Marc Christ
Brand Manager, Modified Mustangs & Fords
March 22, 2010
Photos By: Peter S. Linney

Mike Hyun's love of cars didn't start with owning a Mustang, rather, it blossomed into owning one. Mike, as many of his friends and family, was always an import-type guy. It wasn't until his brother Chris purchased a new '01 SVT Cobra that Mike fell in love with the quintessential ponycar. "The muscle car rumble just had a different appeal to it," Mike tells us. By 2005 when the S197 Mustang made its debut, Mike had to have one, and he scooped up one of the first '05 GTs on the lot.

Though he loved his new Stang and all that it stood for, the stock look just wasn't going to cut it, so he contacted his friends at Extreme Dimensions (Brea, California) to see what they could do to help him out. Extreme Dimensions designs, manufactures, and distributes body kits for many late-model import and domestic sports cars. It utilized Mike's new Mustang and his eagerness to customize it, and created a carbon fiber widebody kit for Mike's car. The kit was installed, and Mike's GT was taken to the 2005 SEMA Show and exhibited in Extreme Dimension's booth.

Though his car was a big hit at SEMA, Mike still wasn't satisfied. He wanted something that would make his BMW- and Porsche-driving friends envious. Under the hood, Mike turned to GTR High Performance (Rancho Cucamonga, California) to install a Paxton Novi 2200 centrifugal supercharger, which features polished components and pumps out 8 pounds of boost. A set of 3.9-lb/hr injectors were installed in place of the stock set, and MAC headers, mid-pipe, and mufflers take the place of the factory exhaust components.

To complement the widebody kit, GTR installed 20-inch DPE wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber-10-inches wide in the front and 12-inches wide in the rear. In order to keep that extra rotating mass under control, Mike opted for an Eibach performance suspension kit and a StopTech Big Brake Kit, also installed by GTR. It also installed a strut tower brace and Hotchkis front and rear sway bars.

Inside, Mike removed the stock front seats in lieu of a pair of Status Racing carbon fiber racing buckets. He also removed the back seat and had a custom back seat enclosure made, which flows into the trunk. The enclosure houses three PowerBass L-12D subwoofers, four Vivo video screens, and two PowerBass audio amplifiers. Mike also installed Auto Meter carbon fiber fuel-pressure and boost A-pillar gauges, an in-dash video screen and head unit, and a B&M shifter.

After taking the performance and interior to a whole new level, Mike decided it was time to do something wild on the outside. The carbon fiber body kit and cowl-induction hood provided a great platform for a flashy paint scheme and wild graphics, and Mike used that to his advantage. After some serious prep work on the body, Mike chose a bright candy orange as a base. "I always wanted to do an orange car because it's just so eye-catching," Mike tells us.

"While it was being painted, I was thinking maybe we should step it up a little," so he had the real flames airbrushed on to accentuate the flares. After the flames were complete, Mike still wasn't satisfied with the overall execution. "I came up with the idea of using the Ghost Rider character on the car. When you think Mustang, you think flames and skull graphics, so what better than Ghost Rider."

Originally a comic book character, Nicolas Cage portrayed the new Ghost Rider on the big screen in 2007. Though the movie wasn't a huge box-office hit, it fit the theme of skulls and flames for Mike's GT. Mike had the character airbrushed on the hood, and one of Ghost Rider's weapons, a chain, airbrushed down the sides. Finally, the look was complete.

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Since the completion of the Ghost Rider car, Mike has been cruising Southern California and traveling the show circuit with his fellow Ar-kan car club members. Though every other member has an import, Mike still gets the due respect. "I'm always the only one with a domestic," he tells us. Members of the club drive everything from Porches and BMWs to 350Zs and Lancer Evos, yet Mike's car always seems to walk away with the most trophies. Mike also uses the GT to promote his company, Real AutoWorks (RAW) of La Habra, California, which builds and customizes cars to the same extreme as the Ghost Rider Mustang GT. The company has had its hands on everything from Ferraris and Lamborghinis to a '10 Camaro.

Though it has only racked up about 6,000 miles in the five years, Mike Hyun's Pony has traveled far from its humble beginnings as a stock '05 GT. With an estimated 550 rwhp, Mike can even smoke most of his import-wheeling buddies.