While there are some who believe that art imitates life, there are those rare occasions where the opposite is true. Take, for example, the words from the Eagles' hit song in 1972, "Take It Easy."
"Well I'm standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, and such a fine sight to see. It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowing down to take a look at me."
If you're like most people who've heard the song, you may have wondered whether the town of Winslow, Arizona, actually exists. For one unnamed Army sergeant, it certainly does.
The story began while this fearless warrior was on leave, cruising along in his '01 Bullitt Mustang. He was driving from the Bullitt Nationals in San Francisco to his base in Oklahoma, where he was scheduled for deployment the next day. Unfortunately, the Two-Valve powerplant in the Bullitt gave up the ghost in-you guessed it-Winslow, Arizona. Our guy was stranded, not standing, on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, and he wasn't greeted with a fine sight of a girl in a flatbed Ford. He was forced to continue on, leaving his car to languish in Winslow until he came back from his overseas station.
After the original motor gave...
After the original motor gave up the ghost, the car was put back on the road with a replacement mill from Ford Racing Performance Parts. SW Tuning did the install and subsequent addition of a forced induction setup.
As is the case with Cobra owners, the Bullitt boys and girls also stick together, and through the sergeant's friend, Mike Rhoads, and the sea of IMBOC.com (International Mustang Bullitt Owner's Club) members, our intrepid combatant was able to get the car picked up. According to Centerforce's Will Baty (who spearheaded the project), Mike got in touch with Centerforce's plant manager, Blair Anglin, and arranged to get the Bullitt home.
"When we picked up the car, we decided that we wanted to show some appreciation for our troops," Will says. "Our military is there for us in times of need, so we wanted to help out one of their own in his time of need. After a few calls were made, the plan to do more than just pick up the Mustang and store it was in motion."
That plan called for getting some major companies in the Mustang aftermarket involved for a special renovation. "We wanted to get the Bullitt featured on the show Overhaulin', but because the car's owner is in the military, we couldn't do it. So we just did it our way, with help from others in the aftermarket, his fellow Bullitt owners, and his friends."
Gone is the stock Bullitt...
Gone is the stock Bullitt green hue. In its place is a custom two-tone job with True Blue up top and Light Tan below. Splitting the two colors is a gold leaf stripe.
Obviously, the blown-up mod mill would need to be replaced. SW Tuning gladly stepped on board and stuffed in a stock Two-Valve replacement courtesy of Ford Racing Performance Parts. While that was great, to make any power, some sort of chemical or forced induction addition was needed. Sitting between the Bullitt intake manifold and the Anderson Ford Motorsport Power Pipe is a Paxton Novi 2000 centrifugal supercharger stuffing the mill with 9 psi of boost. BBK kicked over one of its Power Plus 65mm throttle bodies, along with a pair of aluminum valve covers to spruce things up a bit. The supercharged mod motor makes 475 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque with the SW tune, and dumps the spent fumes through a pair of JBA headers and a full-on MRT exhaust.
With the car now running, the rest of the package started to come together. Tremec shipped out a 3650 five-speed transmission, and (no surprise here) Centerforce slung one of its dual-disc clutches in the bellhousing. An MRT shifter rows the gears, and the stock driveshaft links up the engine and trans combo to the stock 8.8-inch rear, which was fortified with 3.73 ratio gears, an Auburn Gear locking differential, and Alloy USA axles, all of which was assembled by Iron Springs 4WD.
Next on the checklist was the suspension, which was upgraded but not overdone. Upon hearing the story behind the Mustang, Eibach, as did every company involved in the project, sent over its finest stuff-the complete Pro kit, which included Pro Damper front and rear shocks, springs, and stabilizer bars. The braking system was upgraded with Power Slot rotors and Hawk pads.
"We originally had another wheel company tabbed for the rims, but at the last minute, things fell through," Will says. "We got in contact with Chip Foose, and once we told him what we were doing and why, he was more than happy to not only come on board, but to design a wheel for us." Those wheels are the stunning Nitrous II rims, sized 20 inches all around. The shiny new rims were wrapped up in Nitto Invo hoops.
With the mechanical portion of the car complete, Will enlisted the aid of Auto Art Studio, where the crew was happy to step up to the plate. The final result is nothing short of a grand slam. The stock Bullitt green was removed, and the car was brought down to primer. PPG mailed over the paint, and before long, the SN-95 was graced with a two-tone paint scheme of True Blue up top and Ford Light Tan down below. Splitting the two colors is a gold leaf stripe. Putting a period on the exterior of the car are the OEM replacement gauges from Galpin Ford, billet upper and lower grilles from Stainless Steel Inserts, and other billet bling courtesy of UPR Products.
The extra go-power comes in...
The extra go-power comes in the form of a Novi 2000 blower generously supplied by Paxton. The snail blows in 9 psi of boost, allowing this SN-95 to thump out 475 ponies.
When Chip Foose found out...
When Chip Foose found out about the plan for the car, he was more than happy to whip up a set of 20-inch Nitrous II rims. The shiny and aggressive-looking wheels are shod in Nitto Invo rubber.
No longer is this Mustang...
No longer is this Mustang sitting on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. By the time you read this, its owner will be married and have his car back-in much better form than before.
The last mountain to climb in this Bullitt's overhaul was the interior. The stock seats were tossed in favor of a pair of Legacy buckets, while the carpet and floor mats came courtesy of The Matworks. A host of UPR billet products enhance the interior as well. When it came to the sound system, the factory radio and speakers just wouldn't do. Sound Envision ripped it all out, replacing the head unit with a Sony XAV-W1 piece that sends the tunes into the cabin via Schosche speakers and amps.
"You might say that this Bullitt was overhauled with help from his fellow Bullitt owners and friends," Will says. With all of the work complete, what did our serviceman think? "As of this writing, he hasn't even seen the car yet."
When we called Will to get the 411 on the car, he told us, "I literally just dropped the car off at his mother's house. He just got back from overseas and will be going home Friday for his wedding, where the car will be waiting."
For this lucky soldier, a girl in a flatbed Ford might not be the best thing he has seen. Certainly it would be seeing his new bride and his overhauled car on the same day. And just think-it all started in Winslow, Arizona.
The interior was worked over...
The interior was worked over just a bit with a new carpet and floor mats, along with the addition of a pair of Legacy buckets. UPR billet trim pieces give off some shine, while a thundering stereo system is surely enough to blast the Eagles at high pitch.
The crew from Auto Art Studios...
The crew from Auto Art Studios took out the airbrush and lit up the back decklid with this awesome mural that pays homage to the car's humble beginnings, and how the project began.