"Paul Howse was inspired by his love of classic cars when he came up with the bronze-coated Enigma, which lives in a solar-powered garage that transfers energy to the car. The suspension goes even beyond the Magneride of the R8 ("
The Ballad of Crazy Horse
All photos Influx/Dom Romney
You can never underestimate the power of Hollywood in its ability to hijack our automotive imaginations. It must be something to do with those McQueen inspired celluloid memories.
The Mustang has always played the role of the getaway ride for anti-heroes – the primer coated maverick patrolling the dusty blacktops of America, or a shiny coated, vengeful beast, a lethal weapon in the hands of the transgressor.
And it’s perfect casting. There’s never been a ‘good’ reason to own a Mustang. These are cars with which you get down with your bad self. In a Mustang you’re meant to make like a Hollywood antihero from another time and place.
This sort of beautifully irresponsible pastiche is the latest generation of the Ford Mustangs’ entire ethos. And when you let your imagination run riot and hand it over to dedicated cowboy from Roush and Cervini’s these cars are downright decadent. They’re just the sort of motor, in other words that we love to play with.
If you’re a wool-dyed classicist it may all seem a little bit corny. But if you’re looking for ‘correctness’ then go tell it at the concours contest. If fun, on the other hand, is your thing, then come take a walk with us.
Probably the most complete conversion in the UK at the moment, this car oozes the sort of authenticity wrought on the back lots of universal studios. But don’t be fooled. This is not something dreamt up by a load of haircuts in a pitch meeting. This is all car.
Once you’ve been through the lengthy start-up sequence the box engages with a mechanically satisfying clunk. That’ll be the 5 speed short shift manual, which is augmented by an uprated flywheel and the Stage 2 clutch from Zoom. This thing bites like a mad thing and is prone to release a pleasingly controllable fishtail in each firey upshift.
The Roush supercharger generates 5psi of boost, which adds around 145 horses to the team. Then there’s an additional cold air induction system that drags even more boost into the machine, adding roughly another 17. That brings the total to around the 450-470 BHP mark, though we didn’t get her on a dyno and there was a misfire or two apparent in the upper rev range.
Remember why this car was named the Mustang in the first place? Well, this thing sounds just how we imagine the talismanic P-51 Mustang fighter sounded when it roared into a strafing run above the fields of Normandy. It barks and growls with a terrifying reverberation with all manner of blower wheeze and rumble.
Those booming sidewinder pipes responsible for the death metal howl are Cat-functional tubes from Cervini’s (the same people who make the lumps and bumps of the ‘Eleanor’ body kit).
Hidden from view meanwhile there’s a complete handling pack from Roush which includes anti-roll bars, control arm, differential torque strap and brace.
If like me, you enjoy these these arcane syllables as poetry then go nuts. But however well they trip off the tongue, on our cosy airfield we were able to flick this behemoth around with the speed and fleetfootedness of a much smaller car.
At time of writing this very car is for sale at £34,000. That’s a lot of car for the price. While I can’t imagine making a consumer decision that would bring such drama to a daily drive, if it’s a third car you’re after, one that represents no holds barred indulgence then I doubt there’s a better deal going.
You’ll never be able to convince the naysayers that buying a genuinely ridiculous Mustang like this. Just like you’ll never convince a junky that heroin isn’t a great thing to get involved in, or that the salt stoked surfer should go and move inland to improve his career prospects.
But know this. Buying into the Mustang thing is just something you do when you dare to dream Hollywood dreams.
Thanks to Martin Lilwall at Dad’s Speed Shop. If you like cars and bikes, you’ll love the coolest little shop in Worcester.
CLICK TO ENLARGE