5.0 Mustang & Super FordsFeatured Vehicles
2011 Ford Mustang GT500 - Dark Wide
Galpin Auto Sports applies its widening force to a 'DarkSide' Shelby
Horse Sense: The crew at Galpin is absolutely wide-eyed. As we work on this story, GAS just debuted two new widebody 'Stangs at the '11 SEMA show—a ProCharged Boss 302 and a Kenne Bell-boosted Super Snake GT500.
Of late, the customizing maniacs at Galpin Auto Sports have decided that wider is definitely better, as they've been cranking out a variety of sheetmetal-widened SN-10 Mustangs of all flavors and colors. However, our first encounter with a current-generation GAS widebody 'Stang occurred at the '10 SEMA show. We sort of stumbled onto this Gray Metallic GT500 outside the show in the Galpin display.
"The 2010 show garnered an incredible amount of interest in Galpin's widebody abilities. So much so, several people placed orders for cars of their own at the show," said Steve Carpenter of GAS. "It was one of the deciding factors in Galpin continuing the program and having now built about a dozen of these one-off cars, all individually unique but based off of our original concept."
Given all the flash on the SEMA grounds, a gray Mustang can fade into the background, but this one made us do a double-take. We've seen our fair share of widened Mustangs, but they're typically widened with add-on gear. The Gray Galpin ride was obviously all metal, and we know how your author loves his metal.
In any event, it turned out that there was another possible reason for the attraction. It was the pull from the Darkside. Of course, some might think it's evil to wildly modify a GT500, but the GAS crew was undeterred. "The team was excited at the opportunity to apply the widebody modification to a GT500," said Ted Mengiste, director of GAS. "We know our capabilities and what we can produce with high quality. So when the opportunity to modify the GT500 came along, we were thrilled.
It's not clear if the GAS crew are Star Wars nerds like your author, but it's clear that everyone loves a bad guy, and there's more to being bad than just presenting a gritty visage. Nope. To truly be bad, you've gotta be bad to the bone, and GAS clearly decided to back up the looks of its Darkside GT500 with a healthy dose of performance force. In fact, this ride builds on the already stout GT500 basics to generate 850 ponies at the flywheel, which is plenty to spin those huge Forgiato hoops.
This walk on the dark side starts under the factory hood, where the already-stout factory GT500 engine benefits from a well-rounded package of mods selected and installed by the technicians at Galpin. The force majeure is Ford Racing Performance Parts' 3.4-liter Whipple supercharger kit, which is the same unit that's propelled Cobra Jet race cars to incredible performances. The Whipple wears an FRPP twin 72mm throttle body, and is fed by twin Ford GT fuel pumps and 72-lb/hr injectors. Both an Afco heat exchanger and a methanol injection system tag-team to cool the 22 pounds of boost entering the stock 5.4-liter modular.
With all that steam under the hood, there's certainly justification for the steamrollers under those widened fenders. Galpin's wheel of choice for these wide wonders is Forgiato's lightweight monoblock forged alloy wheels; Darkside wears 21x11.5 fronts and 22x13.5 rears. Those are outright massive considering most 'Stangs rock 10.5-inch rears at most. Wrapping those Forgiato's with grip are equally massive Pirelli P-Zero Rosso tires, which Galpin has found deliver the best combinations of fitment and ride quallity.
All told, the Galpin made an already special GT500 into a rare and racous ride that subtly stands out in a crowd. We haven't driven it, but you'd have to imagine that being bad never felt so good.
"The wide wheels and tires and the lower stance on the vehicle make it nimble. Turns are sharp and crisp and the braking is gripping," said Steve McCord, general manager at GAS. "It's really quick out of the hole and has a lot of raw horsepower and pull through all the gears. It's definitely an adrenaline rush."