We’ve said this a million times, and we’ll say it again. If you haven’t been to Mustang Week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, bite the bullet, take off those days off of work next July, and just go. It’s the perfect summer vacay for any blue oval or Mustang enthusiast. It’s a week on the beach dedicated to Mustangs. Need we say more? Whether it’s a rare classic or some out-of-the-box home build, Mustang Week delivers every single year. Here is yet another gem that we found while scoping out the scene this year.
Chris Payne certainly stepped it up with this game-changing 1987 Ford Mustang LX. Traditional Fox-body guys may not know what to think with the mashup like this, but as an open-minded Mustang enthusiast, we think it’s a pretty sick setup. Also, let’s be clear about the year. That’s no typo. It is indeed a 1987 Mustang that just so happens to be fused with a 1982 front nose. Awesome, right?
Here sits a three-valve 4.6L inside of Chris Payne’s 1987 Mustang LX.
That’s not where the meshing stops on this bad boy. Pop the hood to a mod motor sitting pretty inside the engine bay. Chris decided to go with the 3-valve 4.6L swap to give his Fox-body some modern pep. After seeing another 3V-swapped red Fox-body at Mustang Week a few years back, Chris fell in love with the way it looked. However, the red Fox from years prior was rocking two twin snails, and Chris decided to go the naturally aspirated route.
At first, Chris started out his swap with a convertible. He said he then realized that the convertible doesn’t really demand a whole lot of respect, so then he decided to start all over with the coupe that you see here.
With Coyote and built pushrod swaps being all the recent rage, most people would ask - Why a three-valve?
“I figured that I needed some kind of mod motor to stand out,” Chris says. Let’s not forget to mention that the 3V 4.6L is an affordable swap for the most part. Also, Ford Racing’s Hot Rod Control Pack has everything to make the swap as simple as it can get. Chris even installed some aggressive Ford Racing Hot Rod cams. Drool.
“Everything just kind of wired up to it,” Chris explains. “We used 2V headers with adapters and a lot of late model stuff.”
What other goodies does this beauty possess? Well, extensive metal work was performed on the fenders widening them about three-quarters of an inch on each side giving the whole package a much beefier appearance, and of course, a lot was done to make sure that the 1982 front end fit flawlessly. On top of that, the car is mini-tubbed which allows those massive 335s to fit out back.
Suspension duties are handled by coil-overs in the rear and the front has cut Eibach springs to help lower the k-member, which lifted everything else up to make things easier. Peek inside and notice that the interior came from a factory 2001 SVT Cobra. With everything coming from different years and models, it was all tied together and this factory Fox dash has working gauges.
“I can deal with it,” Chris says. “I don’t know about everyone else because a lot of people don’t like three-valves.”
Chris is right. Go on social media, browse some of the Mustang-related Facebook groups and/or pages and there is always some shade thrown at 3-valve cars and swaps, almost as if it is the red-headed stepchild of Mustangs, besides the obvious Mustang II.
To each their own, and we happen to think that this modernized Fox-body 3V is pretty freaking sweet.