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Canadian Mustang Legend Joe DaSilva Revives His Famous ’86 LX 5.0

Mustang Legend Joe DaSilva Revives His Famous ’86 LX 5.0
By Evan J. Smith
Hailing from Smithville, Ontario, Canada, Joe DaSilva is a die-hard Mustang racer who has been throwing gears for over 35 years. He’s competed in a variety of drag racing categories including the original Pro 5.0, was a staple at Mustang shootout events in 1990s with his popular 1986 5.0 LX. He is the owner of DaSilva Racing (established in 2002) and has been serving performance cars lovers since he and his brother, Paul, opened J&P Performance in 1989.
Along with running a successful shop, he and Paul, who raced his own Yellow LX hatchback, found the winner’s circle with regularity in the United States and Canada. Eventually, Joe built a 1995 Mustang dedicated for Pro 5.0 and he captured a NMRA championship in 2000. Joe still owns that Pro 5.0 1995 Mustang, along with a few other fantastic Fords, including a Cobra replica, which he says is his all-time favorite car.

We caught up with Joe at the 24th Annual Whipple Superchargers NMRA All-Ford World Finals presented by Competition Clutch & Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival in Bowling Green, KY and he was having a blast running ARP Open Comp with his famed coupe and his wife Carey by his side. Joe purchased red LX because it was lightweight, had a V8 and a manual transmission. He wasted little time, making it quicker than stock with basic bolt-on mods. All the while, Joe put his focus on maximizing his driving technique and over time the little red LX went through the typical transformation, going from street car to race car, but it always had a manual transmission. In its heyday it was powered by a 331-cube nitrous-gulping stroker built by his brother Paul and it went as quick as 8.41 at 162 mph. Joe eventually parked the race cars to focus on family and business, but a few years back, he dusted off the LX and swapped in a Gen 2 Coyote with a Cobra Jet intake and headers. Always a stick man, the 5.0 DOHC engine is backed by a G-Force Racing Transmissions G101 4-speed and the 9-inch that served during the Pro 5.0 days still sits under the mini-tubbed rear of the Fox.
In Bowling Green, Joe delivered a perfect .000 light during qualifying and in the second round of eliminations he lost a double-breakout race, but he ran a personal best of 9.98 at 133.87 mph, which was also his first 9-second pass with the Coyote combination. “I’m just here enjoying the moment with my wife Carey. I told her let’s go to the NMRA World Finals, I haven’t been there in 20 years, and she’s all about racing so we loaded up the motorhome and drove down. We just wanted to come and see some old friends, hang out and support NMRA.” Joe then dropped some news on us that will make NMRA fans happy. “We’re building a Coyote Stock car for 2023 and my wife will drive it,” he said, “I’m not telling you what it is yet, but it will be cool.” Thankfully, race fans will see a lot more of this Canadian duo when the season kicks off next March in Orlando, Florida at the NMRA Spring Break Shootout March 2-5 and we can’t wait either.

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