Les Bateman

 

2006

 

In July, 2006 I was shopping for a new Mustang. I was at the dealer, working with the Internet salesperson, walking the back lot to see what he had. With a daily commute on the 405 I knew the car would have to have an automatic transmission, even though I really wanted stick. I took a GT out for a test drive and was very satisfied with its performance. Upon returning to the lot I noticed a very retro-looking front end on a Mustang and inquired about getting my GT with that retro front end, including the light-bar. I was informed by the salesperson that it was only available on the V6 with the upscale Pony-Package. We went over to look at the car and I inquired as to what was included in the package; I was told it included GT suspension, leather interior, retro badges, etc. I checked the price and it was five-thousand less than the GT. We took it out for a drive and that V6 performed surprisingly well. It was at that point that all the pieces fell into place and the plan was hatched. Here was a blank canvas for me to personalize; that’s what people did when the Mustang first came out, so why not now? And with five-thousand to start the project I knew I could get well into it. Truth be told, I wasn’t sharing this idea with anyone, including my wife. She’s not a “car person” and I knew she wouldn’t see what I was seeing. So, two weeks after my Mustang was acquired it was over at Galpin Auto Sports having the hood cut and the cold-air induction Shaker-hood installed. That night was we went out to dinner and as we were approaching my car my wife said “what’s that sticking out of the hood”? I explained and she just looked at me like I was nuts to do that to a new car. One week later I added the hood blackout with the blackout stripe, just like my ’69 Mach1 had back in the day. Again my wife and I went out to dinner (a regular Friday night occurrence) and as we approached the car she took one look at the hood and started to cry; thru her tears she exclaimed “you took all the red away”. Again I explained why I had modified the hood and of course she still thought I was nuts. Most of the restaurants we frequent have valet service, and when we exited the restaurant my Mustang was sitting right in front. As the valet handed me the keys he said “very nice car”; I could see that my wife heard the comment. It was at that point that she started to get the idea that perhaps I wasn’t quite as nuts as she thought. A few months later I found out that Moss Mustang was looking for cars for their catalog and I submitted a picture of my car. It was chosen for a full photo-shoot, both static and also on the road while being driven. The compensation for my time was a one-time purchase of parts from them at employee prices, and it had to be completed within a year. I started making a list, and just before that year was up I drove back to Moss Mustang and placed my order. It was quite a long list and included such things as Eibach springs, Ford shorty headers, Magnaflow dual cat-back exhaust, Agent 57 side mirrors, rear window louvers, front air-dam, and hood struts.

 

Over the course of time I’ve had the rear spoiler painted semi-flat black, applied the custom made “MACH1” trunk stripes, M-U-S-T-A-N-G letters on the trunk lid, flat black on the trunk panel between the tail lights, added sequential turn signals, installed dress up components under the hood and in the interior. I swapped out the original wheels for some Mustang wheels (thanks Arnold) that are chromed, created a one-of-one set of center caps with tri-bars, installed a home-link light-sensitive rear view mirror, upgraded the sound system to include iPod/Nav/Sirius XM/Phone and probably a dozen other things I’ve forgotten about. One thing I never liked was that, with the exception of the dash, the interior was just a black cave. So, I recently rectified that by having the interior upgraded. The upgrade included red inserts for the seats, front and back, the center console is now padded in the same matching red, and the door-pulls are now wrapped in matching red.

 

It’s been a journey, one I’ve really enjoyed; it makes that daily slog on the 405 much easier to take. I still get thumbs up on occasion from other travelers on the road and the valets still give the car preferential treatment.

That’s it….that’s the story of my “One of None Mach1”.