Peter Epple
June 1, 2009
Photos By: Peters Linney
Model: Melanie Tilbrook

The roots of the muscle car run deep in southern California. It's known as the birthplace of drag racing and is still a hot spot for some of the most beautiful and exotic muscle cars on the road today. But with all this automania, standing out in the crowd can be somewhat difficult. When Jason Feliciano set out to transform his '05 Mustang GT from ordinary daily driver to sick boulevard brawler, it took some originality and lots of hard work. Now Jason's flamed S197 turns heads everywhere he goes.

Being in the military, Jason was deployed to Iraq when Ford released the S197 Mustang, yet even from afar, he fell in love with the retro design. Just one day after returning home, he found himself sitting in the dealership about to drive away in his new Pony.

Airbrushed Demons and flames hint at the evil this boulevard brawler is capable of unleashing.

Jason wanted his Stang to stand out, so choice of color was a key factor. "The Mustang was on a 17-week wait if you wanted a specific color," Jason explains. "The dealer only had two colors available: Performance White and Screaming Yellow. Luckily, Screaming Yellow was my first choice, so I was pleased to see one available."

A few short days later, Jason started making this steed a one-of-a-kind ride. His S197 was met with the usual array of bolt-on performance parts, but visual flare would become the main focus. "I wanted to make the car different, yet eye catching," he adds. For this he turned to Zeshan Mohamed and Rick Primo of Automotive Dezignz in Los Angeles, California.

Two hundred and eighty one inches of turbo-fed Ford muscle lay in wait under the hood. Custom airbrushed flames, ghost skulls, and demons add an evil effect to this one-off engine bay.

The beginning stages of the build found this S197 stripped from the windshield forward in preparation for new body panels. The crew at Automotive Dezignz fabricated a set of one-off fenders and a one-off carbon-fiber front splitter. The custom GT-R fenders are hand-crafted and feature functional vents on the backside of the wheel openings. The splitter is a one-piece carbon-fiber design and utilizes two stainless steel turnbuckles for added strength and adjustability. The stock front fascia was reused with the addition of a Classic Designs Concepts aggressive chin spoiler and 3D Carbon headlamp splitters. Automotive Dezignz topped the build off with a C-Series Eleanor-style hood from Cervini's and Shelby hoodpins. A Roush three-piece rear spoiler and blacked out taillights were installed to tie the rear into the front-end design.

Although Jason's beautiful Stang does just fine on its own, the lovely Melanie Tillbrook adds extra eye-candy.

Once the new panels were installed, it was time for the spray booth. The S197 was brought back to a solid color, as the Screaming Yellow hue was laid over the new panels and blended into the rest of the car. With the basecoat dry, Rick Primo laid out and sprayed the black stripes that serve as the base for some airbrushed flames on the nose and hood. While the yellow and black paint spent some time curing, Primo airbrushed flame samples for Jason to choose from, and almost a month later, the once-black stripes were layered with some intricate artwork. The flames stretch from the base of the nose to the windshield, and are filled with subtle ghost skulls and demons, adding an evil touch.

As the bulk of the body and paintwork was finishing up, Jason decided it was time to step up the performance to keep it in line with the newly revamped exterior. B&D Racing of Canoga Park, California, took Jason's Pony and added a T4 60-1 ball-bearing turbo from Turbonetics and a custom tune. With the Three-Valve mill now breathing extra fire, the task of adding some extra evil under the hood found Jason and his S197 back at Automotive Dezignz. Rick Primo once again went to work with his airbrush, adding more demonic flames under the hood. Primo wrapped the engine cover, intake tubes, radiator cover, fusebox lid, and valve covers with custom airbrushed flames to match the stripes that blaze up the nose and hood.

Once the paintwork was complete and the clearcoat had time to cure, Automotive Dezignz applied a custom clear bra to the nose, hood, and fenders to protect Jason's custom artwork. Jason has appropriately named his S197 "Caution," and packing this kind of So-Cal heat, it's easy to see why.