Author Topic: 1983 Mustang GT -- Popular Hot Rodding Magazine project car  (Read 477 times)

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1983 Mustang GT -- Popular Hot Rodding Magazine project car
« on: September 01, 2019, 03:31:45 PM »
First Time Offered to the Public!

(Vintage) Magazine and TV Project Car in "Time Capsule" 1983-84 condition

Highly Documented History from New

Original Owner

$25,000





WHY IS IT SPECIAL?

I modified this car when it was new and I was the Technical Editor of Popular Hot Rodding Magazine.

It is a time capsule of the best of what could be done in 1983-84 to bring the 5.0 Mustang to life.

It has been hidden away, rarely driven, and not seen at any car show or event since 1985.

This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to own a Mustang that was specifically built for car magazine & television use, and somehow escaped the FoMoCo system of being stripped and/or crushed after such a high level of modifications were made.



PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE POST --- TONS OF DETAILS TO COVER

This is a long post, and I have endeavored to write everything I know about the car and its current condition.

Please take the time to read it all, if you are interested. I am happy to answer questions and send pix of anything you want to see.

Please PM me.



THE HISTORY

This Mustang was special-ordered directly by Ford Motor Company as a “media fleet” car in Los Angeles.

It was delivered brand new to Popular Hot Rodding Magazine in April 1983 specifically for use in the magazine’s three-car “Battle of the Super Cars” competition. No other publication ever drove this car.

The focus of the Popular Hot Rodding competition was to test the fastest 1983 production models from Chevrolet, Ford and Chrysler head-to-head in drag strip, slalom, skid pad and braking tests.

This Mustang GT competed against the then-new L-69 Camaro Z28 5.0 liter H.O. and the also-new Dodge Shelby Charger.

After the baseline performance numbers were accrued for each car, in stock form, the three editors of the magazine were each given complete responsibility for modifying “their favorite car” with hot rodding parts and techniques.

Then, the cars would be retested head-to-head in the same four track tests, to determine the ultimate winner.

Editor, Cam Benty chose the Camaro.

Technical Editor, C. Van Tune (me) grabbed the Mustang.

Feature Editor, Pete Pesterre strapped on the Shelby.



THE TESTING

The modifications took place over a five-month time period, and were covered in subsequent issues of PHR.

Television coverage of the three-car battle was provided in three episodes of PHR’s top-rated cable show “Performance Plus.” A fourth episode focused on modifications to the Mustang after the three-car shootout had been completed.

All straight-line testing was done at famed Orange County International Raceway.

The Mustang's stock ¼ mile time was 15.01 sec.

The Camaro ran an almost-identical 15.00 ET. Try as we might, we couldn't break into the 14s with either car.

No "tricks" were allowed:
Tire pressures had to be set at stock psi, ignition timing couldn't be changed, air cleaners had to remain installed, no icing the manifold between runs, etc., per our rules. We probably did 20 runs on each car.


When it came time to begin the modifications, we had only a few rules:
Anything that didn’t alter the displacement of the engine or change the basic driveline setup was okay.

Suspensions could be beefed, interiors upgraded, and cosmetic enhancements made. But, close watch was kept on those costs, and tabulated for inclusion in the important “price” category. Price factored as equally as each of the other four categories into the final points tally.

The details of the work done to the car, and how it performed, are covered in the 9/83, 11/83, 12/83, 1/84 and 2/84 issues of PHR. (Copies go to buyer.)

The best acceleration times for the modified Mustang were:
0-60 mph in 5.5 sec. Quarter-mile in 13.4 sec @ 104 mph.



AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED?

After the “Battle of the Super Cars” series was completed, the Camaro and Shelby were stripped of their hot rodding parts and returned to their respective manufacturers in stock configuration, as was previously agreed. The Camaro was crushed.

With blessing from a high-up executive at Ford, the Mustang slipped through the cracks in the system and I was allowed to buy it directly from Ford, with all of its aftermarket hot rodding parts still in place. That adds to the uniqueness of its history.

The Mustang was then upgraded and refined further, including the addition of Scheel racing seats and a matching rear seat upholstery kit, color-keyed to complement the car’s red and black exterior.

Articles covering those modifications were covered in PHR’s sister-magazine, Fabulous Mustangs, in 1984.

Additionally, the Mustang appeared on the cover of a PHR sister-publication, Super Cars Magazine, in 1985.

Industry-publication Specialty Automotive published an article on the three car shoot-out, including a cover photo, in 1984.



THE MODIFICATIONS

ENGINE:

5.0 liter/302 cid, standard bore & stroke, balanced and blueprinted by Bill Stroppe Racing.

Top end was modified in 1983-84. Engine has not been apart since then. Stock pistons, rods, crank.

Engine still makes 75+ psi oil pressure on cold start, and 40 psi hot.

Camshaft: Ford Motorsport dual-pattern, solid lifter, 0.512”/0.536” lift; 282/292-degree duration.

Cylinder Heads: Stock heads ported and polished, cut to accept larger valves, 3-angle valve job.

Valves: Ford Motorsport 1.90” intake valves; 1.60” exhaust valves, sodium filled.

Valve Springs: Crane high-rpm double springs.

Rocker Arms: Crane aluminum roller rockers, with Crane studs.

Pushrods: Crane chrome moly, with Manley guide plates.

Timing Chain: Ford Motorsport dual-roller, high rpm.

Carburetor: Originally, Holley 650. Now, Edelbrock 600 cfm.

Intake Manifold: Holley Street Dominator.

Ignition: MSD 7AL, MSD Blaster 2 coil.

Exhaust System: Hooker Super Competition shorty headers, dual 2.5” exhaust with dual cats and turbo mufflers.

Power adder: NOS nitrous system was installed and tested, but removed.



SUSPENSION:

Wheels: Epsilon three-piece modular, aluminum, 16 x 8.0 inch.

Tires: BFGoodrich Radial T/As 205/55R16.

Springs: Quickor Engineering lowered, progressive rate.

Anti-sway Bars: Quickor 1.5” diameter (front); 0.875” rear, polyurethane bushings.

Custom-built “strut tower to cowl” boxed square-tubing bars with adjustment turnbuckles.



REAR AXLE:

Ring-and-Pinion: Ford Motorsport 3.73 ratio with Traction Lok.



BODY:

Front Air Dam: Ford Motorsport, with Marchal quartz-halogen fog lights.

Hood Scoop: Factory scoop opened to ingest outside air.



INTERIOR:

Seats: Scheel front racing buckets. Custom matching rear seat upholstery kit in black cloth with red racing stripes to complement exterior colors.

Steering Wheel: Momo “George Follmer” design anatomical grip, black anodized center.

Shifter: Hurst short-shift with T-handle.

Roll Bar: Autopower Industries’ 2.0” diameter chrome moly, black powder coated.

Speedometer: Quickor 150 mph.



FACTORY EQUIPMENT:

GT Package

5-speed Gearbox

Tilt Wheel

Power Steering

Power Brakes

AM/FM/cassette “Premium Sound” stereo

Tinted Glass

Rear Window Defroster

Traction-Lok rear axle



ORIGINAL DOCS:

Window Sticker

Build Sheet

Owner’s Manual and Warranty book

Paperwork from Ford to Popular Hot Rodding and C. Van Tune

California DMV registrations

“PHR MAG” California blue-and-yellow license plate. (The car was registered on these plates 1984-1991)



IN LATER YEARS

In 1991, I sold the Mustang to a long-time friend in Las Vegas, Nevada, with about 18,000 miles on the odometer. The friend is a muscle car guy who also owns a ’67 Shelby GT500 and a 2013 Shelby GT500. He drove it about 35,000 miles over a 24-year time period, but retained it mostly in its “time capsule” condition.

In 2015, I bought the car back from my friend. It is back in Southern California.

As a testament to the reliability and durability of the hot rodding parts installed, as well of this Mustang itself (and the maintenance it has received) the car still is running its original clutch.

The car also runs cool, makes good oil pressure, sounds great, and is a unique and well-publicized example of a modified early Fox Mustang.


Now, the Popular Hot Rodding Mustang is being offered to the public for the first time ever.

Also included with the sale are several original 1983 black-and-white proof sheets showing the build-up of the car.

The original negatives are attached, to allow enlargements to be made.



THE CONDITION TODAY:

52,700 miles

Original numbers-matching 5.0 liter engine.

Original 5-speed gearbox.

Original Clutch.

Original Paint (except for black hood stripe).

Original “Quickor” Engineering side graphics from 1983

Original “Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving” window decal from 1983.

Original Glass and Weatherstripping.

Mostly Original Interior (last modified in 1984).

Original Ford AM/FM/cassette “Premium Sound” system.

Original Jack and Space-Saver Spare (never used.)

Original Epsilon 16x8.0-inch three-piece forged aluminum wheels.

Mostly Original Suspension (last modified in 1983, except tires and shocks).

Undercarriage is very nice, with typical road grime. Never in snow or salt.

Specially-built engine oil and coolant pre-heating systems.

PCV oil catch can.



No Accidents or Bodywork.

No Rust.

Body is as straight as Ford made it.




PATINA BEFITTING A 36-YEAR-OLD MUSTANG:

Original red body paint is thin and faded in areas.

Tape pinstripes are sun-cracked. (New ones are included, as well as a new “GT” decal for hood).

Window molding paint is faded or missing in areas.

Bodyside moldings are mostly in good shape, but the front-fender moldings are not well aligned.

There are a few door dings.

Front air dam has a few scrapes.

One Marchal fog light has a rock chip.

Dashboard top is cracked in several places.

150 mph speedometer face is wrinkled.

Upholstery (front seats) is very good. Rear seat is excellent.

Carpet is faded in places. (There is very little wear.)

Roll bar has paint chips.

Engine drips a bit of oil.



I am happy to answer any questions and send photos of anything you want to see.

Please PM me.

Thanks, Van
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 11:19:44 PM by Side-Oilers »
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Side-Oilers

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Re: 1983 Mustang GT -- Popular Hot Rodding Magazine project car
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2019, 03:42:23 PM »
More photos and docs...
Current:
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Side-Oilers

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Re: 1983 Mustang GT -- Popular Hot Rodding Magazine project car
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2019, 03:53:36 PM »
More...
Current:
1968 GT500KR owner since 1982
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Side-Oilers

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Re: 1983 Mustang GT -- Popular Hot Rodding Magazine project car
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2019, 04:01:14 PM »
More...
Current:
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Kirkham Cobra 427

Side-Oilers

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Re: 1983 Mustang GT -- Popular Hot Rodding Magazine project car
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2019, 04:12:13 PM »
And more...

The top photo was taken during handling testing at the Chrysler Shelby Performance Center in Santa Fe Springs, CA in 1983.

L to R: Dennis Lopez (Shelby PR), Neil Hannemann (Chrysler engineer and future chief test engineer of 2005 Ford GT), C. Van Tune, Cam Benty.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 01:27:40 PM by Side-Oilers »
Current:
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Side-Oilers

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Re: 1983 Mustang GT -- Popular Hot Rodding Magazine project car
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2019, 04:29:48 PM »
The car today...
Current:
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Side-Oilers

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Re: 1983 Mustang GT -- Popular Hot Rodding Magazine project car
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2019, 04:45:41 PM »
Wait, there's more of the car today...
Current:
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Re: 1983 Mustang GT -- Popular Hot Rodding Magazine project car
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2019, 04:57:33 PM »
Still some more...

Believe it or not, the weird shaped opening in the hood was that way when I took the scoop off in 1983 to open it up.  The opening has a lip all the way around that's part of the stamping. 

I later figured that it must have been in preparation for the 1985 fuel injected intake that was taller than the 1983-84 carb/air cleaner.

Other thoughts?
« Last Edit: September 01, 2019, 08:59:46 PM by Side-Oilers »
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68countrysedan

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Re: 1983 Mustang GT -- Popular Hot Rodding Magazine project car
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2019, 03:37:56 PM »
Very very cool time capsule stuff.

Filed under If you remember dept: What was the final slalom course test results?  Dodge Shelby Charger impressions?