We've all seen fans before. Not the kind that move air, but the kind that cheer for his or her favorite sports team or athlete. Maybe it's that guy wearing a team hat, jersey, foam index finger, or-for the hardcore-face paint. Heck, some even shave their team's logo into their chest hair. It's devotion at its finest, and while the chiseled chest hair art may seem extreme, it's nothing compared to what Dr. Marvin Berlin of McKinney, Texas, did with his '07 Shelby Mustang GT.
"I've always wanted a Mustang, and I knew if I ever picked one up, I'd want to do it my way," said Dr. Berlin.
Before we get to his Mustang, though, we need to talk about Dr. Berlin's education. It's been said that football is a way of life in Texas, and throughout the South, college football is taken extremely serious. When you attend a big school like the University of Texas at Austin, you're bound to get caught up in Texas Burnt Orange and White team spirit. Dr. Berlin did, and after graduating from UT with a business degree in management and marketing, then getting his doctorate at the Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, he built a lucrative dental practice that afforded the ability to build his dream car.
When we asked if he was a fan of UT, his response was, "You have no idea." Leading up to this, his school spirit was reflected in the vehicles he drove. "My last four cars were all burnt orange in color," noted Dr. Berlin. In addition, Dr. Berlin also raises Texas Longhorn cattle at his Tooth Acres ranch (dentist humor, no doubt), with the goal that one day, one may be selected as the school mascot.
Yes, you've probably figured out by now that our Dr. Berlin is a UT fan, but the ultimate expression of his fanaticism culminated in an over-the-top automobile that should probably be on display at the entrance to Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
The factory Performance White paint was barely dry on this 28-mile '07 Shelby GT Mustang when Dr. Berlin dropped it off at Ramrods Restoration and Custom Cars in Terrell, Texas, and specified that he wanted the ultimate Texas Longhorn-themed automobile.
"I literally picked it up and brought it straight to Ramrods," recalls Dr. Berlin. "My brother-in-law had a Camaro redone there so I knew the work they were capable of. Bill Alford, Derek Mullins, Chris Tangaro, and Cory Sanders took possession of the Shelby, and with the new-car scent still wafting from the windows, the team tore the Colt down to the bare bones.
"I'm very lucky to have a lot of meticulous and artistic people here," says Ramrods proprietor Bill Alford. "They put their heart and soul in that car. Cory did the paint and bodywork, and Chris is a master Ford tech and did all the wiring and assembly. Derek did the fabrication and helped Chris with that aspect as well. They spent a lot of late nights at the shop getting that car done."
The crew definitely spent a lot of late nights, as the build took a little over a year to complete. I wasn't in a big hurry," says Dr. Berlin. "I waited my whole life to do this. I was really picky about this thing and made a lot of changes as the project went on." Dr. Berlin and the Ramrods staff looked at each component of the car and discussed how they could make it better.
To start with, the S197 unibody was stripped down, and the staff began modifying the body by shaving the door handles, and adding a Cervini's Auto Designs Ram Air hood and Roush Performance rear spoiler. Hours upon hours of fabrication led to the custom upper and lower aluminum grilles, the latter of which incorporate brake ducts for the front binders-the Texas Longhorn maintains center stage in the upper.