What's the first thing you think of when you hear the word Mustang? Obviously, there's horsepower, performance, style, speed, and a whole host of other terms relating to how fast you can get your Pony to go or how good you can get it to look. However, we bet the words handicap accessible aren't on the list.
Thanks to Tiger Racing and Carol Hollfelder, you can add those words to the description of this '05 Mustang GT. The story of this Stang begins with the woman who drives it. Carol, who is a spokesperson for Ford Mobility Motoring, is a paraplegic. She doesn't let that stand in her way of driving the most coveted of all ponycars, though. As a matter of fact, she owns two other Mustangs, including an '03 Stang that she races in the Speed World Challenge GT class.
Auto Kraft in Lincoln, Nebraska, applied the BASF Black paint to the upper portion of the
Carol's other Mustang, a '95 GT, was her first, and she and her husband, Paul Brown, are currently building a '65 Mustang. But it's the '05 GT that holds a special place in their hearts. "This car was built for her," Paul says. "We got it three weeks before the '04 SEMA show, and even though we were still working on it at the last minute right before the show, it won Ford's Excellence Award there."
Obviously, the most challenging part of the build was converting the car from standard foot-operated pedals to hand-operated pieces. "What we were trying to achieve with this car was a breakage of the minivan stereotype," Paul says. "We wanted to open people's eyes to the range of possibilities available to those with disabilities. Many assume that very few vehicles can be made accessible. This is untrue. Almost any vehicle can be fitted with some adaptations. While there are those people who do need extensive modifications like you'd find in a typical van conversion, many others can still get the sports car of their dreams. All it takes are brake and throttle hand controls designed for the street from a company like Mobility Products and Designs."
The bone-stock Three-Valve mod motor is artificially enhanced to 400 hp with help from a V
This Mustang is an obvious example. With the car destined for a spot on the convention floor at SEMA, it was only natural that, along with the control conversion from Mobility Products and Designs, this car would also showcase some of the aftermarket's finest threads and interior appointments. The stock factory buckets were set aside, with a pair of Cobra seats from Sub Sport taking their place. Katzkin two-tone leather seat covers and doorpanel inserts were installed by Covina Auto Trim (Montebello, California), along with the Schroth Rally four-point harnesses from HMS Motorsports. Although the stock carpet and sound system remained, some changes were made to the instrument panel. Concept Instrumentation by Ford Intelligence created the LED screens for the tachometer and speedometer, along with the installation of cameras mounted in the sideview mirrors and rear wing for an enhanced driving view.
The two-tone theme was carried over to the outside of the car, as the S197 shows off its hot looks. "We originally wanted the car's paint scheme to tie into the one we have for the race car, but Ford wanted things to be done a different way," Paul says. "The goal was to liven up the car without taking away from the lines. The guys at Auto Kraft (Lincoln, Nebraska), and I came up with this paint scheme at 1 in the morning a few days before SEMA. The inspiration actually came from a photo of one of Bud Moore's old Trans-Am cars."