5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
How to Get a Carbon-Look Dash - AmericanMuscle Graphics Package
Tech Inspection - 2011 Ford Mustang GT
We don't have any doubt that most contemporary Mustang enthusiasts are more than capable of using the term carbon fiber in a sentence. When you think about it, that's the easy part. While almost everyone involved with our hobby has some awareness of the material, there aren't many who can give us a sentence that accurately describes it. For our uninitiated 'Stangbangers, carbon fiber technically is a strong, light, cloth-like material made from thin strands of carbon that's used in automotive applications (for performance and appearance purposes).
CF, as it is called as in many circles, is used as a performance component because of its strength (it's said carbon fiber is stronger and stiffer than steel), and the fact that in the grand scheme of things, it weighs almost nothing—qualities that undoubtedly are appreciated by hard-core racers. However, we realize not everyone with a Mustang is a racer, and enthusiasts who are more focused on looks appreciate carbon simply because it's downright sexy.
One of the variables that makes using carbon fiber (for either application) somewhat difficult is its cost. Using real CF parts requires that money be no object for a Mustang owner. For this project, however, we're operating in the real world, where funds allocated for upgrades are always a serious concern, and using affordable alternatives to the pricier real-deal parts is the best move.
This month we're working with a really cool set of pre-cut carbon-look vinyl overlays for all '10-'14 Mustangs (V-6 and V-8). AmericanMuscle.com's kit (PN 26365; $134.99) is a 42-piece collection of die-cut, 3M DiNoc vinyl trim parts (the same stuff that's used for vehicle wraps) that simply peel away from their backing and are placed on just about every panel, bezel, and hard-plastic surround in a 'Stang's cabin . These pieces can transform the interior's appearance from stock and relatively boring to one that mimics the more-expensive carbon-treated cockpit of an exotic supercar.
The photos and captions attest to the simplicity of this makeover, which GTR High Performance's Ricardo Topete completed in a little more than an hour.