"The 27 Year Itch"
Joe Beard's '86 GT
I can still remember every single fox body Mustang I've owned. The sad thing is that I wish I still had them all. There were a few turds in the mix, but I would welcome them back with open garage. I, like many owners have sold and traded off their fox body Mustang, for a number of reasons. Life does have a way of happening, and sometimes the toys have to go. My first daughter was brought home from the hospital in an '89 notch. The first car I bought all on my own was an '87 Thunderbird, and when I uprooted and moved back home to finish college, about all I had to my name was my black '90 GT. Many milestones in my life came with the cars I loved, and selling them was never easy. I still remember driving my GT to work in the snow, and thinking nothing of it; it was all I had. I remember sitting in my Econ class in college, and only thinking about the weekend, and wrenching on my '89 GT.
You then have those guys like Joe Beard, who somehow or another managed to keep their foxes through the years. Twenty-seven years to be exact. A lot has happened in that time, but Joe's red '86 GT has been there the whole time. When he first got the car, it was his daily driver, which is true for myself. When you are young and not making much money, second vehicles are a luxury.
Joe's GT was never a garage queen. There is nothing he enjoys more than cruising his fox. Joe has driven this car to all ten World Ford Challenge events (remember those). The first one in Bowling Green KY, two in Joliet IL, six in St Louis MO, and the last in Indianapolis. He's also driven the car to Mustang Week, and countless cruises with SouthEastern Foxbodies. Back in 2001, Joe's GT also graced the pages of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords magazine, in the August issue. All was not without some bumps in the road, however. Back in '92, Joe was headed home from a late cruise and fell asleep at the wheel. The car was not totaled, but it did sustain quite a bit of cosmetic damage. Frustrated, but determined, Joe had the GT repaired. The car still wears the paint job it received back in '92.
While the car was in the body shop, Joe wanted to make some minor changes to the car's exterior, taking the minimalist approach. No big hood, body kit, or giant rear spoiler. Instead, he had the center of the hood painted, replacing the factory decal, and added a hood scoop from an '83 GT. He also added a rear spoiler from an 87-93 GT, for another custom touch. Joe loved incorporating parts from different generation fox body Mustangs, for a clean and subtle exterior. He then bolted on a set of polished Weld draglines, for that classic fox body Mustang look.
To keep things reliable, but add some grunt to the 5.0L engine; Joe chose some well proven parts. He began with an Explorer short block, GT40P heads, cobra intake, B303 cam, 1.72 roller rockers, and mass air conversion. To keep things safe, he added 24lb injectors, 155 LPH fuel pump, and an MSD 6A box. The team at Powercurve Motorsports were enlisted to tune the little mill, and coaxed 242/286 from it.
In the drivetrain department, the T5 received a Hurst shifter, along with a Zoom kevlar clutch. The original 8.8 rear also remains, but is upgraded with 3.55 gears, and an aluminum girdle. The brakes were upgraded to 87-93 spec, and were treated to drilled/slotted rotors, stainless steel lines, and Hawk pads. The suspension consists of stock springs with one coil cut, subframe connectors, strut tower brace, and lower chassis brace.
Sometimes life does happen, and you have to let them go. However, if you are just bored or frustrated; don't let that itch get the better of you. CR