Dale Amy
February 1, 2013

We first encountered this strikingly good-looking 2013 GT in a rather unexpected location: the tony atrium lobby of an upscale hotel. Only the fact that said hotel was located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was playing host to last summer's Mid America Ford and Shelby Nationals, made any sense out of the site of this automotive find. Still, knowing that the Marriott Southern Hills' lobby is prime real estate annually reserved for only the finest of the Mid America event's FoMoCo and Shelby participant vehicles says something about the quality of this new coupe and its discerning modifications.

The Deep Impact Blue GT belongs to Classic Design Concepts (CDC) and is a rolling catalog of the Michigan company's late-model Mustang styling enhancements, some of which are brand new and specific to the revised '13 model, while others are equally applicable to earlier editions. These most recent bits remind us that every time Ford decides to revise Mustang design cues, it costs businesses like CDC tens of thousands of dollars to tool up new components that fit. Case in point being the '13 Mustang's new, taller grille opening, which prompted the talented CDC team to come up with their simply named "Performance Grille" with an aggressive, open-mouth design reminiscent of the new GT 500s. These will bolt in place of '13 (and '14) factory V-6 or GT grilles and, at only $199 apiece, we're thinking CDC had better sell a bunch to recoup its tooling costs.

The same applies to that cool rear license plate surround (as found on the '13 Mustang RTR), which features deeply recessed E-coated metal mesh screens giving the appearance of diffuser-like ductwork. Other new pieces in evidence include the stamped-steel-and-powder-coated taillight filler panel that eliminates the factory's faux gas cap, and the cool red-white-and-blue-striped "5.0L Coyote" fender badges.

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If you've seen any of the Vaughn Gittin Jr-inspired RTR Mustangs, then you may recognize some of this coupe's other body enhancements like the chin spoiler, 3-piece rear splitter, side rocker splitters, and stamped-aluminum rear spoiler. CDC is a design and manufacturing partner in the Mustang RTR and offers specific variants of these individual RTR components for '10-'12 Mustangs as well as the '13-'14.

The GT's ceramic-coated, matte-black RTR axle-back exhaust sounds every bit as good as it looks. Custom made for CDC by MagnaFlow, this system has a commanding tone but doesn't drone on the highway—particularly important if touring is your thing. And those classy 19x9.5-inch rims are silver variants of the black versions found lurking in the wheelwells of the RTR. Falken FK 452 rubber is onboard, P255/40R19 up front and P275/40R19 out back, tucking nicely into the wheel arches thanks to Ford Racing's 1.5-inch lowering springs.

Up top is one of Classic Design's signature Shaker scoops, but this time accented by a version of the company's new hood graphics, which can be had with or without the "Coyote Powered" call-outs. Available in black, silver, or white, CDC can apparently even optionally personalize the lettering to a customer's preference. Inside the otherwise stock cabin is a prototype of CDC's proposed rear seat delete kit, which will have a more refined appearance in production form.

A word here about materials. We've noted over the years that Classic Design Concepts—a company that supplies not only the enthusiast aftermarket but also Detroit's OEMs, including Ford—have a strict OEM-quality philosophy when it comes to its component materials. This means that its new '13 grille and license surround, for instance, are crafted from injection-molded ASA (acrylonitrile atyrene acrylate), while lower-body pieces like the chin spoiler and rocker splitters are made of slightly more flexible injection-molded thermoplastic olefin (TPO.) All we need understand from these multi-syllabic descriptions is that these are the very same long-lasting compounds used in Ford's equivalent original pieces—meaning the CDC parts are engineered to maintain factory textures, colors, and long-term durability. Which may, in part, explain why the folks from the Mid America Ford and Shelby Nationals saw fit to give CDC's GT a place of such prominence in the lobby of their host hotel. This thing's an instant classic.

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