Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
April 1, 2002

Horse Sense: We aren't going to compete with the one-off likes of the FR500 with its stretched body and carbon-fiber panels housing a 5.0 mod motor, but our new project car-dubbed the 3g GT-will attempt to achieve 1g in cornering, braking, and acceleration with bolt-on aftermarket parts. While the first iteration was a bit rushed for the SEMA show, we plan on future levels of braking, handling, and performance over and above what we debuted at SEMA.

Sure, top-of-the-line power, handling, and brakes are the premise of our new '01 GT project car from Ford, but image is ultimately what draws people in closer. With our new car debuting at the annual SEMA show, we had to get our screaming banana to look the part as well as act it. Thus, we began our new project Mustang by creating a driver's environment you wouldn't want to leave.

We ordered the interior goodies-including these billet pieces from MGW-for our new project 3g GT even before we took delivery of the car. That way, as soon as the '01 arrived at our offices, we'd be raring to go and wouldn't waste any time getting it ready for the SEMA show.

We picked up our GT at Classic Design Concepts on September 17, 2001, where it was receiving the company's killer turn-signal mirrors, sequential taillights, and aluminum fuel-filler door. Sure, there's more we can do (such as installing a DVD/navigation system or high-end stereo), but the car had to be ready for transportation to Las Vegas by October 20. For our four-week window of time, we still had plenty to do. First we had to schedule a trip to Steeda for suspension and brakes, then to ATI to fit our P-1SC blower, then a visit to Classic Soft Trim for the Ford Racing seats, and finally to Xtreme Custom Paint and Body to install and paint Cervini's first Cobra R body kit. We're amazed we got it done!

When we first brought the Zinc Yellow coupe from Detroit to our offices in Florida (yours truly drew the short straw for the 1,200-mile trek), we tore right into it. We wanted visual stimulation throughout the GT's interior. We first selected the new EL-Glo gauge faces from NR Automobile Accessories. These great white-face gauges glow a cool green or blue light at night just like the SVT gauges in the Lightning F-150.

Next, we wanted to cover the dash and doors with something to break up the charcoal trim. A brushed stainless trim set from Year One did the trick. We also used factory Bullitt items such as pedal pads and the shift knob/trim ring items from our good friend Jim Dingell at Performance Parts in conjunction with a slew of new satin-billet knobs from MGW Ltd. We then rang the order desk at Ford Racing Performance Parts for one of its sweet-feeling FR500 steering wheels and a set of leather FRPP seat covers in charcoal and yellow trim.

For just a few days worth of work, we turned the stock interior 180 degrees in the right direction. Look for more 3g GT articles in the upcoming months on the suspension, brakes, blower, and body modifications. We'll also have the 3g GT at whatever events we can schedule driving time for in 2002, so keep an eye out for it.