No Slop In This T-Top: Vinnie Allegretta’s 1990 Fox Body Mustang

When you’re a lifelong racer in both drag and road course disciplines, the thought of driving something fully equipped with driver’s aids isn’t as appealing. This, combined with spending your youth surrounded by analog cars, can persuade someone into building the Fox Body of their dreams. For Long Island resident Vinnie Allegretta, this meant amassing a complete arsenal of Fox Body Mustangs. The greatest thing about his collection is that he and his Long Island cronies bring their Mustangs to events across the nation, with Allegretta debuting a new Mustang each time. 

Fox Body

Spotted In The Wild

Roughly two years ago, I watched from the comfort of my boring rental car as a pack of Mustangs roared down the highway toward the Carlisle Ford Nationals fairgrounds. I was hopeful to catch up with these cars and shoot a feature, but as the V8 sounds began to grow quieter and the light took forever to change, I began to doubt myself. Knowing that Carlisle would pack over 3,500 vehicles into its lot, the idea of finding a needle in a haystack came to mind.

However, as luck would have it, I spotted the black hardtop of Carl Melendez on polished CCW wheels parked right next to the black T-Top on bronze wheels I had seen ripping down the interstate. Anyone who has attended a Ford festival knows that finding the owners can be incredibly difficult, as they are often roaming the grounds looking at the Fords they came to see as well. Thankfully, Facebook exists, and after some digging, I was able to find Allegretta’s Facebook page and arrange to shoot his and Melendez’s Fox Body Mustangs.

Fox Body

Not Always A T-Top

If you follow Allegretta on social media, you’ll notice that many of his vehicles were built from the ground up. This 1990 Mustang is no different. Keen Mustang historical connoisseurs will be quick to point out that the T-Top model Mustangs ended around 1988 and there was never a 1990 T-Top version, and they would be correct. The roof had already been swapped before Allegretta’s purchase, but the car needed a more extensive restoration. So, Allegretta decided to strip it down before building it up.

Fox Body

While Allegretta has plenty of Coyote-powered cars in his stable, this one was meant to be more of a throwback to the ’90s. He started by shaving the entire engine bay before crafting a fresh small-block, creating a 306 cubic-inch engine with hand-ported GT40 aluminum heads and intake. An F cam was inserted into the mix, and the power adder of choice was a Vortech V1 with a complete EFI system. A TREMEC five-speed transmission entered the transmission tunnel, and with a 3.55 gear ratio, the final power laid to the pavement was right at 525 horsepower.

Under the hood wasn’t the only place that received performance modifications. The car is now equipped with aftermarket wheels, with 2003 Cobra brakes peering through the basket weave design. Inside the immaculate interior, you’ll find a Holley 12.3-inch dashboard, an Alpine double-din radio, and bass courtesy of a JBL spare tire subwoofer. The Recaro seats keep body movement to a minimum as the engine ramps up in RPM. Since this was originally a base model, Allegretta installed air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, a trunk pop mechanism, and took the dashboard from a 1988 model, adding a tilt mechanism for his Sparco steering wheel.

A Throw Back Thrown Right

Although the Fox Body Mustang has seen a surge in beauty queens and modernized rides, Allegretta took a different approach with the 1990 Mustang and recreated what many of us saw in high school and coveted. The classic cowl hood, perfect stance over aftermarket wheels, and tailpipes protruding from the rear bumper all speak volumes. Even starting up, the classic tones of a small-block Ford emit glorious sounds, with this one even featuring the classic Vortech noise. If there’s a car that can transport us back to the ’90s, this is it. We can’t wait to see the other cars Allegretta brings out. We just hope we’re within earshot next time and not stuck in a rental car.

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About the author

James Elkins

Born into a household of motorsport lovers, James learned that wrenching takes priority over broken skin and damaged nerves. Passions include fixing previous owners’ mistakes, writing, and driving.
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