So you want a Custom Mustang?
A Mustang can be customized to different levels. Here are my four levels of customization:
1) “Copy Cat”
2) “Modified Copy Cat”
4) “Oh my God”
I would rank most of the Ford Mustangs that I see at local car shows in the “Copy Cat” class for many reasons, the first being it’s the same stuff you’ve seen time and time again. Unfortunately many of us are too prone to select hoods, color schemes, wheels, rear spoilers, front spoilers, plenum covers and grilles that we’ve seen on other Mustangs just because they are readily available. For those of you that attended Catholic school back in the day, you were required to wear uniforms. The boys wore dark colored pants, a white shirt and that awful clip-on tie. For the girls it was that plaid skirt, black shoes and a white blouse with a Bozo-the-clown collar. I know these uniforms oh too well because I attended Catholic school back in the 60s and 70s and was part of the plot to overthrow Mother Superior….the was plot was foiled by Mary Beth Sullivan who ratted us out to Father Kennedy during homeroom. Parents loved the uniforms because they were a much cheaper alternative to buying the latest fashion trends, they were cheap and we all looked the same. The same applies to the “Copy Cat” Mustang owner that wants a custom Mustang. It’s inexpensive, and you get a customized car.
The Copy Cat Custom Mustang owners will usually purchase Mustang accessories that they have seen online, in a magazine or at a local Mustang show. The problem arises when the purchase is an impulse buy. Buying the first thing that you see is not a good idea because too often people buy the same thing. How many times have you heard someone say “I want that because that’s what everyone is doing”? Monkey see monkey do. Currently, the trend is having a car that is “Murdered Out”. For you older cats, “Murdered Out” means the car is all black, void of any color other than black. Flat black is the new black. Just drive around and you’ll see countless cars “Murdered Out”; flat black paint, black wheels, black trim and even black exhaust tips. What’s been murdered is creativity, there is little to no creativity that goes into a “Murdered Out” Mustang. Pick up a few spray cans of Plasti Dip and go to town. When you buy over the counter medication for a cold, most of the drugs will have the same ingredients, just different names. The same applies for many aftermarket Mustang accessories. Sometimes a impulse buy will put you in the express lane with everyone else that’s in a hurry.
The “Modified Copy Cat” Mustang owners have the desire to stand out from the herd of Mustangs, they are looking for that “Je ne sais quoi” that makes people notice. Taking a aftermarket Mustang Accessory and giving it a custom touch. Adding paint, airbrushing, custom engraving, polishing, powder coating or a paint fill to add depth is part of their repertoire. The “Modified Copy Cats” are not trying to reinvent the wheel, they’re just trying to make the wheel look better than stock. As your mother would say “work with what you got”. If you have short hair, wearing a ponytail may not be practical, so accent what you have. Choosing a color scheme that’s different will make your Mustang or GT500 stand above the other Mustangs competing for a trophy. How many times have you seen black stripes on a yellow car……TOO MANY? Have you considered a dark grey or silver hue to contrast the yellow? Maybe it’s time to retire the Bumblebee.
If you’re trying to score some major points with the judges at the Mustang show your Mustang must be unique. Mister or Miss Unique Mustang owners are thinking out of the box, they want to be the only ones with that part on their Mustang. Hours are spent on layout, design, research, paint spray outs and renderings so they can hear those magic words “I’ve never seen that before”. If you want to make a show car owner beam with pride, just say “where did you get that?”. Chances are she will not tell you her little secret. Some people will take bragging rights to their graves.
My last category of Custom Mustang car show fanatics is the “Oh my God” group. Their drug of choice is whatever gets them a 1st place trophy. One-off custom fabrication, elaborate custom airbrushing, custom leather interior, mega audio systems, forged billet three-piece wheels, six piston brakes, six coats of clear and four coats of House of Kolor paint will have people screaming “Oh my God”. While others play golf, watch the Little League World Series, tweet about the grilled salmon they ate in San Francisco, the “Oh my God” fanatics are trying to knock off (sometimes literally) old man Bob who has been winning “Best of Show” for the last five years. If they have to cash out their 401K, lie to their spouse, swim with the Alligators or drop $6K on the new Whipple, the “Oh my God” gang will do just that.
It doesn’t matter which level of Custom Mustangs you’re into, just remember to think out of the box and be creative. Be original, don’t follow a trend……set a trend.
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Last Updated: December 1, 2020