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Fat 5.0 Mustang

The Fat 5.0

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

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I don't know, maybe "big boned" is more socially acceptable nowadays?

Regardless, I'm talking about the '94-'95 Mustang GTs and Cobras — like the GT.

It's the bastard child that no one really acknowledges.

In books like Fox Body Mustang Restoration: 1979-1993, it's not a Fox Body, so it isn't covered.

In books that I've seen covering SN-95 Mustangs, these cars aren't powered by an OHC 4.6L, so they aren't addressed there, either.

Hell, these cars are so misunderstood that when I was window shopping for the GT, I found a blue '95 locally at a Ford dealership and the sales person was adamant that the 5.0 that was in the car wasn't factory and, in fact, had been swapped in place of the original 4.6L. He was convinced that he had read factory literature that stated the 4.6 started in 1995 and wouldn't even listen when I tried to explain otherwise. I ended up just taking it for a test drive and making a mental note to never, ever deal with that nimrod again.

In any case, the 1995 Ford Mustang GT and Cobra were the last of the 5.0s, and as such, were the last Mustangs built like old '60s Muscle Cars.

The body changed a little — but only a little, the SN-95 chassis was merely an evolution of the Fox Body, so the changes weren't that extreme — and it got prettier, sculpted, and about 200 pounds heavier than a 1987-1993 GT; and a good 400 pounds heavier than the faster LX Coupelike the Survivor.

The 5.0 no longer had enough oomph to propel the car with the same vigor as it could in the LX, but it was a much more refined car with a vastly superior suspension and brake set-up — even though the technology used for the suspension and brakes was no different. Well, okay, the SN-95 5.0s did have ABS brakes, but the rest of the system wasn't any different and, with a little effort, can even be swapped into a Fox Body car.

For me, though, the '94-'95 Mustangs are the ultimate 5.0s. They have a look that recalls the '60s cars, but with virtually all the hot rodder's tricks used in the Foxes — the '95 Cobra Rs were even very reminiscent of the '65 GT-350s in their execution, drawing valid comparisons in the automotive media when they hit the market — and, although the GT is slower than a factory LX Coupe, I will say that with only minor tuning, I had mine turning a best of 14.6 @ 93.

If you're a fan of keeping these cars on the road like I am, then you'll need to cover more ground than the Fox Body crowd — you'll have to gather information about both the Fox Body Mustangs and the later SN-95s. For me, they're worth it, though — this is one of my very favorite cars ever made.

Ryan

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