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Build A Late-Model Mustang GT - Project Car

By , Photography by , , , Wino Cam

We're steadfast muscle car guys, but we couldn't help watching the '05 to '09 Mustangs drop in price over the last five years. A couple of recent events pushed the cars over the speed bump and into our price range. The first was the introduction of the '10 design and the new 5.0L GT, driving the price of used 'Stangs down. The next was the economy crash that forced a market glut of Corvettes, Mustangs, and exotics.

This car is an '06 GT that can be had for 10K to 15K (20K for a convertible). Sure, you can buy a '76 Dart for $2,800, but it won't be painted, fuel injected, have a five-speed, a sound system, a limited slip . . . the list goes on. That is the upside. The downside is that we have to keep this car 50-state smog legal, seriously limiting the parts selection and power potential. There won't be any Hemi swaps in the GT. Radiused wheelwells are out as well.

Don't worry, we're not going Gucci on you. Building late-models is nothing new to Car Craft. We tinkered with the then-new '98 LS1 Camaro when it came out, but the aftermarket and our general computer skills limited the tweaks to roll controls and exhaust bolt-ons. Now is the era of speed parts that go way beyond the standard valve covers and muffler offerings of the past. You can buy cranks, rods, blowers, and even complete engines right from the factory. We are hungry to see if these parts can take the abuse of skeptical, hard-core car guys. In fact, our plan is to use only Ford factory parts to see how they fit, how they work, and in the end, if the car is fast and fun.

Mustang GT Quick Specs 2005
Engine: 90-degree V8, iron block
Bore/Stroke: 3.55/3.54 inches (281ci/4.6L)
Cylinder heads: Aluminum, SOHC three valves/cylinder
Compression ratio: 9.8:1
Horsepower: 300 at 6,000 rpm
Torque: 315 at 4,500 rpm
Length: 187.6 inches
Width: 72.1 inches
Wheelbase: 107.1 inches
Curb weight: 3,425 pounds
Weight distribution, F/R: 52/48
0-60 mph: 5.2 seconds
Quarter-mile: 13.90 seconds at 104 mph
60-0 braking: 116 feet
200-foot skidpad: 0.85 g
Performance figures courtesy of Nick "Can You Grab That Cone?" Licata

This little note is what we call an "egg," when producing Car Craft magazine. They are often funny or witty remarks in reference to stories or random facts. In this case, though, Edwin has decided to fill this negative space with an "egg" for balance. Enjoy!

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