American Muscle Makes A Wish Come True With A 2016 Mustang GT

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.

Leslie's Mustang GT was no slouch, but with the help of American Muscle and Make-A-Wish, the car will be turned into Leslie's dream ride!

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.

The car now wears various updated body panels both front and rear as well as that super-cool shade of paint.

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.

It only took subtle upgrades to the Premium interior in Leslie’s ‘Stang to make it pop. Who wouldn’t love to have this 2016 GT for their daily?

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.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation and American Muscle have teamed up on several other builds. Each one is as memorable as the next.

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.

Leslie was presented her Mustang with the help of friends and family.

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.

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About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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