5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
2007 Ford Mustang - Fresh Squeezed
Brian Dimarino's Grabber Orange GT backs up its looks with a shot of nitrous
Grabber Orange is one of those polarizing colors that people seem to either hate or love. We happen to fall squarely into the latter category. Clearly, so does Brian DiMarino, whose '07 GT is called Squeeze by his friends, mostly in reference to its extroverted hue, but just maybe also owing to its bottle-supplied power adder.
The eye-grabbing coupe is the 27-year-old's first car: "When I graduated college, says Brian, "I started working in New York City. I got back and forth to work via the subway like most everyone else in Manhattan. I found myself underground, shoulder to shoulder with strangers, daydreaming about having a car .. a Mustang. So one day those daydreams infiltrated my work, and I started looking them up and building my own on the Ford website. I called Sunshine Ford-Lincoln, a dealer in Newburgh, New York, near where my parents lived in Orange County."
Orange County? How appropriate, because of all the GTs on Sunshine's lot, it was this one that, uh, grabbed his attention. "A nice guy named Frank answered the phone and we talked a bit before I asked what he had on the lot for me to test drive that weekend. He said he had a couple blacks, red, silver, a Vista Blue, and a Grabber Orange. My ears perked up and I asked, ‘What does Grabber Orange look like?' After a quick Google search, I gave Frank a credit card number and told him to take a couple hundred bucks and hold the car for me until I could see it."
The salesman was confident, as Brian explains. "When I got there, Frank had the car detailed and registered—he said he was sure I would buy it. The man was right. I drove off the lot with it that day and never looked back."
Virtually no Mustangs—especially GTs—remain bone-stock, and Brian's is obviously no exception. "The modifying started before I really even had the car. Once I started looking at Mustangs, I started trying to figure out what I wanted my 'Stang to look like. I told myself about 100 times I wasn't going to do anything dramatic—I was just going to enjoy it as it was. Obviously that didn't materialize."
But unlike many in the Mustang herd, Brian pretty much began his modifications not underhood, but in the trunk. "I started with a shorty antenna and sequential taillights. Then I decided to upgrade the head unit to a touchscreen. Then I decided if I was going to take the dash apart, I should probably run the wires for the subs. Then I decided if I was going to run the wires, I should just do the subs. (I think you see the pattern.) Subs turned into doing the whole trunk, which turned into adding component speaker upgrades.
"Once I decided the whole trunk was going to be done, I decided to add nitrous bottles because they looked good. Then I ran the nitrous to the motor and hooked it up, so I needed a switch. Where should I put a switch? Well, that lead me to add a switch panel inside built from a Shelby GT500 center gauge pod. But I had room for extra switches, so I started thinking about what else I could wire in ... nitrous purge, trunk release (why Ford didn't add one is beyond me), LEDs in the trunk and under the dash. I ran out of ideas but still had room left on the panel. That's when I went gauge crazy.
"I added the nitrous and air/fuel ratio gauges, but decided I liked the fuel and oil pressure gauges as well. That turned into the pillar gauge pod. But why get a dual-pod pillar when I could get a triple? So the last gauge I added was the vacuum/boost. (Now I need a ProCharger ... next year).
"Once all that was done, I had supercharger on the brain when I turned to the motor. I added the JLT intake with a Brenspeed tune, then the strut-tower brace, plenum cover, and other engine dress-up.
"After that, all I could think about was the muscle-car growl that the stock exhaust just couldn't give me. I turned to a company called The Race Car Factory. Apparently it does some R&D for MAC exhaust and were keen on selling me a MAC axle-back. I did a lot of research, but eventually took the chance on an exhaust I knew much less about—I ordered the axle-back and a Pro Chamber midpipe. I was not disappointed."
Only then did Brian turn his attention to the coupe's exterior, where he decided on forged 20-inch Shelby (Alcoa) Super Snake rims. The resulting ride height-induced fender gap led to Eibach springs, Tokico D-Spec dampers, and some BMR suspension hardware, including an adjustable Panhard bar. Picking up a used (and slightly curb-damaged) Cervini's front fascia eventually led to the acquisition of the full Cervini's body kit now on the coupe—a combination of C-Series and Stalker hardware—accented by a custom-built lower mesh grille behind an old-school, caged pair of PIAA foglights.
Brian then decided the cabin needed a little brightening, so he had Jim DePergola of Jim's Body Shop, remove and refinish all the plastic interior panels in Grabber Orange. He also decided the car's monochromatic orange mass needed a bit of white striping, which he also carried through to the cockpit.
The result of all this work caught our attention at last summer's Carlisle All-Ford Nationals. But Brian's certainly not done, as he still has a ProCharger centrifugal and Comp Mutha Thumpr cams on his to-do list. There's more to be squeezed from this project yet.
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Cylinder heads: Stock
Intake manifold: Stock
Power Adder: Zex 55hp nitrous kit
Fuel system: Stock
Exhaust: MAC long-tubes w/ MAC Pro Chamber mid-pipe, and MAC axle-back exhaust
Rearend: 8.8-in w/ 3.73 gears
Engine management: Stock
Gauges :Auto Meter nitrous pressure, wideband A/F, fuel pressure, oil pressure, and boost, in a Speed of Sound gauge pillar pod
Suspension and Chassis
Struts :Tokico D-Spec
Springs: Eibach Pro-Kit
Wheels: Shelby Super Snake, 20x9-in
Tires: BFG KDW2, 255/35R-20
Shocks: Tokico D-Spec
Springs: Eibach Pro-Kit
Control Arms: BMR
Wheels: Shelby Super Snake, 20x10-in
Tires: BFG KDW2, 285/30R-20
Horse Sense: Data from GrabberOrange.net indicates that of the 46,752 GT coupes produced in 2007, only 2,953 were (code U3) Grabber Orange.