From Pixels to Reality: The HMS 2013 Mustang

Little did I know, but I had won.

So, where do I begin?

It all started with I made like 115 Mustangs, assigning one as my prize entry, and about three weeks later, I don’t know, I can’t quite remember, I get a call that I’m one of five finalists for the first of four rounds of winners. I get told that it will require a video interview and then it will take an extra one to two months to announce the winner. Cool beans. I’m honored just to be part of the finalists.

Here was the first hint that it was mine.

One month goes by, then two months—no interview. But then I had it today, and I was pumped. What’s crazy is that I got sick Saturday night with a 99ºF fever, but I got over it by Monday. And the interview was a blast. It was fun to reminisce about previous Mustangs and how I got into the hobby and being an enthusiast. Likewise, it was delightful talking about the website and why I chose the options that I did.

Vaughn and my Stang at 9 o’clock.

Out of nowhere, once we stepped outside, this Mustang pulls up to my 9 o’clock and revs the engine. I check it out, and it looks an awful lot like the Mustang I had designed. In fact, it was the Mustang I had designed! Unbelievable! And who better to deliver it than Vaughn Gittin Jr.? That’s right, he brought the Mustang to me and I took him for a spin. I was in denial and just couldn’t believe it!

They wrapped up the shoot, which was a full day, but I enjoyed it all, and then took the car, as I still need to sign all the legals.

Well, two days passed, and I still didn’t get the car in my official possession. So, in the mean time, Wesley got to enjoy his:

Here was the second hint that it was mine.

Then Saturday came, and we thought we would be driving it home. But alas, it was not to be. We drove all the way out to Roseville for nothing, which was a royal waste of gas. ‘Twas unfortunate. After 4 business days, one would think the necessary materials for allowing me to take delivery of the car would have been mailed successfully to the dealership, but no, it wasn’t. Also unfortunate.

The experience has been an absolute roller coaster. I went from complete elation to utter frustration, mild depression, and a smidgeon of anger. I keep having to tell myself, “I’ll get it, it’s okay.”

Here was Ford’s teaser.

And let’s not even get into the taxes. Well, actually, I’ll speak to that briefly. Government double dips into my wallet, because it is a sweepstakes. It’s not okay for anyone to double dip in a business, but the Government gets to. It’s wrong, but it is what it is. I have to pay the car tax and of course license and registration, but then I also have to pay income tax for both federal and state. Great, so it isn’t a free car, but rather it’s a discounted car. Anyone wishing to win a free car had better think twice unless the sweepstakes also awards you enough cash to cover all involved taxes if you plan on keeping the car. If this weren’t a special Mustang, I probably would sell it and try to come out ahead with some cash, yet I can’t bring myself to do that in this situation. But I digress.


My wife found out on Tuesday the following week that the dealer in LA still hadn’t sent the stuff until Monday or Tuesday of this week, and when they sent it, they sent it regular USPS. So, there was no guarantee it would arrive, and there was no ETA except that it could be 7 days before the Roseville dealer would have it. Queue sad face.

I’ve been keeping my disappointment at bay by getting involved at StangNet again, something that I hadn’t done since I owned my last Mustang back in 2008. I’ve been reading up on other 2013 GTs with automatic transmissions, reading Mustang magazines and forums, and looking through pictures, parts, and more. It has helped keep me occupied.

Thursday rolled around, and I received a call that everything was in order to come pick it up. I made it across town after work with some help from my dad, I signed for the car, and took it home. Finally!

Home at last.

And now, I have my Mustang. It is a 2013 Mustang GT Premium with Shaker system, automatic transmission, Brembo package, and options, namely, 3d Carbon front spoiler, Roush Painted-Hyper Black 20″ rims, GT500 wing, and CS side scoops. GAS installed Falken Azenis PT722 rubber on the rims (F 255/35ZR20, R 275/35ZR20). They are responsible for turning my dream machine from pixels into reality, and they did a fantastic job.

What more would I want to customize? For starters, the wheel gap has got to go, and I intend to use Steeda’s Ultra Lite Springs to drop the car a bit. Aesthetically that’s all that I would do.

Originally I wanted to do a Magnaflow cat-back, and I still do, but I also wanted to do the Steeda CAI and SCT tune, but the CAI won’t be CARB legal, so I’m scrapping that idea. Instead, I’m thinking of doing the following:

I’ve determined that American Muscle is the best place to shop.

What kind of California legal modifications would you do to an auto 2013 GT? Too bad there isn’t a legal CAI out on the market for the 2013. I’ve seen Ford Racing’s Power Pack, and it just doesn’t seem worth it to me, so if anyone has some feedback on that, I’d be interested in hearing about it.

The only thing I really need to do at this time is put the front license plate on. The hole’s are there in the bumper only partially. I see the license plate holder in the trunk, but there are no screws or bolts. What I need to find out is this: (a) what’s the proper way to prepare the holes, and (b) what size screws or bolts?

Anyway, the car is really cool, and I am super thrilled! Finally, it is here! More pictures forthcoming as I blog my way through the 2013 Mustang GT as a product review series.