THIS VEHICLE IS NO LONGER AFFILIATED WITH FJD PERFORMANCE
Panda’s story is an interesting one, and one that needs telling. The life this ’99 Mustang lived before being owned by Tim McGovern, media expert and team member for FJD Performance, is quite honestly unknown. However what is known is that there was an instant connection between Tim and his ’99 Mustang.
For some reason Tim decided to visit a pick-n-pull, and out of the corner of his eye… Panda was spotted. At age 17 Tim bought the car, and it was a decision he immediately regretted, but also couldn’t have been happier with; the ’99 Mustang GT was an automatic convertible that (barely) ran, and he scored it for an astonishing $1,000. The car ran and drove from the lot however not quite as well as Tim thought. After owning the car for about two days a rod came a-knockin’. Tim soon realized he had to get a new engine, and to spice up the deal the next day he found out that the auto transmission had blown too, leaving clutch material in the pan. Although all these unfortunate events surfaced, and all had seemed lost… a light shined, and Tim realized he had the perfect recipe for a engine and manual swap. With another $1,200 he had a “fresh” 4.6 and TR3650 sitting in the driveway along side of the Mustang which shortly found itself on jack stands, and on the path to a huge project.
Fast forward about a month and Tim decided to accompany his friend, Drew, to Blackhawk Cars and Coffee in Danville, CA where he was later introduced to Frank and his Mare, freshly cleaned and track decorated for the show. Yearning for his own Mustang to be running again, and in safe driving condition, Tim was immediately drawn to Frank’s car. A short little while later Tim decided to ask Frank if he would help him with this project of his, and the FJD Performance team could’t have been more honored to lend a helping hand. We shortly got to work, and 4 weekends of support, blood, sweat and F-bombs later, Tim got the new engine and transmission in his Mustang; just in time for his college adventures!
While the curve balls didn’t stop at a blown engine and transmission, Tim was still able to fight his way through a blown out tire, and additional miscellaneous mechanical issues while being 400 miles away from home, and the team back at FJD Performance. Having worked on this project, Tim has gained so much more mechanical experience, as well as confidence, than he could have ever imagined. For a more in depth dive into his project check out his build thread here.
FJD Performance recently had some questions to ask of Tim and his ’99 Mustang:
Q: “Why did you buy a Mustang?”
A: “I started out on it because I liked the look and loved the V8. I didn’t have it in mind, but when I saw mine.. I just fell in love with the looks. When I heard it start for the first time I remembered feeling a connection, I couldn’t describe, between a man and machine that I couldn’t ignore; I couldn’t get my mind off that car, and i worked my ass off to get the money together.”
Q: “How do you feel when you look at your car?”
A: “When i look at the car…” Tim paused for a second, as if he was lost in euphoria, “I feel like I achieved something… Turned something that was “nice” yet boring into something beautiful and unique.”
Q: “What made you decide to take on a full engine and transmission swap?”
A: “I decided that I had no other choice. I had to swap the engine and transmission; I was too obsessed with the car to just give up, or do something else. I would have been heartbroken if I had to sell or scrap it.”
Q: “What are your plans for the car?”
A: “My plans are to make it handle for the track and then add some power by throwing a supercharger on the engine and forging the internals.”
Short and sweet, we like it Tim.
Q: “Has the car taught you anything?”
A: “The car has taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to, and that there’s a lot more to a car than just going from Point A to Point B in so many ways.”
Q: “Was it really the best idea to buy a project car?”
A: “The Mustang wasn’t my first car. I started with a Chevy Blazer and then “upgraded” to a Camry that, one day, decided to explode…” Sadly, we know the feeling, “If you meant why daily it? It’s because I want to enjoy the car every minute possible.”
Q: “When do you think you’ll be done with the car?”
A: “I don’t think a project car is ever done. It’ll always be evolving, changing, and most importantly, driving.”
Tim’s 1999 35th anniversary Mustang is a special “Limited Edition” appearance package which came on 2,318 GT coupes and 2,310 GT convertibles and were available only in black, silver metallic, white, and red. The 35th anniversary emblem was featured on all ’99 V6 and GT models celebrating the 35 years of Mustang history. Tim’s Mustang is currently modified as follows:
Period correct Roush Stage 2 Rims
Airaid Ram Air Intake
Gen 1 Steeda Timing Adjuster
Steeda 3 Bolt Caster Camber Plates
10th Anniversary Mysticrhome Cobra Steering Wheel
Goodyear Tires in staggered set up
SLP LM2 mufflers
BBK Off-Road X Pipe
TR3650 Manual Transmission
Mach 1 Grill Delete
Mach 1 Chin Spoiler
H&R Super Sport Springs
You can find Tim and Panda cruising the streets of Riverside in So Cal or driving the coast in Nor Cal. The real question though is when will we see these two out on the tarmac?
Time Lapse for the engine install can be found here.