Above were the listings pictures provided to me by the seller back in May of 2003. I drove to Oklahoma and purchased the car from the seller for I believe $1800. Originally it was an LS model with the 5.0 engine and AOD transmission. Pretty basic package interior as well with the driver's seat attached center console.
By late 2005, I had done some basic visual modifications and a few light performance ones. The exterior received the XR7 look with painted trim and grill and I converted to 5 lug wheels to be able to put the '03 Cobra wheels on. I also had converted the engine to HO specs.
By early 2010, I got the crazy (and stupid) idea that the car needed more power. As you can see, visually the car hadn't changed much between 2005 and 2010, but I had "designed" and build a twin turbo setup for the car. Unfortunately I never really got the car running right with this setup so it was never reliable. The parts were discount, the implementation wasn't great, and I never spent the money to get it tuned correctly. My recommendation out there is to not do this type of build unless you're willing to invest in quality parts.
In July of 2019, I got the wild hair to say "screw it" and let's start over. The current set up wasn't working for me and had never been all that fun. I'd been doing a lot of reading about coyote swaps and decided to take the car in a new direction. Away from hard to tune power adders and over to naturally aspirated coyote fun. The below group of pictures are how the car stood on July 30, 2019.
By August 11, 2019, I had removed the top of the engine and most of the accessories in preparation to pull the engine/transmission.
Over the weekend of August 24-25, 2019, the engine and transmission were pulled.
Here was the state of the engine bay by Sept 1, 2019.
After a couple of crazy months with life getting in the way, I was able to get the car rolled out of the driveway for its first of many pressure washes. Hosed the engine bay down in oven cleaner and degreaser followed up with a pressure wash.
Over the next few months, I spent time cleaning up the mess of an engine bay. Removing excess wiring, cutting the fenders square and polishing off paint, glue and oil from the bay.
I then began filling the holes in the fenders and shock towers in April of 2020. My welding skills aren't amazing, but they get the job done.
After filling the fenders and welding in plates, it was time to paint and swap the k-member out. Here's a comparison between the stock and the Maximum Motorsports piece.
By May 30, 2020 new parts had finally started to arrive. With the pandemic in full swing, there was more time to work on the car, but less availability of parts. The rear shocks for instance were backordered by several months. Below is the front suspension parts I ordered with the new on the left, old on the right. By Sept, the front suspension was back together and back on wheels.
Around that same time, I finally received my rear shocks and converted the rear to coil-over as well.
At this point, I turned my attention to the interior. The suspension was updated and mostly complete, so it was time to work inside the car. With all four wheels on and the chassis rolling, I gutted the interior, but first, a shot of the before. This is the final update on the 'history' of the car as I started doing more video updates and created my Youtube channel to track my progress.