Frank H. Cicerale
September 1, 2008
Photos By: Motor City Auto Body
With a Roush body kit and some new color, Project Ice Box's metamorphosis is complete.

Last month, we reintroduced Project Ice Box, our '01 Mustang GT. Currently serving duty as former MM&FF Editor-turned-Editorial-Director Jim Campisano's 600-plus-horsepower daily driver, the decision was made to update the looks of the beloved Pony. After a short hiatus from the pages of this magazine, we brought the white beauty back for a makeover to replace the beat-up Cervini's Stalker body kit with a Roush kit.

In our first installment, we got as far as tearing off all of the mangled and broken aftermarket body pieces, as well as prepping the Roush-supplied Stage 3 bodywork. The one hangup came with the rear bumper, as we had to source a bumper from a wrecked silver GT to attach the new rear valances.

In this issue, we finish off our Mustang's metamorphosis into a New Edge with a Roush flavor. There were some interesting hiccups along the way, but for the most part, the work went fairly smooth. The result is absolutely stunning, as Ice Box's new attitude emanates from the Roush kit's side-exit exhaust.

The crew at Motor City Auto Body (Newark, New Jersey) tackled the task of finishing the job. Since we wanted a uniform look to the car, Manny Costeira and the boys not only shot the new body components in Bright Arctic White, but they also dismantled as much of Ice Box as they could to give it a respray of the same hue. The parts were painted separately from the car so that they were completely bathed in paint, meaning there were no crevices or sides that were left in bare urethane. Once the car and all of the body components were painted, each item was reinstalled.

Last but not least was the hood, as we planned on adding graphics to it in the form of stripes. We kept the Cervini's Stalker hood, though we wanted to close up the vents to keep water and other stuff out of the engine bay. Enter hiccup number one, as the fiberglass that Motor City used to fill in the vents reacted with the hood's fiberglass, causing the new 'glass to bubble up a bit. The only way to fix this was to remove the added fiberglass, prep, and redo it in a different manner. Once the hood vents were closed off, the hood stripes (`a la the '70 Oldsmobile 4-4-2) were measured, taped off, and shot on the scoops with Graphite Grey Pearl, which can be found on the new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. The color is dark enough to be a close match to Ice Box's charcoal interior, and it shows off the lines of the hood.

Motor City also installed our replacement headlights. The old headlight lenses were scarred and pitted from years of New Jersey highway abuse, and it wouldn't be right to have a car with a new body kit, fresh paint, and dilapidated headlights. Rather than going with a factory-style replacement, however, we decided to play the contrast game by picking up a set of smoked headlights from American Muscle. While the original headlight style was fine, the smoked look matches the dark interior color and the hood stripes. With their clear corners, the new headlights have a sinister look that enhances the fact that Project Ice Box not only has attitude, but can back it up with its supercharged poked and stroked Two-Valve mod motor.

We also installed an HID (High Intensity Discharge) conversion kit for the headlights. Having seen more and more Mustang enthusiasts make this change, and having driven a few BMWs with the same-style headlamp, we decided it was only right to upgrade the illumination the headlights provide. The kit from American Muscle comes with everything needed for installation, and the blue light that now emanates from the front end of Ice Box not only looks cool, but thanks to the improved illumination and visibility, will help Campy see any problems on his way home from the office each night.