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.

My New Mustang from!

Well, it turns out that I won the Mustang that I originally built for the 2013 Mustang Customizer contest (!

I just can’t believe it. It is unreal.

But there it is in my driveway!

Let me tell you about the car.

It is a fully loaded 2013 Mustang GT with the automatic 6-speed bearing a tip-tronics system. It has the Brembo brakes as well, which is great! It has the GT500 wing, Roush 20-inch rims, Falken rubber, and 3d Carbon front spoiler along with California Special side scoops. This thing is clean, and it’s mean!

I was fortunate enough to take Vaughn around the block in it, and it was super cool getting to meet him.

The whole thing was super cool, and I’ll share more details later, but for now, suffice it to say that I’m super stoked!

Eleanor? How about Olivia?

In Gone in 60 Seconds, the re-make, the cars are all given female code names, the most notable of which is Eleanor, the 1967 Shelby GT500. I was thinking, if I were to win my contest entry from the 2013 Mustang Customizer, what would I name it?

I got to thinking, it would be a 2013 Mustang. I wanted to do something with the year–’13.

Then I remembered the TV series, House, in which there was a character nicknamed Thirteen.

I realized that Thirteen was played by Olivia Wilde.

Hence, I arrived at the name Olivia.

What do you think? Is Olivia a good name for a car?

How about you? Have you named your car? If so, what have you named it?

I’ve Maxed Out Mustang Customizer Points

Well, as of last night, I have earned my last big pot of points in the Mustang Customizer for voting 5000 times in the battles. I’ve long since earned max points in creating and sharing Mustangs. Since I don’t have any friends playing, I can’t get points in building my own army, wagering points, or going head-to-head. All I can do now is earn 5 points per vote or create new Mustangs and then download the wallpaper. That’s it. I can’t get points in any other way from here on out, so I am essentially maxed out.

GT over Boss

Yeah, that’s right, I’m opting for the GT over the Boss per my original decision. I don’t need a race car. The options of the GT bear more importance to me, options that I can’t even begin to fathom doing myself.

Only now I have opted to go with the Boss 302 front fascia while retaining the GT grill and fog lamps rather than going with the 3dCarbon front fascia. I’ve decided not to go with any custom paint scheme, so it is a simplistic design.

I would love to get the GT Track Package, Charcoal Gray with Grabber Blue accent leather trimmed bucket seats, and Shaker 1000 audio system with it, and Comfort Package, but then add on Steeda Tri-Ax short throw shifter (do they make one for 2013 yet?), Steeda ProFlow Cold Air Intake (is it even necessary for 2013 as it already comes with a cold-air intake?), Steeda Ultra-Lite Springs, Magnaflow Cat Back Street exhaust, and custom tune. Boom.

[Edit] Yes, Steeda makes the Tri-ax for 2011 and up, including 2013. The same is true of its cold air intake induction system (with SCT custom tune). [/Edit]

Power or Options? What’s a guy to do?

So, I am completely torn.

On the one hand, if I were to win the Mustang Customizer, I would love to have the Boss 302. It has 444 hp and is well balanced. But, it doesn’t have the Shaker sound system or standard in-cabin lighting. It also lacks leather interior. I hear good things about cloth, but I’ve really come to enjoy leather.

On the other hand, I would love to have a GT Premium with the Shaker sound system, standard in-cabin lighting, and leather interior, but it would be lacking some of the horsepower and balance of the Boss.

I have to ask myself: am I going to be racing?

I have to ask myself: am I going to be blaring my music?

I have to ask myself: will leather hold up better to my child?

I have to ask myself: do I want to bask in blue in-cabin lighting?

The answer: No, I won’t be racing, but I will be blaring my music, leather will hold up really well against the rigors of child rearing, and I most certainly do want to wade in my favorite hue.

I suppose I could always do some power adders to the GT to make up for the power loss, right?