Building cool cars for charity is nothing new, but this 2011 Mustang has a better pedigree than most of those auction flyers that make a big splash and then vanish forever. Built with input from skateboarder Tony Hawk and assembled by the guys at Galpin Auto Sports (you know, the same guys who build the hardware on the hit TV show "Pimp My Ride"), this is no paint and sticker upgrade, but a comprehensive redesign of the 2011 Mustang that addresses everything from horsepower to interior accommodations.
The 2011 Mustang is new in a lot of ways, but the styling was left alone after the 2010 update, so that's where Tony and Galpin Auto Sports started. A 0-mile Mustang GT was secured and shipped directly to Galpin's shop, where the transformation took place. The first change was the addition of a Street Scene body kit, which includes a custom front fascia, rocker skirts, upper and lower side scoops, a new rear valence, as well as a trick wing that is surprisingly low profile in today's tuner world. Brilliant silver paint covers every inch of the bodywork, and has been polished and buffed well beyond factory specification. Black graphics were added, a design that echoes the past greats like the Boss 302, but with a modern twist. The hood was also blacked-out and creates a stripe that extends to the rear deck lid and even between the tail lights, and a custom Tony Hawk logo was emblazoned on its surface, reminiscent of a 21st century Firebird. Gothic-looking Tony Hawk initials adorn the front fenders and Tony's signature has been added to the rear bumper. Nobody is going to mistake this for a garden-variety Mustang. Read more! Check out gallery!
Other details include a trick black grille with center-mounted driving lights, tinted headlight covers, and darker than stock tail light lenses. The glass has been tinted to give it a sinister, purposeful look, and even the gas cap wears a Tony Hawk emblem. Nobody can say these guys weren't thorough there are hundreds of special parts made just for this car.
The all-new Ford 5.0 liter V8 is an impressive piece of machinery. With exactly nothing in common with the old pushrod 5.0, this modern all-aluminum powerplant churns out 412 horsepower in stock form, but with upgrades like a Flowmaster exhaust system, it now makes an estimated 425 for the Tony Hawk special. Ford designers knew that folks would be eager to look under the hood of the new Mustang, so the engine is well dressed with exposed intake runners, a chrome 5.0 badge, and cool "Powered by Ford" cam covers. With only 225 miles on the clock, most of which were accumulated cruising around the fairgrounds at the Barrett-Jackson automobile auction, the engine is like new in every way and is still under the factory warranty.
The transmission is a 6-speed automatic with quick reflexes, so you don't have to worry about shifting when you're standing on the loud pedal, and it spins the optional factory 3.15 rear gear. The Mustang's suspension was lowered using Ford Racing performance springs, but it still rides surprisingly well thanks to the sturdy body structure and stock shocks. That Flowmaster exhaust I mentioned earlier most definitely flows better than stock and makes one heck of a nasty rumble on the street. To help with the project and the charitable foundation behind it, DUB contributed a set of gorgeous 22-inch TIS three-piece wheels dressed in sinister high-gloss black and wearing 245/30/22 front and 265/30/22 rear Pirelli P Zero Nero tires.
The interior, while retaining the cool retro feel of the Mustangs stock setup, has been fully reupholstered using Katzkin black leather with white stitching. Looking suitably Steve McQueen, the seats offer inserts that look a lot like the old Ford Comfort-Weave vinyl but it's ever so much softer and more durable. The rear bench has been upholstered to match, and offers deeply sculpted buckets that actually look like they'll help hold rear passengers in place. The fantastic Mustang dashboard remains intact with its cool 60s inspired gauge faces and beautifully detailed center console with piano black inserts. A massive JP Audio system delivers enough volume to make your ears bleed, thanks to a pair of huge Xplod subwoofers mounted in a trunk enclosure. Mustang GTs come loaded, so this one includes A/C, power windows, cruise control, keyless entry, a tilt column, rear defrost, and automatic headlights. Nice!
Documentation is exactly what you need in a car like this, and fortunately, it comes with a lot of it. We have the original window sticker, original purchase order, and all the original manuals. We also have the original vehicle transfer forms and documents, since the car was sold to its first owner, Wing Lam (co-founder of the Wahoo Fish Taco chain), who purchased it at the charity auction and subsequently sold it again to benefit charity. More significantly, however, this car also includes a custom-built and autographed Tony Hawk skateboard, an autographed T-shirt, as well as a replacement hood decal should it ever be damaged.
This car has already had a very high-profile life, and as Wing Lam learned, you can't sneak around when you're behind the wheel of this incredible Mustang. It has also done its job, raising tens of thousands of dollars for charities like the Tony Hawk Foundation and the Center of Living Peace in Orange County, California. This is an opportunity to pick up a very famous car with substantial celebrity connections, which also happens to be a killer street machine. It will be the star of any show it attends, and it's an absolute blast to drive. If you crave attention, there aren't many better cars than this to satisfy that craving.
Photos by RK Charlotte Motors: