Most car folks already have visions swirling in their heads when signing the paperwork on a new ride, but that wasn't the case for Chris Stano from Advance, North Carolina, and his Atlantic Blue 2000 Mustang GT.
It took some misguided luck to open his eyes to the world of modding Mustangs.
Just two months after purchasing his new GT, with the help of a little sand on the road and a bit of high-spirited driving, Chris hopped over a curb and took out two dumpsters in the process. With damage done to the nose and scratches down the whole right side, he was told that two-thirds of the car needed to be repainted.
"I told them to spray the whole thing. It turns out that the incident was a blessing in disguise. When I got the car back the paint was absolutely beautiful, way better than the factory job. And that's when the obsession began," Chris tells us.
Over the next few years, he added the usual bolt-on mods, such as a set of Privat 18-inch wheels, a CAI, after-cat exhaust, gears, and a tune to tie it all together. He also installed Eibach lowering springs, but the end was far from near.
Then, in November 2008, the intake manifold cracked, which had Chris in search for a replacement. While a polished blower was always on the dream list to cover up that Two-Valve motor, he stumbled across a Saleen blower setup for sale on eBay. With eBay being an international website, it was meant to be when Chris noticed that the guy selling the blower was located in his town.
"The engine bay of these 4.6 Two-Valve Mustangs leaves a lot to be desired, but I was determined to change that," he stated. "My hope was to create one of the cleanest Two-Valve engine bays around."
After getting his new blower assembled under the hood, Chris drove the car to Lamotta Performance in Longwood, Florida, where they performed the final touches and strapped the car on the dyno. With a 66mm pulley on the blower, his Mustang put down 348 rwhp and 352 lb-ft of torque.
While on a mission to create a clean engine bay, Chris started hiding wires and relays. When he purchased a polished alternator, he shaved the unused mounting ears right off. A Tork Tech intake was added and the logos were shaved off and smoothed over. After a battle to keep the polished intercooler and radiator coolant reservoirs clean, he decided to have them chromed.
Chris rewrapped the wiring harness and lifted it off of the valve covers, which were painted to match the body. He tucked the MAF into the wheel well and pieced together his own custom CAI using several manufacturers' parts, one being a tractor-trailer smoke stack. "Now it was really starting to look like something special."
Still adding and customizing performance goodies, a Chicane intercooler was added and Chris mildly ported the intake manifold. With all of the intake mods in place, he was off to Lamotta Performance for another tune. While there, Kook's long-tube headers and a catted X-style midpipe were added before throwing the car on the dyno. This time it ran a best of 393 rwhp and 394 lb-ft of torque. On a friendlier street tune, it made 382/385, which "wasn't too bad for a little Saleen Series II blower," he added. With the Eaton M-90 supercharger increasing intake temps, the plan is to add a water/meth injection system sometime in the near future.
While the exterior paint still looked great, it had picked up a few battle scars. Chris whipped up some ideas that would likely cost a pretty penny from any shop, so in the summer of 2011, he started stripping the car apart piece by piece inside his garage. With a bunch of new parts awaiting installation, nothing looked the way he envisioned, so he modified almost every new part himself.