"I have a University of Texas football helmet and we matched the colors to that," said Dr. Berlin. Said colors are custom-mixed shades of burnt orange and creamy white that feature three coats for the base color, and four coats of clear on top. While we include pretty pictures from John Jackson's photoshoot, you can see most of the fabrication/build photos online at www.ramrodstx.com. What you really can't see in the pictures, though, are the numerous rounds of color and wet-sanding that have made the skins pin straight, and the underside of the chassis received just as much attention.
The suspension was bolted back to the Mustang next, but not before each piece was painted or powdercoated. The antiroll bars and coilsprings were all sprayed with the PPG burnt orange mix, and the control arms and Panhard bar were all powdercoated black. Ramrods used Eibach Pro-Kit coils in the front and Eibach's stiffer Sportline springs in the rear to compensate for the soon-to-be-added stereo system equipment.
At the front of the car, Ramrods bolted on a pair of Shelby/Baer 6S six-piston front calipers and 14-inch rotors. The calipers were painted in the bright burnt orange so they would stand out behind the iForged Emotion three-piece wheels, which measure 20x8.5 up front and 20x10 out back. Toyo Proxes tires in sizes 275/35/20 and 255/35/20 rear provide surefootedness in all situations.
As Dr. Berlin's Shelby went back together, the interior space was going to be as custom (or more so) than the exterior, so the Ramrods crew started by applying Dynamat sound-deadening material to the inside. Nearly all of the interior components, from the dashboard to the package tray, were covered in a saddle-colored leather, with only the center stack, steering wheel, airbag, and gauge cluster remaining factory black.
The door panels were fabricated to house the new audio speakers, and they received genuine Texas Longhorn hide inserts, as did the front seatbacks, and the stereo speaker box in the trunk. The stock 5R55S shifter was replaced with a TCI StreetFighter ratchet shifter, and just ahead of the silver slap stick, the factory Shaker stereo was replaced with an all-new audio system.
Since his college days as a DJ, Dr. Berlin has had an affinity for music-extreme techno, we've been told. To make sure the audio signals are reproduced properly, Ramrods installed an Alpine head unit with navigation, along with JL Audio woofers and a pair of JL W3 subs.
The drivetrain was next to go back in, but before that occurred, the stock 4.6L was trimmed out with a Ford Racing Performance Parts/Whipple supercharger and Kooks long-tube exhaust headers and X-style mid-pipe. A set of 50-lb/hr injectors and a GT500 fuel pump kit were installed to provide added fuel for the increased air intake volume.
In the engine bay, the battery was relocated and the factory computer took its place near the firewall. This cleaned up the left side of the compartment, and the Ramrods staff took the opportunity to fabricate a custom intercooler reservoir and mount it to the inner fender apron.
Gearheads Performance in Mansfield, Texas, tuned the Mustang, showing a stout 456 rwhp and 430 lb-ft of torque at 12 psi of boost.
A little over a year later, Dr. Berlin drove home in his dream Mustang, and what has to be the ultimate Longhorn-themed ride. With about 1,000 miles on the clock since it was finished, Dr. Berlin's Mustang is only driven on Sundays and the occasional sunny drive to work, but we're sure the UT rallying cry can be heard from the JL speakers:
Is there a rallying cry for the thinkers and doers of tomorrow? A motto that sums up their passion for creativity and their pursuit of discovery? Sure there is-We're Texas. What starts here ... changes the world.
We're pretty sure Dr. Berlin's Shelby is going to change the way people look at modifying Mustangs. Hook 'em, Horns.