Pete Epple Technical Editor
December 15, 2010
Photos By: Peter S. Linney

The Mustang culture is largely based on social environments. Enthusiasts show off their iron at car shows and racetracks all over the country, as well as on Internet forums.

Online communities give people the ability to share ideas, find useful information, and show off the fruits of their labor with like-minded enthusiasts. Eddie Loma Balagtas of San Diego, California, started San Diego Stangs, a car club and Internet forum, in 1992.

"A couple of buddies and I started San Diego Stangs to cruise, race, and compete in car shows with our Stangs," explains Eddie. "Mustangs have truly become my passion."

Eddie's love of the Pony has driven him to start a project with the release of each new Mustang body style. "When I heard about the new retro-style being released in '05, I had to get my hands on one," added Eddie. In late 2004, Eddie picked up this '05 Mustang GT, but it didn't always look like this.

"As soon as I drove my silver '05 off the lot, I began dressing the car with the accessories needed to give it the perfect look," Eddie tells us. He wasted no time lowering the body and adding 20-inch rolling stock to enhance the S197's aggressive looks. A Street Scene front fascia, spoiler, window louvers, and hoodscoop separated this Pony from the rest of the Ponies running around Southern California.

After about a year, Eddie decided it was time for a change. The 20-inch wheels gave way to 22-inch Asantis, as well as a blend of body pieces, including a customized Cervini's rear spoiler. Shelby hoodpins were also added to the custom touches on this '05 GT. Eddie topped it all off with a pair of black racing stripes up the center of the car. To complement the enhanced aesthetics, Eddie installed a Saleen twin-screw supercharger, which raised the fun factor on his way to and from the car shows.

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After a while, other Mustangs began showing up with similar touches on the So-Cal car show scene. This was the fuel Eddie needed to make his S197 one truly unique ride. With the next transformation in mind, Eddie turned to Jose and Alicia Ramos of A1 Autobody to turn his simple silver Stang into something special.

The crew at A1 started by adding a new spoiler, sidescoops, and window louvers. The custom hood employs touches from the S197 Saleen and '00 Cobra R Mustang for a super-aggressive look. All of the bodylines were filled and blended before A1 laid down the Candy Apple Red basecoat. Next, two different horses were airbrushed on the sides of his '05. A1 added flames and other graphics to finish off the amazing custom artwork. Eddie kept the 22-inch Asantis, giving his Pony some extra bling.

Though Eddie started with a simple silver S197, he ended up with one serious show-stopper. Although the transformation took about five years, Eddie's Mustang isn't like any other. With '10s and '11s rolling off dealer lots, we can't wait to see his next project.

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