2019 Ford Mustang GT - Pete Schafer
The reason I chose an S550 Mustang to modify actually starts back before I could even drive. The car I always wanted as a kid was an 03/04 Cobra. I saw one locally and the look and sound it made immediately drew me in. For years I always wanted a Cobra
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2019 Ford Mustang GT
Photographers: Zack Hendershot
Born and raised in Marietta, Ohio. Graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Construction Management. Former member of the OSU Formula Buckeye Team as part of the engine/chassis group.
Currently a Lead Project Engineer for one of the largest GCs in the region. I've worked all over the Eastern US in construction over the past 10+ years. I've been lucky enough to be on some of the premier projects in the US including the largest ODOT project in history, Red Line south reconstruction in Chicago, and currently the Intel manufacturing facility in Ohio. It has been a good career and pays well.
My hobbies have always been centred around anything automotive. Whether it be RC cars, video games, events, or builds. I've always been interested in mechanical operations and cars give me that opportunity to have fun.
My interest in cars is a culmination of many things over the years growing up. I grew up hearing stories of my dad's cars and things they would do to modify them. At the same time racing video games were blowing up and as a kid not old enough to drive I lived on Need For Speed, Gran Turismo, Midnight Club and eventually Forza. Then to add fuel to the fire the first Fast and Furious is released and I was hooked. When I wasn’t at school I would be watching car videos or playing racing games. I would build replica cars in the game and copy liveries so I could drive them.
During my entire childhood, my father and I would go to all the local car shows and talk about modifications we could spot or talk about what it would be cool to do if it was ours. Ever since then my love for cars has grown and turned into something I’ll probably continue to do for the rest of my life.
The reason I chose an S550 Mustang to modify actually starts back before I could even drive. The car I always wanted as a kid was an 03/04 Cobra. I saw one locally and the look and sound it made immediately drew me in. For years I always wanted a Cobra. In 2012 my dad purchased a Boss 302 which had the new coyote motor and we couldn’t believe the performance it had. After years of wanting a Cobra, I changed my goal to own a supercharged coyote.
The potential of the coyote platform was starting to really show and the new IRS suspension made it a very capable platform no matter what I wanted to do with it. I kept saving and in 2019 I was looking for a used mustang to start modifying but as soon as I saw the Gen 3 in Ruby Red I was sold. This car is the first car I’ve ever bought new off the lot. It was a base model but it was all I needed. I had mods ordered before I made it home.
Owning this car makes me proud that my hard work and years of planning have finally come together. It took years of planning and patience to get to this point. There is not a single time I park this car that I don’t look back at least 2-3 times and have to remind myself where I’m at now is where I dreamed of being as a kid playing those video games. The coolest feeling in the world is seeing a young kid watching me drive by or looking out the car window watching the car come by and pointing at it. I was that kid so I know how cool it makes you feel when they actually acknowledge you. I always give them the car guy head nod to let them know and their face lights up.
When it comes to the coyote platform I recommend long tubes, tune, and E85 as a starting point. These cars come to life with a good tune on the E85. Beyond that, some rear suspension upgrades especially subframe lockouts or supports keep the rear subframe straight which helps prevent tire hop. For MT-82 manuals a good clutch, braided line, and shifter really help them perform better without going full-blown aftermarket trans. From that point, you can do just about anything with an S550 chassis Mustang. You can go full track car, drift car, drag racing, or show. There is a ton of aftermarket support for the Mustang to modify it however you please. I can swap my wheel setup and springs and make it an autocross car or put an angle kit on it and go drifting. The versatility of this car is a big reason it is so popular.
There’s nothing unique about another mustang on a drag pack… well that is something I hear a lot. Just lets me know they don’t truly understand what they’re looking at. My car started as a base model and I’ve planned out every exterior, interior, and performance modification way before it gets done. This car is an extension of me. I want it to be a nice car that I can get in and drive 2 hours down the road with no hesitation and at the same time put down if I need to.
One of my favourite quotes is “speak softly and carry a big stick”. That’s what this car is to me. A beautiful car that also takes care of business. I also keep a 2nd set of wheels/tires wrapped in R888Rs for the people that say it's just made to go straight. It makes the power but also has the suspension under it to push it hard in the curves as well. It is not a one-trick pony…. Pun intended.
What do you think?
Please leave your comments in the comments section at the bottom of the page
- Weight: 4,100 lb with driver
- HP: 1,000+ at the wheels
- Capable of 30psi but currently turned down to 20-ish
- Stock motor went 10.1 @ 142mph
- New setup is untested at the track.
- BES Racing Engines (Built for 30psi / 10,000 RPM)
- Gen 3 Coyote
- 12:1 Compression
- Darton Sleeves
- Callies Performance Crank
- Manley H Tuff Rods
- Manley Pistons
- BES Racing CNC Ported & O Ringed Heads
- Total Seal Rings
- ARP Hardware & Studs
- Ferrera Valves with brass guides
- PAC 1281X springs
- Stock Ford Cams
- MMR Tensioners and Guides
- MMR Secondary chains
- MMR Billet Oil Pump Gears
- Boundary Crank Sprocket
- MFP Crank Support
- ATI Balancer
- MMR Billet Valve Covers
- Fathouse Fabrications Extreme Catch Can
- BMR Motor Mounts
- Whipple Gen 5 3.0L blower
- Full Race Port by Whipple
- Cobra Jet Lid / Intake
- Whipple upgraded A/W intercooler
- PNR Ice Tank
- Fore Innovations Level 2 1,400+ HP Triple Pump Setup
- FC3 Controller. 3rd pump on a 5psi Hobbs switch
- -10 feed lines
- Injector Dynamics 1700s
- Ignite Racing Fuel – Red 114 E90
- Finish Line Performance build 10R80
- Suncoast Billet XPL Pro-Loc Converter
- Suncoast Billet drums with added capacity
- Suncoast Billet 1 piece flex plate
- Suncoast Pro-Loc Valve body & pump
- GPZ frictions
- BMR Drive Shaft Loop
- Drive Shaft Shop 1 piece aluminium driveshaft
- Drive Shaft Shop 2,000 hp axles
- BMR Linear Springs
- BMR Vertical Links
- BMR Sway bar end links
- BMR Rear Shock Mounts
- BMR Rear Lower Control arm solid bushing
- Viking Crusader double adjustable shocks
- Steeda sway bar
- Steeda subframe braces
- Steeda subframe alignment pins
- Steeda bushing supports
- Steeda caster camber plates
- Steeda adjustable toe links
- Steeda roll centre correction links
- UPR adjustable rear camber arms
- Kelltrac differential bushings
- Kelltrac differential big bolt upgrade
- Weld Racing Laguna
- Mickey Thompson ET Street R
- Anderson Composites Carbon Fiber Cobra Jet Hood
- Cervini Upper and Lower Grill
- Billet Pro Shop – Billet Supercharged Emblem
- Diode Dynamics side markers
- OEM GT500 wing
- Read Deck Lid
- Ceramic Tint
- Gloss Black Roof
- Paint-corrected and Ceramic coated
- Corbeau Seats
- GT350 Alcantara steering wheel
- UPR shift handle
- Carbon Fiber overlays
- Rear Seat Delete
- Rockford Fosgate speakers
The motor and trans that are currently in the car were done by Finish Line Performance in Milford, OH. Up until the most recent major modifications, a majority of the bolt-ons and modifications were done by myself and/or with help from friends. I try to do as much as I can myself but sometimes with it comes to the complexity of the new 10-speed autos it's better to have a professional handle it.
The next goal for the car is to get it on the track and do some testing. Working out of town full time I don’t have a lot of time to get to the track. I’d like to get a low 9 checked off the list and then pulley down and run an 8. Beyond that, we’ll see where it goes. Modification wise the car is where I’d like it to be. No plans to sell the car any time soon. This one will be in my garage for quite a while.
I’m not in any particular group or club at the moment.
The automotive culture as a whole has brought me all of my friends. Some I’ve never even met in person but we all support each other with tips and knowledge to help each other out. The majority of my core memories as a kid are all somehow related to cars. Now that I’m older with a kid I appreciate a good mentor even more. I try to help anyone I can with modifications or a place to access tools. I enjoy helping the new generation get excited about modifying cars. Even though I don’t understand the appeal of cackle tunes… the kid down the street knows he can come to my garage any day of the week to install a downpipe or use my tools.
My true 1 and only DREAM car is a 2006 Ford GT. I sat in one at our local dealership as a kid and it felt like sitting in a fighter cockpit. My dad said “you’ll never have another opportunity to sit in one” and he was right. I’ve only ever seen 1 in person.
Please leave your comments in the comments section at the bottom of the page
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