"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.
Bell Chassis' Joey Bell and Joseph Lawrence also spent some quality time under Mike's GT. The guys added mini-tubs, welded stainless steel S-plates to strengthen the torque boxes, and fortified the previously installed Kenny Brown Performance subframe connectors. To make sure the rear could handle the power, a 9-inch with a Strange Engineering spool, Moser 35-spline axles, and 3.73 gears joined the party. Up front resides a D&D Motorsports tubular K-member and A-arms, lowered spindles, coilover struts, and a Flaming River manual steering conversion. Aerospace Components double throwdown disc brakes take up residence inside SSR GT3 wheels.
Mike says he made a lot of mistakes during the car's build, and someone else currently owns the GT. Mike now owns a different Mustang and he's trying not to make the same mistakes twice-which is exactly why we ditched the tight-rolled look a long time ago.
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Block Ford Racing Performance Parts R block
Rotating Assembly Scat crankshaft and H-beam connecting rods, JE pistons
Compression Ratio 8.5:1
Camshaft Comp Cams hydraulic roller
Heads Edelbrock Victor Jr., Jon Kaase Racing Engines-ported and polished, 2.02/1.60 valves, Lunati valvesprings, Crane lifters, 1.6 roller rockers
Intake Holley SysteMAX II, chrome upper, powdercoated lower
Throttle Body 75mm
Power Adder Turbonetics twin 67mm turbochargers, Precision Turbo air-to-air intercooler
Fuel System Barry Grant King Sumo fuel pump, braided fuel lines, Best Products fuel rails, Siemens-Deka 160-lb/hr fuel injectors
Exhaust System Bell Chassis & Fabrication custom-built manifolds and pipes with Magnaflow mufflers
Transmission Powerglide with transbrake, line-lock and PTC 4,600-rpm stall converter, Pistol Grip Hurst shifter, aluminum driveshaft
Rearend Ford 9-inch, Moser Engineering 35-spline axles, Strange Engineering spool, 3.73 gears
Engine Management Fast
Ignition MSD 7AL2, HVC II coil, 10mm spark plug wires, NGK TR6 spark plugs
Gauges Florida 5.0 gauge package
Chassis and Suspension
K-member D&D Motorsports tubular
Control arms D&D Motorsports tubular
Struts D&D Motorsports
Springs D&D Motorsports
Caster/Camber D&D Motorsports
Brakes Aerospace Components
Wheels SSR GT3 18x8
Tires General 215/35-18
Brakes Aerospace Components
Wheels SSR GT3 18x12
Tires Nitto 305/35-18 Extreme Drag radial
Chassis Stiffening Bell Chassis & Fabrication 10-point rollcage and torque box S-plates, Wolfe Racecraft mini-tubs, Kenny Brown Performance subframe connectors
Mike's GT left Dearborn with...
Mike's GT left Dearborn with a much-maligned red interior. Through much searching, Mike was able to piece together a black interior, gathering more than one set of black door panels before he came upon the perfect pair. The seats are Corbeau, the gauge cluster from Florida 5.0, the switch panel is from Painless Wiring, and the removable steering wheel is from Grant. The rear seat was deleted since there wasn't any room for it after the mini-tub installation. Tony Upshaw redid the interior upholstery work while Bell Chassis & Fabrication added the 10-point rollcage and mini-tubs.
When Mike first bought the...
When Mike first bought the car it had a Paxton Novi-fed 331, but lengthy talks with legendary Mustang racer and champion of turbochargers Tim Lynch, Mike went the hairdryer route with a pair of Turbonetics 67mm turbochargers. This was after Mike had the Novi parts coated and polished. The Keith Craft-built powerplant is based on a Ford Racing Performance Parts R-block with a Scat crankshaft and rods, JE pistons, and a Comp Cams hydraulic camshaft. Jon Kaase Racing Engines ported a pair of Edelbrock Victor Jr. heads, to which was added a Holley SysteMAX II intake with a 75mm throttle body. With a FAST engine management system, Proline Racing Engines' Steve Petty tuned the beast to make 680 streetable horsepower at 14 pounds of boost. With a Powerglide in the tunnel, the car runs 10.30s on the Nitto Extreme drag radials. Notice the engine compartment is also two-toned!