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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Backing up the visual statement is a drivetrain worthy of due respect. Bash disassembled the factory 4.6, throwing in an Eagle-based bottom end that works out to just shy of an even 5.0 liters. JE pistons team with ported and polished Three-Valve Ford castings from Competitive Edge Racing heads, resulting in a blower-friendly 8.6:1 squeeze. Likewise intended for boost are the custom bumpsticks from Comp Cams, making the most of the nearly 20 psi being delivered at full song by the intercooler ProCharger D-1SC. Fuel requirements are sufficed by twin Ford GT pumps, Aeromotive lines and rails, 60-lb/hr injectors, and MSD's 2350 fuel-pump booster. VMP Tuning got the call to dial the whole thing in once completed, and the SCT-based tune is reported to churn out a shade more than 600 hp, as measured on the chassis dyno at Superior Automotive in Anaheim, California.

Catching the brunt of all this grunt is a D&D-built T56 six-speed, operated with help from an Exedy twin-disc clutch and steel flywheel. A one-piece aluminum driveshaft puts it all to the 8.8-inch rear, set up with a Detroit True Trac diff, 3.73 gears, and Moser 31-spline axles. At the time of our photo shoot, the stock Mustang four-wheel discs still sufficed, though augmented with zinc-washed and cross-drilled rotors. We suspect that may change in the future, assuming the car's huge power is pushed toward the limit. Compared to what has been done on the GT to this point, any brake revisions would be considered an easy job. Much further from stock is the H&R-sourced suspension, including the company's coilovers at all four corners, along with front and rear sway bars.

What's a hot car these days without a hot interior? Well, it would clearly be substandard, and Bash wasn't going to put that on display at the SEMA show. Separating itself from other Mustangs, this '07 was treated to custom leather-covered Sparco Milano buckets, matching hides for the rear seat and door panel inserts, color-keyed console and dash, and custom Bash logo lighting in the interior void left by the deleted quarter-windows. Let's not forget the booming sound system by Boulevard Customs. It's built with Eclipse gear, including an AVX5000 flip-screen head unit, component interior speakers, and trunk-mounted dual 10-inch aluminum subwoofers in a custom enclosure-each sub powered by it's own 500-watt amp. Suffice to say, it's loud.

Steve Bash tells us this particular car is destined for marketing duty for The Cannery Casino, as well as hot street action in Vegas. It's a car that certainly won't be overlooked whatever the venue, nor will other Bash Performance cars currently in the works. Among them is an all-aluminum Boss 429-powered vintage fastback. If S197s are your thing, and this particular example hits a home run in your eyes, you now know who to call to get the party started-parts and pieces or the full-meal deal.

5.0 Tech Specs
Engine And Drivetrain
Block Stock
Displacement 297ci
Crank Eagle 3.75-in, forged
Rods Eagle H-beam
Pistons JE 8.6:1, forged
Cylinder Heads Ported and polished by Herb Yancer, Competitive Edge Racing heads
Cams Comp Cams custom
Intake Manifold Stock w/Bash Performance carbon-fiber cover
Throttle Body Stock
Mass Air Stock w/DiabloSport MAFia
Power Adder ProCharger D-1SC w/three-core race intercooler, 20 psi
Fuel System Dual Ford GT pumps, Aeromotive fuel rails/lines, FRPP 60-lb/hr injectors, MSD fuel pump booster
Exhaust Bassani long-tube headers, Bash Performance 2 1/2-in stainless side-exit after-cat
Transmission D&D-modified T56 six-speed, Exedy twin-disc clutch and steel flywheel
Rearend Ford 8.8 w/3.73 gears, Detroit True Trac diff, Moser 31-spline axles

Electronics
Engine Management Stock w/SCT custom tune by VMP Tuning
Ignition Stock
Gauges Stock

Suspension And Chassis
Front Suspension
K-member Stock
Control Arms Stock
Struts H&R coilovers
Springs H&R coilovers
Brakes Stock w/cross-drilled/zinc-washed rotors
Wheels H&R Wheels Axis GT-R 20x9-in
Tires BFGoodrich G-Force 255/30-20
Rear Suspension
Shocks H&R coilovers
Springs H&R coilovers
Control Arms Stock
Panhard Bar Stock
Sway Bar H&R
Brakes Stock w/cross-drilled/zinc-washed rotors
Wheels Axis GT-R 20x1011/42-in
Tires BFGoodrich G-Force 285/30-20