1989 Mustang GT
We always try to get a worthy Fox Mustang into the KOTS, and this year doing so was pretty difficult. Michael Davenport has been trying to get his Fox GT into the competition, so this year we extended the invitation to him to see what his car was all about.
The paint on Michael's GT is second to none, but frankly we weren't big fans of the car's overall styling. Plus, in the photos he sent to us, the car boasted Lambo doors and diamond-plated floormats. We could maybe look past the Lambo doors if they were left down, but he had to leave the diamond-plated floormats back home in Texas. He was cool with that so we told him to bring it.
With a single-turbocharged 331, we really didn't know what to expect from the car performance-wise, but we were willing to find out. The car didn't have a cage, and it was all Fox, all the time. Since the car was a devoid of a 'cage, we didn't think it would make waves on the dyno or on the track. Coming in, we knew the car's primary use was on the show field--most show cars don't make power, and they're certainly not that quick at the dragstrip. We would be half-right about those assumptions.
Without a cage, Michael's GT started out the drive on a good note. The presence of Cobra seats continued that trend. Stock seatbelts, Auto Meter gauges in a stock-style cluster kept the hits going, as did an awesome stereo. A Pro-5.0 shifter connected to a Viper-spec T56 made us wonder why we didn't choose Michael's car sooner. Sometimes driving is believing.
The Cobra brakes worked extremely well. Unfortunately, a Fox-Mustang chassis isn't as compliant as later-model Mustangs, especially the S197 chassis, so it's hard for a Fox car to rule the drive portion. Michael's GT was a bit bumpy, which is a byproduct of an aging Fox. The car didn't have much foot room, and the driver-side kick panel wasn't securely fastened, either. Michael's car was truly a mixed bag from a driving standpoint. The car was tight, but the bumpy suspension and various vibrations detracted from the overall driving experience.
Overall, Michael's GT exceeded our expectations. No one imagined the car would make 989 hp to score an 8 in the Dyno segment. However, that number didn't translate over to the dragstrip, as the car was only able to muster an 11.768--but at a ridiculous 141 mph--to score a 3 in that category. The chassis kept the car from scoring high in the Ride and Drive with a 7 in that category. With a couple questionable exterior mods, Editor Turner gave the car a 7 in the Fit and Finish category, while Tech Editor Jones gave the car a promising 8 in the Engineering category. For the Popular Vote, we always know a Fox Mustang will do well. The Fox Mustang still holds a special place in Mustang fans' hearts, and that fact was further proved with Michael's car scoring a 7 in that category, as well.
Engine and Drivetrain
FRPP Boss 302 w/D.S.S. Racing Level 20 prep-work
D.S.S. Racing steel crankshaft w/Eagle H-Beam connecting rods, Twisted Wedge Pro-X pistons, and Sealed Power plasma-moly piston rings
AFR 205 with 2.02/1.60 valves, Crane Gold roller rockers, and Comp Cams valvesprings
Comp Cams custom
EFI Super Spyder
Modified Garrett GT45R single turbocharger w/HP Performance intercooler
Viper-spec T56 w/SPEC Stage 3-Plus clutch, Pro-5.0 shifter, and D&D aluminum driveshaft
8.8 w/31-spline Traction-Lok, Moser axles, and 3.73 gears
HP Performance manifolds and Bassani Xhaust side-exit exhaust
Twin Bosch fuel pumps w/Aeromotive fuel lines, Edelbrock Super Victor fuel rails, 120-lb/hr injectors, and Aeromotive regulator
Ignition AEM w/LS1 coils, MSD spark plug wires, and NGK spark plugs
Gauges Auto Meter