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A Grabber Blue Three-Valve 2005 Ford Mustang GT Built for Show & Go
From humble pie to show-stopping street car
Even though gearheads are familiar with the adage “There’s always somebody faster, louder, or nicer,” it doesn’t stop us from occasionally getting ahead of ourselves. Like clockwork, after a few trophies or victories our egos swell and the smack talk starts. That is, until we undoubtedly fall victim to the adage and are again humbled back to reality. While many take the inevitable attitude adjustment in stride, others don’t live well with defeat. These ferociously competitive souls use defeat as motivation to build a faster, better, more perfect Mustang.
“After I had the car painted Grabber Blue I thought I had a show-winning combination,” says Julio Gonzalez. “I took it to a local show and was impressed with the high level of competition. My competitors had tons of custom work, aftermarket doors, superchargers, sophisticated sound systems, and full custom interiors.”
He came home empty-handed. But instead of letting that deter him, he decided that the only solution was, as he described it, to step up his game.
“That first car show I entered was humbling, but I used the defeat as motivation and it made me dedicated to winning,” Gonzalez says.
Gonzalez set out to build the show-stopping combination you see here. But before we delve into the combo, we should start at the beginning.
Gonzalez says, “I’d wanted a Mustang since I was a kid, and in 2011 I finally had enough money to buy one. I really wanted a Grabber Blue 2011 GT, but the prices were just too high, so I bought a bone-stock 2005 Mineral Gray GT with 44,000 miles on the clock.”
He liked the old-school style of the S197 but wanted the reliability and tunability of a modern car.
“I didn’t have plans of extensively modifying it,” he says. “Instead, I thought I’d keep it for a year or two and trade it in for a Grabber Blue Coyote.”
A year later he was down at the dealer itching for a trade, but when prices on Grabber Blue Coyotes were still too steep, he decided to build his own Blue Beast.
“Prior to the complete respray, the car was largely stock, save for a shorty antenna, but the minute I realized I couldn’t afford to trade for a Coyote, I was down at the paint shop just one week later,” says Gonzalez.
The S197 emerged with the flawless blue paint before you, albeit with fewer body mods at the time, but still a beauty nonetheless. Then of course came the aforementioned car show, which at first humbled him and then fueled him.
In the ensuing years, the Grabber Blue 3V saw numerous wheel/tire combos, many different body modifications, and an overall evolution. Rather than recapping all of the iterations that have led to its current state, let us dive into the current combo.
“I wanted to be different,” says Gonzalez, “so instead of a takeoff M90 blower from an RS3, I went for a VMP TVS1900 supercharger upgrade kit designed for an RS3 since I eventually want to build the motor and make 700 hp or more.”
Beneath the VMP blower you’ll find Ford Racing Hot Rod cams and a twin 62mm throttle-body, an Airaid cold-air intake, BBK long tubes and X-pipe, and a Pypes Bomb exhaust system. All that boost is met with equal parts fuel thanks to Scott Drake fuel rails and 39-pound injectors.
Other underhood necessities include a Mishimoto oil separator and plenty of stainless steel tanks, a Moroso power steering unit, and Canton coolant expansion tanks. Did we mention that Gonzalez does all his own wrenching? Yep, even the cams and the blower install.
He says, “Everyone buys stick cars, and I wanted to be different, so I went for the automatic transmission and don’t regret it at all.”
The stock 5R55S transmission is fortified with a TCI StreetFighter shifter that’s drag-car cool along with a one-piece aluminum driveshaft that spins 4.10:1 gears from Ford Racing. The steeper gears offset the increased diameter of the 20-inch TSW wheels wrapped in 245/40-20 front and 275/35-20 rear Falken FK452 rubber, which hide Grabber Blue painted stock calipers that grab drilled and slotted EBC rotors.
“I spent a lot of time selecting wheels that I’d never seen on a Mustang and in a size that is unusual,” says Gonzalez. “That’s why I chose these 20-inch TSWs with the black finish. They just look right against the Grabber Blue paint and the black stripes.”
Beautiful paint is nothing without a solid canvas. Gonzalez ditched many of the factory body panels for plenty of aftermarket pieces.
He says, “The Trufiber fenders, hood, and front bumper really changed the look of the car.”
Cruizin’ Concepts Stealth dual halo projector headlights with LEDs and HID bulbs, along with a GT500 chin spoiler and custom front splitter (as well as plenty of smoked lights), set the tone on the front side. The aftermarket goodness continues down the flanks with Shelby aluminum side window covers and Agent 47 mirrors that lead to the rear of the car.
“I wanted a blend of old school and modern looks, so I went with aluminum rear window louvers and Raxiom fifth-gen taillights along with a Trucarbon trunk lid and an APR diffuser,” he says.
All that style is nothing without stick. Gonzalez added plenty of suspension components to slam the stance and keep it flat in the corners.
He says, “The combination of the Steeda Rear Seat X-Brace and the GT500 strut-tower brace significantly stiffened the chassis.”
Of course, the Eibach Pro-Kit struts and shocks, combined with H&R Sport springs, complement the chassis bracing and look great whether the hood or the doors are popped.
Speaking of pop, inside the cabin, the combination of chrome, Grabber Blue, and carbon fiber continues the excellence of the exterior. Inside you’ll find plenty of Trucarbon accent pieces along with Grabber Blue door inserts, a MOMO steering wheel, a Corbeau harness bar and harnesses, Ford Racing and PLX gauges, and a killer sound system with a Kenwood head-unit controlling Rockford Fosgate amps, capacitors, and a pair of 12-inch subs.
With a mile-long mod list and enough trophies to fill a small room, one might think Gonzalez would be done with his beastly blue Mustang, but he has no plans of stopping.
“I’m going to build the motor soon and plan to add a bunch more aesthetic mods like a wing and Corbeau seats,” he says.
Yes folks, he’s still got plenty more mods in mind because he abides by the notion that a project car is never complete.
He says, “Myself and the others from Capital Mustang Car Club believe that your car can never remain the same. Even if everything is modified, there’s always something that can be changed.” Ah, the endless pursuit of perfection!
Gonzalez would like to thank Taron Young and Michelle Taitano for all their support and Angel at AMC Services for all his help.