The aftermarket and publishing world move at a rapid pace when it comes to project vehicles. As new parts, or new vehicles are introduced, many shops will race to test new parts, and find out how to best utilize them for its customers. The same is true of the publishing world. We tend to build project cars quickly, testing numerous parts, and building some awesome cars in a relatively short time-frame. Unfortunately, unless you have a big bankroll, this doesn’t mimic what most enthusiasts can do.
The team over at Brenspeed recently took some time to step back and look at long term projects, and customer goals. Brenspeed put together a video focusing on one particular customer’s car, a 2008 Bullitt Mustang. That car has gone from bolt-ons to over 1,000 hp in its seven year lifespan. Like many enthusiast projects it didn’t always stat out with the end in mind.
The video highlights the parts and the uniqueness of this particular Mustang build. For many enthusiasts a car is like a thumbprint. The parts, the styling, everything about the car is unique to the owner and his or her tastes. We’re going to dig deeper into some long term projects with Brenspeed in the coming months, but for now, Brenspeed’s main man Brent White sat down with us to answer five questions about keeping your eye on the prize, and building the Mustang of your dreams, with a specific focus on the Mustang featured in this video.
Q. Clearly a lot of time and thought went into this Mustangs transformation. Was the final product the plan throughout the entire build?
A. Over the last 7 years the transformation of this Mustang has been a long term commitment between Mr. Honaker of Tennessee and Brenspeed. I would say every year the plan changed. Neither of us thought even two years ago the car would be at the level it is today.
Q. You mention goals changing in the video is that what you mean about the plan changing. How often does that happen?
A. It can happen a lot if your car is a long-term investment. Anytime we build a car you have a few major obstacles that need to be overcome before you can start. Budget, goals, and type of use all determine how a car is going to be built. Those three things guide us on how to achieve the goal. I would say a large group of clients do not know the long term goal. Life changes, budget changes, and trends change. You might be in drag racing mode one year so that is how your car gets built but then two years later you might have a love of the road course.
A. They both are equally important. You need to be honest with yourself on budget. Sometimes I get “I don’t have a budget”. That is really never true unless maybe you are Trump. We typically will not quote a build without knowing a budget. If we know the true budget we can put a build together to either meet a goal or part of the goal. These builds don’t always happen overnight and more times than not it will be done in steps as a budget allows.
Q. What would be an example of a goal?
A. We like to know what a client does with car. Car shows, drag racing, road racing, daily driver, and just a cruiser are all examples of how somebody uses the car. That guides us in a direction. I would absolutely use different parts if a car was only raced vs. raced one time a year. We can’t make you happy if we don’t understand what you enjoy. If you are somebody that want’s a low 10 second car, wants a 1.4 60 foot time with the tires off the ground, does not want anything to break, but also does not want the car to have more NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) than off the showroom floor I need to know that because you are not likely going to enjoy the sounds the suspension makes I would suggest using. We need to sort that stuff out before it is on the car. It may sound crazy, but honestly I have some clients that think just aftermarket lower control create a large NVH increase, and others that can’t hear anything with a full suspension change.
A. Absolutely. Upgrading your car is exactly that, an upgrade. It does not make it indestructible. Leave room in your budget for maintenance and repairs. This is especially true when getting into really high horsepower. Be honest with yourself on achievable goals and remember your car can be built in steps with an end goal in mind. I would say that is how it is most often done and we love doing it.