Congratulations to Sal Esposito (FEP Username: VXR500
) and his 1984.5 Mustang GT 5.0 as the winner of the September Ride of the Month. Back in his youth, Sal dreamed of owning a new 1987 Mustang GT. It was around this same time that his buddy picked up a 1984 Mustang GT 5.0 / 5 speed. Sal wasn’t too familiar with the early 4 eyes (admitting that Burt Reynolds and the Hoff had him lusting for a black Trans Am back then). Although the 4 Eye was new to Sal he immediately fell head over heels for the Mustang. Who wouldn’t, the Mustang was light, quick, and sounded awesome. The compact, upright Euro styling was intriguing to Sal and decided he had to have one for himself.
Sal’s first car was a favorite among Mustang lovers: a 1979 Turbo Pace Car. The Pace Car was in mediocre condition and sadly had been painted black. He soon realized that the performance of his Turbo Pace Car was not quite up to par with his buddy’s 1984 5.0 Mustang GT, but Sal still loved his first Four Eye! Eventually the Pace Car was sold and Sal went in a different direction than Four Eye Mustangs. A few years later while working at a dealer he took a clean 1985 LX 5.0 CFI Automatic on trade. Sal bought the 1985 and drove it for 2 years. Although Sal loved the LX, the AOD and CFI left him wanting the 5.0 / 5 speed like his friend’s 1984 that had sparked his interest in the first place. Sal sold the LX and once again stepped away from Mustangs for a while. Sal then went on to own a couple of F bodies, a GN, and a GTO, but still there was a longing for another Four Eye GT.
Finally 2014 was the year that Sal was in a position with enough disposable income to start searching for a GT as a second car. His search began in earnest for a 1982-1985 5.0 GT with the “Big honkin’ dual snorkel air cleaner”, as Sal puts it. After 3 months of searching a candidate was located about 100 miles from home. September has been a good month for Sal as that was the month in 2014 when Sal purchased his 1984.5 GT just like his buddy’s that turned him on to Mustangs in the first place.
Sal’s 1984.5 Mustang GT was mostly stock when he got it save for pony wheels, an 8.8 rear, and 86-up exhaust with BBK long tubes. The transmission was also equipped with a Hurst shifter thanks to the previous owner. Since then, Sal has removed all the emissions equipment. He replaced the factory intake and carb with a new Edlebrock Performer and Holley. Added SVE subframe connectors, Flowmaster exhaust with BBK O/R H pipe, 3.73 gears, and an SVE shift handle to the Hurst shifter. Sal had planned on having the car repainted its original colors, instead he had custom all white striping and decals made to replace the black/silver factory version because he likes the look better. He also had the headlight buckets painted black to give the car that full Four Eyed look. The interior was updated with a Pioneer bluetooth head unit and speakers. The exterior received new 17" tires and Cobra Rs to give the GT a little more aggressive look.
When Sal was asked if there were any particular challenges in getting the car to its current condition? He replied “Yes, every weird noise and problem that I’ve been able to troubleshoot with the help of members on this board. Four Eyed Pride has been an invaluable resource. Keeping the cost of repairs and mods within budget has been a challenge and FEP has been great for that too.”
Sal’s reasons for keeping the car as it is today are that he just loves the original styling of the car. The blackout grill and hood stripe, the decals, the Allen screw gauge bezel, the kinked shifter...these are the little things that really make the car special to him. The Mustang GT is special to Sal because it’s pretty well equipped for an early fox. It has A/C, rear defrost, premium sound, light group, power windows and locks, tilt wheel, and the Sport interior. He wishes it had T-tops, but most likely it would be in worse shape if it did.
Congratulations to Sal and his 1984.5 Mustang GT as the winner of the September Ride of the Month. What a great Mustang and what a great story to go along with it. We wish Sal and his Mustang many years of miles which are sure to bring plenty of smiles.