The Pinto-based Mustang was never well-loved, but this one has a certain allure to it.
Most legendary motoring dynasties have a black swan. While not necessarily bad cars, they've failed to capture the magic of models past and present, giving them a slightly bad reputation amongst enthusiasts. Among them are the R231 Mercedes-Benz SL, Porsche 911 (996), and, perhaps the best-known example of all, the second-generation Ford Mustang.
While it has a dedicated following, the unloved Mustang was criticized, from new, for being underpowered and disappointing. It was based on the controversial Ford Pinto platform, after all. That hasn't stopped one individual from creating something rather extraordinary from the rather unremarkable muscle car. Painted in Ford's Grabber Blue and listed on duPont Registry, this SEMA show car is a far cry from the vehicle on which it's based. Intrigued? It could be yours for a snip under $125,000.
The custom body conceals the once-dreary styling and looks rather fetching. Up front, it resembles a more modern fifth-generation Mustang, while the rear appears to be inspired by the Ford Capri, a sports coupe known as Europe's Mustang. The taillights come from another Blue Oval classic, the Gran Torino. Everything is finished off nicely with subtle, black-painted wheels. But it is what's underneath that should pique your interest.
A 5.0-liter Coyote V8 lives under the bulging hood and, while the power and torque figures aren't mentioned, we assume it's more muscular than the original's anemic motor. The seller notes a custom three-inch exhaust with Borla Atak mufflers has been fitted, along with a Borla 8 stack Injection and custom MMR machined billet aluminum valve covers.
This modified Mustang isn't all about straight-line speed, though. Weighing less than 3,000 pounds, it should be great in the corners, undoubtedly aided by a lengthened wheelbase (by 12 inches) and a near 50/50 weight distribution. In fact, the dealer notes it handles like a "European supercar" and is a "terror on the track". The interior mirrors this focus on performance, with a no-nonsense approach to cabin comfort. The racing seats are leather-trimmed and there is an aftermarket infotainment system, but the luxuries stop there.
A body-painted roll bar dominates the snug cabin which is where you'll find the most controversial bit of the car; a delightfully rude gear knob is attached to the Mustang's TR6060 six-speed transmission, which boasts a SPEC super twin-clutch, and a carbon-fiber driveshaft. It's certainly not to everyone's taste, but this custom Mustang is a huge improvement on the original. If, however, you prefer your Mustang in original condition, this first-generation example will be up your alley.