SSBC'S '05 "SVC" Mustang
Balance. It's not something that a lot of traditional musclecar owners are used to, but when it comes to the overall concept of performance, it can make a sizeable difference. That was the premise behind this car, the '05 SVC Mustang, built by Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation as a project vehicle. Normally when an aftermarket manufacturer decides to showcase its latest wares on a late-model Ford Pony, the foundation is usually a V-8-powered GT or Shelby GT500. However, with V-6 Mustangs accounting for around 60 percent of total sales, especially in a market where relatively high fuel prices are the norm, then it makes sense to build a project vehicle around one of these base cars. Mike Jonas, President of Stainless Steel Brakes Corp., gives us a little insight into the SVC.
"We built this car because we wanted to try our hand at something different," Jonas says. "There are a lot of V-6 Mustangs out there that are really affordable, and we wanted to show what could be done with a little initiative and some carefully chosen modifications. I've always been a Ford guy, and one vehicle I really like is the '84-'86 Mustang SVO. In its day, it was a world-class car, offering a great mixture of handling, braking, performance, and exclusivity. I used to own one and really, really loved it. When the idea of doing a [current] Mustang project car for the company came along, I thought it would be really neat to take the concept of the SVO and modernize it-build something that Ford, if they were still pushing the concept, would offer today." So that's exactly what he did. The SVC (standing for Special Vehicle Concept), started out with a used, '05 V-6 coupe, and gradually the transformation began.
Along the way, Jonas and SSBC enlisted the help of a number of other vendors within the performance aftermarket industry to help bring the project to life, and the more you look at this car, the more interesting and unique touches you come across. "It was most definitely a learning process for us," Jonas says. "When we started putting the car together, we began to realize just how good a performance car the V-6 Mustang is in its own right. We also discovered that a lot of parts need to be specifically made for this car-for example, the 3d Carbon body kit. We had the guys ship us one, but the V-6 car has a different front and rear valance, so you need a kit that's specifically designed for it; a kit that's made for the Mustang GT won't fit."
As Jonas wanted to add elements of the original SVO, two items considered mandatory were a bi-plane rear spoiler and an offset hoodscoop. "Because the original SVO was a hatchback and this one's a coupe, we needed to take a custom approach to the rear spoiler," Jonas says. "We started out with a Razzi rear wing but it needed extensive modification to give it the bi-plane effect and make it look right. Our body shop, Aero Collision in Lancaster, New York, spent a lot of time on it, but we think the result has been worth it. It blends with the styling of the car, and those who remember the SVO recognize it instantly."
The hood was also another interesting proposition. "As you probably know, the [S197] Mustangs come from the factory with aluminum hoods," Jonas says. "We found an original SVO hood, courtesy of Performance Parts Inc. It was rusted and bent, but the scoop was usable. However, making the steel scoop work with the aluminum hood required some careful cutting, welding, sanding, and smoothing. We also found that because the electronics are housed on the right side of the engine bay, we couldn't install the hoodscoop offset to the right as on the SVO, because we didn't have the clearance. So we moved it to the left side instead." In the end, it all worked out, and you'd be hard pressed to tell that the hood wasn't manufactured that way. However, while doing both the hoodscoop and rear wing, a change of thought occurred when it came time to paint the car.