Published on 2013-08-21
his has to be one of the most amazing, jaw dropping four eyed Fox Body Mustangs on the planet. Tom Clark has set out to bring the world his idea of what the perfect 1979 Indy 500 Pace Car should have looked like. Tom decided to add some modern touches to this classic Mustang. Air ride suspension, 03-04 Cobra Terminator powerplant, T-56 transmission, custom interior with carbon fiber and Recaro seats to name a few changes.
I could spend all day naming off custom changes and modifications Tom has done to this 79 Pace Car Mustang but lets be honest you just want to see this sweet ride. So watch the video and enjoy - SINIS Built in all its glory!
TOM CLARK : I kind of wanted to make my own word for search engine optimization for web searching. So I wanted a word that didn't already exist. We shortened the word sinister, and one weekend all the guys kept saying it, and it stuck like a name for a puppy. I like the Fox Body Mustangs. I mean, there's kind of a cult following with them.
When I was younger, my father actually gave me a '79 pace car. And I started the project. It was a rust bucket, so I built a '95 Cobra. But ever since then, I was always looking for another car and I found one in Iowa. Went out one weekend, pick it up. Five years later, this is what we have.
The end result was the initial goal, but it was done in phases. I try to enjoy the car over the summer months. So in the winter months I tackle something. So this year was engine, drive train, loose ends like that. So it's been planned out over the course of a few years.
I did all the work. The only thing, really, that I didn't do, I helped with, is the paint work in the engine bed, the upholstery in the interior, I did half of it. So anything with a stitch, I can't really sew, so that was done for me. At first, it was just kind of get it lowered with some decent-looking wheels, running right, mechanical stuff. The car was pretty solid, but just needed some polishing around the edges. And then I jumped in, did the interior work, then I did the suspension and brake work the following year. And then, like I said, this year was the drive train on the car.
The engine is pretty much internally stock, stock 2003 Cobra motor. It's got a 2.3 Whipple, and my favorite part is the Sullivan valve covers. I knew those valve covers had to be on it. There's a lot to change, but it was fine with me. Other than that, internal's the same. Eventually, it'll have cams, stuff like that, but it's pretty much fuel system and Whipple for mods. The 256 out of an '03 Cobra, the rear end is 8.8. It's narrowed three inches on each side, 31-splined axles. It's all braced. Really, the rear end is overbuilt for the car. It's actually, the rear end has been narrowed and built-in with a degree of camber and toe-in. Probably a little more than a car ever needs, but was just playing around. It seems to work well.
The interior, the goal when I start the interior, a lot of guys don't like four-eyed Fox body interior. I was actually one of them, but one of my goals was to make it look good. So it's pretty much, all the classic was covered in black leather, suede headliner, dash pads, suede inserts, and then, same thing with the carbon fiber. Just got carbon fiber inserts, AutoMeter gauges, Sparco seats, custom console. Stock console is another thing I never really liked. Really tried to take the cheapness out of it, with all the plastic, and get some nice-feeling material in there.
Stereo system, nothing crazy. It's got a Kenwood head unit, stock replacement speakers and stuff. I actually have a sub and stuff that'll eventually make it into the car. Not really a stereo guy. I've turned it on, and I just kind of rather listen to the motor.
Because the tires are actually tucking inside the fenders, and it's tight on the back side to the [? mini ?] [? tough's ?] is about as close as you can get. The next obstacle is the rear lower control arms actually have to be notched so that the tires don't rub. Other than that, they fit, which is a good thing.
It's RideTech air. It's got air struts in the front, and ShockWaves in the rear, which is just a bag on the shock. They're mounted inboard like your typical coil-over set-up would be. It has E3 RideTech air management in the console. Everything's hidden in the back-- tanks, compressor-- and then that makes up the system.
Never done. Most of the paint on the car is original to the day the car was born. The engine bay makes the rest of the paint-- it's patinaed, we've been joking. It's kind of patinaed. It looks good, but nice new paint would be good. So it's finishing up a few things, and a paint job, and then I'm just going to enjoy the hell out of it.
Tom Clark set out to put his own spin on a Fox Body Mustang with his SINIS Built project. Tom has a way of taking something that is already great and making it uniquely his own. After getting to know Tom via email, phone calls and meeting him at Mustang Week, I quickly learned he has an eye for detail and drive to create an uniquely modern take on the four eyed Stang. His ability to create something different is what I think led him to choose the Indy 500 Pace Car as a foundation for the SINIS Built project.
When you hear of people talking about special edition Fox Body Mustangs you often get stories about 93 Cobras, 93 Cobra Rs or SVOs. One rare 79-93 Mustang that is often over looked in this conversation is the 1979 Indy 500 Pace Car. With 10,478 being produced by Ford, they are truly a rare Pony. These special edition models celebrated the fact that the 1979 Mustang was the official pace car for the 63rd Indy 500. This was the first time Ford’s Pony car had been the official pace car since the 1964!
The 79 Indy 500 Pace Car featured many unique styling options that set it apart from the other factory models. These included a Pewter Polly and flat black paint job with unique decals. It’s unique “ducktail” style spoiler was one of the best factory style spoilers to ever grace a Fox Body Mustang. It also featured Marchal fog lights and special forged aluminum wheels that were included in the TRX performance package.
SINIS Built stayed true to the Indy 500 special edition’s exterior by retaining the factory paint and decals. Other than that, Tom has put his hands on just about every other aspect of this Stang. Suspension has been swapped out for an air ride system that slams this Pony to the ground. It sits on a custom set of 20" deep dish wheels that give the car a truly sinister look. It is this “sinister” look that created the name – SINIS. Tom and his friends shortened sinister and well the rest is history. Gone is the cheap dated plastic interior. The old interior was exchanged for days’ worth of custom console work, carbon fiber, leather, suede and Recaro seats. The interior of this four eyed Mustang is one that would leave many Italian sports car owners drooling.
The engine bay has been completely smoothed, repainted and wiring has been hidden. This alone is enough to get plenty of attention but not unique enough for Tom. He bumped up the horsepower output with a 03-04 Cobra engine and t-56 transmission. He did not stop there. He upgraded the stock Eaton blower for a Whipple supercharger. In regular Tom style, he built a custom dual intake system with a rear facing throttle body. The rear end has been completely customized to help fit the 345/25/20 tires under the car.
This project is still under development. Tom isn’t done and he has left us waiting for more! Enjoy the video and the pictures below. Comment below and let us know what you think about Tom’s ride.