Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
March 1, 2001
Photos By: Jeff Ford
The yellow GT has all stock Ford body panels. The new '01 wing and scoop package (akin to the '99 35th Anniversary items) are subtle touches Dario felt didn't need to be disturbed on this base package.

The die-hard crew at Steeda never rests, and that holds especially true for the subtly changed, yet new, '01 Mustang. Steeda, well known for its systems approach to aftermarket parts installation and buildups, has been building complete, serialized cars for quite some time-as far back as the late '80s to be exact. These Steeda Mustangs (and now Focuses, F-150s, Expeditions, Rangers, and just about everything else Ford sells) have always been "built" by the customer. Sure, there are packages and "levels" to start with, but the beauty of a Steeda vehicle is that the crew at Steeda will build the car the way you want it. Of course, this great group of people will also be there every step of the way to aid you in your decisions and to prevent you from wasting your hard-earned money.

We recently had a chance to sample two of Steeda's latest-a '01 GT hardtop dressed to kill and a '01 GT convertible tastefully accented for drop-top cruising. Our tour guides were none other than Steeda principal Dario Orlando and head of New Vehicle Sales Nick Spinelli.

Dario wanted to show us the two ends of the Steeda spectrum, with the yellow GT being the starting point and the red GT being the top of the line Steeda package, all decked out and ready to rock. The yellow GT is wearing the basic Steeda package, which includes 17x9 Steeda Ultralite wheels wrapped in Nitto 555 tires sized at 275/40ZR17. Steeda Sport Springs, a Steeda 4130 chromoly steel strut brace, and a Steeda adjustable rear sway bar give the car an enhanced ride and better looks, while Steeda underdrive pulleys, Flowmaster mufflers, and a K&N FilterCharger add some basic muscle. The great-looking Steeda Sidewinder graphics package adds some much needed flair to the basic flanks of the '01 model, while letting those in the know lust after what you're styling in. This basic package is $3,850 (though the wheels and tires were deleted from the package for this car, because Steeda wanted to show off the new 17-inch optional wheels Ford is putting on the '01 GT).

The proud father, Dario Orlando, and his latest creations for 2001. From mild to wild, Steeda can fill your need for head-turning Mustang excitement.

At the other end of the spectrum is the hootchie-mamma red GT. This 370 rear wheel horsepower monster is ready to prowl the streets and take names, corner carve with the best of them, or simply sit still and look menacing to any GM F-body plasti-car within 5 miles of it. The red GT is decked out in the best of the best, starting with a Paxton Novi supercharger to up the grin quotient more than sufficiently. Steeda also saw fit to bolt on its complete Stage 3 G-trac suspension and handling system, which includes the great Tokico Illumina five-way adjustable shocks and struts, Steeda Sport Springs, aluminum control arms (upper and lower), front and rear sway bars, caster camber plates, subframe connectors, and a strut brace.

To control all this horsepower when it comes time for re-entry from the stratosphere, huge 14-inch front and 13-inch rear Brembo disc brakes are utilized. This all-new brake package was prototyped on this very car and is now available as a separate kit for '94-'01 Mustangs. Complementing this superior braking package is Steeda's wheel-and-tire setup, consisting of 18x9 chrome-plated Steeda Ultralite wheels wrapped in Nitto 285/35ZR18s.

With the "go" and the "whoa" parts of the equation worked out, Steeda installed one of its great-looking functional race wings on the red GT, along with a Cobra R-style hood and its brand-new 2000 Cobra R-style front wind splitter. Steeda, always concerned with aesthetics as well as air management, did a wonderful job in this department.

Other items included in this package include a Steeda Tri-Ax shifter, a Steeda stainless after-cat exhaust, a Steeda shift knob, supercharger gauges, and the sweet Steeda Sidewinder graphics. There is a brand-new option for a Steeda seating package too, though it is not installed on this car. This high-end package will run you just under $25,000.