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SSOTN - Featured Member

September 2005 Featured Member
Full Name Michael Johnson
Screen Name NoModYet
Type and year of car

1989 Mustang coupe, or notch, depending on what part of the country in which you reside

Born where Lakeland, FL
Reside Where

Lakeland, FL

Family The two most awesome kids on the face of the planet, Gabrielle (7) and Drew (4)


What modifications do you have to the car(s)?

Originally a 4-cylinder car, I bought it out of Georgia as a roller with it’s current paint scheme, some black interior pieces, an 8.8 rear, and Pony wheels. I added a stock 5.0 and T5 transmission, black seats, and a V8 dash to get it on the road. Since then I’ve added SSBC brakes front and back, Falken Torque 5 18” wheels with Falken FK451 tires, Moser 31-spline axles and 3.73 gears, a Detroit Locker Truetrac differential, a Centerforce clutch, a Hurst Billet Plus shifter with a Steeda handle and Hurst Pistol Grip. Under the Kaenan cowl hood is a stock bottom end with a Comp Cams/Ed Curtis-spec camshaft, AFR 165 heads (With ARP studs, let’s not forget those), Comp Cams Pro Magnum rockers, an Edelbrock Performer intake, a BBK 70mm throttle body, stock mass air meter and airbox with a K&N filter, of course. The car also boasts a Nitrous Works adjustable nitrous kit, too. Oh yeah, and a UPR gauge cluster that changes colors, along with lighted A/C controls, too. Crap, I almost forgot about the BBK long tube headers with corresponding X-pipe, and the Dynomax after-cat exhaust.

What mods to you have planned for the future?

Ronnie Crawford-built, ProPower Performance Parts-sourced 348 with a Hellion Power Systems single turbo kit. Plus, a transmission upgrade is in the works, as well.

What was your original goal for the car(s)?

Just get it running.

What is your present goal for car(s)?
Keep it running.


What was your reason for buying the car(s)?

It was what I wanted at the time, and the right color, and the right price.

What other cars have you considered buying/presently own?

I really wanted a 1991-92 Deep Jewel (Emerald green) coupe, but I couldn’t find one at the time. I would trade this car for a comparable-in-price Emerald green coupe right now.

What are some of your Car / Driver achievements?

I drove up to the Fall Nats a couple years ago with my former coupe, and laid the smackdown on Jules’ 95 GT. It was a long trip, but beating Jules made it worth every mile.

Shout outs to people that helped you achieve these goals?

I must thank my friend Butch Metcalf for helping me out by going with me to Georgia to pick up the car with his truck and trailer. Another friend Chris Smith helped me by installing the dash, and giving me a killer deal on several parts (Including the engine, the computer, various harnesses, and the like). Chris and I worked on the car a lot to get it running. Without Chris, it would’ve taken a lot longer to get the car on the road. My boy John Piskopos also made me a killer deal on several parts along the way, as well. Good friend Allen Colding also sanded and buffed out the garage-applied paint job, too. Everyone on Superstallions has helped me out at one point or another, whether it be comic relief, or actual Mustang information. If I started naming names, I would forget someone, but the Superstallions staff always makes it easy for me when I come to the Nats to shoot feature cars, even when they’re not Superstallion members. I couldn’t complete this portion without thanking my dad for my automotive addiction. I grew up reading his Hot Rod and Car Craft magazines, and whatever other car magazine he had on hand at any given moment. Because of him, I’m sure I’ll have to have a 1951 Ford Business Coupe one of these days. That was my dad’s first car, and he had several as I was growing up. His influence, along with my aforementioned uncle Bobby, are the reasons why I’m into cars to a point where I’m sure many people question my sanity.

What is your Best 1/4 time?

13.77 in this car before adding the intake, and BBK long tube headers and X-pipe. Fastest time I’ve ever ran at the track is a 12.10 in a friend’s ‘71 Nova back in the day. Up till that time, the fastest he had gone was a 12.30. Everyone was asking me where I shifted at, but I had no clue. That was probably the third pass I had ever taken down a drag strip so I was doing good to make it down the track without pissing myself.

Do you plan on ever driving your car up to the Nats again?
I doubt it, it’s much easier to fly into Newark and be picked up at the airport by the super hot Mrs. DeCillis with the kicking, screaming offspring in the backseat, and get lost on the way to Casa DeCillis. I’m surprised she didn’t pull the, “Oops, we’re outta gas” trick.
Do you have any regrets along the way?
Not going through the T5 I bought to put in the car in the first place. The first one would rarely stay in first gear, and the second one is now grinding 2nd and 5th. I should’ve had it rebuilt before putting it in. Oh well, time for an upgrade anyway.

What was or is your favorite vehicle to this day and why?
Mustang-wise, I have to go with a 1989 Saleen SSC. I absolutely fell in love at first sight with those cars, and I will have one before I’m pushing up daisies. Non-Mustang, my list of favorite vehicles would be longer than a Paul Riva tech sheet, but the ones at the top of the list include a 1970 Super Bee (Just a wicked looking car. Mine must have either a 440 or 383, but it must have a Pistol Grip-shifted A833. I’ll take mine in Hemi Orange, or Vitamin C, whatever it was called that year), a 1969 S/C Rambler (390/4-speed. A buddy of mine owned one back in the day, and I fell in love with it, too), a Lemans Sunset orange 350Z (Love the color, and the looks of the car), a Ferrari 575M Maranello (Do I really need to explain), a 1964 Impala (With dual antennas out the back with the back end a little lower than the front. My lowrider personality coming out), and a certain piss yellow 1932 five-window coupe (Chopped, with chrome reversed wheels, from American Graffiti you idiot). However, I think the coolest car on the planet is a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO.
What other things do you enjoy besides cars?
Spending time with my aforementioned kids, playing basketball, working out, and listening to live music. I also very much enjoy hanging out with family and friends.
What upcoming events in 2005 do you plan on racing in if any?
I mostly race at Bradenton Motorsports Park (Home of the NMRA opener every March) at their monthly Runday Sunday events. A good mix of cars, and I love being outside when the temperature is in the mid 90s. If I’m unable to be at the beach, the drag strip is a distant 2nd.


Are you getting sick of people asking you to do a feature?
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t mind at all when people ask me about being featured in the magazine. I happen to really like Mustangs, and most people who ask are worthy of a feature. Plus, I don’t usually turn people down. If there’s an area that I think needs improving, I’m up front about it. I don’t tell them in a mean way, it’s just constructive criticism, and if they really want to be in the magazine, they’ll make the necessary improvements by the next time we see the car. Sometimes I put that respective car in Showcase (Readers rides), and I’ll start them out with that. This gets the person excited about being in the mag, and even more willing to get the car up to feature standards.
How does it feel to be asked about you and your car for a change?
It’s a little weird, to tell you the truth. I’ve never had to do something like this, but now I see how nerve-wracking it is. It’s taken me a few hours just to fill this thing out. I consider it an honor to be the Superstallions Featured Member.
Why a Yellow Mustang? Do they call you Mellow Yellow?
Well, I’ve always liked yellow I guess, especially Chrome yellow. And I had never seen a yellow Fox coupe until I saw mine listed for sale on another Web site. I guess once I saw it, I had to have it. However, way back in the day, my uncle Bobby (R.I.P.) had a little Ford Courier pick-up with a Boss 302 in it. The truck was yellow; and guess what was emblazoned on the tailgate? Yeah, Mellow Yellow, but that truck had one hell of a reputation around our hometown. Plus, I’m a big American Graffiti fan, and the John Milner ’32 5-window coupe is a legendary car in my mind. My yellow coupe is a modern-day version of that car.
How many Mountain Dew Code Reds did you drink while answering the questions?
None, I haven’t had a Code Red in who knows how long. I either drink the original Mountain Dew flavor in a can, which I had during this writing, or the Live Wire flavor in a 20oz. plastic bottle. Notice the interior picture.
What problems do you have on the car right now?
Uh, let’s see. The A/C is broke, as is the power steering, the rag joint is about to come apart, the windshield leaks, both quarter windows leak, the tranny grinds going into 2nd and 5th, an exhaust leak has come out of nowhere to join the party, the tire store broke one of my center caps, the nitrous leaked out within days of installing the kit, the right taillight is cracked, the driver side window switch only works the driver side window (Good thing the passenger side switch rolls that window down), both door lock actuators are long gone, both front seats are passenger side seats, and the rear tires rub the tailpipes on the turns and the inner quarters on real sharp turns. Other than that, the car is relatively perfect. BTW, if there are any Emerald green coupe owners out there looking for a trade, the majority of this stuff will be fixed really soon, and I have the stuff to fix some of these problems here at the office waiting to be installed.

Congrats to Michael Johnson for being the SSOTN Featured Member for September 2005.
Interview conducted by : John Paulson - Founder
Web Site Production: Matthew DeCillis - Webmaster

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