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Featured: Galpin Auto Sports 2010 Mustang Boss 281R

By - March 1, 2011 – 4:48 pmNo Comment | 14,037 views

Galpin Auto Sports 2010 Mustang Boss 281R

It’s an understatement to say that Galpin Auto Sports has built their fair share of custom Mustangs. As the aftermarket division of Galpin Motors, the largest Ford dealership on the planet, GAS has literally seen hundreds if not thousands of Mustangs go through their shop, some of which have graced the pages of this magazine. They have also overseen projects like designing and constructing the modern day KITT that starred in the now-defunct Knight Rider television series. So what’s special about the Mustang you see here? Well, for starters, it’s their very first customized 2010 Mustang.

This pony car project started, like many of Galpin’s others, with Steve Carpenter. As the sales manager of GAS, Carpenter usually heads up any project cars being built at the shop and has probably customized as many S197 Mustangs as just about anyone. He’s also owned quite a few as well, and along with serving commuting duties to and from work, Steve’s Mustangs are often working examples to show customers what they can do to their own cars. So when the 2010 Mustangs hit Galpin’s showroom floor in the spring of 2009, Carpenter knew it was time for another project car. “I wanted to be the first kid on the block with a fully customized 2010 Mustang,” he told us. “We wanted to have a custom 2010 Mustang as soon as possible, and we saw a lot of potential in the car.”

Galpin Auto Sports 2010 Mustang Boss 281R

While Carpenter had pretty much perfected the art of modifying the 2005-2009 Mustang, the 2010 model represented a new challenge. Don’t get us wrong – Steve likes the look of the new car. In fact, he believes Ford did a fantastic job with the redesigned Mustang. It’s just that he thinks it just takes more thought to customize it just right. “You have to put a lot more thought into the lines of this car,” Steve told us. “It’s harder to find the right part to make the car look good.”

While Carpenter may have had trouble finding the “right” part, it’s impressive that he was able to find parts at all. Normally the launch of a new model means that aftermarket parts are several months and sometimes years away, but a combination of shared components from the 2005-2009 model years and foresight from Ford meant that custom parts were available for the 2010 Mustang as soon as the car was available for purchase. For instance, Ford granted Roush access to the car long before it was on sale, allowing Roush to properly develop dozens of parts that were available as soon as the 2010 models hit showrooms. Internally, Ford also developed a line of accessories and performance parts through Ford Racing and Ford Accessories. Needless to say, owners of 2010 Mustang don’t have to wait to start modifying their cars.

Galpin Auto Sports 2010 Mustang Boss 281RGalpin Auto Sports 2010 Mustang Boss 281RGalpin Auto Sports 2010 Mustang Boss 281RGalpin Auto Sports 2010 Mustang Boss 281R

While most of Carpenter’s previous Mustangs followed the S197 Mustang’s retro theme, he says the 2010 body style “doesn’t lend itself to the old school look.” Instead, Steve decided to go for a more modern appearance, although we can still see many classic design cues throughout the car. The exterior modifications start off with a Roush body kit that includes a new front fascia and splitter up front, a new rear valence and wing at the rear, and a set of splitters on each side to complete the kit. Next Carpenter raided the Ford Accessories catalog and added a hood scoop, quarter window scoops, and a decklid panel. To top it all off, several coats of Candy Apple Red PPG paint were applied along with matte black “Boss 281R” graphics.

What’s with the R, you ask? Well, we’ll tell you. Carpenter built this Mustang to look like a modern muscle car, and he made sure it could handle like one too. Since the Ford Racing parts catalog already had plenty of suspension components available for the 2010 model year, it became the source of the go-fast parts that went on the car. The Galpin crew fitted fully adjustable dampers and springs from the FR500S spec racecar as well as FRPP front and rear sway bars and upgraded rear lower control arms. Wilwood 14-inch disc brakes with 6-piston calipers up front and 4-piston versions at the rear provide consistent stopping power. Finally, Vredestein Sessanta tires wrapped over lightweight Axis Zero 20-inch wheels provide the final contact patch to the pavement.

Galpin Auto Sports 2010 Mustang Boss 281R

Even more FRPP parts can be found underneath the hood, although the twin 62mm big bore throttle body is the only thing visible in the engine bay. The Ford Racing 3v hot rod cams, however, announce their presence the second the V8 comes to life. Carpenter tells us that the cams have been one of the most popular upgrades with S197 Mustang owners since they came, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think. “They hear the car and they want that cool old school idle,” he told us. The cams are good for more than just a lopey idle, though, and Ford Racing claims a fifty horsepower gain when combined with the FRPP ported and polished heads that are also installed on the car. Bassani provides an audible improvement as well in the form of an x-pipe, high-flow cats, and an axle-back system with race mufflers. Lastly, the drivetrain was fortified with a JPC one-piece aluminum driveshaft, RPS twin-disc clutch, and a Hurst short throw shifter.

One of the major upgrades for the 2010 Mustang was the interior, and Carpenter didn’t see the need to change too much. He didn’t want to leave it stock, though, and fitted Katzkin red leather inserts and stitching on the front and rear seats, door panels, and shifter boot. As a final touch, the steering wheel was wrapped in matching leather.

Galpin Auto Sports 2010 Mustang Boss 281RGalpin Auto Sports 2010 Mustang Boss 281R

In case you think this custom pony car maintains a cushy life on Galpin’s showroom floor, Carpenter informed us that the car has been on a few track days at Willow Springs Raceway just north of Los Angeles. Steve hasn’t been able to track the car too much, but he did say that Henry Ford III, the great-great grandson of Henry Ford, actually spent a day with the car turning laps. “He had a blast!” Carpenter told us. In fact, Ford III, who spent the summer at Galpin learning the ins and outs of the dealership, loved the car so much he actually offered to sign it.

With the car complete and the challenge met, how does Carpenter now feel about customizing the 2010 Mustang? For him, it’s business as usual. “I let a friend drive the car home one night. The next day he ranted and raved about how much fun it was to drive the car and that all his neighbors wanted to hear and ride in the car. I told him, ‘welcome to hot-rodding!’”

Photos © 2011 MustangsDaily.com

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