"Paycheck to Paycheck"

     Patrick Pinkerton's '91 XL

“I managed to buy something for it with every paycheck for over two years”
— Patrick Pinkerton

    Back in 1994 when your author was fourteen years old, and a budding Mustang enthusiast, one of my favorite things to do was read Magazines like Super Ford and MM&FF. I would read each issue at least a hundred times. I remember scanning through the articles to find out what the owner did for a living, the reason was that I thought if I went and got a job like them, I could afford a cool Mustang too. Fast forward a few years, I owned my black '90 GT, and would again pour over the magazines wondering how guys could afford all of the expensive parts. After three months of saving, I was able to have a set of two chamber Flowmasters welded in, and order a set of underdrive pulleys. The pulleys had to sit another two weeks before I could afford the shorter belt. I simply couldn't relate to much of the cars that graced the magazine pages, and it was very frustrating for a broke eighteen year old wanting to go fast. 

    When the decision was made to launch Foxcast Media, I wanted fox body Mustang fans of all backgrounds and financial status to relate to the cars I feature. I still remember mailing pictures and a description of my fox to the magazines, even for just a shot at the readers rides section. I never received back so much as a thank you card for my submission, I am sure many other guys felt the same frustration. 

    Back in August when Patrick Pinkerton emailed us about his '91 LX, I knew his car was perfect for a feature. Patrick's '91 doesn't have a six thousand dollar engine under the hood, forged wheels, or even a power adder. So what is the big deal? The deal is that many owners simply can not afford to drop 50k into their car, even 20k for that matter. The point is you don't have to drop mega coin into your fox body Mustang to have a nice car, or one that is fun to drive and turns heads. 

   Patrick got his car nine years ago when he was a sophomore in high school, and drove it bone stock until 2012. This is a three owner car, and has a measly 70k miles on the clock. After high school, Patrick enrolled in the Nascar technical institute, and worked full time. Although money was tight, he managed to save money out of each check to build his car.   

    Before leaving school, Patrick yanked the motor out of the car, and then it sat for two years while he was away at school. During this time, the engine was rebuilt, and received a Ford Racing cam, Holley Systemax intake, 75mm throttle body, Pro M mass air meter, BBK headers, and an Anderson power pipe. To keep her cool, an aluminum radiator was bought, and a 130 amp alternator conversion gave the charging system some extra juice. Being an auto originally, Patrick had the car converted to five speed using a freshly built T5, heavy duty clutch, and a short throw shifter. 

    To stiffen things up a bit, Patrick dropped the car using Eibach springs, Strange adjustable shocks/struts, UPR adjustable upper/lower control arms, and Prothane bushings throughout the suspension. He then turned his attention to the brakes, and while he couldn't afford a big upgrade, he did add Hawk pads & rotors for a little extra stopping power. For wheel choice, Patrick couldn't afford anything fancy, he ended up with a set of '93 Cobra replicas, and wrapped them in Nitto NT555 tires measuring 255/40/17 at all corners. The 3.73 gears made smoking the new Nitto tires a breeze, so Patrick has to be careful as new tires aren't in the budget. 

    At just twenty three years old, Patrick built a very fun and tasteful fox body Mustang, and on a college student budget. For the bulk of owners with kids, mortgages, and utility bills; it is hard to allocate funds to your toy. The idea is to be patient, and do a little at a time. There are also plenty of free mods you can do to your car in the meantime. The moral of the story is to keep chipping away at your build, and don't give up. Even if you have to build your fox body Mustang paycheck to paycheck.  CR  

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