5.0 Mustang & Super FordsFeatured Vehicles
498 HP 2006 Ford Mustang GT - Show On The Road
Built Like A Show Car, Brandon Hake's S197 GT Is Really A Knock-Out Daily Driver
Horse Sense: Extreme Dimensions is probably best known for its carbon-fiber body kits, but this Hot Wheels widebody kit is constructed of fiberglass, marketed under the DuraFlex brand, and retails for $2,299-considerably less than half the price of the limited edition carbon-fiber version.
Since its introduction, the S197 Mustang has had massive representation at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas. In recent years, it seems nearly everyone's booth has at least one on display, and that trend shows no sign of waning. More than anything, this speaks volumes about the ever-expanding breadth and scope of aftermarket interest in Ford's latest Ponies. Without such interest, there would be no impetus for SEMA Mustang projects. What would we do to personalize our rides? Come to think of it, what would we write about?
Never intended to be subtle, SEMA show-offs aim to smack onlookers upside the head and demand attention, mostly to exhibit the cool modifications found onboard-hardware that's either already on the market or will soon be. A common trademark of a SEMA show machine are the logos of its aftermarket-component suppliers freely festooned about its polished exterior. By now you're probably thinking this is one of the multitude of SEMA 'Stangs, right? Amazingly, it's not, but Brandon Hake's daily driven '06 GT follows the blueprint of a major show car, and it certainly has the quality and originality to be one.
Brandon collaborated on the project with the creative crew at Fox Marketing, hailing out of York, Pennsylvania. "Fox" has nothing to do with the S197's older brethren; the company is run by Brian Fox, a genuinely garrulous gent whom we think fell out of the womb planning for a career in marketing.
Brian and Brandon brainstormed the project and decided that a white GT with red leather interior would be a nice blank canvas on which to work their art. They opted to go widebody with a nine-piece kit from Extreme Dimensions for maximum visual impact. Done properly, a widebody kit can add an amazing amount of visual menace to a car, so it's critical to get a set of rims that will fill those cavernous wheelwells. Brandon and Brian worked with Boze Alloys to have a set of 20-inch Speedster rims carved up with the correct amount of negative offset to place the rim face at the outboard edge of the wheel arches. Rim widths of 811/42 inches (front) and 10 inches worked out best, providing room for Toyo Proxes rubber in 245/35R-20 and 285/30R-20, respectively.
Of course, even that quality of rolling stock would've looked geekish if left up on stilts at factory ride height. That brings us to the suspension, almost all of which is crafted by BMR Fabrications out of Thonotosassa, Florida. BMR offers an extensive list of serious S197 chassis components. Brandon's showy GT now wears the company's boxed subframe connectors, tubular K-member complete with tubular rear brace, upper and lower rear control arms, tubular Panhard rod, and antiroll bars.
BMR's lowering springs teamed with the stock GT dampers provide the right altitude to go with the widebody attitude. Before leaving the chassis, we suppose it would've been visually and functionally inexcusable to retain factory brakes behind those dub wheels, so Stainless Steel Brake Corporation got the call to supply a Force 10 Tri-Power setup with 14-inch slotted rotors for the front and a 13-inch conversion kit for out back.
With the chassis and brakes prepared, a dollop of extra power was now in order, and that job fell to ProCharger's P-1SC-1 centrifugal blower, complete with its attendant three-core intercooler. The long-block remains stock, so Johnny Lightning Performance was tapped to whip up a safe tune for Brandon's intended uses, and it did more than one. The DiabloSport Predator flash tuner now contains a 483-rwhp calibration for regular street duty and a 498-rwhp option for use with better fuel. Incidentally, the installation of the underhood and chassis mods was assigned to CJ Pony Parts.
Overall, we're particularly taken by a high-angle look at the coupe-how the black accents on the trunklid and MRT Direct's "Cherry 6T6" hood acts as visual extensions to the similarly dark-finished roof. MRT's smoked headlight and taillight treatments further that overall theme of stark contrast. Red Lion Body & Fender was responsible for the prep and shooting of the BASF finishes. Inside, an Auto Power four-point 'cage-finished in the same BASF white-is fully in charge of occupant protection.
Brandon Hake's awesome '06 GT isn't a SEMA show star - though we think you'll agree it could be. Believe it or not, Brian tells us one of the main reasons Brandon built it was so we would feature it. We told you Brian is a born marketer.