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Ashton Stander’s Highly Modified 2012 Grabber Blue Ford Mustang
Keeping It Interesting: Vehicles have a difficult time keeping Ashton Stander’s attention for long, but this 2012 Ford Mustang is doing the trick.
Ashton Stander is no stranger to fast cars. His grandfather founded Hillbank Motor Corporation back in 1955. The company expanded to include a Hillbank Motorsports division in Irvine, California. As such, Ashton is always taking on a new project, building a new toy, and eventually becoming bored enough to sell it and start all over. That is, until he ordered the 2012 Mustang you see here.
This isn’t Ashton’s first rodeo— he has owned quite a few 2005-and-up Mustangs, including a beautiful collaboration with Roush: a 2007 Roush HB-R Stage 3 featuring a glass hood. But when Ashton bought this Grabber Blue ride, he was in it for the long haul.
Ashton bought the car brand-new in July of 2011 and quickly got to work modifying it. The idea was to follow his usual plan: build a car that is comfortably streetable but that could destroy the competition on the race track. You read that right—Ashton daily drives this Grabber Blue beauty.
“Mustangs really give you the best bang for your buck,” he told us. “I’m not old enough to be driving a Corvette, and I’ve never been a real Camaro fan except for maybe the older ones. You can build a Mustang to go really fast for very little money. Plus, there is so much aftermarket support for Fords.”
So what’s going on under the hood of Ashton’s GT? Well, it retains its factory 5.0L powerplant with stock internals. The Vortech V3 supercharger is the star of the show, producing 11 pounds of boost, to provide a tire-shredding 650 hp and 498 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels.
Hillbank Motorsports tuned the car after installing 1,000cc Injector Dynamic fuel injectors, a Vortech Boost-A-Pump fuel pump booster, an Airaid air filter, a housing, a MAF, and an exhaust fit to make the beast purr. That exhaust includes Doug Thorley midlength Tri-Y headers with an X-pipe, high-flow catalytic converters, and MagnaFlow Street Series mufflers leading to 2 1/2-inch out pipes.
When asked the make of the transmission in the car, Ashton replies, “Ford Motor Company. Third time’s the charm.” It is paired with a Steeda shifter mount. A steel safety loop keeps the BMR driveshaft secure.
Ashton and Hillbank Motorsports set the chassis up with a front suspension made up of lower Prothane bushings, KW Variant 3 struts, KW springs, and a White Line sway bar and K-brace. You’ll find 3.73 gears in the rear with a White Line watts link suspension consisting of White Line upper and lower control arms, KW Variant 3 shocks and springs, and a White Line sway bar.
TSW Interlagos wheels coated in black reside in all four corners wrapped in Toyo R888 rubber (275/40ZR18). Wilwood supplies the stopping power in the form of W6A brakes up front and W4A brakes out back, all with 14-inch rotors.
The Mustang’s body has also undergone an overhaul to fit Ashton’s liking. The Grabber Blue Mustang has been outfitted with a Trucarbon hood, a spoiler, ground effects and more, including fenders, a trunk, a hood liner, a rear diffuser, a chin splitter, window louvers, a spoiler, a wing, a gurney flap, and mirror covers. Fabricante Auto Body of Lake Forest, California, handled this portion of the build.
Inside, Ashton chose Cipher Auto seats and belts to keep himself safe and comfortable in the twists and turns. An Autopower Industries cage has been installed. Interior trim has been painted, and a Carbon rear seat delete, headliner, and switch plates have been installed.
At Willow Springs, Ashton turned out a 1:35 lap time. He usually runs in Global Time Attack—Street, Redline Time Attack, and Optima Street Car events.
“This car is a daily driven track and show car,” Ashton says. “It’s the only car I’ve never gotten bored with. There is always something to change and improve. It’s always great to share the purpose of a track car with a show-ready street car.”
He adds, “We make cars fast. That’s what we do. I run it until I break it. Nothing is strictly a show car to us. Everything we own we drive. I hate the idea of show cars. We drive them in the rain and everything.”
And his favorite thing about this 2012 Mustang? “I love this car because it still has enough power to scare me.” We can’t wait to see what will come out of Hillbank Motorsports next.