LX with its cheapo red vinyl interior. Hunkins ordered the car as a stripped-out model to save weight. We're sure he earned a few gray hairs from the project, and it was a track-only car in the end, but to date, Excalibur remains MM&FF's quickest project car.
Project Name: Pit Bull
Car: '83 Mustang GT
Timeline: December 1994-February 2000
Goal: Low-buck buildup of a carbureted Mustang GT.
Result: An amazingly fun car to drive that cost little to build.
Best Performance: 13.00/105 mph
Biggest mistake: Starting with a completely used-up T-top Mustang. Even with subframe connectors, we all thought parts were going to fall off every time we powershifted it.
Best move: Replacing stock exhaust system with headers and true dual exhaust; using Weiand Stealth intake; proving then-Tech Editor Hunkins completely wrong about carbureted performance.
This was the epitome of el-cheapo speed. We even reworked the factory emissions carb for maximum go. Too bad we started with such a pile.