The Make-A-Wish Foundation bridges the gap between philanthropists and volunteers upon which children with critical illnesses can then fulfill their dreams. The Make-A-Wish Foundation started by granting one child his special gift in 1980 and has grown to the point where a wish is granted every 34 minutes. One of those recent wishes was from an ovarian cancer survivor, Leslie D.
Leslie received a 2016 Mustang GT on her 16th birthday. Leslie’s Make-A-Wish was that she might see her Mustang receive a new paint job and a set of wheels. It was at that point American Muscle stepped up to the plate to help Leslie see her dream. This is American Muscle’s eighth Make-A-Wish build to date, and they weren’t satisfied with a fresh coat and a wheel swap for Leslie’s ‘Stang.
Instead, and over a period of six months, the American Muscle team, led by Justin Dugan, transformed Leslie’s ride into a true street performer as well as a looker. Justin and master overhauler, Joe Gallo set off to augment the new coat of paint and wheels with a list of upgrades both inside and out.
To start, a set of Kooks 1 7/8-inch headers and catted mid-pipe was installed to direct the fumes more efficiently. That task was made easier while the transmission was removed to install the Exedy Mach 500 Stage 1 clutch kit, which will help hold the torque while Leslie rows through the gears with that Barton short-throw shifter. The Driveshaft Shop tossed in one of its 3.5-inch aluminum, one-piece driveshafts to make sure as much torque as possible makes it to the pavement. An Eibach Pro-Plus suspension kit updates Leslie’s GT and also tunes the ride more to her liking.
From there, Leslie’s Mustang headed to the paint shop for a total re-spray in a custom-tailored color just for her. Some new panels were sourced prior to paint to differentiate Leslie from the crowd, such as the MMD fascia and chin spoiler and the MP Concepts GT350-style rocker panels, and MMD V-Series side scoops. A Cervini’s Stalker hood classes up the topside with no cutting, drilling, or trimming.
Out back, the MMD rear window louvers reduce the heat and keep Leslie cool in more ways than one. As the air flows over Leslie’s pony, it is kissed back into the atmosphere by the RTR rear spoiler. To help Leslie differentiate things down the road at night, various LEDs bring higher performance and cool looks to the car’s lighting both front and rear.
Sounds are so important in a ‘Stang and Leslie has a choice of the updated 12-inch woofer and a 500-watt amplifier, or she can opt to go old school and enjoy the tunes from those Corsa Sport cat-back exhausts.
When it came to wheels and tires, the folks at American Muscle teamed up with several companies to bring the entire package together. A set of massive, six-piston Sparta brakes takes root up front with Sparta’s upgrade out back. Those grapplers and rotors are then shrouded with a set of RTR Tech 7 gloss black wheels with Mickey Thompson Street Comp tires.
Altogether, the project was a complete success. The car has surpassed Leslie’s dreams and she also has the pleasure of viewing cancer from the rear-view mirror. The Make-A-Wish Foundation uses opportunities such as this to bring some sunshine into the lives of children and their families during their bout with some of life’s deepest struggles. For Leslie and her family, those memories will forever shine through the generosity of various suppliers, the folks at AmericanMuscle, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.