Ahh, The long-lost days of 1997. While it was a mere 10 years ago, there were many memorable moments that occurred: Princess Diana perished in a car accident, Hong Kong changed from British control over to the Chinese, and two NASA exploratory probes landed on Mars.
While we're on the topic of space travel, who could forget the opening of the movie Men in Black? That thriller starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, where the duo spent an entire hour and a half cruising around in a super-fly Ford LTD protecting planet Earth from the bottom feeders of the universe.
Chris Guinn, Tim Fitzpatrick, and cousins Eric and Gilly Rojany may not be the men in black, but they are the MSM that created a turf-protecting road rocket of an '05 Mustang GT. MSM stands for Modern Speed Machines, and when it comes to modern, who could argue with transforming an S197 Mustang from a bottle rocket to a Saturn V moonship? To showcase what MSM is all about, the quartet picked up a brand-new '05 GT. Built entirely at the MSM shop, the project took 10 months to complete, but the result was worth it.
The Three-Valve powerplant was left alone. Not wanting to go too far over the edge, the Stang sports the stock 4.6L long-block that was dropped between the strut towers on the assembly line. Instead of keeping the Pony naturally aspirated, the crew at MSM installed an alien form of air injection in the way of a Paxton Novi high-output blower. The large-by-huge Novi pushes the intercooled and K&N-filtered air into the combustion chambers through the stock throttle body and intake manifold. Matching the air count with the proper amount of fuel are OEM Terminator Cobra 39-pound injectors.
With the blower gulping in a copious amount of atmosphere, a freer-flowing exhaust was needed to give the rocket a bit more thrust. To that end, ceramic-coated JBA shorty headers funnel the fumes down through a JBA axle-back exhaust system. With the Three-Valve estimated at pumping out over 500 hp, Steeda HD engine mounts were bolted in to keep the mighty mod motor from flexing and moving around.
The stock Ford five-speed manual backs the blown Pony, though the stock shifter was swapped out for a Steeda Tri-Ax. The rest of the drivetrain also remained as Ford built it in Flat Rock-from the two-piece driveshaft all the way to the 8.8-inch rear spinning 3.55 gears. The suspension is a different story. Giving the Stang a chance of catching up to those pesky road critters, a complete Steeda front and rear suspension was installed, featuring Steeda springs and Tokico D-spec shocks at all four corners. Steeda front and rear stabilizer bars were bolted on, and braking power comes from Brembo Gran Turismo stoppers up front and cross-drilled rotors of the same manufacturer in the rear.
Lurking under the hood is a 4.6L Three-Valve now snorting fuel through a large and in char
MSM spent most of its time and effort on the car's visual appearance. In a sense, the crew turned a raggedy, old NASA space capsule into a pimped-out version of the space shuttle. MSM designed and fabricated the custom hood, while 3dCarbon supplied the body components. Sequential taillights replaced the stock items, and custom upper and lower billet aluminum grilles were created by Paul Gonzalez. After the new body components were on, Chris Guinn of Guinn Paint whipped out the gun and shot the flanks of the Stang with BASF Glasurit paint colored "Bluack," "Redder," and Graphite Metallic. Adding flare while breaking up the paint job are silver metallic pinstripes. Sweet wheels need to go with a sweet paint job, so MSM chose black anodized Budnik's Muroc III-style rims complete with a pinstripe. Sized 20x8.5 up front and 20x10 out back, the wheels are surrounded with 285/30/20 rear and 255/35/20 front Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s.
With the outside looking so good, MSM couldn't let the looks of the interior go by the wayside. Stitchcraft in Huntington Beach, California, handled the job of refurbishing the front buckets. The stock seats had foam and support added to them before they were covered with custom covers featuring a leather and gray-suede combination, along with the MSM logo stitched into the headrests. As for the rear seats, well, there aren't any. MSM performed the custom rear-seat delete, using the newfound space for storage and housing of the subwoofers for the thumping Alphasonics stereo system. The dash was customized by being covered with leather, and in place of the factory head unit is an Eclipse DVD/CD/NAV unit. The interior also spotlights a gray suede headliner, custom-designed center console, and rear side-window inserts.
While the men in black spent their time saving the world from aliens, the crew at MSM spends their time prowling the streets and protecting the road from lesser-powered life forms.
Budnik Muroc III rims can be found at all four corners of the Stang. Adding to the stealth
The Men in black have nothing on the crew from Modern Speed Machines and their sinister '0