Like many Modified Mustangs readers, I’ve spent a few dollars on equipment upgrades for late-model Mustangs.
For example, the first hit to my credit card in the name of cool pony accessories was for a $300 pair of carpeted aluminum panels that replaced the pointless back seat and substantially increased my Zinc Yellow 2001 GT interior’s useful luggage capacity.
A year or so later, a set of Eibach Sport springs, seven-way adjustable shocks and four Kumho high-performance tires gave my coupe the lowered look I wanted for the street and turned it into a respectable track car for the occasional road course weekend – all for “only” $1,200.
Not all of my piggy bank pillaging was done for elective reasons, however. Because I’m one of those Mr. Safety types who always drives with his headlights on – and because Ford Motor Company continues to equip its cars with low-quality plastic lenses – by the end of its second year my ’01 looked as if it had cataracts. The outside of the headlight surface was pockmarked and opaque, as though someone had attempted to lay down a thin coat of gray primer before painting. No amount of glass cleaner or light rubbing compound was going to bring the shine back to my ‘Stang, and the deterioration of the plastic was seriously reducing my ability to drive at night.
I went down to my favorite parts store in Charlotte, where they had in stock a pair of OEM-replacement headlamps for only $130. Like most Mustangers, I can’t leave well enough alone when it comes to modifying my ride, so I also ordered a Steeda Mach 1 grille for $50.
My friend Richard Canter and his brother David volunteered the use of a garage and their time to perform this simple mechanical chore. Even though neither had dealt with modern Mustang headlights or grilles, the job only took an hour out of their afternoon.
The combination of shiny headlights and the racy, wide-mouth grille had people asking me if I had traded for my old Mustang for a new one, which verified this project was the best $180 I ever spent.