There's no doubt that the SEMA show held in Las Vegas is possibly the biggest automotive event of the year. With thousands of manufactures and auto enthusiasts presenting some of the greatest auto eye-candy around, it's hard not to keep coming back. But this story isn't just about SEMA. It's about the people who came together in two months to build something incredible.
Josh Lupo is the owner of the '13 Mustang you see pictured here. Sure, it's a pretty piece that made its way to SEMA, but it also gave 20 students the chance of a lifetime. With help from aftermarket companies like MRT Performance, Roush Performance, and Paxton Superchargers, this Mustang and the students who built it were a huge success.
It all started in a meeting with Josh's employer, Webasto, and its partner Tjin Edition—a company dedicated to hosting an automotive road show all around the country. Webasto has been exhibiting at SEMA for over 25 years, and for 2012, it wanted to build something unique that could showcase the automotive industries youth, along with its own creations. The idea came about to work with Baker College Center for Transportation Technology in Flint, Michigan, and give selected students the opportunity to build a custom SEMA car.
Josh developed a rendering under his own company name, Revelare Design. In August 2012, he walked into Lasco Ford of Fenton, Michigan, and left with a brand-new '13 Mustang. With not even 150 miles on the clock, the car arrived at Baker College and the teardown began.
"This was the first time doing anything like this for SEMA," said Dan Trahey, auto body and welding program director at Baker College. "We are a relatively small program, but we were happy to be involved and do it. The instructors were pretty hands-off. We just let the students run with it. We stood over their shoulders and simply directed them."
Outside, the Mustang was treated to an all-new custom Baker Blue PPG paintjob, including three basecoats, five clearcoats, and midnight gray accents at Baker's paint and body shop. Roush Performance ground effects add a sleek look thanks to a front chin spoiler, side splitters, and upper and lower grilles. A custom Revelare-designed hood also adds a unique style to the build, as well as a 3dCarbon rear spoiler.
In addition to the paintwork, the students also installed Pedders Suspension front and rear XA coilovers, rear lower control arms, and sway bar. Increased stopping power can be credited to the front and rear Baer six-piston brakes.
While the car was at Baker, Webasto installed one if its H322L Spoiler sunroofs. Once finished, the Stang was hauled to Webasto, where it received a hefty upgrade in power. Paxton stepped in and offered one of its Novi 2200SL superchargers. Along with the supercharger, a fuel pump booster and JLT oil separator were also installed.
Inside, the factory seats were removed and recovered in all-new Katzkin Grabber Blue and charcoal leather. MRT also helped install its own hood struts, H-style midpipe, and axle-back exhaust at its headquarters in Plymouth, Michigan.
With a custom tune from Blow-By Racing, the new restyled Pony cranked out an impressive 640 rwhp and 499 lb-ft of torque on the rollers.
"This project was a great combination of practical experience and immediate gratification," Trahey explained. "Our students' craftsmanship got plenty of accolades at SEMA and Neil Tjin's decision to take the vehicle on his RoadShow tour validated the effort on every level."
For Jamie Buford, one of the students to contribute to the build: "It was a chance of a lifetime. When I first saw the car, it was brand new. I was really surprised we were going to tear it apart at first. But when I saw the rendering of what we were going to do, I just couldn't wait."
"Just to know it was at SEMA is amazing," Buford said. "Without Baker College, we would never have had this chance."