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Random Car Review: The 1983-86 Ford Mustang Predator G.T. 302

Random Car Review: The 1983-86 Ford Mustang Predator G.T. 302

If you wanted a hot Mustang in the early 1980s, the choice was simple: you ordered a Mustang GT with the 5.0 V8, a manual trans, and there you go. What you did with it after that was completely on you. Tuners weren’t really out in force yet…Saleen had only just started up and was producing tiny handfuls of modified cars, not enough to really make an impact. Carroll Shelby’s relationship with Ford had been soured since 1969 and he was now working with Dodge, tuning front-drivers. Yet, there was another name who was ready to give the Mustang back it’s power: Tom Solomon.

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There isn’t much information about Solomon other than ‘he was heavily involved with Shelby Mustangs and Cobras’, but apparently he had enough pull with Ford Motor Company that in 1983, he was allowed to design a Shelby-esque Mustang for submission to the company for approval. The design was loved, and Solomon was allowed to make the car as a modifier but there was no way that Ford was going to allow the car to be called a “Cobra” like he had hoped, since they still owned the trademark. No matter…Solomon dubbed his creation the “Predator G.T. 302” and moved on.

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Solomon American, the company that handled the modifications to the Predators, had two modification locations: one at the Topeka, Kansas factory and one at Williams Ford in Dallas, Texas. The only true giveaway for a Predator Mustang is the custom plaque affixed to the inner driver’s side fender. Going by modifications alone doesn’t work, because these cars have a wide range of options that customers could pick from. Rear gear sets as deep as 4.10, heavily modified 302ci engines dressed up to look like the 1960s mills, “Monte Carlo” bars, SVO-sourced suspensions, Minilite-like wheels with knockoffs, different hoodscoops and more could be added to a standard Mustang to create a wicked little performer. As to how potent these cars were…well, that’s a matter of debate that has no real clear answer.

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All told, maybe 300 or so Predator Mustangs were built over the course of three years, including the exceptionally rare “Predator R” models. Finding one is like locating a needle in a haystack, and decent ones sell for big bucks. But if you’re looking for a different build style for a four-eyed Fox, cloning a Predator wouldn’t be a bad way to go…

eBay Link: 1984 Ford Mustang Predator G.T. 302

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