Dale Amy
June 2, 2014

It seemed like a mature money-saving idea at the time. Tired of the single-digit fuel economy of his lifted F-150 4x4, Michigan's Patrick Lee figured there had to be something cheaper to drive out there, so he peddled the pickup and found a used, but utterly stock '05 GT coupe to replace it. It seemed like a sound idea.

We're sure his fuel mileage shot up but as far as the overall money-saving goes ... well, not so much. Patrick now says: "Definitely not one of my better decisions, especially since I was working for CDC at the time. How could I possibly work at a place that made cool Mustang parts—while I was building countless SEMA and customer cars, no less—and expect to leave my car alone?" As you can see, he did not.

Oh, at first he tried to be reasonable. "I told myself that I would not spend a lot of time/money on this car," says Patrick. "That lasted a little while (read: about a month), but CDC back then had rows of Foose Stallion body parts in its warehouse that were unused from the production run of Foose Mustangs ... My car went under the knife and shortly after came out as a complete Stallion, right down to the Foose emblems and doorsills. The kit includes the aluminum hood, front fascia, side lower rockers, rear fascia, and rear spoiler." He then bought some 19-inch rolling stock, bigger brakes, and FRPP's FR3 handling pack, and treated his 4.6 to Ford Racing's Hot Rod cams and a set of Pypes long-tube headers.

Was he done? Uh, no.

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Cabin upgrades are subtle but oh-so effective. The McIntosh/Ford GT head unit grabs your eye, but Patrick spent time making the color scheme of the interior more cohesive. He also ditched the “hotel-room armchair,” factory cloth seat covers.

Patrick, who had grown up building hot rods with his dad, now wanted to start differentiating his ride from all the rest. "At this point, the car looked great—it was lowered, had nice wheels, and a not-so-common body package. But I knew I could do better. To me, I had created a ‘typical' bolt-on car—nothing really unique about it; anyone could do it. Plus, the dove gray carpet showed wear and tear, the gray cloth seats with prancing ponies reminded me of an arm chair I'd find in a hotel room, and my love for road racing was starting to influence what I wanted to do to the car."

One of the traits of the factory interior that was driving Patrick nuts, in his opinion, there were too many conflicting shades and textures on the trim parts: "I had my good friend Keith at Ice 9 Customs paint the silver aluminum dash pieces in a textured dove gray that matched the rest of the dash. He also painted the center stack and console in piano black, to bring in some of the outside. Before re-installing the dash trim pieces, I swapped all of the chrome bezels over to GT500 satin silver pieces, and tossed in a '10-plus GT500 steering wheel with satin silver trim and partial-suede wrap. The factory shift boot was replaced with an '08 Bullitt shift boot that also included a satin-silver bezel. A further sprinkling of satin silver here and there added the final touches, including the custom aluminum trim bezel around the McIntosh head unit. The carpet went next, and was replaced with black factory carpet. Finally, the seats were re-skinned in factory '10 leather covers that I had custom-stitched with light gray suede in a diamond pattern."

A confirmed audioholic, Patrick then did some sound upgrading: "I added a three-way front stage using ‘vintage' German-made MB Quart speakers, with an 8-inch driver in the doors, a 5-inch mid in the custom kickpanels, and tweeters in the A-pillars ... I buried my old Precision Power amps (more '90s vintage) in the spare tirewell, next to the battery I had relocated. Subwoofer duties are handled by a single JBL 10-inch sub. Since I do like to take the car on the road course, I wanted to be able to remove the heavy sub box. I whipped together a quick and light set of aluminum brackets that are bolted to the car, and the sub box is held in place to these brackets using a set of pins and clips, like hoodpins."

He soon decided his all-black exterior was just too, well, black, and turned again to Ice 9 Customs for the gray and red hood/trunk accents, all topped in matte clear. Patrick then yanked the Foose grille, replacing it with stainless woven mesh, powdercoated to match the gray on the hood.

He explains how his distinctive headlights came about: "With gray grilles, the bright chrome Foose headlights stood out like a sore thumb. In my spare parts pile, I had a set of cracked-up Chrysler 300C headlights. After disassembling the Foose 7-inch lamps and the Chrysler lamps, and after many, many hours, I managed to mix the Chrysler tri-bar headlight insert and HID projector lamp into the 7-inch housing ...