First impressions are funny things; in mere seconds our minds subconsciously develop lasting opinions. While these initial judgements are easily formed in moments, they take much longer and are exceedingly more difficult to change. When you come across a car covered in a brilliant red chrome it’s pretty hard not to take notice and, subsequently, form a pretty strong opinion.
As a child we are told to never judge a book by its cover, but we’re only human. When it comes to something you’re truly passionate, in our case cars, it’s even easier to make a snap judgement which is precisely what I did with the Boy Racer Mustang. Likely you formed a pretty quick opinion of the car as well, and if you’ve made it to this second paragraph I can only presume that you liked what you saw on the home page.
If it were me however, I would have never made it this far, and that’s a shame. You see I had seen this car, in person, twice before this very shoot but I never bothered going in for a closer inspection. That’s right, in my own flawed and jaded “been there, done that” mindset, I walked right past this car at SEMA and the Mojave Mile. I thought “wow, a new Mustang with some carbon fiber and some type of Christmas paper wrap – how great could it be?”
As it turns out, very. I’ll be the first to admit that, while I consider myself to have a rather wide automotive pallet, open-mindedness can occasionally be on short reserve. Fortunately fate would give me another chance to get up close to this ‘Stang and after the recommendation from a friend I did a little web mining.
What I had originally thought to be an all-show-no-go build was really anything but the sort. The more I discovered about the car the further my foot traveled into my mouth. One quick glance through the spec sheet revealed that this was one serious Pony Car. When I finally finished off my last slice of humble pie I realized that the only acceptable way to right my wrongs would be to head out to Creations n’ Chrome in Valencia to get the inside scoop.
When I arrived at the shop I was greeted by the owner Gary Watson and marketing director Chris Matye, undoubtedly gear heads both. Gary gave me a quick tour of the facility which is primarily a paint and body shop. The daily bread and butter work revolves around chroming of objects big and small, hence the name. But there were some interesting bits, including a dyno, that showed the extremity of Gary’s passion.
When I first saw the car, for the third time, it was still shocking how shiny it was. For starters, it’s painted not wrapped. I’m told it’s a question Gary and Chris are asked whenever they take the car out, but who can blame them. Even with my “vast knowledge” of all things automotive I thought it was surely a wrap, I mean who paints an entire car chrome!? But that’s just another item we can add to the “things I was wrong about” list.
The finish is called Spectra Chrome and it is, as Gary describes it, “a layer of metal sandwiched between two layers of automotive paint.” The car is prepared as it would be for a normal paint job and a base coat is applied. When the base coat is cured a metallic layer is then sprayed and finally it’s finished off with a top coat, in this case a candy red. Finally the finish is completed with a normal clear coat and can be treated and cared for like any typical automotive paint job.
The advantages of this process compared to conventional chroming are vast, primarily the ability to chrome virtually anything. Chroming an entire car is extremely flashy and even Gary admits he doesn’t foresee many people wanting to refinish a complete vehicle. However by dowsing the entire Mustang in chrome it not only catches attention, but demonstrates the flexibility of the product as it covers carbon, ABS, steel and aluminum equally well.
I’ve been around some serious head turning cars before but I have to admit nothing stops people in their tracks like a chrome car. In the brief amount of time I spent shooting the car I don’t think there was a single passerby that didn’t stop, gawk and ask about the car. But as easy as it is to get carried away by the impressive exterior of the car, there’s more to it.
The Boy Racer certainly isn’t a one-trick pony, if you’ll pardon my ridiculous pun. Under the hood is a standard 5.0L “Coyote” Mustang GT engine, capable of churning out just a hair over 400hp and very nearly that same amount in torque in stock form. The engine hasn’t been torn down and reassembled, but it has been given a kick in the pants.
I later found out that Chris used to work for Vortech Superchargers, which likely explains the V3-Si under the carbon hood. At only 8psi this setup provides a good bump in power while retaining excellent drive-ability. Despite the low boost the blower adds roughly 250hp to the wheels and another 150lb-ft dollop of torque.
The kit also utilizes a front mount air-to-air intercooler along with an N-Tercooler sprayer setup from Nitrous express for a additional cooling. To keep up with the new induction system the injectors have been upgraded and the ECU has been reflashed. It’s a simple setup good enough to push this GT to 182mph at the Mojave Mile.
Nobody in their right mind would want to do those kinds of speeds without proper safety equipment which is exactly why the cockpit has been completely decked out. The rollcage is very slick and about as stealth of an install as you can find anywhere; in fact I didn’t even notice the front downbars until they were pointed out. All of the stock paneling remains and have been precisely trimmed just enough to clear the cage.
When it comes to a street / track compromise this is about as good of an interior as you can hope to find. Everything is simple and clutter free, functional and solid. There’s just the right amount of race equipment to hit the track hard but just enough creature comforts that you won’t drive yourself insane getting there.
The only compromise I could find inside was the removal of the rear seat. Considering the car is now fully caged the rear seat really shouldn’t be occupied anyway so I certainly don’t count it against them. If the back looks particularly clean it’s because the seat delete and rear X-Brace are actually factory items borrowed the Boss Laguna Seca model.
You can never go wrong with carbon fiber, it’s lightweight, strong and it looks really cool. Here we see it replacing the cheesy factory plastic dials and cubbyholes with an elegant no-nonsense switch panel and a double-din Pioneer source unit.
The OEM instrument panel has also been removed and covered with another sheet of the woven stuff. All of the factory gauges have been superseded by a Racepak IQ3 digital dash which monitors all important parameters, including OBD2 data from the ECU, in a tidy compact unit. This allows the driver to spend less time hunting for information and more time driving hard.
Speaking of driving hard, that’s exactly what the guys have been doing with the car. I actually think that the holes left in the front bumper from the Mojave Mile block-off plates look rather mean. There’s nothing I like more than a car that’s been scuffed up a little and I’m sure this is only the beginning. In fact this weekend the car will be taken to Streets of Willow to test some new prototype Hotchkis suspension components.
In addition to tweaking the suspension Chris was telling me that they are hoping to sort out some new brake ducting and redo the metal bit above the splitter in carbon. From the sound of it the guys have no intentions of slowing down development anytime soon. Aside from getting the car to tackle the corners they plan on returning to standing mile competition with some new gearing and possibly a bit more power.
I must say it’s been a while since I’ve misjudged a car so badly, but certainly there is a lesson to be learned. What I had thought to be a run-of-the-mill SEMA car is really anything but and my first impression has now been well and truly erased. It’s not some undriveable harebrained concept and it’s not sitting around in a warehouse collecting dust, it’s doing exactly what a car should be – it’s being driven.
Creations n’ Chrome 2012 “Boy Racer” Ford Mustang
Supercharged 2012 5.0L Coyote engine; Vortech V3-Si trim centrifugal supercharger, air to air intercooler; Nitrous Express plate system & N-Tercooler spray ring; Injector Dynamics 72 lbs. fuel injectors; Kenne Bell Boost-A-Pump; Blowby Racing 3”X-pipe; Corsa axle-back Extreme exhaust system; Mishimoto aluminum radiator; Creations n’ Chrome fan shroud w/ integrated Spal fan; Canton Racing Products expansion tank
ENGINE MANAGEMENT / ELECTRONICS
Stock computer tuned with SCT software by Lance Keck @ Creations n’ Chrome; Racepak IQ3 cluster and OBDII interface module; RePlayXD, XD 1080 cameras w/ hardcore billet chassis mounts; Pioneer head unit, speakers and amp
Standard 6-speed transmission; stock 8.8 rear end housing w/ Detroit Locker Diff, 31 spline Currie axles; 3.73 gears (track) / 3.08 gears (standing mile)
SUSPENSION / CHASSIS
Creations n’ Chrome “Overkill” rollcage constructed of 2” chromoly tube, seat brackets, adjustable panhard bar; KW Variant 3 coilovers; Hotchkis front sway bar (38.1mm, 4-way adjustable), rear sway bar (25.4mm, 3-way adjustable), prototype adjustable rear trailing arms, adjustable upper trailing arm, K-member brace, strut tower brace, subframe connectors; Ford Racing Boss Laguna Seca rear seat delete kit and X-brace
Wilwood 14” W6A Big Brake Kit w/ Six-piston calipers (front), Wilwood 14’ W4A Big Brake Kit w/ Four Piston calipers (rear)
WHEELS / TIRES
18×9 (f) / 18X11 (r) HRE Comp 95 wheels; 256/35R18 (f) / 315/30R18 (r) Falken Azenis RT615K tires
Sparco Pro 2000 seats, 5-point harnesses, steering wheel
3dCarbon Boy Racer 7-piece body kit (front bumper, rear bumper, sideskirts, rear wing, and fender vents); APR Performance carbon fiber front splitter; Autosport Dynamics Inc. carbon fiber hood, carbon fiber roof, carbon fiber decklid; standing mile aero package (not pictured) Creations n’ Chrome built front bumper block off panels, radiator ducting, carbon fiber mirror block off plates
I can't say that I like the chrome paint, but I DO like the car as a whole. I have the boy racer kit on my car and was considering adding a splitter much like the one on this car, as well as putting a box behind the front ducts to serve brake cooling duties.
Question - what purpose does the gap in the middle of the splitter serve?
Great. Now I have these guys & Gittin to blame for making me want a Mustang. Of course I could just blame Ford for finally making a V8 I consider modern. LoL. BTW, the paint? Insanity. Love it.
I am guilty too of almost passing it up. Wow, this car is done nicely regardless of the chrome paint or not!!
Thank you for all of the positive feedback to this car. Gary and I are gearheads to the core and will always choose function over form. Whether we are working on the paint, rollcage, carbon dash or even the vehicle wiring that you will never see, we take our time to make sure everything is as close to perfect as possible. We take extreme pride in our work and are honored that the Speedhunters audience has received this car as well as you have. Our little shop will continue to build the best cars we can. For the Fox body Mustang fans out there, we have a real treat for you with our next project. 2400 lbs, carbon widebody, SLA dbl wishbone, cantilever suspension, 800+ HP boosted Coyote motor, chrome blue paint.
I'll second the skipping it the first time through. But really, thank you for sticking with it and widening my horizons a bit. Show finishes usually just don't catch my attention, but this is one very well built machine by some very passionate people. Thanks again for taking the time to show this car to us :).
I LOVE it. I like a well built-up mustang a lot already, but that red chrome just makes me drool. Nice spotlight.
I'm not going to lie, but I saw this when it was posted and skippped over it. But now I came back to read it and it was interesting. It looks like something that should be out here in Michigan since I've seen so many different Mustang aftermarket tuning companies and Ford test cars.
EricSeanDelaney I definitely know what you mean, as you can tell I sort of "skipped over it" at first too ;)
This post answers my question: Can you hide away those cages in a car? Epic. I didnt realised those metals too. :)
yanes33537 Ya they did a really good job. I thought it was just a bolt in roll bar at first lol.
I like everything but the paint. I can respect the effort that has gone into it, and if I met the guys behind it, I would tell them they did a great job; but that damn paint is just so far outside my personal taste. I've never liked chrome (except on classic cars).
hergaderpa todays new is tomorrows classic. The Mustang being an inconic nameplate, and chrome typically being associated with cars of the past, I like how this takes those 2 concepts and merges them into a modern interpretation
Looks great. My concern would be how much weight is added to the car with this spray-on chrome?
MattAtDoyle It's not traditional chrome, so it's not adding much weight at all. The "chrome" layer is less than 1 micron thick. In fact, the 6 layers of clearcoat weigh more than the chrome coat. Although it is extremely thin, the chrome layer is very durable. The light weight and durability of Spectra Chrome goes beyond automotive use. The Spectra Chrome process has been cleared for use by the FAA; Southwest Airlines has been known to use it.
One trick pony... I laughed. I shouldn't as it was a terrible joke, but I laughed.
Is anyone else guilty?
Sean, I often go out of my way to take a closer look at a car that does not look like something I like. Some of the time, the details/build/abilities of the car will completely turn my opinion of that car around and it becomes a favorite. By overlooking 10 cars, you have missed out on 2 that you would have loved. That is how I look at it.
swerv13 Yep I think this was a nice reminder before Gatebil that I should thoroughly investigate everything.
Surprised at how well the chrome works with this rig. It's awesome how it reflects (or radiates, if you will) back onto the pavement...Sort of a demonic aura to it. Well done.
HarrisonStokes Actually I thought that some of the shapes it was making on the sidewalk could have been art on their own. In a studio with strobe lighting you could draw some really cool stuff from the reflections.
great article! However, an o needs to be changed to a 0 in the 12th paragraph: " 25ohp to the wheels and another 150lb-ft dollop of torque."
@cornerbalance We are using the OBDII module from RacePak. This module plugs into the vehicle's OBDII port and uses the factory sensors to feed data to the IQ3. You can program any information you want to display on the dash via RacePak's dataLink software.
ChrisMatye cornerbalance thanks Chris - reason I ask is I have an IQ3, and it interfaces with Haltech. While some ODB2 data passes through in its current configuration, Ive had an impossible time getting fuel level setup. Went so far as to purchase the external model adapter and trying to connect the factory fuel level sensors through their, but no joy yet. Worked with Racepak for a while to get it set up and still not yet able. Wondering if this module will allow it to finally work correctly. Getting fuel level to display, instead of doing it based on miles travelled, would complete my integration of this cluster in place of the factory one. If you've got any insight, lmk. Beers on me!
@cornerbalance While it is possible to use Racepak's Universal Sensor Module (USM), and a 0-5V sensor in the fuel tank and connect through the Vnet interface, the OBDII interface will be much easier. It will use the same data used to feed the factory gauge cluster with fuel level information. It will read as a percentage of fuel level, 0-100. This is also a great way to add a lot of engine data to the IQ3, without incurring the extra cost of buying $200+ sensors per input.