SPECS
Horsepower
736 HP
Torque
679 LB-FT
Curb Weight
3560 LB
Drivetrain
Rear Wheel Drive
Engine Size
5.3 L
Transmission Type
Manual
MPG (City/Highway)
17 MPG
VEHICLE STORY

 This car appeared out of thin air to my eyes one day many many years ago. I was stopping by a local and familiar performance shop in Tampa Florida (Coastal Dyno Chassis), that specializes in modular builds, to introduce a friend of mine who was looking to sell his very low mileage and nicely modded 05' GT. While there I noticed a red 04 terminator coiled up and sleeping in the corner of the lot. I always draw eyes to mustangs but having then recently sold my built and naturally aspirated 97' Cobra (my second owned snake in life) I couldn't avert my gaze.   The shop owner caught my laser stare and mentioned that it was for sale and knowing me said it was a shoe in. He then went ahead and gave the back story of how an older retired guy bought the car originally and brought it to him with a wish list (which turned out to be a part of the guys bucket list) of work. Most of the work focused on the engine and supporting modifications. He stroked the engine, installed forged internals, aggressive comp blower cam, full exhaust, whipple, fuel/cooling/etc. Suspension was mostly left alone except for the front coil overs, k member, and rear progressive springs with wider oem type wheels to support wider tires. Although he was able to enjoy the car it turned out the owner was diagnosed with cancer and ultimately the car returned to the dealership after he passed (Brandon Ford). The performance shop owner had a dealer license as well as consulted for the dealership and resecured the car. That is how it ended up in his lot (or rather back there). After hearing the story I left that day with the car on my mind but brushed the brain drool aside. 2 weeks later that same friend sent me a picture of that Cobra in his driveway! ><. Instead of selling his GT he traded the car with some additional money and bought the red snake (she had about 50k on her then)! I laughed about the relating fever and congratulated him. Over the next few years I ended up taking care of the car as he was both still in the service and eventually also went through a divorce. Since the car would have otherwise sat (I remember stopping by his house one time and noticed lower air pressure in one of the tires with a settled flat spot!) I would start her up time to time, bring her to work once a while, provide it service (I was a third generation wrench turner, but by hobby for me) and kept her in the garage. He did do a nice brushed aluminum accent to the cars interior (shifter, ebrake, locks, cigarette plug, door handles, etc.) and added a yellow top optima. As a few years passed he mentioned wanting to sell it, which at this point I was more of an owner than he was as a surrogate lol! The car was already inscribed in me by being with it so long, so when he gave me a number I took him up on it. Still in the Florida sun I re did the tints professionally and then systematically started going through the car as I drove it regularly for a good 10k miles. The road eventually brought me back home up north. I did reach a brief critical point in whether to sell the car or go through the headache of reverting all of the removed emissions (egr, cats, and so on), but I did find a third option which was being able to qualify the car as a collector through providing the svt certificate and low driving mileage.   Although the car isn't my daily driver for the past few years it is an absolute pleasure to drive. I more recently replaced the clutch with a spec 3+, found out it already had a 26 spline input shaft, and completed the pack with a billett flywheel and pressure plate. I fixed a leaking rear diff while also installing a tilt boogie cover and at that point went ahead and did the entire rear with delrin bushings. This update to the rear with an added rear strut brace, and updated bilsteins, really reeled in the direct behavior of the cars ass, whether I turn the NT05's to dance or throttle up out of an Apex, the car is much improved and predictable. More recently a TIG Vision intercooler was installed in the spare tire well to further shift weight to the rear. I also had the car recently at Wicked Motorsports (Kevin is awesome and runs a terrific shop!) for an updated dyno tune, a general checkup via boroscope, and got two JLT catch cans installed and moved the battery to the rear.  One interesting fact on the car. When I first popped my head inside the car I noticed a signature on the dashboard. It turns out Jack Roush signed it during an event, along with a bunch of other Fords in the Brandon dealership back in 04'. Checkout the picture. I will get more worthy pictures on as time goes.  This car offers a visceral experience when driving, with minimal comforts, but it is most enjoyable with the windows down, and the radio off. It seems mustangs are argueably more in the sport car class lately. This snake may feel like piloting a B52 comparatively, it is however definitely a muscle car.    Although the exhaust was already on the car when I bought it, but I would say an exhaust system in general is the biggest initial bang for the buck here. Driving pleasure is partial to the sound of these modulars.  Selecting parts for this cars build follows the formula of first having driven it to familiarize and then being honest about what I wanted the car for. This is the fun day car for me. I never thought it was a good track car the way it is. The front is heavy, the suspension is dated although not archaic, and the blower would become heat soaked regardless of how much attention I give to improving it. As for the strip, well, I got used to hitting the scene with my friend and his 93' lx forged 408 Windsor courtesy 300 progressive shot through a powerglide (I do commit wrench time!). Maybe I should throw on some MT's and row mine down the strip.   I do plan on pulling the floor insulation and door covers to add some insulation and mitigate resonance a little. So far the car has had no major challenges.   Ok, enough scribbling. There are a ton of cars on here I'm going to read up on and check out!

Discuss this build

[]Adm PR

Well the page keeps refreshing and I'm too tired at this point to rewrite the full impromptu visit to the drag strip story with a close friend again. In short we both did 3 hot laps before the strip closed, on street tires (good lord), very very close runs (he has a C5 with a hot cam, bolt-on's, tuned LS7 heart, and other goodies), had a real enjoyable time, and I've now attached a picture showing the weight of the rear wheel with the new NT05r I decided to upgrade to lol. 60.8 lbs!! 29.9 tire/30.9 for the 17" wheel! I am still partial to the drag strip dedicated power glide fox body we share (I will get pictures up of it on wheel well), so as I've written previously, this isn't a regulatory procedure for this car. It was a ton of fun though. I will reserve the embarrassment and not post a picture of the time slips because as my good mechanic and friend told me, who drag races professionally (well use to more than now), "From the slip it reads like you guys casually rolled out, looked at each other and then punched it like a roll race lighting the remaining 2/3rds on fire." lmao. I will say both our mph in the end were deep in the 120's, but wow were first, second even a little part of third gear a ridiculous peddle game. So, now tires ;)

[]Adm PR

I'm glad I decided not to run her at the strip last year. The ye 'ol foxbody is getting restored for drag duties and with it's setup including the glide there's no reason to beat the hell out of the snake out of a 1/4 hole. I did change out the headlights which were due for a refresh. Remaining goals for her, although pricey, are to repaint the entire car, upgrade to a gen 5 3.0 whipple, and further improve the front suspension (replace Bilsteins with coil overs, control arms, ball joints). She's doing just fine these days. I am really getting back into track racing again (see FRS write up), and may consider parting with her. Regardless, I want to make sure the car is always top notch. I posted some pictures of the old vs new headlights as well as the tig vision intercooler in the spare tire well. It currently supplies additional coolant as you can see the tank is still utilized in the engine bay. I might adjust the plumbing if I change the blower.

[]Adm PR

I've decided to set her up for a run at the strip this spring (not too much to do. A good set of DR's, maybe a line lock). I will post the experience and results! This will be her first time (not mine ;)!

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