When it comes to late-model Mustangs, the Fox-body coupe-or notchback-model has to be one of the most popular. More four-cylinder trunk models have given up their bodies for V-8 conversions than any other body style, and if you check the classifieds, 5.0-liter-powered notchbacks bring in big money.
Matt Guida of Land O' Lakes, Florida, knew right from the get-go that the coupe was the hot model to have, so he picked up a brand-new one on May 1, 1992. The black beauty was equipped with a 5.0-liter engine, a five-speed manual gearbox, and Pony wheels. Matt was there when it rolled off the car carrier.
"I was about to graduate [high school] and convinced my Mom to co-sign the loan," Matt says. "I went to college right after that, and it stayed stock for about 10,000 miles." The following summer, Matt went to work for his brother at a local dealership in the body shop. "Every time I got paid I went to the speed shops for parts," he says.
The original 302ci powerplant...
The original 302ci powerplant gave way to something with a bit more torque and longevity. The S-Trim is on its way out in trade for a T-Trim version of the Vortech huffer.
Though this Pony has been...
Though this Pony has been shod with several wheel and tire combinations, its latest look utilizes lightweight BBS RKs that measure 18x8.5 inches up front and 18x10 out back. Sumitomo supplied the rubber; 245/40/18 radials up front and 285/30/18s in the rear.
Avoiding the trend of putting...
Avoiding the trend of putting on huge wings and such, this Mustang's owner went with a subtle wing from the '93 special-edition convertible Mustangs.
Matt's first purchases were the obligatory K&N high-flow filter and a pair of three-chamber Flowmaster mufflers-and, of course, it snowballed from there. While performance mods like Edelbrock's Performer intake manifold and PN 6025 cylinder heads, E303 camshaft, and 3.55 gears were making his Pony gallop faster and upping the fun factor, Matt took advantage of his summer employment in the paint and body department to add custom stripes to the car. "It started with House of Kolor blue-to-purple fade stripes," he says. "It has had three different hoods, different sets of rims, tires, and stereos."
As Matt's experience with tuner shops grew, unreliable work led him to start doing many of his mods at home. "When I graduated college, I got a job and soon after bought a house," Matt says. "I was fed up with the substandard work that some of the shops I had been going to were doing. Now that I had a garage, I decided to do the entire car over myself." Everything except the paint, that is, which Matt's brother Frank handled at his auto body shop. The factory black hue was duplicated with PPG base and clearcoats, and Matt changed the Le Mans-style racing stripes to silver. As polished as the outside looked, things were starting to get serious under the hood.
Matt purchased an assembled 351 Windsor short-block of '71 vintage. The stock bore and stroke were disregarded, as the Eagle forged crankshaft and H-beam connecting rods took the stroke to 3.75 inches and the JE pistons knocked the bore out to 4.030 inches for a total displacement of 383 ci. A Crane Cams roller valvetrain conversion was installed along with a custom hydraulic roller camshaft from said grinder. Duration checks in at 228/234 degrees while lift is 0.558/0.564 inch, and the lobe separation spans 114 degrees.
With only 50,000 miles on...
With only 50,000 miles on the ticker, this Mustang's interior is in great shape. "If I had known back when I bought the car that there would be so many aftermarket seats available in black, I would have gotten the black interior," Matt says.
Once he caught the road-racing...
Once he caught the road-racing bug, Matt swapped out the Mustang's stock and relatively unsupportive seats for these Cobra seats.
With the 9.5-inch deck height...
With the 9.5-inch deck height of the Windsor engine, Matt needed some extra hood clearance and found it with a Cervini's 4-inch cowl-induction-style fiberglass hood. "I've done everything to that car three times," Matt says. The final result of all those changes is close to perfection.
The bumpstick is charged with actuating the valves in a set of Canfield aluminum cylinder heads, which breathe through a Trick Flow TFS-R intake manifold, a 70mm Accufab throttle body, and an 83mm Pro-M mass air meter.
If the extra cubes from the Windsor weren't enough to fulfill the seat-of-the-pants thrill, then the Vortech supercharger would do the trick. The S-Trim unit was set up for 10 psi of boost. Supplying the ample airflow with an appropriate amount of fuel is a modified Cartech Renegade fuel system that consists of twin Pierburg 255-lph fuel pumps, a 12-gallon fuel cell, two -8 braided stainless steel supply lines, and 50-lb/hr injectors.
An MSD 6AL and Blaster coil, as well as an Accel EFI distributor, were chosen to light off the combustible mixture. Once the pistons have been forced downward, the exhaust exits through MAC 1.75-inch long-tube headers, a 3-inch ProChamber midpipe, and finally out a MAC 3-inch after-cat system.