Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
May 1, 2005
Photos By: E. John Thawley III

Imagine you could get an early look at the next Mustang, then dream up all the modifications you would like to make before the car even hit the showroom floor. Sounds like fun, right? Naturally it is, but it can be daunting to jump into the Mustang world when you've previously been known for dressing up trucks. For Mike Spagnola, president of Street Scene Equipment, it wasn't only daunting and fun, but also a return to his roots as a car enthusiast. He also had previously owned a '6411/42 Mustang and a '69 Mach 1. We can certainly forgive him for selling the '6411/42, as he did so to finance his wife's wedding ring.

Many year's later, it was his company's success in dressing up F-150s that gave Street Scene Equipment an edge in the ultra-competitive derby for the limited number of vehicles Ford was distributing to the aftermarket for parts development and display at the '04 SEMA show. Mike had a chance to have a Mustang again, and he had first thought of building a blue-and-white-striped racer, but doing a Shelby clone or Eleanor car seemed too easy a choice. So after spending much time at the drawing table with his designer, Mike Rinaldi, Mike eventually came up with the idea of a clean car exuding California cool.

After tweaking and retweaking the designs for the SSE Generation 1 kit, Mike set the goal to have parts ready to deliver when the car hit the SEMA show. This meant SSE had to take every chance it could to get a look at the '05 Mustang. Through various measurement sessions and borrowed bodies in white, the SSE crew was able to get a good handle on the dimensions for its body kit. When the company's project car finally arrived in late September 2004, Mike put his top five modeling guys on the car full-time for two solid weeks. By the third week of October, the parts were painted and ready to go on the car.

Painting the car first followed by the SSE parts was L&G Body and Paint in San Dimas, California, which sprayed on the gorgeous Tangelo Pearl paint. The parts in question include a complete front bumper cover, side skits, quarter-window louvers, and a rear valance. All told, those parts compose the ultra-clean Generation 1 body kit from SSE. Rounding out the exterior appearance of the project, dubbed the California Dreamer, are SSE Cal View mirrors replete with Muth Signal Glass, which flashes in time with the rear turn signals. A billet running horse, GT emblem, and rear emblem round out the body mods.

As attractive as Street Scene Equipment's take on the latest Mustang is, it certainly doesn't hurt that the whole car is dropped 2-plus inches by H&R springs. Further accentuating the drop are sleek three-piece Giovanna Beverly Hills Edition WTW wheels wrapped in substantial Pirelli rubber. Mike mandated three-piece wheels, but he didn't want to overdo it on the diameter, so he went with 20x8s up front and 20x10s out back. The Pirellis are 255/35-20s and 285/30-20s respectively. Mike says the car rides quite well and suffers no ill effects from the lowering, which uses all the stock suspension pieces save for trimmed bumpstops.

Anticipating some neck-snapping go to complement that head-turning show, the SSE crew installed as much bolt-on power as they could before trucking the car off to the SEMA show, where it won the prestigious Ford Design Award. A Vortech supercharger system is the power headliner, but the tuning whizzes at SCT hadn't worked their magic on the car at press time, so we can only guess the power will be as exciting as the car's look. Opening up the engine on the backside is a complete Bassani Xhaust system. In fact, Bassani borrowed the SSE car to design its '05 system, so you can really say the exhaust system was made for this car.

In all, we'd say Street Scene Equipment has a bright future in the car world. Its first effort at squeezing California cool out of the '05 Mustang is certainly as appealing as any we've seen. We'll stay tuned to see what it has in store with its next Mustang products. We're sure there's more juice in this California orange.

Block Stock
Displacement 281 ci
Crank Stock
Rods Stock
Pistons Stock
Cams Stock
Heads Stock
Intake Stock
Throttle Body Stock
Mass Air Stock
Injectors 42 lb/hr
Fuel Pump Stock
Exhaust Bassani X-pipe and after-cat
Power Adder Vortech S-Trim
Transmission Stock
Rearend Stock
Engine Management Stock with SCTflash tuning
Ignition Stock
Gauges Stock
K-Member Stock
Control Arms Stock
Springs H&R Special Springs
Struts Stock
Caster/Camber Plates Stock
Brakes Brake Pros
Wheels Giovanna
Tires Pirelli Rosso
Springs H&R Special Springs
Shocks Stock
Control Arms Stock
Brakes Brake Pros
Wheels Giovanna
Tires Pirelli Rosso