Dino's 1995 Ford Mustang GT

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On 2nd February 2007 I became the proud owner of a 1995 Ford Mustang GT. I had wanted a Mustang for many years having first been inspired by the classic Steve McQueen movie "Bullitt" and later by the Nicolas Cage movie remake "Gone in 60 Seconds". Both movies have famous car chases where the Mustang was the hero.
My Mustang is deep forest green with silver Shelby racing stripes, a Roush bodykit, and comes with a 5.0L V8 engine coupled to a 4-speed AODE automatic transmission. I would have preferred a T5 5-speed manual but GT's with a manual box are very hard to find in Dubai (almost all are Japanese-spec imports). I bought my Mustang for a paltry $3000 in a private sale and spent a further $900 over the next month on several minor repairs, electrical fixes, servicing, wheel alignment, and a mini-respray. For a total of just $3900, I had a beautiful-looking sports coupe with only 51000 miles on the odometer so I was very happy.
You'd expect a car with a stonking V8 pulling a mere 3605lb or 1635kg (full tank of gas, 175lb driver) to have scorching performance. Unfortunately the engine came from the factory with an anaemic 215bhp @ 4200rpm and 285lbft @ 3400rpm, and the car's also handicapped by a slow-shifting slushbox together with ludicrously tall 2.73:1 rear axle gears. With a 0-60 time of 7.9 seconds and a 1/4 mile in 16.03 @ 89.4, the Mustang couldn't even pull the skin off a rice pudding. This is supposed to be a muscle car for God's sake! Where's the muscle?
Fortunately the engine's low state of tune allows it to respond very well to simple bolt-on performance modifications, and there's a plethora of aftermarket parts available to wake this beast up. My goal is to achieve a high 13-sec 1/4 mile ET and a 100mph plus trap speed with a naturally-aspirated stock 5.0L short block in order to be competitive with a stock manual transmission S197 2005-09 GT. Read the subsequent pages to follow my progress up the performance ladder.

Rear View

I replaced the ugly factory horizontal three-bar tailights with these snazzy-looking "Altezza" Euro tailights that have the more classic vertical three-bar arrangement. The chrome look really gives the rear of the vehicle a lift.
The rear bumper and the rear decklid spoiler were repainted.

Front View

A previous owner had already installed Euro halo projector headlights at the front so the Euro tailights I installed at the rear were a perfect match.
The front bumper and side skirts were repainted, and the old broken passenger side door mirror was substituted with a good used junkyard replacement.
The wheels are '99-'04 GT five-spoke alloys shod with 245/45ZR17 tires, and the suspension is lowered 1.5" at the front and 1" at the rear.


The leather in the front seats was torn so I had them reupholstered in half tan/half black leather to match the rest of the interior. The rear seats were still in very good condition so I left those alone.
The original steering wheel was in a very poor state so I replaced it with a good used version from a junkyard. This completed the interior restoration but as you'll find out on this page, I carried out further modifications.