August 17, 2007

40th ReplicaI have a black '04 Mustang GT. After purchasing it, I saw an '04 with the 40th Anniversary package. I would like to change my car to a 40th Anniversary, but I'm not sure what the differences are and where to purchase the items.Dick BisbeeNorth Attleboro, MA

For the record, Crimson Red was the only color specific to the 40th Anniversary cars. Oxford White and black were the other available colors. Of course, you're only going to make a replica of a 40th car and not try to pass it off as a real one, right? Just checking.

According to information in our Dec. '03 issue, the 40th package was entirely a visual upgrade. There are no mechanical differences in these cars, which, by the way, could be ordered as a V-6 or a GT with a 4.6L V-8 in a coupe or convertible.

The unique components included Arizona Beige Metallic stripes on the hood, lower rocker panels, and trunklid. The 16- (V-6) or 17-inch (GT) wheels also got the Arizona Beige treatment with an accent integrated into the finish of the wheel. Another exterior upgrade was the body-color folding side mirrors that first appeared on the '03 Cobra.

The Medium Parchment interior was also dressed up with an upgrade package that included articulating headrests, a painted center-console surround, and a shifter bezel in Metallic Gray, as well as brushed-aluminum door-lock knobs, a shift-boot trim ring, and pedals. There were also floor mats with a 40th Anniversary logo and a matching badge on the console. Convertibles came with a Medium Parchment top.

Given these differences, I'd say it's going to be fairly difficult to duplicate a 40th car unless you come across a wrecked one. That may be possible at MPS Auto Salvage (800/236-1156; mpsautosalvage.com) or Midwest Mustang (www.midwestmustang.net). These two parts houses specialize in late-model Mustangs and might have one to part out.

In any case, you could possibly get the exterior stripes for your car, which, along with the 40th Anniversary emblems that all '04s (except Mach 1 and Cobra) have on the front fenders, would make your car resemble a 40th Anniversary model. The stripes might be available from a Ford dealer or check with Latemodel Restoration Supply (www.50resto.com, 866/507-1848). The 40th Anniversary cars came without a rear spoiler, so you need to remove the rear wing if your car has one.

'95 GTs Info Anyone?I'm looking for a registry for the '95 Mustang GTS. I'm a frequent reader of your magazine and am wondering if you could do a story about this limited-production (6,370) and one-year-only car. None of the Mustang books mention this model at all. You only hear about the Bullitt, the Cobra, and the Mach 1.Craig H.Via the Internet

These "stripped-down" GTs are unique cars to be sure; they can be considered the 5.0 LX of the SN-95 body style. We encourage any GTS owner to send pictures of their car for inclusion in our Readers' Album section and we'll consider doing a retrospective feature on these cars, similar to what we've done with the '90-'93 Fox-body feature cars. If anyone knows of a registry for them, let me know and I'll be glad to mention it here.

Better BreathingI have an '02 Mustang GT with an automatic. I would like to keep the car as stock as possible, but I want it to breathe better. I'm considering the cold-air option, along with an after-cat exhaust. Is this a good way to go? I plan on using a fenderwell cold-air intake, although I'm not fond of the chrome versions. Which brand would you recommend? I plan to use a K&N filter.

For the exhaust, I'm thinking about a 211/42-inch system. I want something as close as possible to the stock sound but a bit louder. I'm not looking for the old high-school 5.0 sound or making it impossible to have a conversation with my passengers.

Is there an advantage to stainless or anodized? Will these changes help it breathe and sound better? Will I gain fuel mileage-so long as I control my heavy foot-and power? Will any of this affect the computer? VincentVia the Internet

All the various basic bolt-ons you mention are proven ways to extract extra power from an otherwise stock Mustang. Cold-air kits and exhaust are the first of the basics. A good combination of the two should get you about 20 rwhp, enough that you'll actually be able to feel the improvement. A 211/42-inch exhaust system is an excellent overall choice, and it's big enough if you decide to install a supercharger at a later time.

With an automatic transmission, your car should net about 20-22 mpg on the highway. That's not as good as a 4.6 with a manual transmission, but reasonable nonetheless. Don't expect big fuel-economy gains, but it won't hurt either. As you say, it's mostly how you drive the car that determines fuel economy. For example, I had a supercharger on my '01 GT a few years ago, and the car still got 25 mpg on the highway since it wasn't under boost cruising down the road.

If you don't like the chrome cold-air kits, there are still plenty of them that offer improvements without the bling. As for the exhaust, if you retain the stock H-pipe, then most systems shouldn't be too much louder than stock, meaning you'll still be able to have normal conversation inside the car as long as you're not hard on the pedal.