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2000 Ford Mustang GT - The Medusa Mustang
John Swaren’s “sleeper” Gold GT is a one-off hot rod.
Pennsylvania-man John Swaren acquired his extremely modified '00 GT in a very interesting way.
A few years back, John met a girl, and not long after their first meeting, she pulled up in a stock Sunburst Gold Mustang GT convertible. John was diggin' the girl and the gold Pony, but with the Stang being her second car and her a single mom likely on a strict budget, she needed to sell it. "No problem, I'll buy it," said John.
The girl liked John and soon the Mustang became a big-time project for the duo. Raised by his dad, an SCCA road-racer, the need for a fast car ran in John's family. "I drove it around for six months and then decided to do upgrades. When something broke, I'd go crazy and buy upgraded parts," he states.
John joined The Mustang Club of America and Terrific Valley Forge Mustang Club, and members referred him to Eric Swarr of Swarr Auto out of Collegeville, Pennsylvania. When John met Eric, the ideas really started brewing for something out of the ordinary.
Just pop the hood to John's 'vert and you'll be mesmerized by the twisting pipes, known as "Medusa" for obvious reasons. This custom contraption rams cold air straight from the functional Shaker into the custom air-filter box, then straight into the Procharger P-1SC-1 centrifugal supercharger that's driven by a Innovators West Damper 10-percent overdrive pulley. It is a one-off hot-rod design created by John and Eric.
Under the intertwining pipes lie the Cobra forged-steel crankshaft, forged Manley pistons, and 4340 forged Manley H-beam rods. The Two-Valve also features Trick Flow Specialties Twisted Wedge heads and a Comp Cams camshaft set.
To help with fuel delivery, they installed Ford Racing's 60-lb/hr injectors and dual-255 Cobra fuel pumps, regulated by the Cobra fuel control module. Other modifications include a Trick Flow StreetBurner intake manifold, Accufab 75mm throttle body, and MSD coil packs.
My favorite thing is how it drives ‘on rails' as intended, and, of course, the sleeper concept.
To make that muscle-car sound, Kook's long-tube headers were installed, along with a Kooks X-style mid-pipe and high-flow cats, which are connected to Dynomax VT Mufflers. The starter and 130-amp alternator are from PA Performance. To dial in the combo, Swarr Auto used the SCT XCAL3 Tuner.
John was also concerned with handling and to set off the aggressive stance, he added Eibach's Pro-kit suspension kit; Tokico adjustable struts, front sway bar, K-member kit, strut-tower brace, caster/camber plates, and bushing kit; and Steeda ball joints. The rear is beefed up with a 3.73 ring and pinion, Moser 31-spline axles, and upper and lower control arms from Steeda.
The AODE transmission was built by Dave's Transmission, also from Collegeville, complete with a JW SFI Flywheel, Pat's stall converter, rear differential girdle, and Maximum Motorsports aluminum driveshaft.
All of these performance mods bumped John's New Edge GT to 550 hp at 5,500 rpm. Setting off that gold exterior are black staggered FR500 wheels with BFG G-Force tires, with 255s up front and 285s in back. Behind the rear wheels are Wilwood drilled/slotted rotors and John installed a Ford Racing Cobra brake kit, J&M stainless steel brake lines, and Hawk brake pads.
"My favorite thing is how it drives ‘on rails' as intended, and, of course, the sleeper concept," says John. "I put as much effort and expense into handling as I did power."
Other exterior mods that really tie the package together include foglights, sequential-style taillights, smoked headlight and taillight covers, HIDs, Saleen sidescoops, chin spoiler, billet hood struts and fuel door, and the billet underhood kit from UPR. TruFiber designed the hood and trunk hatch, and other carbon fiber accents include the wiper cowl, tonneau boot cover, rear diffuser, and styling lightbar.
John's interior is just as modified, with Cobra front seats, an FR500 steering wheel, UPR convertible switch kit, and billet covers for the shifter and e-brake, along with billet door handles, knobs, and pedals.
Audio comes from a Pioneer AVH P4300 with speakers connected to an Alpine amp. Custom fiber pieces inside include the instrument-panel bezel, A/C radio bezel, shifter bezel, defrost vent, gauge pod, A-pillars, door cups and arms, glovebox, and armrest.
"I met Eric Swarr of Swarr Auto through the local Mustang clubs I joined," says John. "He built/tuned the project, as well as put up with my crazy ideas, design changes, and multiple impulse buys. These guys made my resto-mod into a reality. It's badass on the outside and hot-rod underneath." Also thanks to the other guys from Swarr Auto: John Puccella, Skip Fulmer, and Jim Barnes. More thanks for this GT build go to AmericanMuscle, Mari-Al Autobody, D&W Motorsports, Carbon Fiber Creations, Dave's Transmission, Pat's Performance Converters, PA Performance, CJ Pony Parts, and TruFiber.
"I absolutely love driving it through the southeastern Pennsylvania countryside every dry weekend," John told us.
What happened with the girl? Well, a little less than a year into their relationship, he proposed while they were in Paris on top of the Eiffel Tower. Super sweet, right? Two years after tying the knot, all three are very happy. As for this awesome car, John adds, "Engineering is alive and well in Pennsylvania!" We'll toast to that!