"Without a doubt, the hardest...
"Without a doubt, the hardest decision was choosing the car's color," Mike says. He knew he wanted a two-tone paintjob, but he couldn't decide on the colors. Mike's friend Matt Hamby put him in touch with Dwayne Stiles-hey, we know that guy-whose puzzle paint-schemed coupe graced the pages of this magazine when Dwayne competed in our King of the Street competition a few years back. After going back and forth, Dwayne came up with his own choice of colors: Sikkens black and gray with a silver pinstripe to break up the two main colors. "Everybody that looks at it loves it," Mike says.
Much like the '32 Ford, the Tri-Five Chevy, and the '69 Camaro before it, the Fox Mustang helped define our generation. Coming of age in the late '80s/early '90s, we couldn't wait for the new Motley Crue or Metallica cassette. We had a Member's Only jacket and a jean jacket in the same closet, and wearing one or the other depended strictly on our mood. We had the coolest haircut known to man-at least, we thought we did. Looking back, not so much. We tight-rolled our jeans and wore Vans before they were old-school. We went to junior high, not middle school. No matter the tortuous tactic, we'll never ever admit to owning parachute pants or a zipper shirt.
And if you were to ask us what car we wanted, that answer was pretty easy: a "five-oh" Mustang.
Mike Kangiser probably doesn't know much about all that, but his sons do. You see, Mike is a little older than the Fox Generation, hence the "Geezer" nickname. It's Mike's two sons that fit the Fox demographic. Mike's like the Fox Generation's sugardaddy.
Mike found this car in Jersey-just a black '90 GT with a red interior. However, it had a 331 with a Paxton Novi 2000 supercharger, and it made 574 hp to the wheels. For most of us, that would be plenty to rock our mullets. Wait, we cut those off years ago...right? "Although the car had been well maintained and garaged," Mike says, "it just wasn't exactly what I wanted." We know Mike didn't think it at the time, but those words set in motion a total rebuild.
"The first issue was the engine compartment," Mike says. Even though the combo made good power, its show presence left a lot to be desired. Out came the engine so the compartment could be sanded, smoothed, and painted. While the engine was out, most everything was sent out for chroming or polishing. The cam was also changed, and new Jon Kaase Racing Engines-ported Edelbrock Victor Jr. heads found their way onto the short-block. "As you can see," Mike says, "this quickly got out of hand."
During this time, Mike talked several times with legendary racer Tim Lynch about the wonders of turbochargers. "I had some lengthy discussions with Tim," Mike says, "He took a lot of time to explain the theory of turbos, and the advantages and disadvantages of having them on a street car." The guys from Proline Racing Engines were also involved in these discussions. Consequently, having had all the Novi parts polished, he sold the blower and bought the current Turbonetics twin turbochargers. "The first thing I did was send them and the wastegates out for polishing," Mike says. Since a turbocharged combination is better suited to an automatic, the GT's Tremec transmission was also sold and replaced with a Powerglide unit.
Next up, Mike's oldest son, Michael, couldn't take the red interior. (Don't blame you one bit, Michael-Ed.) After a lot of searching, Mike found all the necessary pieces to convert to a black interior. Mike found a black dash and console, the quarter-trim pieces, and more than one set of black door panels to arrive at the perfect pair. The back seat was deleted altogether, while a pair of Corbeau seats supplanted the stock couches. Tony Upshaw Interiors performed the redo, which also included parts and pieces from Florida 5.0, Grant, Painless Wiring, and more. "The final piece to the puzzle was a Bell Chassis & Fabrication 10-point rollcage," Mike says.