A far cry from the day it was stranded on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, Sgt. Justin Davis'
Horse Sense: While Centerforce has clutches for any manual-trans Mustang we cover in 5.0&SF, it also has five different lines of clutches-the Centerforce 1, Centerforce II, Dual Friction, DFX, and LMC series-to suit anything from a stocker to an all-out race car. The company also offers aluminum and billet-steel flywheels.
In the politically jaundiced eyes of mainstream media wankers and Hollywood filmmakers, American businesses and corporations are seemingly forever portrayed as greedy and heartless capitalist-pig entities, having neither soul nor social conscience, and showing no interest in anything beyond their own corporate bottom lines. Hey, counter-culture elitists-we beg to differ.
The prologue to our picture of corporate generosity and patriotic gratitude begins with a U.S. Army Sergeant, home on leave, driving his essentially stock '01 Bullitt to the '06 Bullitt Nationals in San Francisco. After a successful gathering of Bullittheads, Sgt. Justin Davis then headed home to Oklahoma City, only to be stranded in the Arizona town of Winslow with a seized engine, the result of total lubricant loss caused by an improper oil change. To quote The Eagles, the car was thus "stranded on a corner in Winslow, Arizona."
Scheduled to ship back overseas immediately, Justin had little choice but to leave his beloved Mustang at an area Ford dealer, one that decided a storage fee of $20 per day would be appropriate. When fellow members of the International Mustang Bullitt Owners Club (www.imboc.com) heard about this, they went into action.
One of the IMBOC members is a friend of the plant manager at Centerforce Clutches, whose headquarters in Prescott, Arizona, are just three hours west of Winslow. He inquired as to whether the company might be willing to pick up and store Sgt. Davis' Bullitt, saving the serviceman a raft of storage fees (IMBOC paid the already accrued storage bill). Centerforce gladly agreed to perform the good deed.
As they were hauling the car back to Prescott, they were actually starting down a road that led to the transformation of a spent Bullitt into the potent showpiece you see on these pages.
The Legacy seat reskinning matches the exterior color combo, while The Matworks threw down
It seems the good folks at Centerforce saw helping out with this Mustang as an opportunity to give a gesture of thanks to the country's uniformed personnel, and started talking up the idea with other automotive aftermarket firms (listed along with their generous donations in our sidebar "Credit Where Credit Is Due"). Even though the result of this corporate patriotism justifiably ended up on display in the Centerforce booth at the '07 SEMA show, that wasn't the original plan. "It really just snowballed," says Will Baty, the media relations guru at Centerforce. "The companies we talked to all said they'd like to be a part of that type of thank you," and so the snowball began rolling.
You can't have a Bullitt without a bullet, so Ford Racing Performance Parts stepped up with a stock replacement crate engine. JBA upped the ante with some headers, Scott Hoag's MRT handed over a throaty H-pipe-equipped exhaust system, and then Paxton came onboard with its Bullitt-specific Novi 2000 blower kit. Tremec coughed up a new TR-3650 to spline up to Centerforce's Dual-Friction clutch and billet flywheel. Jim Paschall at SW Tuning happily took on the task of installing the supercharger and tuning the combo for reliable street use since Sgt. Davis likes to rack up the miles on his Bullitt. With an ultra-safe street tune, the setup puts 433 hp and 410 lb-ft under the sergeant's right foot. An edgier race tune generates 475 hp and 450 lb-ft.
Truth be told, the '01 hardly resembles a Bullitt at all any more, what with its striking blue-over-gold paint scheme. Refinishing materials were supplied by PPG, and Auto Art Studio laid them on with an added personal touch of the mural on the trunk. The sergeant's Bullitt also hunkers over its fat new rolling stock thanks to a full Eibach Pro-Kit suspension.
Whereas once it was blown-up, now it's merely blown, thanks to a Novi 2000 working through
While we direct you to our sidebar and 5.0 Tech Specs box for a comprehensive look at every item donated for the car, the story behind its new wheels is indicative of the kind of genuine enthusiasm demonstrated by the project's numerous contributors. Centerforce Plant Manager Blair Anglin went to school with Chip Foose and happened to attend a high school reunion with the celebrated styling guru as the project was ongoing. Blair mentioned the Bullitt deal to Chip, who immediately offered a set of his 20-inch rims, as well as some "thoughts and ideas" for the car.
Chip apparently wanted to be even more involved, but between running his own business, making his frequent event appearances, and taping the Overhaulin' series, there was no time. On that note, we think the crew at Centerforce should get kudos for the overhaulin' they did at their own shops. They rode herd on the project from conception to completion.
Justin's reloaded Bullitt even features the signature of one of the Bullitt's fathers, for
In fact, although the beneficiary is in another branch of the service, we think all the firms that volunteered labor or products to this cause are deserving of the U.S. Marines' motto-Semper Fi. That's "always faithful" for you non-jarheads.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Though spearheaded by Centerforce, this rolling expression of gratitude to all who serve in this country's armed forces couldn't have happened without the generous participation of all 36 of the following good corporate citizens:
Alloy USA: Axle shafts
Auburn Gear: Locking differentialAuto Art Studio: Custom paint and trunklid "US 42" mural
BBK Performance: Cam covers, throttle body, clutch quadrantCenterforce Clutches: Billet flywheel, Dual-Friction clutch, labor
Diamond Auto Glass (Prescott): Glass replacementDiscount Tire (Prescott): Tire mount and balance
Eibach Springs: Complete Pro-Kit suspensionFoose Design: 20-inch Nitrous II wheels
Ford Racing Performance Parts: Engine, fuel tank, injectors, fuel pumpGalpin Ford (Prescott): OEM badging and replacement parts
Gorilla Lock: Wheel locks and spacersHawk Performance: Brake pads
Iron Springs 4WD: Differential rebuildJBA Headers: Stainless headers
Legacy: Seat covers
Mothers Polish: Full polish kitMRT: Full exhaust system and shifter
Nitto Tires: 20-inch INVO tiresOptima Batteries: Yellow-top battery
Paxton Superchargers: Novi 2000 Bullitt superchargerPower Slot: Slotted rotors
PPG: PaintPrecision Gear: 3:73 ring and pinion
Reider Racing: Axle girdleRoyal Purple: All fluids
S&B Filters: Air filterScosche: Speakers, amps, and wire
SCT: Live Wire programmerSony: XAV-W1 7-inch-screen head unit
SoundEnvision: Audio installationSS Inserts: Upper and lower billet grille
SW Tuning: Dyno tuning and blower installationThe Matworks: Custom floor mats
Tremec Transmissions: TR-3650 transmissionUPR: Exterior and interior billet accessories
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine And DrivetrainBlockStock
Power AdderPaxton Novi 2000
Throttle BodyBBK 65mm, w/Anderson Ford Motorsport Power Pipe
Mass AirSCT BA-3000
Fuel PumpTerminator tank and pumps
ExhaustMRT H-pipe and exhaust system
ClutchCenterforce Dual Friction and billet flywheel
RearendPrecision Gear 3/.73:1 gearset, Auburn differential, Alloy USA axles
Engine ManagementStock, w/SCT tune by SW Tuning
Suspension And Chassis
Front Suspension K-memberStock
BrakesPower Slot rotors, Hawk pads
WheelsFoose Design, 20-in "Nitrous II"
Eibach Pro-KitControl arms
Power Slot rotors, Hawk padsWheels
Foose Design, 20-in "Nitrous II"Tires