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My car is an 1989 LX 5.0 five-speed Mustang that I bought a few years back. It was in pretty rough shape for $1,500 with 173,000 miles on it. I believe I am the fifth owner, and it now has 181,000 miles. When I purchased it, the driver-side quarter panel had been damaged. It also had several broken lenses and no exhaust from the catalytic converters back, but it was still clean overall and ran excellent.
With some investigative work, I tracked down the third owner, Karl, who owned it for 9 years, and coincidently lives about 15 miles from me. Rumor has it my Fox’s original owner was a local celebrity. Karl told me, in his 9 years of owning the Mustang, he babied it like I do today. There wasn’t a scratch on it when he parted with it. He had installed 16-inch, polished Cobra R wheels; welded-in subframe connectors; and upgraded the rearend with 31-spline axles, a 3.73 gear set, and an Eaton Traction Lok. He also installed lowering springs, caster/camber plates, and Hotchkis adjustable shocks.
Unfortunately, it seems like the next two owners after Karl didn’t take the same pride that I do when it comes to owning a Mustang. I bought it and immediately started with the detailing. I had the quarter panel repaired, and my dad, Bob, buffed and polished the rest of the car and it began to take shape. I bought a staggered set of 17-inch chrome Cobra R wheels, wrapped in new Toyo tires. I wanted a lower stance, so I purchased and installed a set of Eibach Sportline springs. The car still had no exhaust, and with an emissions test approaching, I bought a Flowmaster American Thunder after-cat.
Turning my attention to the interior, I bought a pair of Corbeau GTS seats, a Momo Tuner steering wheel with red stitching, an Autometer dual A-pillar gauge pod and Cobalt gauges, a Ford Racing leather/brushed-aluminum shift knob, and new floor mats. Outside, I had a Boss cowl hood color-matched, along with some other frontend paint work done by my buddy Jason, who runs a local automotive body shop.
I can proudly say I’m happy with how the car sits today after all of my hard work. Future plans include a Kenny Brown rollcage, a Florida 5.0 gauge cluster with Auto Meter Cobalt gauges, a Tremec six-speed transmission, and a 347ci stroker engine. I also plan to have a complete new paint job (same stock color), with the engine bay smoothed out.
This 5.0L is a blast to drive and turns some heads every now and then. I may have other muscle cars come and go, but this one is here to stay.