Bryan Bayer's '88 GT
The story of how car guys are made usually begins when they are young. Starting out with Matchbox cars, models, and/or someone in their life that introduces them to the hobby. For Bryan Bayer, it was his father. When Bryan was only seven years old, his father owned a '70 Mach 1, to which he undertook a six year build. Some of Bryan's best childhood memories were helping his dad wrench on the old stang. In 2001 the build was finally finished, Bryan was just thirteen years old. "I can remember helping him drop the engine in like it was yesterday", recalls Bryan. Three years later Bryan turned sixteen, and was finally ready for a car of his own. For Bryan, there was only one car he wanted: a Mustang. His first pony was a sapphire blue '95 GT, the day he got the car was spent cleaning it from top to bottom, then burning through two tanks of gas. Bryan drove the car all through high school, and did simple bolt-ons to the car along the way. One thing nagged at him, however. Bryan wanted to bang gears, and his GT was an auto. Many times while he was out cruising, a certain red GT would pass him by. The car was ultra clean, and sounded amazing. Bryan told himself every time he saw the car: "I will own that one day".
After high school Bryan enrolled in a local college on a baseball scholarship, and took a part time job at a distributer in his home town. Bryan loved his job, and after finding out that his supervisor was a car guy, he loved it even more. His boss would always talk about the cars he owned, and that he also owned a Mustang. Never being too specific about the cars, Bryan thought nothing of it. One morning as Bryan pulled into the lot for work, he spotted the elusive red GT he had been wanting for all those years. Bryan headed straight for his supervisor's office, and inquired about the car. As luck would have it, his supervisor did own the car, and was considering selling it. A bit dumbfounded, Bryan made an offer, and a deal was made.
Still somewhat in disbelief, Bryan sold his '95, and picked up a cheap daily driver to keep his new GT safe in the garage. For the first three years he didn't do a thing to the car, just drove and enjoyed it. As with all car guys however, Bryan began to get the itch. By this time Bryan had graduated college, and was working a full time job. On his way home from work, while contemplating mods for his GT, he noticed a '91 LX for sale. A friend of his owned the car, and had done a ton of work to it. A plan was hatched to buy the car, swap all of the performance parts into his GT, and re-sell the LX with his stock drivetrain. While this would require a lot of work, it made sense to get the parts he wanted much cheaper.
After six long months, Bryan had removed the entire drivetrain from both cars, and had the LX back running. The car was then listed for sale, to fund the build of his GT. Shuffling through the garage one night, Bryan came to the realization that he simply couldn't put the engine back in his GT without cleaning things up a bit. He had also caught the turbo fever, after riding in a friends fox body Mustang that went in the tens with an On3 turbo kit.
With a solid plan for what he wanted, Bryan got to work building his dream foxbody. The engine was sent of to his friend Dan to build, using all ARP hardware, including head studs. The little small block was now ready for some boost. While the engine was away, Bryan set to work totally customizing the engine bay. After a call to Scott Rod fabrication, Bryan had a set of fender apron panels, and frame rail covers. Next up, Bryan removed everything from the engine bay, and began the long and tedious process of filling in all of the holes. Once finished, the car was sent off to be sprayed in Medium Scarlet Red. After many hours of polishing the new paint, Bryan's GT was ready for reassembly.
With the year long build beginning to take shape, the finish line was finally in sight. With the help of some friends, the final assembly went off without a hitch. Now, it was time to light the fires. With the twist of the key, the GT roared to life, putting a huge grin on everyone's face. The car did have some idling issues, which is to be expected, and were taken care of in short order.
After looking over the final results, you might be thinking this car was a professional build. Bryan is quick to dispel that myth: "I built this car with a Craftsman tool kit, a welder, and a whole bunch of passion". Enjoying the process so much, Bryan documented the entire thing on his Instagram page, gaining several fans along the way. There is just something about following along with a project that car guys love. Bryan is also quick to point out that he is not a mechanic, or a body guy, and this car was built in his garage. "I hope I can inspire some of you to get out there and chase your dream build, if I can do it, so can you", says Bryan. CR