Frank H. Cicerale
November 1, 2007

Model: Melanie H. Tillbrook

Halloween is fun. Little kids dress up in their favorite superhero or ghoulish costume and raid the neighborhood homes for chocolate and other treats or tricks. But time passes and things change. While as adults many of us may still get dressed up for Halloween, the costumes are usually more extravagant.

The same can be said about the '07 Mustang GT that was given a full-on, Halloween-type transformation by Bash Performance. What started out as a motorized version of a kid in a Superman costume turned into a rolling example of Frankenstein. The Clearwater, Florida, performance shop took the '07 and, six weeks later, had it breathing fire from all corners of the S197 chassis.

"Our main vehicle focus when we first started was the new '05 Mustang," says Brett Bash, son of Bash Performance founder Stephen Bash. "Our first designed body kit and complete car was the Monaceros, which looked like a certain '67 Shelby GT500."

The shop's first body kit looked like a movie car from 1999 (you can figure it out), the boys at Bash wanted to create a car that would stop everyone in their tracks. That's when the drawing board was pulled out and the styling for the GTSR Mustang began.

"We wanted a body kit that would simulate the racing look of the GT-R Mustang concept," Brett explains. "The first GTSR debuted at the '06 SEMA show in Vegas, and we are now building turnkey cars as well as body components and parts."

The body kit and ensuing mechanical work done to this particular Mustang are nothing short of spectacular. The racy lines of the kit give the Mustang an illusion of going fast while standing still. The side-exit exhaust is reminiscent of NASCAR Nextel Cup cars, while the 20-inch rims give it that low-slung look. Add in the extraordinary power supplied by the blown mod motor, and you can see just where the inspiration for this car lies.

The Mustang's stock 4.6L Three-Valve was given a bigger set of cojones thanks to the cylinders getting bored out to 3.552 inches. With the new displacement coming in at a beloved 5.0 liters, the supersized powerplant also got supercharged.

Let us digress for a moment, however. Like Dr. Frankenstein looked around different places for parts and pieces to create his own human being, Brett and the crew at Bash Performance did the same thing, though most of their parts gathering was accomplished by raiding their own parts bin. The stock Three-Valve was pulled out, stripped down, and poked and stroked to a new displacement of 5.0 liters. Internally, the stock rotating assembly was replaced with a forged crank and H-beam rods, followed by blower-friendly 8.6:1 slugs. Before the Three-Valve heads were slapped back on the short-block, they were treated to a port-and-polish job prior to being stocked with oversized valves and a set of custom camshafts. The detailing on the engine didn't stop with the components, though. A Moroso oil pan was powdercoated Candy Apple Red, as were the Bash Performance valve covers. The trifecta of colorful parts added looks to the top and bottom of the modular engine.

Once the long-block was back between the framerails, a ProCharger D1SC centrifugal blower was slung in. Pushing 20 psi of boost, the inlet air can get hot, but the charge is lowered to a manageable temperature thanks to a three-core intercooler. Adding even more flash to the engine compartment is the carbon-fiber radiator and intake manifold covers, as well as the blower inlet tubes, which were powdercoated (you guessed it) Candy Apple Red. Twin GT500 fuel pumps force the go juice to the 60-pound injectors via Aeromotive fuel lines and rails, while an MSD ignition system handles the chore of electrifying the spark plugs. When the combus-tion process is cycled around to the exhaust stroke, a pair of Bassani ceramic-coated long-tube headers dump the exhaust gasses away from the cylinders and into an oh-so-cool Bash Performance 2 1/2-inch side-exit exhaust system.

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With the powerplant estimated at 750 hp, it would take a monster of a driveline to handle all the power. A Viper-spec Tremec six-speed replaced the factory gearbox, and an Exedy twin-disc racing clutch accompanied by a short-throw shifter enables the driver to make super-slick powershifts on the track. The 8.8-inch rear remained, though its legs were beefed up with a set of 3.73 gears that spin a Detroit Locker TruTrac and Moser 31-spline chromoly axles. Mating the tranny to the rear is a one-piece aluminum driveshaft.

The corners of the Mustang are fortified with suspension and brake components that are guaranteed to ensure the nimble Pony stays on target. Fully adjustable H&R coilovers were installed up front, while adjustable springs and shocks, also from H&R, made their way under the rear quarter-panels. Keeping the body roll to a minimum are H&R front and rear antiroll bars, while 20x9 front and 20x10.5 rear GTSR wheels, surrounded by BFGoodrich G-Force gumballs (255/30/20 front and 285/30/20 rear) swallow up the four-piston calipers and zinc-washed cross-drilled rotors.

As you can probably deduce, the color choice of the S197 was Candy Pearl Red. "It's one of the most beautiful reds, namely because it has just about every shade and variation of red in it," Brett says. The color isn't the only part of the car's exterior that deserves notice, however. Before the paint gun was wielded and fired, a Bash Performance GTSR body kit was bolted on. The stock hood was ditched in favor of a carbon-fiber GTSR showcasing fully functional dual front vents and a rear heat extractor. Enhancing the front end even more is a powdercoated aluminum grille, a fiberglass front bumper complete with functional brake ducts, and a carbon-fiber front splitter. Lighting the way is a set of Halo projector headlights. The stock steel fenders were exchanged for GTSR fiberglass pieces, and the side skirts feature the cutouts for the side-exit exhaust. Out back, a fiberglass bumper, carbon-fiber decklid, LED taillights, and a carbon-fiber rear wing sporting adjustable aluminum mounts finish the killer good looks of the Stang.

The inside of this filly is just as detail-oriented as the outer portion. Custom Sparco Milano racing seats were covered in leather, replacing the stock front chairs, while the entire dash was sprayed the same Candy Pearl Red color as the exterior. A full-on Eclipse audio system utilizing MTX speakers gives the Mustang some interior thump to match the good vibrations emanating from the side pipes.

While Dr. Frankenstein's monster may have been an ugly, piecemeal thing, Bash Performance's could win a beauty pageant as well as a drag race. That's what we call progress.