The Ford Mustang, introduced to the world for the 1965 model year, may very well be the most often modified America car ever made. From the famous “H-Pipe” exhaust setups to the stacks of catalogs featuring aftermarket parts for your 5-0 Fox Body, there’s certainly no lack of modification options. But, while just about anyone can slap on an exhaust and a cold air intake, it takes some serious walking to the beat of a different drummer to do bolt on something new, weird or different on a Mustang.
It’s no wonder the manufacturing, sales, and installation of aftermarket Mustang parts is a multi-million-dollar industry. From Saleen to Roush to Ford’s own Special Vehicle Team (SVT), it seems like everyone wants to drop their fishing hook in the mustang mod waters.
With all that competition, not only for Mustang owner’s dollars but for their attention (which is only gained through quality, innovation, imagination or reputation), it’s really hard to do something most have never seen with your pony car. But, that’s not exactly a deterrent for anyone from the backyard mechanic to the up-and-coming race teams to the big boys themselves at Saleen. With 54 years of Mustangs canvases to choose from, and a seemingly limitless variety of what can be done there doing something different enough to be weird shouldn’t be that hard, should it?
19 800-HP In Top Gear
The folks at Top Gear are smitten with this entry: an 800-HP blacktop shredding grey ghost of a Mustang from the Clive Sutton dealer group. Here’s what Top Gear finds so sensational about this remarkable ride: "How have they managed to squeeze 800 horses out of a Mustang?
By using a Stage 2 Whipple supercharger, along with an upgraded intercooler, new injectors, and a larger throttle body. Sutton has also fitted a new exhaust system with long tube headers, a sports catalyst, and quad-tailpipes with ‘active control’ (read: NOISE). There’s a three-way adjustable suspension setup, said to be more compliant than the CS700 that preceded it. About that CS700. When we drove it last year, TG’s Ollie Marriage noted: “It’s actually quite well damped considering how shortly sprung it now is (dropped 25mm at the front and 35mm at the back), but you’d have to say it’s pretty positive. This KW set-up is the most aggressive Sutton offers, and it’s worth knowing that it’s completely adjustable, and gives the car a really good attacking stance.”
While it’s not so weird to modify a V8 Mustang, the fact that all this was done by a British dealer who sells them in merry old England for the equivalent of nearly $90,000 is certainly out of the ordinary.
18 Seal Beach 6
If you know anything about Mustangs you what the word Saleen means to ‘Stang fans. Well, apparently the folks at Saleen are doing their best to back the badge recently, by modifying Mustangs and turning them into high-performance police interceptors. First, they took a 2015 Mustang and modded it for the Riverside California Police. The folks at mustangsource.com detailed it on their site by saying “Last year, the Riverside Police Department in Riverside, Calif. received a special-edition 730-horsepower Saleen S302 Black Label Mustang. That vehicle looks identical to the one the Seal Beach Police Department will be receiving shortly. As a recap, a stock 2015 Mustang GT comes with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that churns out 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Saleen takes the stock vehicle, slaps a supercharger onto the engine, fits the motor with larger fuel injectors, tunes the engine for performance, and, among a bunch of other things, cranks output up to 730 hp. Torque is rated at 600 pound-feet.”
This year, Saleen is giving a wild ride to the Seal Beach Police Department. So, if you’re down with speeding on PCH or like to break the law on the 405, don’t be shocked when you see this modified masterpiece in your rear-view mirror.
17 The Knight Begins To Shine
When your Mustang is essentially the vehicular equivalent of the Black Knight, you just might want to do something to get people to pay attention. The folks at Pimp My Ride joined forces with Bill Gate’s and Microsoft to create this chariot fit for any Windows warlord in the Kingdom: The Micro-Stang. The folks at AOL fill in the details “West Coast Customs has taken the chassis and interior of a 2012 Ford Mustang, but replaced the body with one based on the '67 model. After applying the matte black finish, the inside is overhauled including a tablet PC for the passenger-side dashboard - much more useful than an airbag.
The complete catalog of Microsoft hard- and software is incorporated into the car, including an Xbox360 with Kinect, Windows Azure, Bing and a Windows phone. There's not an iPad in sight. (The very iPad-like tablet in the dash isn't actually an iPad.)”
With an app available for download on a Windows phone the lucky owner of this mad Mustang can re-write the definition of Smart Car. Complete with auto-start and control of a vast array of the ‘Stang’s features via the app, even cell phone zombies can get out and feel the rush of high-performance racing.
16 Can't see? Try Angel Eyes!
Just not feeling the old headlights on your classic Mustang? Feel like your high beams aren’t high on life? Or maybe you’re just thinking that plain light is just so last year. If any of those is you, the folks at RedLine LumTronix have just what you want in their new Angel Eyes line of aftermarket lights for classic cars.
The folks at 12Voltnews had this to say about Redline’s Agnel Eyes “The revolutionary diamond series headlights feature two halo types: single color white halo and 16 multi-color in both 7” and 5-3/4” size headlights. This makeover headlight modernizes the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) headlight from a low visibility parabolic lens headlight to a 50% brighter crystal clear lens with an angel eyes LED halo that adds a stylish look to any classic vehicle. This look is similar to the Daylight Running Lights (DLR) feature on the new Audi and BMW.”
They went on to add “Multi-color halos are popular at night cruise-ins. The color of the halo changes to red or orange with a credit card size remote with 16 colors, giving your classic car a look to go along with the growl of your engine. This headlight works in all make and model cars, trucks and even motorbikes, manufactured from 1936 to 1979. It also works in modern vehicles that still use a 7-inch headlight including the Jeep, Hummer, Toyota and Range Rover.”
Now, how cool is that?
15 Don’t Look Now But That Mustang Might Be Following Us!
It’s not uncommon to see someone take the bed off an old pickup truck and use it to make a new trailer for hauling junk to the dump and home from the hardware store. In fact, it actually makes a lot of sense since they already come complete with taillights, a rear gate, walls and everything you need to haul stuff. But, the tail end of a Mustang is a whole different animal.
Someone on Reddit spotted this one cruising down the highway between Alabama and Atlanta and snapped some video and pics. Before long, they tracked down the owner and found out he purchased the tail end of a totaled Mustang, then had the trailer tongue welded to it, fitted with diamond plate decking and a chrome hitch. After that, he cleaned up the body so it looked immaculate, sanded it down, painted it to match his existing Mustang and trailered it on down the highway. While this one straddles the line between genius and ridiculous, you certainly can’t fault the guy for doing an amazing job with this one of kind trailer. Maybe he should open his own U-Haul competitor for the Hat Car fan looking to move in style.
14 Just Drifting By
Here’s another entry that lands somewhere between genius and insane… before it lands down the dirt road somewhere. According to eBay Motors, “Formula Drift champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. goes drifting with his buddies for kicks, one of his weapons of choice is his classic Fox Body Mustang. ‘The chassis is relatively lightweight and has great dimensions,’ explained Vaughn. ‘There is a huge selection of performance and replacement parts that are relatively affordable. And with some modifications, they look damn cool.’” While we can agree the car does look cool, anyone who remembers the old Dukes of Hazzard show, or Smokey and the Bandit knows exactly what happens to muscle cars when you lift ‘em into the air and slam them back down into the ground.
Sure Gittin Jr. (oh, how many “he’s Gittin’ it” jokes that poor man must have heard in his career) probably has the scratch to spare to replace fenders, control arms, subframes, suspension bushings and what not at will – but sooner or later it’s going to turn into strut towers, entire drivetrains and full frames. While having access to a vast selection of aftermarket parts is great, sooner or later the car will spend way more time getting repaired than it will getting modified.
They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. The problem with this picture is every word in the thousand is why? Why would you feel the need to suck every last ounce of cool out of your Mustang? Why would you ever look at a modern Mustang and think “Hey, this thing really needs a spare tire from a Lincoln Continental!” Why, after thinking that completely unforgivable thought – possibly birthed after consuming copious amounts of cheap alcohol – would you then go ahead and act on that impulse? Why would you think this was possibly the best use of your limited time here on Earth?
The staff at Ford Authority agree as well. “We were blindsided and rendered speechless when we came across these images of this obnoxiously-modified Mustang. They depict a current-generation Ford pony car of such unholy distastefulness, conceived and constructed with such wanton disregard for tact and common decency, that we’re contemplating phoning our elected representatives. You might consider doing the same.”
And, the questions keep mounting. Why do this if you didn’t have the skill to pull it off properly? Often oddities of this nature can elicit a grudging respect from most people educated on the subject matter. This thing gets no such thing…
12 The Exception
Aerodynamic modifications, such as spoilers, ground effects, brake vents, louvers, etc usually serve two purposes: A) they improve the car's performance in either straight line speed, handling or both and B) they up the eye-candy factor far beyond what the factory rolled out. The best way to tell whether money spent on aero mods was well worth it is to check the improvements in these two areas.
In the case of this poor Mustang, the first benefit is seriously questionable. Having a rear spoiler should increase downforce, which increases speed as it keeps the back tires on the ground and reduces the airflow under the car. Having two spoilers negates that as now the vehicle just has a hideous air-brake mounted on the trunk lid.
As for the second benefit of aero-mods, let’s take a stroll around this modified bit of Ford Mustang maleficence. For those readers who are color blind, take it from us the color combination of burnt metallic orange and faded Ford burgundy only work at the bottom of a paint mixing trough when the two colors were spilled accidentally – otherwise, never, ever, EVER mix them. Next up, what exactly is going on at the rear ¼-panel? It almost looks like someone painted paper towel tubes, cut them in half and taped them to the car. While we could go on, and on, it’s time to move on instead.
11 Unistang? MustCorn? What?
The folks at UglyCarPictures have it right when they ask “Was doing this to the Mustang really necessary?” Unlike the spare tire fiasco we mentioned before, this one actually looks to have been done by a person or persons with some real talent. The problem is whoever was directing that talent went ‘round the bend, as they say in the UK and never came back.
Maybe it was an eccentric dad whose daughter just loves unicorns and Mustangs so much he commissioned the work (keep in mind eccentric is just a nice way of saying crazy when you’re talking about rich people)? Or, maybe someone who thought they could cash in at the crossroads of Mustang lovers and fans of Unikitty from The Lego Movie?
Thankfully, the reality is actually much cooler. According to the Deadline News Agency “A CLASSIC American muscle car has been transformed into a glittering rainbow unicorn to raise money in a charity auction. The custom-made 1968 Ford Mustang has been renamed “Unistang” after being donned with various upgrades, including a sparkling “unihorn,” magnetic Pegasus wings, and purple fluffy seats. Painted in a shimmering rainbow design the unique V8 Mustang is being sold online by the auction website eBay to raise funds for the Albert Kennedy Trust.” And thus legends are horn… err… born…
10 Green with envy? Doubt it…
Adding aftermarket wheels and tires is an old faithful when it comes to Mustang modifications. But, as with everything else, there’s a line between amazing and awful. Sometimes people go just a little too far over that line. Then, there are the folks who go so far past the line the line is nothing but a dot in their rear-view mirror. Take this green machine as exhibit A.
So, where do we begin… well, first the whole point of thin spoked aftermarket wheels is to show off what’s behind them – usually upgraded brakes from places like Brembo or Wilwood.
Having the weird green dish behind them makes them look more like hubcaps than fancy wheels – and while there may be an entire segment of the Mustang world lusting after chrome plated five-star hubcaps, they’re being pretty stealth about their love. Secondly, if you look close enough it’s pretty obvious the rear fenders will dig into the back tires when going over anything that makes the rear shock absorbers compress, or when taking off too quickly.
Beyond those obvious issues comes the most obvious of all – it’s just plain ugly. Now, on the flip side, chances are this cat never loses his car in a busy parking lot. Not to mention the line of people waiting for their chance to steal it has got to be pretty short.
9 When you love Ford, but can’t afford an F350
How many times do you hit the local car show, see a classic Mustang fastback and immediately think “That thing would be sick if it just had a lift kit, Mickey Thomson mud tires, and powder-coated step bars!” Odds are, you haven’t – ever. That is unless you happen to live in Des Moines Iowa where this one was spotted outside a Sportsman’s Warehouse. And, if you don’t but really want to smell what this Mustang owner is cooking, it might be worth a road trip to the area just to catch a sniff.
The folks at Accelerate PDX spotted it and had this to say “Clearly this Mustang has custom bumpers along with a large lift kit. The hood might be from a Boss, while the rear mud flaps are clearly meant for an F350 dually. The straight pipes coming out the back I am sure to pass emissions. One has to wonder, do they take this thing mudding or in the fields? Regardless, if you happen to be near Des Moines, IA anytime soon, keep your eyes peeled for this hot piece of Mustang. The owner may even let you check its undercarriage.”
But, maybe fastback isn’t your thing… maybe you’re more a Fox Body type. Well, chances are they make F350 parts for your 91 GT, too. Or not.
8 For the (other) Mustang owner who really wanted a truck
There are two ways of looking at this: either someone added a truck to their Mustang, or they decided their Ranger needed more horsepower. For the Mustang crowd, the notion that the car doesn’t come with much back-seat space or trunk room isn’t news to you. While the extra cab Ranger option package doesn’t do much to upgrade the back-seat leg room, it does take the trunk storage capacity to another level altogether.
Sure, you lose a lot of aerodynamic performance, and slapping a Cobra badge on this one won’t look quite as cool, but at least you can help your friends and relatives on moving day.
If you fall into the second camp, you’re one of the millions who purchased a Ford Ranger and felt like it just needed a little more get up and go- never fear, the owner of this one has you covered. All you need to do to get your small pickup in race-ready shape is weld a Mustang to the front end – or at least part of the Mustang. It’s hard to say exactly how much of this Franken-ride is a Ranger and how much is a Mustang, but let’s hope there’s a 4.6L V8 under that hood, otherwise someone wasted an awful lot of time modding this one.
7 And the winner is...
The most ridiculous Mustang mod ever made wasn’t done by a ‘Stang owner, but by Ford Motor Company. In 1973 the engineers at Ford decided the previous generation Mustang was just too cool and they needed to do something about it. Through extensive efforts and little to no reliable market research, they introduced just what the public wanted: The Mustang II. Problem is, it had more in common with the infamous Ford Pinto than it did the gorgeous street machines featured in the Trans Am racing series and movies like Bullitt and Gone in 60 Seconds.
While they marketed it as what the masses wanted, “an affordable, sporty, fuel efficient machine,” what consumers really wanted was the price of gas to drop back to reasonable levels so they could fuel up their gas guzzling, rubber burning muscle machines.
For many automotive historians, the introduction of the Mustang II was also the beginning of the end for America’s nationwide love affair with the automobile. It wasn’t long after that the original muscle car era faded into the history books, and by 1978 the Mustang II went with it. Thankfully, thanks to modern technology, a new breed of muscle cars are racing down America’s roads while cars like the Mustang II are left in the dust.
6 Black Chrome Baby!
“I’m gonna chrome my whole car!” “No way dude, that’s weird!” “No, seriously, don’t get salty just ‘cause I thought it up first! You’ll see, it’s gonna be dope!”
While that probably isn’t how this car came to be, or even true that no one’s ever done this before, but we can all agree that this thing is seriously dope! Not one to simply settle for the Borla exhaust and K&N Air Filter that so many Mustang heads stop with, the owner of this mirrored Mustang may have just driven this bad machine here all the way from the Matrix.
Honestly, why bother to do anything else to this one? All the go-fast bolt-ons pimped out suspension parts and tricked out gear on earth really would go entirely unnoticed at car shows and just about anywhere else this magnificent muscle car rolls up. Now, it would be a shame to pop the hood on this pony just to discover a 4-cylinder hiding under there. But, this is one that turns heads without ever even thinking about the engine. It looks fast just sitting there. Now, as long as the owner can keep the kids away from it – wiping off fingerprints has to be a full-time job with this one - it’s all good.
5 SEMA Snake!
The folks at Ford Performance certainly know about wild Mustang mods. Here’s what they had to say about this beauty: “So Hot it Appears Uncatchable, Even When Standing Still: Bojix Design Creates European-Inspired #FordSEMA Mustang Striking the balance between tasteful and wild with its aggressively refined color theme, the Bojix Design Mustang (pictured above) brings a distinctly European grand tourer feel to the Canadian designed EcoBoost pony. More than just a pretty face, the Bojix Design includes a healthy assortment of powertrain and chassis modifications to give the Mustang power and handling to match her sexy looks.”
With an upgraded turbo, intercooler, intake and custom magna-flow exhaust from Full Race Motorsports, you know this Mustang is just as much go as it is show. The folks at Bojix Design that put this one together also added such goodies as Cortex front and rear coil-over suspension system Cortex front and rear adjustable sway bar end-links, rear sub-frame bushings and knuckle bearing, a 3.73 rear axle gear set with Eibach front and rear sway bars. Add to that the Brembo 15" front and rear brake system with type-3 rotors and rear dual-caliper system and this is one seriously mean machine. Oh, and did we mention they blasted it with Lamborghini paint?
4 Bismoto’s Black Beauty: 900-HP From 4-Cylinders!
Whoever thought you could crank more than 200-HP out of a single EcoBoost cylinder? The folks at Bisimoto Engineering that's who. And, then took it to Sema also. Check out what Ford Performace says about this beast: “A Four-Cylinder EcoBoost Mustang with 900 Horsepower: Only Possible at #FordSEMA. 900 Horsepower. What else can we say? Tripling the power of the EcoBoost Mustang is the result of Bisimoto’s drive to create reliable high-performance parts for the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. In all, Bisimoto designed 14 new parts for their #FordSEMA show car (pictured above) for the engine and chassis. They continue their tradition of creating awe-inspiring vehicles with this super powerful “BisiBoost” Mustang.”
Whoever thought the words “EcoBoost” and “900 horsepower” would fall into the same car description?
Here’s the extensive list of powertrain mods detailed by Ford Performance: AEM Electronics Infinity 6 ECU. Boost controller, flex fuel sensor, and fuel pressure regulator. Arias Pistons 9:1 forged billet hi-tensile pistons. ARP head and main studs, wheel studs and bolts. Supertech springs and titanium retainers. Bisimoto Engineering Web Level 2.4 camshaft and custom exhaust system. Steel rods. Reservoir socks. Five-O Motorsport 2200 cc fuel injectors. Golden Eagle Manufacturing added: Cylinder sleeves, Custom fuel rail, and air intake. MagnaFuel 750 fuel pump. NGK Iridium spark plugs. Port Flow Design custom head work. Turbonetics BTX7668 turbo with an internal wastegate. Godzilla blow-off valve. SPEC Stage 5 clutch and a Spearco intercooler.
3 Motoroso Muscles In
The folks over at Motorso weren’t about to let the others have all the fun. Here’s what Ford Performance told us about this silver streaker: “No Junk in This Trunk: Motoroso Offers a Connected Car with One-of-a-kind Mustang GT with 727 Horsepower. The Ford Mustang is one of the most customized vehicles in the market today; it’s no surprise Motoroso chose it as the hero vehicle to promote its unique automotive tuner social media site. This stallion finds the balance between extreme performance, street-ability, and style featuring a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine delivering 727 horsepower! It rides on stylish 21-inch red candy Rotiform SPF wheels and includes an Eibach spring kit to pull it all together. The trunk features a custom lid fitted with multiple iPads that offer people the opportunity to learn about the car through a Motoroso app.”
Talk about taking your ride next level! Not only is this Mustang a serious eye-catcher with all the performance a gearhead could want, it gives you instant entry into the social media version of the local racetrack, where you can interact with fellow modders, tuners, and grease-monkeys who love nothing more than to share their love of awesome cars.
2 Time To Drag(g) Race
Years ago, I had the opportunity to drag race at Pomona International Raceway against a California Highway Patrol Z28 modified for high-speed pursuit. As evidenced by the trophy I have laying around here somewhere for smoking the smokey, that ChiP didn’t stand a chance. But, there’s a reasonable chance that if he was driving this monster Mustang the roles would have been reversed. I doubt it, though.
From Ford Performance: “The sexiest police vehicle you will see outside of Dubai, the DRAGG Mustang brings the best of performance and fuel economy to the law. Tricked-out with a sleek design and custom police lighting this interceptor is capable of drawing your attention quickly whether it is behind you with lights blazing or handling parade duty. The “Thin Blue Line” theme for this #FordSEMA show car really adds character to the exterior and interior trim of this intimidating law enforcer.”
Complete with Vortech Engineering intercooler system, a Borla “Attack” cat-back exhaust system, AIRAID intake and BAMA tuning by American Muscle, Air Lift performance suspension by American Muscle and Wilwood front and rear big brake kits this “5-0 in a 2.3” might make you want to pull over for your ticket just so you can check it out.
1 For the Rag Top Crowd
There’s just something really cool about a red convertible hot rod. Prince even wrote a song about it with his “Little Red Corvette”. Well, this certainly isn’t a GM and chances are it would devour any mid-1980s stock Corvette you lined it up with. Modded with a RaceTec Engineering intercooler, Magnaflow cat-back exhaust system, Steeda Autosports Stage 3 Handling Package (which includes: Adjustable rear toe links, Billet aluminum vertical links, IRS sub-frame support braces, lowering springs [3” front, 2” rear] Front and rear sway bars riding on billet sway bar mounts).
Not one to shy away from bragging about their stallions, Ford Performance made this declaration about the TS Design Mustang: “A wide backside gives the TS Designs Mustang not only great curves but also allows this pony to run with massive 13” wide rear tires. The extra wide rear tires coupled with the Steeda Autosports Stage 3 Handling Package and lowering springs ensure traction will not be an issue when this baby is out carving up canyon roads. The seductive red and black two-tone theme will encourage the top to be always down on this hot drop-top.”
If Prince were still with us, it’s a safe bet he’d consider trading that Corvette for this wild stallion.
Sources: Ford Performance, Top Gear, Ugly Car Pictures