"When Ford came out with the new Mustang, it really hit home with us. This car was just born to have the Shinoda treatment. It had our name written all over it. If Larry had lived to see it, now that would have been great. There are a lot of design elements in it that pay homage to the original Boss cars - we knew we were going to have fun with it." And one aspect of fun is the brightly painted coupe dubbed 'Warpaint.' This was the car Jim was tinkering with when we caught up with him in Pensacola. "This car," he says, "we originally bought with the intention of building it and selling it right away. But that didn't happen. We liked it and so we decided to keep it as our show car. We originally built it as a Level 1 car, it was pretty much like any other Shinoda turnkey car, but then we decided to have some fun with it." Klok and crew knew, that in order to be a proper show car however, it needed a suitable paint scheme.
"We tried to reach back to the original Boss Mustangs for some inspiration and ultimately found it." With many of the S197's lines screaming '69 fastback, Jim figured that painting up their '05 show car in vintage style Trans Am colors was the way to go. "Those '69 Bud Moore Trans Am cars looked great. Vic Edelbrock owned the #16 car and we used that as the foundation for the paint scheme on this one." So the paint was settled and the car gradually came together. But there were a number of twists and turns along the way. "I've almost lost count on the amount of times we had to tear this thing down and start over," says Klok. "One thing I can say is that it is a true survivor. It's survived hailstorms and hurricanes. It was sitting in the shop when hurricane Dennis came through and peeled the roof of our shop like a tin can!" In the end, it took four months to get Warpaint up and running and ready for the road. And was Jim happy with the eventual result?
"It was really worth it. The car is a road rocket - you can just get behind the wheel, mash the throttle and go. It corners like it's on rails. It basically feels like a street legal Trans Am car. I call it Warpaint, because it's loud 'n' proud and ready for battle." Warpaint, as built, sported a Vortech blown motor (courtesy of Vortech), along with JBA exhaust, Eibach coils, Tokico struts and shocks, Ford Racing sway bar kit and Shinoda's own lower control arms. Naturally, the Mustang also sports a Hurst shifter. "Because it was a show car we jazzed up the interior too, with the help of 3dCarbon and we added our own Shinoda five-spoke rims and Bridgestone tires. We didn't have much of a chance to run some hard numbers, because almost as soon as it was complete, the car was off on the show circuit." In fact, Warpaint went to a number of different shows. It went to the National Parts Depot shindig in Ocala, FL and it won Popular Choice at the MCA bash in Pensacola among other things. Speaking of that, once our ace photographer Heasley had managed to get Jim and Warpaint away from the main show and ready for picture taking, Klok couldn't resist honkin' on the car. "One night I decided to see what it could do. I did one helluva burnout - Jerry [Heasley] was there when that happened. I got on it so hard that I blew the fuel system - hey, it's a shop car," exclaims Jim, with a smile.