"Stocker to Shocker"
Kody Smith's '88 LX
Pictures Courtesy: SVT Performance, JDs Motorsports, Front Street Media
Kody Smith is a true fox body Mustang fanatic. When he was a kid, his father was instrumental in getting him into cars, and he hasn't looked back since. Flash back five years ago, Kody was driving an '88 GT t-top, and while he loved the hatch, the clean lines of a coupe were calling his name. After a long search for the right car, he located a black '88 about three hours from his home in Georgia. Dead set that this was the car, Kody made the six hour round trip to buy the car, and finally had the fox body Mustang he had been after. The first day of owning it, Kody had the windows tinted, and a fresh set of wheels on the car. For the first two years this was his only transportation, and received as many mods as possible, knowing it had to be ready for the Monday commute. In July of 2013, Kody made his very first trip to Mustang Week in Myrtle Beach SC, which was a seven hour drive from home. His '88 made the trip like a champ, a/c blowing, and averaging 24 mpg on the highway. This trip was a turning point for Kody, seeing all of the amazing cars got his fires burning to go farther with his fox. Kody also decided to start a page on Instagram called: "Foxbodys Only". At first he just wanted to share some of his favorite foxes on the page, but the page took off in a big way, and is now one of the largest fox body Mustang pages on Instagram.
As Kody contemplated all the killer cars he had seen at Mustang Week, he knew it was time to tear into his notch. Not just a light resto, he wanted to go all out. He picked up another car for daily duties, and the coupe went under the knife. At this point it was January of 2015, which only left Kody six months to finish the car before the next Mustang Week. "Nobody thought I could pull it off, there just wasn't time", recalls Kody.
The build began by stripping the car down to nothing, and yanking the stock 302. With the engine out, Kody and his father began smoothing the engine bay using panels from Jon Wise at Midwest Foxrods. After hours of welding, sanding, grinding, and paint; the engine bay was ready. While the engine was out, Kody took the opportunity to install a UPR tubular k-member, A arms, coilovers, and caster/camber plates.
To stay on budget, but add some beans under the hood, Kody enlisted Troy Hufstetler to build a mild 306 for the car. Starting with forged internals, the block was bored .30 over, a set of aluminum Pro Comp heads were torqued down, a custom ground cam slid in, and topped off with an Edelbrock intake. Next up was a powder coated Anderson power pipe, aluminum valve covers, 24lb injectors, and 75mm throttle body.
With the paint, body, and drivetrain coming together, Kody switched gears to focus on the tired interior. Refusing to skimp in this department, Kody put in a call to the pros at TMI Products. Starting at the bottom, fresh black carpet was laid down, starting the conversion from the previous gray. All of the interior panels were replaced with black, that Kody had sourced from several different swap meets and forums. Next up were custom TMI door panels with suede inserts, and yellow stitching. The headliner and sun visors were also covered in suede, to tie it all together. Next up were a gorgeous set of TMI Sport R500 highback seats, that work perfectly with the other additions. Never one to skimp on the details, a matching suede shifter boot was also installed.
With things really beginning to come together, Kody knew he had to finish strong. All in the details, a set of carbon fiber Ford emblems, a cowl induction hood, smoked headlights, late model 5.0 emblems, Mach 1 chin spoiler, and yellow powder coated brake calipers got the job almost done. The crowning touch, and best of all, were the wheels. Kody went straight to the top, contacting True Forged about a set of their Mach V hoops. Deciding on the gray spokes, polished lip, and double tinted clear coat; the wheels are a slam dunk.
Despite all of the naysayers, Kody finished the car in time for Mustang Week 2015, with a totally transformed notch. Once he returned home, pictures of his car began popping up all over the internet, giving him a sense of pride for all the hard work. "I could not have made this happen without my Dad, he was always there when I needed help", said Kody. Looking forward, Kody still has plenty of plans for the car. As with any project, they are rarely ever done. In the works are a modular swap, six speed trans, and maybe even a touch of boost. For now though, he couldn't be happier with his fox body Mustang. CR