Eric English
August 1, 2007
Photos By: E. John Thawley, III

Horse Sense:
The amount of money represented by sales in the automotive specialty-equipment industry is staggering. The Specialty Equipment Manufacturers' Association offers an interesting breakdown, explaining how some of this money is spent. For 2005, some 58.1 percent was spent on accessories and appearance items. Racing and performance parts accounted for 17.7 percent of sales, while wheels, tires, and suspension components racked up 24.2 percent of the market.

We don't recommend burying your head in the sand when it comes to digesting the doom and gloom being generated by the Detroit automakers these days. Go ahead, read the newspapers and listen to the local TV and radio reports of woe. Consider the crisis in the American auto industry, and be concerned about its future as we know it. Hope the powers that be can likewise extricate their orbs from the desert landscape and grasp how to build cars the world wants to buy. Above all, relish the fact that Ford continues to crank out a fantastic musclecar in the Mustang, and aftermarket companies-Bash Performance, for one-make the current enthusiast landscape perhaps the best in history.

It's true that despite the major hemorrhage spurting out of Motor City, the high-performance end of the automotive spectrum is running at full throttle. Whether you're into vintage or new-car performance, continual product development, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit is offering choices that were unimaginable a few years ago. It's all powered by an unprecedented flow of cubic dollars. SEMA pegged the automotive specialty equipment industry's '05 retail sales figures at 34.28 billion dollars. In other words, there's an enormous number of car enthusiasts across the nation, and many are spending a lot of coin these days.

Enter Bash Performance of Safety Harbor, Florida. Run by president Steve Bash and his sons, Brett and Drew, the two-year-old enterprise is establishing itself as an impressive newcomer to the field of custom car building, with the '07 Mustang seen here being a prime example. While Bash would love to build you a turnkey package similar to this stunner, another big emphasis for the business involves the custom body kit and accessories displayed on this particular effort. The fiberglass and carbon-fiber assemblage is known as the GT-SR, or Grand Turismo Street Race. Take it as meaning that the body kit is at home in either a street or race application, rather than thinking of this as a back-door street racing promotion.

Now back to what Bash Performance's GT-SR package consists of a carbon-fiber hood, a front splitter, a rear wing, fiberglass fenders, a front fascia, side skirts, and a rear bumper cover. Stereotypical of most high-performance rides, scoops abound, and the front fascia inlets are functional for brake cooling. The company's stainless after-cat side exhaust and GT-SR-emblazoned billet grille are also integral to the overall look. On this particular ride, dual halo projector beam headlights were included for an exotic appearance.

Our featured '07 is a Bash Performance customer car rather than a true company demonstrator, but it nevertheless demonstrates the kind of work Bash is promoting. Indicative of the '06 SEMA show car that it is, the original factory hue on this one has been buried by Matrix Candy Pearl topcoats, using a Glacier White base followed by layers of red pearl and clear. Jams Air Studios did the fanciful airbrush work on the hood. Perhaps it's not something every street hero or racer will want, but it's perfect advertising for the car's owner-The Cannery Casino in Las Vegas.

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