It takes a very strong, patient, and determined person to start a project car and see it through to completion.
Terry and Julie Allen of North East, Pennsylvania, are two such people who have done this time and again. But this Fox isn't just any old Mustang. It is, in fact, an '84 5.0 T-top coupeùa very rare find.
The Allens knew from the beginning that they wanted a T-top coupe, and spent two years searching before finally coming across one in Oxford White for sale in 2007. It had been posted online by a man in Connecticut, who apparently wanted the car for himself, but upon further inspection, realized he had bitten off more than he could chew.
"It was actually in a salvage yard, going to be destroyed," explains Julie Allen. "Luckily, this young guy saw it and knew what it was." That young guy sent the Allens some pictures and information, and they instantly made up their minds. When they arrived to see the car the following day, they realized they had their work cut out for them. Julie described it in one wordùgone. With most of the car plagued by rust and decay, the Mustang's only salvageable parts were a quarter-panel and the T-top roof.
"We knew what we were getting ourselves into," Julie explained, laughing. "So we loaded up the trailer." The couple decided early on to do as much work as possible on their own so they could focus the majority of the budget on the powerplant.
The first step was overhauling the body. They decided on a factory Wild Strawberry hue and a Boss Pro-Cowl hood from Boss Incorporated to make their Stang stand out. While Julie and Terry painted the car themselves at home, they enlisted the help of Phil Palmer of Vicious Paint and Body in Erie, Pennsylvania, who painted the matte-black stripe on the hood with the unique LX marking. He also airbrushed phantom flames on the underside of the hood.
They decided to replace the "5.0" and "Mustang LX" badges on the fenders and rear of the car with vinyl decals, and covered it with seven layers of clearcoat to make it smooth to the touch. The Allens really wanted a low-key look as far as the engine was concerned, so they opted to powdercoat everything they could, and use paint to color-match everything elseùand they did it all on their own.
Charles Sanner of The Upholstery Barn in North East, Pennsylvania, reupholstered the interior. The couple decided on two-tone grey leather with custom door panels and VDO gauges. Although Terry and Julie had added an Auto Weld Chassis and Components mini-tub kit, Julie still wanted the car to have a back seat, so they made it work. "Being able to have a back seat with mini-tubs is really cool." Terry custom-made a "street" rollbar for the car, as well as custom through-the-floor subframe connectors.
To give this Mustang a mean stance, they brought the wheels to two local shops and had the rear wheels widened from 10 to 12 inches and the front wheels narrowed from 9 to 8 inches.
The couple decided on a twin-turbo setup at the beginning of their project, but because they couldn't find a system they liked, they fabricated their own using 57mm turbochargers and homemade headers. They knew their bottom end had to be able to handle up to 20 pounds of boost, so they decided on a DSS Racing-assembled 331ci short-block using an FRPP Boss 302 block as the base for the build. The top-end consists of Ford Racing's Z304 aluminum cylinder heads, a GT-40 intake, and an FRPP F303 camshaft, which handles valve actuation. Fred Brown Performance Racing Transmissions of Bay Shore, New York, built the AOD transmission for the Fox.
While Terry and Julie Allen did almost all of the work themselves, they are quick to thank those who helped them build their beloved coupe. Kevin Cragon, owner of TI Dyno in Ashtabula, Ohio, and David Dalke of SuperCoupes "were a huge help," explains Julie. The Allens also thank their friends for all of their support, and their daughters, Leslie and Lindsey, who each own a Cobra, for "putting up with all of this."
Julie explained that throughout the build, sometimes it got tough.
"We thought, 'Well, we need to try and do this ourselves.' We had lots of screw-ups, but we kept plugging away." We're glad they did, and we're sure they are too. They have this beautiful and unique Fox to show for it.