2021 Bagged Mustang 5.0 - Mark Fitzgerald
I chose a manual transmission car because I enjoy changing gears and feeling one with my car. I haven't gotten around to adding any modifications which would give me more power yet. I have the MBRP race catback exhaust on the car to give it sounder and I plan to build the car to be between 850-900 horsepower in the future.
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2021 Bagged Mustang 5.0
Photographers: Jeremy Rogers
Performance Stats: 460 crank horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
My name is Mark Fitzgerald, I'm from Danville Virginia and I’m 28 years old. I work in the mental health field as a Direct Support Provider. I've grown up in this field with multiple of my family members starting and running group homes for intellectually disabled adults for over 20 years as well as a school for mentally challenged children. I stepped in to work with my father in our group home 6 years ago because I've always had a passion for helping to provide a better life for those less fortunate than others.
My biggest hobby would be modifying cars and I'm able to take my clients to car shows and different events to socialize with the community and give them a normal life because even though they are intellectually challenged, they should still be able to live and enjoy the same things that we enjoy.
I also enjoy car detailing as I get to play into my OCD side and give others the same quality that I provide with my own car. When people see how clean my car is, they always ask what I'm using or who details my car. And in my city, there isn't anybody I would trust to clean my car properly so I started cleaning other people's cars who want professional quality with care as if the vehicle was my own.
As a child growing up, my father was my biggest influence. He always kept a new car and not only that, he kept them clean. My father was big into Mercedes and BMW. I would love when my dad would pick me up from school because I always wanted to ride in cool and luxurious cars. My father wasn't into modifying his cars more than a set of wheels, window tint and a car audio system though.
When the movie Fast & furious came out, I was hooked and it became my favourite franchise. I liked how each of the cars was unique to their drivers and I knew when I was old enough to get a car of my own, I wanted my car to show off my style and turn heads. When I first started modifying my car back in 2019, I began to meet other young people around my city who were into the car scene as well and formed some great relationships with like-minded people. Most people in my small town have never seen cars taken to this level.
Most of the cars in my area are antique cars that have been restored or they are cars built for racing. There isn't a big "Show Car" scene where I am so I want to encourage the younger generation that building a show car is attainable as well as show others that you can take a stock car and change the look of it completely to fit your style. I aim to build a car so that when people see it, they know whose car it is. I don't want my car to look like anyone else's car although it started as a car that was pretty basic and plain.
When I was around 10 years old, my father had a woman who worked for him and she had a '97 Mustang. I loved the way that the V8 sounded and I would get so excited to look at it when I heard it coming through my neighbourhood. She would take me to football practice sometimes and that was the first time I ever rode in a sports car. It was a five-speed manual car and I would be smiling from ear to ear when she would accelerate with her foot to the floor while going through the gears.
As I got older, with the help of social media, I continued to follow Mustangs and other sports cars. I would compare the pros and cons of each one and I made the decision that one day, I would own a Mustang. With the invention of Instagram, I began to follow different people who were modifying and building Mustangs into show cars and I saw how the aftermarket for them was so vast. I fell in love with them all over again when the 2014 mustang came out and I saw it being modified.
My first Mustang was a 2014 Sterling Grey GT that I began to modify back in 2019. I lowered the car and put a nice set of bronze wheels on the car. I didn't have it long before I traded that in for the newest mustang platform which is known as the S550. I loved the body lines as well as the styling cues that were taken from Mustangs of the past. My first S550 was taken in a car accident and so naturally I had to replace it and build it better than the last one. I chose a white car based on two factors.
The first reason was that a lot of people said white vehicles were hard to keep clean, right behind black vehicles. I like a challenge and I wanted to show others what I could do when it comes to detailing. The second reason is that I didn't see many people with white vehicles that made them shine with a deep gloss and reflection as you would get from other colours. One of my favourite compliments that I get about the car is that it is blinding to look at without sunglasses on.
Owning this car I would say it feels like a dream sometimes. It does draw a lot of attention, especially in my small town because it is on Airlift suspension. I love seeing people walk or drive by the car slowly while staring at it wondering how it's so low. The frame of the car is less than an inch above the ground at this point and I'm hoping I can figure out how to have it touching the ground all the way.
I catch people walking up to it while it's parked and walking around it to get a look at it. My friends always point it out to me saying, "Mark, I think they like your car." People come up to me all the time and the most popular question that I get about the car is "Can you drive it that low"? I always laugh and say "No" and explain to them that it raises up in order to drive it. The second thing people always ask me about is how I keep it so clean.
At this moment, I daily drive my car because, with every modification that I add to the car, I can't make myself leave it at home. For a daily driven car that stays as clean as it does, it is always ready for a show. It's great when the car draws attention in parking lots but it becomes a little dangerous when I'm driving the car and people stare at it while driving by. I almost witnessed an accident in front of me at an intersection because a man was driving by while looking at the car without paying attention to the road. With the amount of attention the car gets, it lets me know that I'm on the right track with building a car that breaks necks everywhere it goes.
My car stands out based on a few different aspects. To start with, being a white car, it's bright in the sunlight. Bright to the point of needing to wear sunglasses if you want to look at it up close during the day. Since I do detailing, I've polished the car to remove swirl marks so the paint is really reflective. Second, the car is unique because of the different modifications that I've done to the car.
When it's parked, the specs that I have for the wheels and tires make the fenders meet up with the lip of the wheels which is not seen much in my area. Along with that, people see the front splitter and the side skirts touching the ground and that makes people begin to question and inquire about the car. And to finish off why I think the car is unique because there have been a significant amount of people who say that they don't even like Mustangs but they like the way I made mine look. People who like Camaros and Challengers/Chargers are my favourite people to get to say that they like my Mustang.
I chose a manual transmission car because I enjoy changing gears and feeling one with my car. I haven't gotten around to adding any modifications which would give me more power yet. I have the MBRP race catback exhaust on the car to give it sounder and I plan to build the car to be between 850-900 horsepower in the future. I'm not into the racing scene right now, and that may change in the future, but I just want to build a car that I enjoy driving that looks good and that I can take to car shows and win awards with.
What do you think?
Please leave your comments in the comments section at the bottom of the page
- 777 Performance Mach 1 front facia
- Ikon Motorsports GT500 spoiler and side splitters
- Roush aerofoil rear diffuser with custom-made rear side splitters
- Vland clear Euro taillights
- Diode Dynamics clear rear side markers
- Anchor Room headlight amber tint overlay and rear bumper reflector tint
- Custom-painted colour-matched dash panels
- Custom trunk floor made with wood flooring
- Aodhan DS05
- 19x11 +15
- Ironman Imove Gen 3
- Airlift 3P
- MBRP Race Catback
Who did the work?
With the help of YouTube, I have learned how to install all of the modifications to my car by myself or with the help of friends. There are no shops in my area that have installed Airlift suspension and I don't trust that even if they could, they would take care of my car without scratching it or joyriding it and causing damage to it. I've learned that doing the work myself saves me a lot of money to be able to purchase more modifications in the future as well as gives me the knowledge to be able to work on other people's vehicles as well. With that, I've installed Airride suspension on multiple different cars in my area along with other modifications that people want doing such as exhaust and car audio.
I do have a significant list of future modifications that I plan to do for the car. I plan on changing my hood to the Cobra R cowl hood, the fenders will be the GT350 style fenders and the trunk will have a colour-matched decklid. I also plan on finishing my interior with white racing seats and a carbon fibre steering wheel with white leather. I plan on building a custom rear seat delete with a custom subwoofer enclosure because I have to have my music while cruising. That would finish the looks portion of the build outside of a wheel change down the road.
I also plan to do a full exhaust with the addition of long-tube headers along with adding boost. I'm torn between going twin turbo or supercharger. I also plan on doing all the supporting mods such as a drive shaft, better transmission, bigger brakes, and axles, and upgrading all the suspension parts to handle the power. I plan on having this car for a very long time with no hopes of getting rid of this car. There are too many things I could mention but no bolts will be left unturned.
For anyone interested in getting into the Mustang platform, there are many modifications that can be done with an extensive list of parts from aftermarket producers. Going back to the very beginning of the Mustang, it was made to be an enthusiast's car. Meaning that it can be made to fit everyone's preferences. I'm glad that they stuck with that mindset because that means that even though you see them everywhere when you get up close and take a closer look at a modified Mustang, it doesn't look like everyone else's just bought from a dealer.
The sky is the limit with this platform and it can be built with thousands of different combinations of parts. There are many different forums that you can follow as well as Facebook pages with people to answer any question you may have when it comes to a technical problem all the way to what specs for different things that make it look the best. One thing that I will say about looking for a Mustang is that there are tons to choose from.
All you have to do is know what colour you want and more than likely you can find one in that colour that has already been modified fully or even partially so that you have a good starting point instead of starting with a bone stock car. If you are interested in working on your own car, most of the modifications can be done in your own garage with simple hand tools with a lot of instructional videos on YouTube to show you how it's done.
I'm a part of a car club named Limitless Worldwide (@limitless_worldwide_). Where we aim to inspire each member to be the best that they can be inside and outside of their car. Living a life without hesitation, regret or doubt in what you can do or become. Living a life that is truly Limitless.
The ladies and gentlemen in this group strive to be a close-knit group where we check in on each other, try to provide assistance when needed and build each other up in any way possible. We are in multiple different states with different heads of state who run group chats where we can stay in touch with each other. I'm currently working on building up a group in my area with enthusiasts who love the car community as well as who want to build jaw-dropping show cars to take to shows and get our name out there.
One thing the car community needs is more open-minded people who are friendly and inviting so that the hobby never dies. We all know how off-putting it can be when someone trashes your build or others instead of helping guide newcomers on the proper way things should be done. So that's what we are here to do, is to lead newcomers in the right direction as well as create a group of friends who are encouraging to its members as well as prospective members.
The car scene has brought a lot of great people and opportunities into my life. From friends who will have my back no matter what to different business opportunities. Thanks to the car community, I'm working towards opening my own shop where I can do detailing, and install modifications as well as have a place where my friends can hang out.
Thanks to the changing climate towards the car community, we are finding it harder to post up and park due to the police not wanting us to congregate together in business parking lots thanks to the people who want to do burnouts and doughnuts and race up and down the street.
The car community has a lot of opportunities which are positive but there is a time and a place for racing and drifting. I aim to encourage people to do things the right way so that a negative light doesn't continue to be shed on the car community and we can all continue to enjoy building cars and sharing them with others.
There are a lot of cars that I would want to own but I would say my absolute dream car is the Ford GT. Sticking with the Ford platform, I fell in love with the Original GT40 and it became a dream of mine to own a 2004-2006 Ford GT one day.
Each time I have seen one at a car show, they get a lot of attention and I've never seen one built how I would build one. My style when it comes to building a car is to make it tasteful while being eye-catching. I follow the guideline of "less is more" to ensure that it doesn't look too overly modified. So if I ever get the opportunity to purchase one, it will be hard to say no.
Please leave your comments in the comments section at the bottom of the page
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