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.

The only other hiccup in this project's metamorphosis involved the exhaust system. Since Ice Box is equipped with subframe connectors, when it came time to link up the side-exit exhaust system, the Roush mufflers wouldn't fit in the desired location underneath the car. To remedy that, we had a local muffler shop create new pipes and relocate the mufflers to get everything to fit. When all was said and done, the car sounded aggressive, but not annoyingly so.

Overall, swapping Ice Box over from the Cervini's kit to the Roush kit was relatively easy. Once we mounted the Nitto tires on the new Roush wheels, the package was complete, though a front license-plate mount, a new running-pony emblem, and maybe a billet grille are in the works to finish everything off. How often can you put a car into paint jail and get it back in a respectable amount of time? We were quite happy with the results, and we can't wait to hit the road and find out what passersby think.

The Final Tally
We Added a few additional parts and pieces to our list since Part 1. Keep in mind this is the cost of the parts only. Labor on a job such as this and the appropriate amount of paint needed depends on the shop chosen and the brand of paint used. Included with the following list is everything we needed to transform Project Ice Box to Roush status.

PartPrice
Roush body kit 
(front fascia kit, left/right side skirts,$865.75
skirts, left/right rear valance, 
wing with pedestals, and
all mounting hardware)
PN SM01-1K001-AA
Roush chrome 18-inch rims$595.70
18x9 PN SM03-22232-SAC 
18x10 PN SM03-22243-SAC
Roush side-exit exhaust$936.00
PN SM01-4K000-V8 
American Muscle Smoked Headlights
w/Clear Corners (PN 42000)$199.99
American Muscle HID Dual-Beam 
Headlight Conversion Kit
w/9007 Bulb (PN 22002)$279.99

Words From Above
We sat down with Project Ice Box's caretaker, Editorial Director Jim Campisano, for his take on the Pony's makeover.

"The Roush exhaust is definitely quieter at an idle, but a bit more rambunctious at speed," Campy says. "On the highway up to 65-70 mph, it's a little bit loud, though it cleans up the faster you go. Stand on the throttle, and it sounds just like Greg Biffle's Cup car. I like that, but who wouldn't?

"As far as looks go, we've always loved the Stalker kit from Cervini's, and I think its design held up well over the years. It fits the New Edge Mustang body great. But magazine project cars are always evolving, and it was time for Ice Box to change. The Roush body kit is equally exciting, and you almost never see a real Stage 2 or 3 Roush Mustang on the street, so you won't see yourself coming and going. The front air dam is bold, as is the rear wing, but the sidepipes not only tie everything together, they make the car stand out.

"Overall, the new paint from Motor City Auto Body is brilliant, and the chrome Roush wheels and smoked headlights complete the package."