Marc Christ
Brand Manager, Modified Mustangs & Fords
August 17, 2010
Photos By: Peter S. Linney

Pablo Diego Jose Frascisco de Paula Juan Neponuceno Maria de los Remidios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso (Pablo Picasso) was born in Spain in 1881. He began painting as a boy, and would later become one of the greatest and most well-known artists of the 20th century. He created over 50,000 works of art throughout his lifetime before his death at age 91 in 1973. His works have sold for millions of dollars-one even went for over $100 million.

So this begs the question: What would a car look like if Picasso designed it? Enter Ivan Tampi and his '05 Mustang GT. When Ivan began chasing his dream of restyling cars in 1997, he started with body kits for imports. Though his kits were very popular, the good times didn't last long. "Other companies copied my designs and put me out of business," Ivan tells us.

Undeterred, Ivan regrouped and started making body kits for Mustangs. Success hit once again; his Mustang body kits became a big hit in the Mustang world. His own Zinc Yellow '01 Cobra convertible even made the cover of MM&FF (July '03).

By 2005, Ivan had started his own company. This new venture would not only use his own artistic abilities to design body panels, but also allowed Ivan to design and modify the rest of the car's appearance. Ivan is an automotive restylist-he takes what the manufacturer has done with the car and makes it all his own. This '05 GT is the perfect example of just that.

When Ivan bought the GT new, he saw a blank canvas. Like the late Picasso, Ivan began stroking and molding the coupe into a rolling work of art. "I did most of the work by myself," Ivan tells us. He started with what he knows best-body panels.

Ivan designed a one-off front bumper cover for the GT. He added Roush side skirts and a Cervini's spoiler. Once the shape was decided, Ivan picked the colors. His palette included a gold candy, silver, and black. Once the colors were picked, Ivan laid out the scheme and sprayed the BASF hues himself.

To complete the appearance, Ivan turned to Progress Technology for its coilover kit and Demoda Concept for a set of wheels. The coilover kit can drop the GT from 1 to 3 inches, and features 350-pound front springs and 250-pound rear springs. Ivan also upgraded the rear sway bar with one from UPR. The 20-inch Demoda wheels are wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber and give Ivan's S197 a unique look.

The next step was the engine. When it comes to Mustangs, it's all about the total package, so Ivan called up Vortech Superchargers for an S-trim supercharger kit. Once installed and tuned, the blower began filling the cylinders of the Three-Valve powerplant with 9 pounds of pressurized air-enough to make the GT an animal on the street. Ivan also added JBA long-tube headers and an H-pipe.

With the exterior and underhood out of the way, Ivan moved to the interior. Knowing he didn't want it to look like any other Mustang anywhere, he went back to the drawing board. Ivan designed a one-off interior complete with tan leather, alligator skin, ostrich skin, and a Woodview chrome dash kit. Ivan turned to Chuy's Interior in Carson, California, to do the work, but only under his watchful eye.

After the build was complete, Ivan stopped building cars. In fact, he has been busy helping his wife with her work in the fashion industry. Has the Picasso of cars laid his brush down for good? We sure hope not. It seems like a waste of talent and good taste for his talents to be spent on simple garments.

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