Tracy Stocker
August 1, 2006

The Mistress
If you'd been driving around in a Porsche Boxster and had owned a number of sporty rides over the years, things like Camaros, Firebirds, Datsun 280Zs, would you trade in your nimble, German built mid-engined two-seater for a 2005 V6 Mustang? Well if the Pony in question was screaming yellow in color and your name was John Stachlewicz, then yes, you would.

"I've always wanted a yellow Mustang. In fact, out of all the sporty cars I've owned, I forgot to include one in the above list and that was a 2002 Mustang GT convertible (a black one). When a baby came along we had to trade it for a minivan, but I still needed my sporty fix so that was when I got the Boxster. When the new Mustangs came out and I saw one in that yellow color, I figured, hell, at least I'd take it for a test drive. The V6 car was the sensible choice, low insurance, decent gas mileage - I have a 16-year-old at home to worry about. So I went to the dealer and asked if I could get behind the wheel." Now being honest, John was thinking this brand new six-banger would perform a lot like something you'd drive off the Hertz lot in the mid 1990s. "Boy was I wrong. This thing went and it was a V6. It was an absolute blast to drive. I got back to the dealership and said 'where do I sign, where do I sign?' It didn't have the power of a new GT, but it was fast enough. I was also lucky in that I managed to get it well under sticker price too." So the Boxster was gone and a brand-new Yellow Mustang V6 sat in the Stachlewicz driveway.

Mustang and modify, go together like bread and peanut butter so it didn't take John long before he decided to change a few things. "I started off with little stuff. Dressing the car up with the black vinyl racing stripe, putting on a few polished knobs and cap covers." He also started going to car shows. "Before I got my Mustang I'd been to like, one or two car shows in my entire life. With the Mustang I started going to one or two per week."

And when he did show up, a lot of people would say the same thing. "You shoulda bought a GT, why didn't you get an eight-cylinder, you could've bought a used New Edge GT or Cobra for the price of this one - blah, blah." But like Axel Foley in the locker room, John wasn't listening. These folks could say what they wanted, but the fact was, Stachlewicz liked his new car and he was going to have fun with it.

"I started thinking about performance modifications and ways I could wake it up. There were a couple of things I wasn't happy about. The first was poor throttle response off the line. The second was the gentle shifting from the automatic transmission, it just wasn't as snappy as I wanted." As John started learning more about his car and how to make it faster, he discovered that the solution to fixing these two nagging little things was via custom tuning. "I found out about SCT's X-Calibrator 2. This hand-held tuner seemed to address the problems I was having with my car, but I needed to find a dealer to work with. On SCT's recommendation, the best dealer who was relatively local to me was Alternative Auto Performance in Mt. Clemens, Michigan."

So one day, a phone conversation happened. "I got talking with Alternative's Lidio Iacobelli, but at that time, Lidio was tied up with V8s and didn't really have anything for my car - but he appreciated the call. I went with SCT's second choice of dealer, but in the back of my mind I knew that I wanted Lidio to tune my Mistress (as the car had become known by this point)."

When Stachlewicz got his car back, complete with the reflashed software, he was quite surprised. "I got behind the wheel and - oh, my it was like driving a completely different car. It was like Clark Kent to Superman. The off-the-line hesitation was gone and the shifts were a lot more aggressive. If I wasn't careful, I'd smoke my right rear tire from every stoplight. On the dyno it made some impressive gains in both power and torque, but somehow I knew that Lidio could get more out of it." If only he had a V6 tune...