Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
July 1, 2008
Photos By: Donald Farr

The retro styling of the S197 was an immediate hit with the buying public, and while some aftermarket companies haven't embraced it, most of them have and are providing retro versions of the current Mustangs. One such company is Temple Performance Cars, a Georgia-based operation offering three different Mustang models of varying performance.

Arriving in our parking lot at MM&FF Command Central South, the Vista Blue with white stripes LM500 Series 1 definitely caught our eye. It's a color combination that's hard to beat, and coupled with the Shelby CS67 20-inch wheels and choice Legend Mustangs body components, the Series 1 looked great.

The Series 1 LM500 from Legend Mustangs can be had with either an ATI centrifugal supercharger or this RoushCharger huffer.

Though we weren't able to do any performance testing with the car, we did evaluate its driving dynamics for a couple of days on this author's 84-mile daily commute. Legend Mustangs did a good job on the coil spring choice, which offered a slightly stiffer and lower ride, along with improved handling over a base Mustang while being comfortable in day-to-day operation. The use of BFGoodrich KDW rubber-255/35/20 front and 285/30/20 rear-at all four corners was also a wise choice, offering improved traction in cornering and straight-line performance. The latter is of great importance since the Series 1 LM500 offers a 500hp ATI ProCharger supercharger, or the RoushCharger, which our tester was equipped with.

The Roots-style supercharger provides nearly immediate boost and torque, which raises the fun factor considerably over a base Mustang. The Series 1 and 2 LM500 Mustangs also get a muffler-delete exhaust setup for a more aggressive sound. The lack of mufflers isn't overly loud since the catalytic converters remain, but we found the overall note had an untuned quality to it. The exhaust note does scream vintage Mustang, though.

The Series 1 and 2 Mustangs offer an aggressive exhaust note thanks to a muffler-delete package.

The exterior, as previously mentioned, was modified with a Legend Mustangs hood, sidescoops, rear wing, and the optional center foglight relocation-the latter we thought looked perfect with the overall styling concept. Buyers can pick from their favorite factory colors, and then Legend Mustangs will paint the stripes on the car so you never have to worry about them peeling or fading.

LM also accents the Mustang's interior with billet trim pieces at the e-brake handle and cup holder. Boost and the air/fuel mixture can be monitored at the A-pillar with a pair of included gauges, and the stock 3650 transmission is stirred by a Hurst shifter. Lastly, a push-button engine start is installed into the 12-volt accessory port at the top of the dashboard. Over the course of our time with the Series 1, this push-button start proved to be more of an annoyance, though a full week with the car might have converted our brain's preprogrammed column-starting procedure.

The Series 1 and 2 Mustangs are equipped with Shelby 20X9-inch front and 20X10-inch rear wheels shod with BFGoodrich KDW rubber.

Aside from the exhaust note and starter button, we found the LM500 Series 1 to be quite a bit of fun and comfortable to drive. The styling is all-muscle, and the supercharged powerplant will satisfy the majority of speed cravings. Legend Mustangs also offers the Series 2, which is everything the Series 1 is minus the blower. For those who need more speed, though, see our sidebar on the Legend X.

To have your Mustang converted to LM500 Series 1 specs, you'll need to cough up about $24,000, or you can order your car through Legend Mustangs' dealer network for the sum of $52,000. Pricing is comparable with Roush, Saleen, and Steeda offerings, but the Legend pedigree hasn't been established just yet, whereas the big three Mustang gurus all have an established racing heritage and street cred. Still, the Series 1 offers similar performance with vintage styling, so it's up to you how you want your Mustang to look.

The X Factor
Beyond The LM500 Series 1 and 2 Mustangs that Legend Mustangs offers, there's the Legend X-a 650hp beast that should easily mop up its share of GT500s. Legend Mustangs starts with a 5.0 short-block with forged internals and adds a Kenne Bell twin-screw supercharger, a 90mm mass air meter, and a full performance exhaust from the headers to the tailpipes.

Backing up the stout powerplant is a T-56 six-speed gearbox with a Spec clutch, a short-throw shifter, 4.10 cogs, and performance axleshafts in the 8.8 rearend. Brembo four-piston calipers and cross-drilled rotors keep things within legal limits, and numerous suspension modifications upgrade the underpinnings over the Series 1 Mustang. The interior is well appointed as well.

Legend Mustangs sent us a Legend X in Wimbledon White with blue stripes and shod with CS69 20-inch Shelby wheels. While final tuning wasn't complete, we did throw the X on Horsepower By Herman's (Tampa, Florida) Dynojet to see if it put out the purported power output, and to verify what we felt through the seat of the pants meter. Indeed, the Legend X pumped out 573 rwhp at 5,800 rpm and an extremely flat torque curve that topped out at 510 lb-ft. Air/fuel ratio checked in at 11.5:1, though the boost level had the pump gas running scared at 19 psi.

During our brief time with the Legend X, it proved to be a stout performer on the street, whether our foot was deep in the throttle or just cruising to and from wherever. We'd have liked to evaluate it on the track where it should really shine, but we were unable to do so. Hopefully, in the near future we'll be able to perform more in-depth performance tests in a variety of environments.