This 2.3 Turbo-Powered Fox Mustang Can Do It All

A racecar is always more fun if you can drive it anywhere you want. You’ve got your blood, sweat, tears, and checkbook poured into one car, so you might as well enjoy it as much as possible. For Rob Storm, a resident of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, that’s exactly what he does with his 1987 Mustang LX coupe — everything.

How cool is it to see a retro four-cylinder, turbocharged Fox Mustang?

The car was built for everything, kind of like a Leatherman or Swiss Army knife. — Rob Storm

“The car was built for everything, kind of like a Leatherman or Swiss Army knife,” Rob explained. “It’s regularly on Pocono raceway for autocross (runs in SCCA CAM-T) / track days and even goes to Island Dragway for some straight time. It also goes to both shows in Ocean City, Maryland, as well as Carlisle Ford Nationals and local cruise nights with my wife and kids for ice cream.”

Rob even built the interior with his kids in mind and it has Corbeau GTS seats in front and stock rear seats for the kids.

Rob has had the car for 14 years and he bought it form a close friend, Chris Albert, who did the original 2.3-liter engine swap, getting that engine out of a wrecked XR4TI. Since Rob has owned the coupe, it has evolved through several different configurations with the 2.3-liter turbo engines. Today it features a 2.3-liter engine with a built bottom end using Crower 5.7 rods; JE pistons; Esslinger billet intermediate shaft; a Bo-Port Stage 3 flowed head with big valves; and a 2.1 camshaft.

The turbo is a Precision 5558S and the engine is controlled by a Stinger PiMP stand-alone ECU that’s tuned remotely with the help of Bob Schuler of North West Tuning Solutions. The 2.3-liter engine is followed by a T5 transmission and an 8.8-inch rearend out of a Lincoln.

“With the wide Lincoln rear I have to run wheels from an SN95 or S197 due to their offset,” Rob explained. “And the wheels are wrapped in Bridgestone RE71R sticky tires.”

He also completely overhauled the suspension. It features SN95 front control arms, Koni coilovers, and Terminator 13-inch rotors and calipers. The backend features SVO disc brakes with Hawk pads; Ford Performance 5300C springs; and a Kenny Brown adjustable Panhard rod. Chris Albert, the previous owner, stiffened the chassis by welding in subframe connectors, torque boxes, and adding a custom-built strut-tower brace.

Of course, this Fox isn’t just fast and stiff, it looks great too. The paint and bodywork were completed five years ago by Barry Moyer at Moyer’s Auto Refinishing in Bango, Pennsylvania.

“Barry had the car for five months in 2012, doing everything from floors to cutting and repairing rear quarter panels.” Rob said. “Most of the work/mods on the car were all done by my neighbor and good friend, Joe Buccieri, with help from my dad and my kids, Summer and RJ.”

“Styling of the car is from my thre favorite cars over the years,” Rob added. “The color is very close to my car I had in high school — a ’78 mustang II King Cobra. The 2.3-liter turbo is from my previous SVOs, and the body style is a tribute to my Saleen notchback, number 91-011, which I purchased new in 1990 and sold in 1991.”

Rob really likes that his car is different, it’s unique in that instead of being powered by a Ford small-block, or something more common, his is motivated by the little 2.3-liter.

“Nobody expects a ‘Pinto’ to be lurking under the hood when they walk by and is always well received in the latest sea of LS this and LS that,” Rob said. “Just trying to be a little different when it comes to Fox bodies.”

About the author

Kyler Lacey

A 2015 Graduate from Whitworth University, Kyler has always loved cars. He grew up with his dad's '67 Camaro in the garage and started turning wrenches at a young age. At seventeen, he bought his first classic, a '57 Chevy Bel Air four-door, and has since added a '66 Plymouth Valiant and '97 Cadillac Deville to his collection. When he isn't writing for Power Automedia, he's out shooting pictures at car shows, hiking in the forests of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, or working on something in the garage.
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