Call me weird, but part of the appeal in watching Speed Channel's extensive coverage of Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale, Arizona, auction every winter is seeing the ever-more-frequent "charity cars" go across the block. Not only is it a hoot to watch the swollen bids these special rides usually bring out, but there's also a kind of warm-and-fuzzy gratification in seeing such big-hearted generosity demonstrated by the car hobby.
This is true not only of the bidders themselves, but also of the corporations and personalities that help build, modify, and generally make such four-wheeled expressions of charitable giving possible. The philanthropic spirit extends even to Barrett-Jackson itself, which waives all of its fees for these rolling charity cases.
Those watching last January may remember seeing this beastly black '11 GT roll across the auction block in fine fashion. The $91,000 proceeds of the coupe's sale benefited Bennett's House, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide nearby temporary housing and basic necessities for parents whose children are undergoing treatment in the Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center's neonatal or pediatric intensive-care units. The Mustang's impressive build was the responsibility of Phillip Beck and his Beck Custom Motorsports/AutoArt Studio shops in nearby Prescott, Arizona.
"Brad Houk developed the suspension, brakes, and body smoothing; Justin Burns developed the power balance and traction; and Charles Armstrong designed the body flow, paint, graphics and overall appearance of the final product," said Phillip of the AutoArts Studio crew.
We're not sure what was originally planned in the way of mods, but when Will Baty of Centerforce Clutch-another Prescott-based company-got wind of this charitable project, he immediately offered his help in rounding up aftermarket sponsors and parts donations for the Coyote-powered GT (in exchange for Centerforce being able to display the finished coupe in its corporate booth at the 2010 SEMA show in Las Vegas). Centerforce also started off the parts donations to the GT's buildup by way of its new DYAD DS Multi-Disc clutch setup-with its mighty 1,300-lb-ft torque capacity.
Said clutch strength would come in handy, as Kenne Bell soon came onboard with an early polished sample of its new Coyote-specific 2.8-liter Mammoth twin-screw blower kit. With the KB bolted on, it was quickly decided that nothing else would be necessary as far as horsepower production, and given how the Mustang project now flew, it was soon dubbed Pegasus after the winged horse of Greek mythology. By the way, AutoArt Studio now plans to construct nine additional Pegasus-model Mustangs, in case you're interested.
But power alone does not make a SEMA show car, let alone one intended to attract well-heeled philanthropic bidders at Barrett-Jackson. After receiving a complete C-500 body kit from Cervini's, the whole car was re-shot with PPG finishes, then Shelby-style stripes were applied (having a brushed-aluminum look), and those top stripes were then accented by adjacent color-shifting ghost graphics. Cervini's comprehensive C-500 body kit includes after-cat exhaust hardware terminating in rocker-side exits. In line with the GT's Pegasus designation, winged-horse badges were airbrushed on the taillight panel and front fenders. It fooled us-they look like real metal.
Even in 2011, production Mustangs still suffer from nose-bleed factory ride height, a problem soon solved with one of Eibach's adjustable-height coilover kits. Suitably lowered, it was then time to fill the wheel housings with forged Budnik X-Series GTB rims. A classic and muscular deep-dish look was desired out back, so the stock axle housing was shortened by 3 inches to permit 6.75-inch backspacing on the big rear Budniks. And behind the gargantuan rolling stock is an equally massive set of Baer 14-inch rotors, front and rear. Six-piston calipers clamp the fronts, while the stock calipers were retained out back using Baer mounting brackets.
The interior also received attention with re-skinned factory buckets having grippy suede inserts. The exterior stripes' brushed-aluminum look was echoed on the console and other interior trim, while boost and air/fuel gauges are mounted in a familiar A-pillar mount, all from Auto Meter. Downstream of the factory head unit, the sound system is fully upgraded with Polk Audio drivers, subs, amps, and crossovers, should the successful bidder ever tire of the Coyote's melodious burble.