Daniels Paint and Body in Pincard, Alabama, initially applied the Black Cherry Pearl paint
Horse Sense: Edgar Negron is retired military from the 98th Army Band, but still works civilian duty at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, in tech supply. He actually towed his GT from his Enterprise, Alabama, home to our Tampa offices for this photo shoot.
You haven't lived until you relieve someone else of their rolling piece of junk-although sometimes they barely roll, right? When you get it home, your friends and family question your sanity-probably rightly so. Many times you're the only one who can envision the finished product, and that's OK. You have a dream of what the car will become, and the fact that others don't share that vision is fine. We use the phrases "What the heck is that?" and "What were you thinking?" as motivation to get the car done.
While it may take some of us years to turn automotive into a rolling masterpiece, it took only a few months for Edgar Negron to take this '86 GT from ugly to the dragstrip.
Since Edgar was young, he always wanted to have a car with big 'n' littles, meaning a car with big tires out back and pizza-cutters up front. This look took on a whole new personality when the Fox Mustangs hit the streets. Fortunately for Edgar, he came of driving age during the Fox era. "When I entered the Army in 1984, I saved enough money to buy a car," Edgar says. Though it wasn't a Mustang, it was the closest Fox family member in the form of an '84 Capri RS. "From then on, I started to modify and learn about Fox bodies." By 1996, the Capri was a stunner with a GT-40 long-block capable of running 12.50s at 105 mph.
On his way back from selling a set of M&Hs to a friend, using the Capri as the delivery vehicle, Edgar was rear-ended by a dump truck while sitting at a light, which everyone knows can't be good. Sure enough, the damage was extensive enough to total the Capri. "Talk about being mad," Edgar says. However, he settled with his insurance company, bought back the Capri, and picked up the '86 GT you see here. "The body was sound, but the paint was horrible. The engine had high miles with a bad tranny, and the A/C wasn't working," Edgar says. When he got the GT home, its arrival wasn't welcomed with open arms. Edgar's wife, Christina, had a few choice words for the car, but they were met with those of reassurance from Edgar, saying he would make it look good in just a few months' time.
To stay true to his word, the energetic Edgar took the good parts of the Capri and added them to the GT. The first thing to be transferred was the '93 GT front suspension Edgar had added to the Capri. "I was done at 3 a.m.," he says. The next day, the Capri's newly fitted 8.8 was hung under the GT, along with a rebuilt T5 transmission. Each day brought with it the swap of various components from the Capri to the GT. "Once all that was done, I took the car to have it painted," Edgar says. He even offered to let Christina pick the color. Edgar wanted to paint the GT black, but Christina said that black was too boring. She did like Black Cherry Pearl, and once Edgar saw it, he liked it, too. The car was done on May 16, 1996.
That day, Edgar picked up the car from the body shop, went to the house, added the skinnies up front, loaded the toolbox, and went straight to the track with a fresh paint job. The fresh paint must have made the GT slicker than the Capri because he ran the same 12.50, but at 107 mph-2 mph faster than the Capri. "I was happy with that," Edgar says.
With such a good start, any further improvements were miniscule in comparison to the GT's rebuild. Other factors hampering its performance ascent included family needs, Edgar's military status, and the fact the car was still his daily driver.