Jim Smart
July 1, 2003

During our visit to Heber City, Utah, we couldn't help but notice Randy Webb's 2000 Mustang V-6 coupe sitting among the more powerful SN-95 GTs and Cobras. At first glance, we noticed it was super-sharp with its Performance Red paint, lowered stance, and 17-inch Prime wheels. Obviously, there was nothing vanilla about this base V-6 Mustang.

In Randy's mind, the Mustang was a natural for him and his family. A six cylinder would certainly be more economical to operate, and the insurance rate wouldn't be nearly as steep with a teenager reaching driving age.

But as Randy became accustomed to the Mustang, it became apparent the car wasn't a powerhouse like a Mustang GT with its 4.6-liter V-8. So Randy initiated a quest for performance, starting with image, then adding handling and power. First, he installed the 17-inch Prime wheels with 245/45/17 Toyo Proxey tires. Roush Performance variable-rate springs lowered the body by 1 inch, and Pilot driving lamps provided an appearance more GT-like.

Because a Mustang this sharp needs to perform and sound as good as it looks, Randy installed a Superchips computer module and a K&N air filter to improve the 3.8-liter's performance. A Kenny Brown Performance dual exhaust system provides extra horsepower along with a European tone-a rich and throaty sound we're not used to hearing from a Mustang. A MAC cold-air induction system was also added to improve breathing, along with Royal Purple synthetic engine oil, available from JMC Motorsports in San Diego, for more slippery engine internals to reduce wear and tear.

What makes Randy's nimble Mustang fun is its subtle but certainly functional modifications that improve the car dramatically. When it's time to grab the wheel, Randy reaches for the five-speed shifter and mashes the throttle for some serious road work. With the V-6's improved powerband, tackling a twisty highway becomes a remarkable experience because the V-6 weighs less than the 4.6 V-8, making this filly light on its feet, balanced, and a joy to drive. These are attributes most of us wouldn't expect from a vanilla V-6 Mustang.

To Randy Webb, this V-6 coupe is more like spicy chocolate chip.