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I aim to transform this 2017 Mustang GT into a car that accelerates faster, handles as well, and looks more exotic than a 2017 Shelby GT350R, all while costing less and without losing its suitability as a daily driver - tough but doable. While I could be the arbiters of my own success, there’s no glory in that. Instead, I’m asking Matt Farah, real deal and big wheel of “The Smoking Tire”, to take this pony out, give it the spurs, and tell Internetland whether he thinks I accomplished my goal or made a Pinto. #FARAHwillBELIEVE #betterTHANaPINTO I’m calling this project-- bite down on something-- “Mach V". V as in Velocity! V as in Value! “V” as in Vulva – yes, this will by my wife’s car once done which is only fair because she’s paying for it. #sheTHEman ‘Mach’ seemed the perfect moniker. When launched in 1969, the “Mach 1” line of Mustangs was performance oriented: intending to offer Shelby-beating acceleration for just a little more than Mustang GT money. For years, it seesawed with the Shelby (and Boss) offerings in terms of performance but always won the value race. That is, it did until falling into the dark ages with the rest of the American auto industry: a near extinction event brought on by acid rain, fuel shortages, and increased foreign competition. The Mach 1 stopped production in 1978 and almost no one cared; after all, we still had disco and velour. #BeeGeesFOREVER The 80s saw great change and the 90s brought significant improvement in American-made automobiles: Mustang’s sales, quality, and performance came roaring back. The Mach 1 badge was resurrected for a limited production stint in 2003/04 to try and increase sales of the soon-to-be-replaced SN95 Fox chassis. The effort was a lot of sizzle and a plate full of steak, helping sales figures and pleasing baby boomers. When the new chassis came out, the Mach 1 badge went back on the shelf in good condition, where it still sits waiting. That was almost 13 years ago. It’s been rumored that Ford will be releasing a new Mach 1 in 2018 that delivers on it’s historical promise better than ever. Of course, that same rumour was floated for 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 201… NO MORE WAITING! I’m taking the “Mach” name and delivering on the Mach promise RIGHT BLOODY NOW (well, in the coming weeks) and the lawyers be damned! THE DETAILS: The project aims to increase stock horsepower from an estimated 378 RWHP to 640+, an increase of over 260HP to the wheel. This will be accomplished via Roush Phase 2 supercharger kit, Kooks/Roush 1 7/8 inch free-flowing exhaust system, Lund Racing tune, and functional ram air hood à la Cervini. To effectively transmit all that extra power to the pavement, I’m putting on Vredestein Vorti R tires staggered 265/35/20 in the front and 305/30/20 out back. I know-- I know: Farah is already groaning, “If it’s not square, you are,” but I have my reasons for doing this and am confident it will work. After all, staggered works for the GT350R and that’s what I’m chasing. To improve handling and performance, the project aims to reduce the car's total gross weight by 50+ pounds and reduce total rotating mass by 100+ pounds. It may not sound like much of a diet but I’m bolting on a lot of stuff that adds weight so ending up with a net reduction isn’t easy or cheap, and the reduction in rotating mass is expected to be a big payoff in performance. Weight reduction will be accomplished by replacing the 15" performance pack Brembos up front with an ultralight 13" street racing kit from Aerospace Components. I intended to put them in the rear too but they don't accommodate the e-brake so it's a no-go. Please understand, it's not that I'm afraid of dying in a fiery crash owed to no backup breaks - though there's a hint of that too - rather, the mod won't pass inspection where I live and I can't afford to have a purely-for-show car. To further cut the fat, I'm installing a carbon fiber driveshaft, larger but lighter Vossen VFS1 wheels, and lighter but stiffer sway bars. I'm replacing the motor mounts and battery and deleting the engine sound tube. If that's not enough, I’ll delete the rear seat and replace the driver’s and passenger’s seat. If that’s still not enough, I’m feeding an unsuspecting Farah an innocent-looking cocktail of laxatives and water pills at the mixer I assume he hosts the night before every test drive: that’s another 30lbs gone, easy! To further improve handling, I'll replace the sway bar linkages and various bushings, add an IRS lockout and other suspension stiffeners, replace the shocks and dampers with Roush’s 3-way adjustable coilover kit (made by KW), drop the nose and rear 1.75 and 1.5 inches respectively, drop the motor 0.5 inches, and relocate the battery to the trunk. To be sure, matching the handling characteristics of the GT350R is the most difficult aspect of this project and might not be possible with the current plan. Still, I got a good feeling about this setup. #DREAMERgonnaDREAM To create a car that is more exotic than a stock GT350R, I’m starting with the lineup's best interior options and most striking (and expensive) color: yellow. I'm adding a new hood, chin spoiler, upper and lower grills, pedestal spoiler, and possibly window louvers and side scoops (if I can get past my disdain for all things faux), all from Cervini. I’m replacing the rear tail lights, rear sidelights, and upgrading the front turn signals. All exterior badging is being skinned, replaced, or modified and the car will have a custom decal scheme. The word Roush will only appear once and that will be under the hood – my promise to you, Farah. #roushAINTpimpnME Inside, all lights are being upgraded to LED, the shift knob is going retro, the shifter and e-brake boots are being replaced with leather, and a GT350 steering wheel and start button are being swapped in. I’m putting in billeted aluminium pedals and I’m painting elements of the dashboard pearl white. To ensure the car can handle the increased stress of the added performance and to improve general drive-ability, I’m upgrading the half shafts, shifter assembly, clutch, flywheel, radiator, thermostat, and a few other tidbits. I'll post pictures and updates as we go and record any problems that might come up. Feel free to share your thoughts and advice. Most parts have arrived and the build is scheduled to start December 6th.
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