Pete Epple Technical Editor
February 3, 2011
Photos By: Evan J. Smith

SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) is an organization of automotive industry professionals and enthusiasts who work to preserve the hobby and lifestyle car enthusiasts know and love.

Every year, SEMA puts on its annual trade show for manufacturers, buyers, shops, publishing companies, and car builders, to showcase the latest and greatest in the automotive aftermarket. From wheels and tires to the sickest custom builds, the SEMA dhow, held in Las Vegas, has become an automotive Mecca where you can learn exactly what's new, fresh and hot in the aftermarket.

This year, MM&FF was given a rare opportunity to build a Mustang for the SEMA show. We say rare because Ford Motor Company worked hand-in-hand to deliver us a brand-new 5.0-liter GT-the catch was that we had to turn it into something special in just about two months.

Our staff was extremely excited and certainly up to the challenge. Build plans were discussed, plans were laid out, and we went into action, working with some giants in the industry, including Amsoil, American Muscle, FRPP, Moroso, Nitto, Weld Racing, and a few others.

The drawing board was scribbled on months prior to taking delivery, and on August 24, 2010, our journey officially began. The SEMA show runs November 2-5, so our car had to be ready to roll onto the Reliable carrier truck by October 18. That left us about eight weeks to get the job done!

There was an air of excitement as your author boarded an early flight from Tampa to Detroit to take delivery and drive the GT home. The sun was just beginning to peak over the horizon as we went wheels up for the three-hour flight. After touchdown, I was received by Ford and taken directly to our brand-new Kona Blue 5.0-liter Mustang.

It was so new the plastic wrapping on the interior restrained the new car smell. I slapped on our Florida plate, slid into the driver's seat, and turned the key for the first time. The odometer read 2.4 miles-this was truly a brand-new car. After a quick stop at the Ford Racing office to chat with our friends, the 1,200-mile trip began.

I wish there was some exciting story from the road to share, but this trip was all business. We were so focused on the logistics of the build, we didn't even have time to name the car.

We knew our Pony needed to stand out under the SEMA lights, and we ordered many of the needed parts prior to taking delivery of the car.

Starting off, our main concern was power. With just 1,200 miles on the clock, our '11 GT was loaded into our trailer and hauled across Florida to Blow-By Racing in Boca Raton. Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) shipped us a FRPP/Whipple twin-screw supercharger kit for the Coyote engine.

With this much extra air being forced through the Four-Valve bullet, we knew there was power to gain with an exhaust upgrade. Kook's Custom Headers sent us its complete exhaust for Ford's newest rendition of the Pony.

So with parts and vehicle in South Florida, Chris Jones and the Blow-By Racing crew dove into our SEMA-bound Mustang to begin the transformation.

Of course, the Stang is show-quality and track-ready, but we're going to take you through the build process over the next few months. Then, we'll hit the track and push this thing to the limit. No project car is ever complete, so the sky is the limit with this new 5.0. We'll ultimately rebuild the engine and go hog wild with the power. We also have plans to race the car in NMRA competition, whether it be in our own True Street or in another class.

So with that, strap in and come along for the ride as we dig into our newest family member.

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