Most of the time, this magazine is full of Mustangs showered with more money than a billionaire heiress. Some of the Mustangs we've featured have more than $80,000 invested in them. Exactly 10 percent of that amount has been put into Scott Lehr's '85 LX coupe, but it runs 10s at more than 127 mph, so we think the car has earned its rightful place in front of your eyes. No, it isn't the prettiest Mustang, but that's OK. Keep polishing that A/C bracket-Scott's budget didn't even include one.
As is the case with many featured Mustangs, the story of Scott's coupe doesn't start with the car. Before this coupe, he had a Bright Atlantic Blue '98 Cobra boasting a ProCharger. He raced the Cobra regularly to the tune of 11.60s, but with his buddy Andrew "Krimpet" Bauer at the wheel, 11.40s were the norm. This was in the spring of 2001 at the Superstallions of the Net Nats event (www.superstallions.com), and during the summer Scott made a few changes to the Cobra and planned to throw Krimpet the keys at the Superstallions fall Nats. Krimpet had his own Cobra, but it wasn't as fast as Scott's. As we all know, it's much more fun to race someone else's car.
But Krimpet had to sell his Cobra to pay bills, and Scott set out to throw together a cheap car Krimpet could race in the fall. Since Scott knows his way around Mustangs like the back of his hand, he knew he could build something fun for a small investment. He picked up an '81 Mustang coupe and dropped in a junkyard 351 truck engine, along with other performance bargains obtained through Track Toys Racing and Superstallions members.
Meanwhile, Krimpet's financial situation turned for the better, and he picked up a '96 Mystic Cobra. But once Krimpet came off the green to buy the Cobra, there was little left for modifications so the work on the coupe continued. Before the Superstallions fall Nats, Krimpet was killed while driving his Mystic Cobra. Unfortunately, the event took on a memorial feel with Krimpet's passing, but in true Mustang spirit, the drag racing continued so Krimpet could enjoy it as well.
Filling Krimpet's shoes was left to Scott's good friend Joe Andrews, and the coupe ran in the 12s all day. Soon after, a nitrous kit joined the party and Joe was running mid-11s. Scott discovered how much fun could be had with the car, so he took over driving duties. A chance Wal-Mart parking-lot encounter spelled even more fun. Scott was on the way home from another track outing, and a fellow racer noticed the car on the trailer. The two struck up a conversation. "I was looking for a new engine and the guy had one for sale," Scott says. Turns out, the guy had a 388ci Windsor and a Performance Automatic C4 transmission, and both needed a new home.
A deal was struck, the new combo found its way into the coupe, and Scott found his way to the dragstrip where he was rewarded with 10.90s. But he learned the old coupe was way past its prime, and the newfound power wasn't helping the situation. Scott and his friend Bill Tumas began looking for a new chassis capable of handling the Windsor's power, and NMRA Drag Radial racer Alex Vrettos had exactly what they needed with the '85 LX coupe seen here. The car's best selling point was its rollcage. Bill bought the old coupe, and Scott set about dropping the combo into the new coupe.
This explains the hood's paint discrepancy-Scott painted it himself. And Bill Tumas worked at CJ Pony Parts so any extras were just a phone call away. With the various odds and ends tied up, the car was ready for the track. "The new chassis worked wonders for the combo," Scott says. The car ran off-the-trailer 10.70s, but once ironed out it was solidly in the 10.50s at 127 mph. It might be a good idea to make sure your local Wal-Mart doesn't prohibit parking-lot loitering.
Horse Sense: Herbert Performance provided the cam residing in Scott's 388ci Windsor. Herbert Performance is owned by NHRA Top Fuel racer Doug Herbert, who enjoyed his best Top Fuel points finish (sixth) in 2005.
Scott Lehr's '85 coupe isn't...
Scott Lehr's '85 coupe isn't much to look at, but a pretty face wasn't the goal. The hood looks more like gelcoat than Ford Oxford White, and those poor Weld Draglites could use a good polish. But they're pretty enough to help the car run 10s, so we'll shut up.
We've never gone to Wal-Mart...
We've never gone to Wal-Mart looking for a built Windsor, but that's exactly where Scott found the Martin Racing Engines-built 388ci can of humble pie, along with a Performance Automatic C4 transmission. With 4.30 gears in the 8.8, the combo is good for mid-10s at more than 127 mph. It doesn't bother us that the UPR Products caster/camber plates contain the lost underhood bling.
What else do you need besides...
What else do you need besides a seat, a steering wheel, an Auto Meter tach and shift light, and a B&M shifter to run 10s? Obviously, nothing-but the dash has been updated to '87-'93 specs, which in our book is a shade nicer than the '85-'86 dash.