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.
No doubt due to a lot of help from Edgar's son Cheo (Little Edgar) and friends Carlos, Dav
While stationed in Korea in 1997, Edgar ordered an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, a pair of Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads from Panhandle Performance, and a Nitrous Works nitrous system. When he returned stateside in 1998, he bought a truck for a daily driver and started in with "heavy" mods on the GT. Out came the GT-40 long-block, and in went a 347 with the aforementioned top-end components. The rebuilt T5 was relieved of its duties in favor of a Transmatic Transmission's C4. In that form, the GT ran in the 10.80s at 125 mph-until 2001, when Edgar jetted-up the nitrous to 225 hp with catastrophic results.
Making sure that would never happen again, Edgar stepped up to a Ford Racing Performance Parts R302 block. Compression came in at a power-making 11:1, and Panhandle Performance designed a custom hydraulic-roller cam for the combo. These changes resulted in 10s at more than 135 mph, still with the untouched Twisted Wedge heads.
In January 2006, it wasn't the block disintegrating: This time around, crankshaft failure derailed further track time. Pilcher Automotive, Edgar's machinist of choice, checked the block and said it was OK, but he suggested installing new sleeves. Edgar saw this as an opportunity to go big, so the bores were taken out to 4.125 inches to arrive at 363 ci. Joe Crain then treated the Twisted Wedge heads and Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake to a long-overdue port job. A Cam Motion solid-roller stick went inside, along with a set of 13:1 Ross pistons.
To make sure he legally runs 9s, Edgar's GT utilizes an S&W 10-point rollcage while safely
The first time at the track with this new combo resulted in an 11.02 at 124 mph on muscle alone. Using an NOS cross-plate for the nitrous system, the GT blacktracked to a 9.81 at 139 mph.
Edgar says he had to lift three times on the pass. To remedy that issue, he had G&S Custom Fab and Suspension in Athens, Alabama, mini-tub the car, allowing for bigger meats out back. At the track, Edgar's friend Jimmy Dickerson set up the suspension and said, "It's either going to run or go on the bumper."
Jimmy was right on both accounts because the GT laid down a 1.40 60-foot time and almost went on the bumper, too. Edgar had to pedal it twice in route to a 9.73 at 139 mph. His incremental times suggested a 9.60 pass, but the pedaling kept the car in the 9.70s.
As part of Edgar's most recent changes, he added an Induction Solutions fogger system, and he knew the car liked the fogger right off the bat. On his first pass, he shut it down at the eighth-mile mark, and his 6.10 at 114.50 mph get-acquainted hit was more than 0.2 quicker and 3 mph faster than his previous eighth-mile best. After checking the plugs to make sure the air/fuel was on point, Edgar let it fly all the way to the big end and was rewarded with a 9.53 at 143 mph. For those scoring at home, that's 0.2 and 4 mph better than his previous setup.
There are two lessons we can learn from Edgar's story. First, when someone questions your sanity because you brought home a junker, show them Edgar's GT. Edgar has once again shown us that crusher candidates can be revived. Second, this story tells us to go big-or go home.
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine And DrivetrainBlock
FRPP R302, bored to 4.125 inRotating Assembly
Eagle 3.40-stroke crankshaft and H-beam connecting rods, Ross pistons, Total Seal piston rings, Pro Race SFI balancerDisplacement
Cam Motion solid-roller, Morel lifters, Manton three-piece hardened pushrods Heads
Trick Flow Twisted Wedge, Joe Crain-ported, Comp Cams valvesprings, titanium retainers, 54cc chambers, FRPP 1.6 roller rockers, Probe stud girdle, Cometic head gaskets, Doug Lee-fabricated valve coversIntake
Edelbrock Victor Jr., Joe Crain-portedCarburetor
Pro Systems IV 780-cfm 4-bblPower Adder
Induction Solutions (Steve Johnson) 250hp fogger nitrous systemExhaust
Kooks 17/8-in long-tube headers, custom 3-in X-shape crossover, DynoMax Ultra Flo mufflersTransmission
C4, Performance Automatic transbrake, PTC stall converter w/FRPP aluminum driveshaftRearend
8.8, 3.73 gears, Strange Engineering 33-spline axles, C-clip eliminators, and lightweight spool
IgnitionMSD 6AL, digital retard box and two-step
Suspension And Chassis
QA-1 tubular, stock A-armsSprings
Afco 14-in long, 150-lb/in coiloverStruts
Strange Engineering 10-way adjustableCaster/Camber
QA-1 12-in, 130-lb/in coiloverShocks
QA-1 single adjustableTraction Devices
UPR Products adjustable upper and lower control arms, antiroll barBrakes
Mickey Thompson ET Street radialsChassis Stiffening
S&W 10-point 'cage