When things go badly, we often can see the way forward when they will get better. However, time and some determination can often turn tragedy into triumph. Such is definitely the case for Jim Webb and his son Cru. Their dreams of building up a low-mile Fox into a racer were temporarily derailed by misfortune, but today the car is one of the cleanest Coyote Stock competitors around.
We wanted to get a taste of heads-up racing and decided we wanted to compete in Coyote Stock. — Jim Webb
“I first got into racing with a ’93 hatch. Once I found out I was going to be a father I decided to trade my car in for a family car, telling myself that I will get into racing one day again,” Jim Webb said. “After taking my son, Cru, to watch some drag racing we decided that we wanted another Mustang. A little over nine years ago we bought an ’87 hatch. The car only had 27,000 miles on it and I am the second owner.”
It doesn’t get more classic than an 1987 Mustang LX with a Schoneck Composites cowl hood and Weld big ’n littles wrapped in sticky Mickeys. The Ford Lithium Gray paint scheme gives this timeless ride a modern feel. (Photo Credit: Jason Reiss)
Given the prices low-mile Foxes are going for these days, collectors and purists might shudder at the thought of even modifying such a pristine classic. When you hear Jim’s story, you’ll understand why he was so committed to transforming this one into a racecar.
I think my wife got tired of listening to us because she sat us down one day and told us to ‘Just do it. Build your racecar.’ — Jim Webb
“Shortly after I bought the car Cru and I were out having some fun in the car when we blew a head gasket. As we were getting ready to tear it apart I was rear ended by a drunk driver,” Jim explained. “I was hurt pretty bad in the accident and had to have multiple back surgeries. My family was by my side the entire time. It was really hard because Cru gave up playing with his friends and being a kid to help take care of me.”
Jim Webb and his son, Cru, set out to build a heads-up racing machine. After a three-year hiatus due to a crash, they build this Fox into a Coyote Stock racer, which debuted at the NMRA World Finals last year. Since then they decided to switch from the sealed-engine class to the power-adder friendly Limited Street class.
Build Your Racecar
He obviously had bigger concerns than a project car at that point. Fortunately, he recovered, but the idea of a father and son build had to go on the back burner until the time was right.
“This also meant that the car got put on hold and sat for three years. Finally I was able to do things again and Cru and I started to tear the motor apart to replace the head gasket,” he said. “This project lasted a little over a year. During this time we continued to go and watch racing and talked about one day having a race car. I think my wife got tired of listening to us because she sat us down one day and told us to ‘Just do it. Build your racecar.’”
The lines of an LX hatch don’t need much help, but for some extra aero at racing speeds, Tim Lyons, at Lyons Custom Motorsports, added one of his rear wings.
Those words are music to the ears of any auto enthusiast. Getting the full endorsement to pursue a project car opens the door to do something special. The question became what kind of racecar to build. With the gravitational pull of the Coyote engine being so strong in the Ford world, it’s no surprise that this engine became the centerpiece of the car.
You can tell it’s a Fox interior, but only the necessities remain accented by racing gear like Kirkey racing seats, a Racepak Data Systems digital dash, and a 12-point roll cage. That shifter actuates a GForce G-101A transmission fitted with a Ram clutch and backed by an aluminum driveshaft.
“I then contacted Tim Lyons at Lyons Custom Motor Sports and the journey of our racecar began. Cru and I spent the next two months completely tearing down the car, getting it ready to take to Tim,” Jim said. “We wanted to get a taste of heads-up racing and decided we wanted to compete in Coyote Stock. Cru and I made all the decisions together on the car as this was our dream. Tim and his guys built us one hell of a racecar and Matt Caheely did an amazing job on the paint.”
If you aren’t familiar with the NMRA Coyote Stock, you should be. This highly competitive classification is based on a sealed Coyote 5.0-liter crate engine that must run a spec calibration, so all the racers are dealing with the same basic power level. From there they must work through all the racing tricks, just like they do in NHRA Stock Eliminator, to squeeze as much performance out of that engine as possible.
In front the suspension is based on a Lyons Custom Motorsports K-member supported by Mescer Motorsports dampers and springs. The brakes are from Strange Engineering, and those custom long-tube headers are from Lyons Custom Motorsports. Out back is a Lyons-built 9-inch filled with a 4.30 gears, a Strange differential, and Strange gun-drilled, 40-spline axles.
That means the rest of the vehicle must be finely tuned. From a solid chassis and dialed in suspension to the right gearing and clutch setup, it all has to be right. That takes some time, but Jim and Cru wanted to have some fun with their racer, so they headed to the season finalé last year to get in some laps. That’s where we spotted the car and just had to snap some photos of this beautiful Fox, which is the last time it would be seen in that form.
1987 Mustang LX Specs
Block: Stock Coyote 5.0-liter aluminum
Crankshaft: Forged steel
Rods: Forged steel
Pistons: Cast aluminum
Cylinder Heads: Ford Four-Valve aluminum
Intake: Ford composite
Fuel System: Aeromotive fuel pump w/ Ford fuel rails, Ford fuel injectors, and an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
“The car was done a week before Bowling Green. This was where the car made debut,” Jim added. “After a disappointing race, Cru and I decided that this class was not for us and we are in the process of switching to Limited Street. For now I am driving the car and Cru is my crew chief. In a few years we hope to switch roles and Cru will become the driver and I will be his crew chief.”
Jim and Cru set out to build a heads-up racer and they aren’t done yet. The duo plans to compete in Limited Street after updating this car from Coyote Stock specs. At some point Jim turn over the driving duties to Cru and assume the crew chief responsibilities.
Limited Street is a power-adder class with some really quick cars, so this project is still ongoing. It’s still great to see that the father and son were able to bring their racing dreams to fruition with this Fox. We look forward to seeing its next configuration, but for now you have to love the early results of their determination.