Dale Amy
September 1, 2008
Photos By: E. John Thawley III
A far cry from the day it was stranded on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, Sgt. Justin Davis' '01 Bullitt has been given new life by no less than 37 big-hearted American businesses, led by Centerforce. Looking decidedly upscale in its blue-over-gold hues and 20-inch Foose blings, this is a corporate nod of thanks to those who defend our nation.

Horse Sense: While Centerforce has clutches for any manual-trans Mustang we cover in 5.0&SF, it also has five different lines of clutches-the Centerforce 1, Centerforce II, Dual Friction, DFX, and LMC series-to suit anything from a stocker to an all-out race car. The company also offers aluminum and billet-steel flywheels.

In the politically jaundiced eyes of mainstream media wankers and Hollywood filmmakers, American businesses and corporations are seemingly forever portrayed as greedy and heartless capitalist-pig entities, having neither soul nor social conscience, and showing no interest in anything beyond their own corporate bottom lines. Hey, counter-culture elitists-we beg to differ.

The prologue to our picture of corporate generosity and patriotic gratitude begins with a U.S. Army Sergeant, home on leave, driving his essentially stock '01 Bullitt to the '06 Bullitt Nationals in San Francisco. After a successful gathering of Bullittheads, Sgt. Justin Davis then headed home to Oklahoma City, only to be stranded in the Arizona town of Winslow with a seized engine, the result of total lubricant loss caused by an improper oil change. To quote The Eagles, the car was thus "stranded on a corner in Winslow, Arizona."

Scheduled to ship back overseas immediately, Justin had little choice but to leave his beloved Mustang at an area Ford dealer, one that decided a storage fee of $20 per day would be appropriate. When fellow members of the International Mustang Bullitt Owners Club (www.imboc.com) heard about this, they went into action.

One of the IMBOC members is a friend of the plant manager at Centerforce Clutches, whose headquarters in Prescott, Arizona, are just three hours west of Winslow. He inquired as to whether the company might be willing to pick up and store Sgt. Davis' Bullitt, saving the serviceman a raft of storage fees (IMBOC paid the already accrued storage bill). Centerforce gladly agreed to perform the good deed.

As they were hauling the car back to Prescott, they were actually starting down a road that led to the transformation of a spent Bullitt into the potent showpiece you see on these pages.

The Legacy seat reskinning matches the exterior color combo, while The Matworks threw down some custom-embroidered floor mats. SoundEnvisions installed the Sony audio head unit and Scosche-supporting ICE hardware.

It seems the good folks at Centerforce saw helping out with this Mustang as an opportunity to give a gesture of thanks to the country's uniformed personnel, and started talking up the idea with other automotive aftermarket firms (listed along with their generous donations in our sidebar "Credit Where Credit Is Due"). Even though the result of this corporate patriotism justifiably ended up on display in the Centerforce booth at the '07 SEMA show, that wasn't the original plan. "It really just snowballed," says Will Baty, the media relations guru at Centerforce. "The companies we talked to all said they'd like to be a part of that type of thank you," and so the snowball began rolling.

You can't have a Bullitt without a bullet, so Ford Racing Performance Parts stepped up with a stock replacement crate engine. JBA upped the ante with some headers, Scott Hoag's MRT handed over a throaty H-pipe-equipped exhaust system, and then Paxton came onboard with its Bullitt-specific Novi 2000 blower kit. Tremec coughed up a new TR-3650 to spline up to Centerforce's Dual-Friction clutch and billet flywheel. Jim Paschall at SW Tuning happily took on the task of installing the supercharger and tuning the combo for reliable street use since Sgt. Davis likes to rack up the miles on his Bullitt. With an ultra-safe street tune, the setup puts 433 hp and 410 lb-ft under the sergeant's right foot. An edgier race tune generates 475 hp and 450 lb-ft.

Truth be told, the '01 hardly resembles a Bullitt at all any more, what with its striking blue-over-gold paint scheme. Refinishing materials were supplied by PPG, and Auto Art Studio laid them on with an added personal touch of the mural on the trunk. The sergeant's Bullitt also hunkers over its fat new rolling stock thanks to a full Eibach Pro-Kit suspension.