Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
April 1, 2003
Photos By: E. John Thawley III

Horse Sense: It's a new one on us, although it's not a huge surprise knowing Ford is constantly tweaking its products. Dennis says that an aid in the tuning of his ride came courtesy of a move to a '98 Mustang EEC V PCM. According to Dennis, the '98 EECs include more parameters than their predecessors, which allowed for greater fine-tuning via an Autologic chip.

Dennis is particularly proud of the polished bits under his hood. Included in the shiny crowd is the radiator cover and the entire radiator overflow tank and power-steering pump reservoir. If that weren't enough flash to keep Wenol in business, the strut brace, the alternator, and, of course, the Vortech S-Trim all sport a mirror finish, as does the mandrel-bent inlet pipe for the supercharger. The Vortech in question was spooled up to 15 pounds of boost courtesy of a 3.125-inch pulley. That boost travels through a Sean Hyland Motorsport/Spearco air-to-air intercooler en route to a Ford Racing Performance Parts 70mm throttle body. When it's not cranking out boost, the extra air is funneled back to the inlet via a Vortech Racing Bypass.

Have you ever found yourself daydreaming while reading one of the wine-and-cheese auto mags and wishing you could own one of those million-dollar supercars, or even something as comparatively attainable as the new Ford GT? It's OK. We won't report you to the local Ford or Mustang club if you've thought it might be cool to have a Viper or a Porsche. Just remember-if you only thought about it, it's not a crime. Dennis Hall actually followed through in his youth and drove several modified Porsches.

However, after the sanity that can only be bestowed by kids and mortgages, Dennis found himself away from hot cars for a while. By the time he was able to start burning rubber again, it was a return to his first love. It's amazing how we all flash back to our youth for inspiration, and for Dennis it was his dad's '66 Mustang. It was the first car he ever drove, and it sent him speeding down the path toward automotive debauchery. Along the way, he nurtured his need for speed at So Cal Trans Am races, and he eventually began playing with that German hardware.

In the late '90s-20 years after giving up performance cars-Dennis found himself in the market for a Mustang. "Once I found the car-it had to be a black-on-black Mustang GT coupe to harken back to those teen years-I knew it had to be tricked out in every way," Dennis says. "The issues were 'what' and 'when.' 'How much' never entered into it because the modification program is never done, as we all know. So began a careful and deliberate process all 'Stang enthusiasts are intimately familiar with: planning, parts acquisition, waiting, down time, tweaking, and in some cases fixing and redoing."

A huge help in making Dennis' extensive plans come to fruition was Eric Cheney of Xtreme Mustang Performance in Aliso Viejo, California [(949) 305-6550; www.x-m-p.com]. Eric performed nearly all the modifications to this car with his own hands and tools, and you can imagine the attention to detail required by a customer as thoroughly consumed with his Mustang as Dennis. In the end, their creation is a California- smog-legal corner carver with a show-winning lineage few could match.

As such, Dennis' Mustang is a perfect example of the kind of incomplete art the Mustang canvas presents. Among a sea of copycats, you really can make one all your own. "I could have had a cookie-cutter, high-end Viper, Vette, BMW M3, or old Porsche, but not one of those would possess that very important characteristic of being unique," Dennis surmises. "With careful planning and a serious outlay of money, I've created-and put into reality the smarts and trick skills of XMP's Eric Cheney-a hot rod like no other."

It's a bold claim, but we agree that Dennis has created an Xtreme Mustang all his own.