1986 Ford Mustang – Saving Bruno

Project Quick Facts

Profile ID: 38447
Year: 1986
Make: Ford
Model: Mustang
Markets: Driven Daily, Muscle Car, Performance
Vehicle Type: American
Contact: Bruce Couture

Manufacturers

This Mustang has had a long history and not many miles.  Good friend Charlie Bruno purchase this car new and drive it for a few year before taking it apart for a brake upgrade.  The part kept coming off and the project become much larger.  Mustang was taken all the way down to complete weld the body and install two pairs of sub-frame connectors and outter extensions.  From there the car laid rest on the car dolly for years in the back of Charlie's Mustang in San Jose, CA.  I worked part time for Charlie in the evenings and weekends where a learned a lot about installed superchargers, big brakes, fuel injection, suspension and many other systems.  Charlie passed away in Dec or 2001 and the car was left outside on the same car dolly.  The future of this car was in question.  The Bruno brothers did not know what to do with what was left of the Mustang.  I showed interest in the Mustang and talk them into letting me have promising to bring the car back to life.  In 2006 I had plans to move to Idaho so I had to bolt on as many parts I had found on the car to make the transport easier.  So, a mad dash to make the Mustang a roller happened in summer of 2006.  Anything that was not bolted on the car was place in box and loaded into the trunk and interior.  The car was trailed up to Idaho behind a hot-rodded 74 Ford Econoline van sporting a fuel injected 410ci windsor.  Once in Idaho the poor Mustang had to wait again for my new house and shop to be built to begin the rest of the restoration.  In 2010 I finally had time to get the Mustang running again.  The motor that was installed was the 5.0HO that was in my 88 Mustang GT that was stolen and recovered in 2003, but that is other story.  The T-5 with a 2.95 first gear was build in my shop at Modern Driveline.

At first I installed upgraded brakes using 93 Cobra disk conversion and 87-93 Mustang front brakes but that did not last long.  Charlie sold and installed Baer brake and the rest the car came apart so after talking with Dutch Miller at Baer brakes, a complete 12.5" Baer kit was donated to the project.  Six piston 6P up front with a four piston S4 in the rear.  The stock suspension was removed and replaced with a complete Maximum Motorsport suspension.  Front tubular front K-member, coil over in the front and adjustable height control arms the rear.  The suspension come complete with struts, shocks, caster and camber plates.  Being this a "date night car" we kept the ride soft but right for curving Idaho mountain roads.  It does this well.

It was finally time to get the body painted.  Scott as Car Concept of Nampa, ID was no stranger to classic Mustang but a fox body was a new thing.  No sweat, Scott jumped in and saw what needed to be done to make this sleepy Mustang straighter and nicer than I could image.  After over 600 hours of body and paint the car turned out perfect.  The car returned home were I finished installing a new convertible top with the help of National Part Depot and Fox Resto.  The interior was provided by TMI restoring the stock GT seat with new cushions and covers.

To keep the exhaust note to a dull roar the stock h-pipe was installed with a set of Dyomax mufflers and stainless steel tail pipes.  The JBA shortie headers replace the very restricted factory units.  The motor is sporting a set of 95 Cobra GT40 heads that were hand ported.  The intake was Extrude honed to improve flow.

The results of this build was to build a 86 Mustang way that Ford have it was built today with Performance Red and black trim.  Using vendors Charlie supported in his builds of the 90's, the car was completed in 2016 better then I would have ever hoped for.  I can not say enough of all the folks and companies that help with this project.  A huge shout out to Jim Smart that help pull the project together and shot many of the photos you see listed.  Jim thought of enough of the car to place on the cover of the Fox Mustang Restoration box and is heavy featured within its pages.