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Allegra: My 2017 Mustang

This post journals my 3 year journey with my Mustang, including the purchase process, modifications, and ruin (and restoration).

The project codename for the Mustang in the early-mid sixties was Allegro.* The feminine form of this word is Allegra, which is the name I gave my 2017 Mustang GT.

It is a premium trim, Lightning Blue steed with the performance pack, which gives a 3.73 differential, 6-speed manual, rear spoiler delete, and 15-inch Brembo brakes.

How exactly did I go about purchasing it? What have I done to it? I will tell you all of that and more after the jump, and, believe me, you don’t want to miss how I ruined it!

Buying

My wife was in the hospital giving birth to a pair of girls as a surrogate in April 2017. As such, I was there with her and not driving my car, a Smart Fortwo that I had at the time, which was busy draining its battery whilst sitting lonely and afraid in my garage. When i tried to start up the car after getting home from the hospital a few days later, it would not start. I had several issues with it, so this instance was the last and final straw. I picked up True Car and began looking for Mustang prices.

A few dealers emailed me as a result, but only one called me. I called that particular dealer back, set up a late night appointment, headed out and looked at one of the Mustangs. It was not what I wanted. It was Lightning Blue and premium but it also had the performance pack that I did not want. It did not have the electronics package that I wanted. But I test drove it anyway and fell in love.

Back at the dealership, I began negotiating. I started with the price and talked them down to below MSRP. Then, I walked out when they would only give me $1k for my Smart car trade in. Little did they know that as I was getting into the car to go home I was uncertain if it would even start! But, they had come running after me and caught me before I could get both feet in the car. Again inside, they doubled the trade in value and then we negotiated the interest rate. I held firm and got them to drop it to 2.9%, which, at that time, was the lowest rate I could find anywhere. With a purchase price below MSRP, trade in value that was palatable, and a low interest rate, I went home in a Mustang.

Allegra: bone stock

Modifying

Rather quickly, I swapped the stock clutch assist spring for a Steeda spring and perch. Stock, the spring was 180-lb and masked the feel of engagement, so the Steeda was only 35-lb—just enough to push the clutch pedal all the way out. This modification helped me feel the engagement better, making it easier to drive and enjoy.

A year later, I began modifying Allegra substantially. I started with the wheels and tires. I swapped the staggered stock performance pack ones for SVE R350 aluminum rims in satin bronze wrapped in Nitto NT555 G2 rubber. The front wheels are 10-inch wide with 285/35/19 tires and the rear are 11-inch wide with 305/35/19.

Upgrading to R350

Then, I had a local exhaust shop install a custom 3-inch catback exhaust with Magnaflow street mufflers and 4.5-inch black tips.

Afterwards, I had my local Ford dealership install the Ford Racing Performance Pack 2, including a GT350 cold air intake, GT350 throttle body, and ProCal 3 tune. It is CARB certified and retained the factory warranty while adding 40 ft-lb torque at 2k RPM.

Ruining

Shortly thereafter, I got my hands on a vial of ceramic coating, which is intended to replace wax as a paint protectant and is supposed to last a couple of years. Well, I did not look up the instructions—a most costly mistake.

I washed the car, polished it, and then began applying the ceramic coating. I waited 30 minutes before attempting to wipe it off and buff it out. After those 30 minutes, when I began to try to wipe it off, I found it to be quite sticky and stubborn. I was having severe difficulty getting it off. It took about an hour to get it buffed off of the top side of the trunk. My shoulder was shot and I was exhausted. Realizing I couldn’t continue, I tried to score the coating with a towel and my fingers fanned out thinking that it would help me break things up in the buffing process. Instead, it made it look worse as though it had been scratched all over in long 3-5 ft stretches. I purchased a DA polisher and, even with compound, I still could not get it off. I had ruined my car’s paint.

It did not look good. In fact, allowing it to get dirty helped to cover up the ceramic blemishes, so I stopped washing it. People would often ask, “What is that on your car?” It was embarassing.

Ceramic Coating

Completing

A year and a half went by. Then, my clutch started to stick. So, I decided to finish the project. I replaced the stock clutch with a dual disc, 800hp rated racing clutch, lightened steel flywheel, and upgraded braided steel hydraulic line and throwout bearing. While the shop had everything out, I had them swap the shifter for a MGW short throw.

Then, I had a shop install BMR SP080 springs. These are linear lowering springs set up for a muscle car raked look where the rear is higher than the front. It lowered the front about 1.2-inches and the rear about 0.5-inch.

Then, I tried wet sanding, compounding, and polishing the paint to remove the ceramic coating that was still there and showing no signs of diminishing. I got a lot of it off but it was not perfect and I could still see waves of it.

So, I completed the project by having Allegra repainted from bumper to bumper. A month and a half later it was returned to glory and the project complete.

All I have to do now is go to car shows! I won’t win anything, but it is fun!

Allegra

So, that has been my journey so far with Allegra. It is also the longest I have had a single Mustang.


Do you have a Mustang? What have you done to it? Have you tried ceramic coating? Share with me your stories in the comments below!

*I know of Special Falcon, the official codename for the Mustang before its debut. I read somewhere, but can’t remember the source, and have seen images of several Allegro concept projects from the early-mid sixties, and they look like that is where Mustang came from or at least had a shared style and design. In any case, Allegro had some sort of history behind the Mustang.

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