Hello Speedhunters! Last month you might have caught my guest coverage of Driven Calgary in Canadian Car Culture On Display; now I’m excited to be back to share my personal project car at the request of some readers.
The SN95 is not the most popular Mustang, and even as an enthusiast of the generation I have to admit that it’s a somewhat unattractive car in stock form. But regardless of its appearance, the SN95 was a very important part of Mustang history, ultimately saving the model from a front-wheel drive future.
My adventure began back in February 2007 with a father-son project. We were looking for a Fox Body Mustang, but instead came across a 1994 Mustang in the local paper for $400. Oddly enough, the car and I were both born in 1994, making us 12 years old at the time. The entire build was completed by my father and I in a standard two-car garage with jack stands, poor lighting, and no heat. Neither of us were automotive professionals.
If I only had one word to describe the car’s original condition it would be rough. The previous owner had bought it as a parts car for his GT Mustang that had recently had a disagreement with a deer, and along with the missing body parts, the car was also missing a large amount of its clear coat.
The car didn’t have much going for it; not even the interior was in good shape.
And it couldn’t even move under its own power since the 3.8L V6 was not running either.
I suppose it didn’t help that the transmission and driveshaft, along with other parts, were jammed into the trunk. But despite the Mustang being destined for the scrap yard, my dad and I saw its potential. We towed it home the next day and since then I’ve been in love with SN95 body style.Tear It Down, Build It Up
We had plans for an engine swap from the start since the original 3.8L V6 wasn’t running. The first swap that typically comes to mind for most is the traditional 5.0L V8, however, we heard about a few people playing with the 4.2L V6 from an F150 and using an adapter plate to add the M112 supercharger from the ’03/’04 4.6L V8 Cobras.
The idea of a supercharged 4.2 V6 sounded interesting and we ended up finding a wrecked 1998 F150 with the desired engine. The engine was pulled and the project began. We rebuilt the V6 with an upgraded top end that included a cam, roller rockers, valve springs and some mild porting. The goal of the build was to do something different while also making decent power for the era – around 300 horsepower.
I knew from the start I wanted the car to be orange, and the colour we used is called Bright Orange, a 1994 Ford hue. While it is often mistaken for the rare 1996 Bright Tangerine, Bright Orange was never actually used on Mustangs.
Next, the engine bay was stripped and painted.
Once the new suspension was installed, the engine was placed into the car. I will never forget the feeling of hearing the engine my dad and I rebuilt firing up for the first time.
The original interior was removed and later replaced with the interior from a 2000 Mustang.
Body work and paint was the last step in the initial build. This stage was the most time consuming for us, but it was also the most rewarding.
Even though we did the paint in our garage, I think it turned out extremely well. I mean, it’s definitely not a $10 000 paint job, but I wouldn’t want to drive it if was.The ‘Finished’ Product
After the initial build, the car was driven naturally aspirated for a couple years. Later on the supercharger was added, which required customization to the inside of the hood for clearance. The supercharged 4.2 V6 produces an estimated 330 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque at the flywheel. In comparison, a 1994 SVT Cobra with the 5.0L V8 has around 240 horsepower and 285 foot-pounds of torque.
I had the typical silver Bullitt wheels on previously, but I wanted something different. Finally after years of searching, I pulled the trigger on a set of Work CR Ultimate (Kiwami) wheels. I have always liked the design of these wheels and had not seen them used on the SN95 generation. I was originally planning on going with silver, but was secretly hoping that only bronze would be available so I’d be forced to try a new colour combination.
Besides the wheels, one of the newer additions to the car is my Corbeau LG1 seats in suede. I also recently added a harness bar, but at the moment it’s out for powder coating. Moving forward, I’d like to focus on smaller details of the build, especially in the interior.
I’ll never truly be able to consider this car finished, as I plan on it being a lifelong project.
Even though my Mustang continues to be an ongoing project, my dad and I will start to work on our second project shortly: a 1956 Ford two-door sedan!
I will always cherish the experience and knowledge the Mustang has provided, including the priceless time spent building it with my father.
It isn’t always about the ending; the journey is just as important.