Oversized, Overfendered & Over Here
A Little Tired

This is England.

We like cups of tea, pints of beer, football (no, not soccer), queueing, apologising, being humble and talking about the weather. Sorry.

We’re a small island that generally keeps ourselves to ourselves. Apparently, we don’t even want to be associated with our neighbours any more. Although we generally like America – they make questionable decisions too. We actually look up to America, but we’d never tell them that.


In contrast to America, our quaint island is jam-packed with small streets, small buildings, small parking spaces and small cars. We don’t like big, loud stuff – it doesn’t really tend to fit in with this whole thing we’ve got going on.


With all of that in mind, why are Ford now selling the full-on, proper American Mustang over here? It’s far too big, far too shouty and far too American. Who on Earth (or rather in Britain) is going to buy that?


However, when it came to choosing a new demo car for Liberty Walk Europe and The Performance Company in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, the Mustang actually seemed like a good fit.

Big, wide, shouty, loud. Perfect.


“We had a new wheel specification sheet sent over from Toshi at Liberty Walk Japan, so I was updating our systems with this and saw that the Mustang wheel specs had been added,” says Indy Virk, who works in Sales Development at TPC. “I told the team and straight away we started the ball rolling on making it happen. We were originally looking at a BMW M4, but the Mustang was the winner for us as a company. It’s a car that instantly stands out, and we can use display products on.”


“It’s also the first Liberty Walk Mustang in Europe and the first complete Liberty Walk car outside of Japan, we had to be quick to release it so that we beat the guys in States, as SEMA was just around the corner,” Indy continues.


Whatever your thoughts on the Liberty Walk approach, you can’t deny the brand’s meteoric rise over the past few years. From a small workshop in Japan to becoming a household name amongst enthusiasts. Indy tells me that Liberty Walk Europe alone have shipped around 50-60 Liberty Walk kits since taking on the franchise in 2015, and have built four cars in-house, with another four projects on the go as we speak. I had no idea that there were that many LW-kitted cars in circulation in these parts.


They’ve also started dealing directly with manufacturers, and although Indy can’t reveal too many specifics, there’s a possibility that one day in the near future you’ll be able to order a Liberty Walk build from the showroom. That’s a true amalgamation of OEM and aftermarket in the making.


Back to the fat Ford in front of us. While this is the first heavily-modified 2017 Mustang in the UK, the approach here taken isn’t a new formula to us Brits. The act of lowering, widening and boosting performance in fast, rear-wheel drive Fords is something that we’ve become pretty good at over the years.


Remember the humble Mk1 and Mk2 Ford Escorts? Granted, side-by-side with the new Mustang it’s a night-and-day comparison, but the approach hasn’t changed really. Back in the day, as soon as owners started realising the potential these nimble little machines had for tuning, they started dropping them down to terra firma on uprated suspension while adding wider fenders to accommodate more aggressive wheels.


It wasn’t always done for performance reasons either – making cars aggressively low and wide is one sure fire way to increase their presence on the road. I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes here – Liberty Walk Europe’s Mustang isn’t that – it’s an out-and-out show car.


We’ve always done fast, rear-wheel drive Fords. We just haven’t done one of these before, and never exactly like this.


It’s not been built with performance in mind, but rather to attend shows, command attention, show off the potential in the platform and accrue public interest in this relatively new branch of the Liberty Walk global empire.

A Little Wired

The main focus of this attention, of course, is the ludicrously wide full Liberty Walk WORKS kit. The Mustang is already a big car here on British roads, but add the extra 6.5-inches of width to the mix and it becomes something really quite daft.


The kit was the first of its kind to land here in Europe, and the team at The Performance Company wasted no time in sending the car and kit over to local bodyshop iKustoms to begin cutting out the Mustang’s stock metal work and fitting their girthy replacements into position.


The kit is also complimented by front, rear and side diffusers and a ducktail spoiler that flicks up into the passing airflow. Aerodynamic assistance – not so much I’m sure, but it looks cool and that’s what this Mustang was built to do.

One popular point of discussion when it comes to aftermarket overfenders is the exposed hardware. Drawing back to my earlier analogy with early Escorts, back then it was always the trend to smooth in bubble arches and wider fenders back then, but I’m not so sure that it’s a look that would work now in 2017.

I’m sitting in the camp of leaving bolts and all exposed – it adds to the aggressive and industrious aesthetic I feel – smoothed in panels just don’t work for me. What about you?


When it came to the paintwork and graphics, the TPC team turned to one of the few points of inspirational reference that we have for Mustangs in modern culture – the movies. Specified as a homage to the ‘Eleanor’ Mustang from Gone In 60 Seconds (the 2000 version), the subtle black stripes compliment the dark grey paintwork nicely.


Although I do wonder what this build would have looked like in the mustard and black colourway of the original movie. Maybe an idea for phase two of the build?


To keep the Eleanor theme running, 3SDM were on hand to create a custom set of three-piece forged wheels for the car.


Again drawing inspiration form the Hollywood car, the centres were created to spec in a similar style, complete with LW logo, and refinished with body-colour centres and hand-brushed dishes. The metal barrels and lips were then clear coated to protect them from the elements.

Measuring at 20×9.5-inches ET-40 up front and a silly 20×12-inches ET-38 out back, the wheel specs alone emphasise just how wide the track is.

A Little Appreciation

By now you’ve probably guessed that the car sits on air suspension. GRM Northampton installed the full AirREX digital setup used to bring the chassis down to within inches of the tarmac.

At parked height the monster-sized wheels tuck up into the fenders, leaving passers by scratching their heads as to how this car actually cars.

Under the bonnet you’ll be glad to hear that TPC went full American when choosing the base for the build. I’m glad that the UK actually got the choice of a ‘proper’ V8 for the car, as opposed to being limited to the slightly wimpy 2.3-litre four-pot EcoBoost alternative.


Don’t get me wrong, the 2.3 is an awesome engine in tickled form in the Focus RS, but come on – it’s a Mustang, it deserves a V8. At the moment the only performance modifications are a Pipercross V1 Carbon intake and Remus Valvetronic Sports exhaust, however after the car’s appearance at the Autosport Show in January it’s being sent off for the full supercharger treatment. I think 700hp will do nicely.


It’s all very well seeing cars like this is show halls or via the hand-held electronic portal that we all carry in our pockets, but seeing them out and about amongst regular traffic is something else. We’re shooting early on a cold Sunday morning in a low-key part of town – a relatively quiet time and place – and I’ve never seen a feature car gather this much attention from non-car people.


Passersby are craning their necks around – whilst driving – to get a look. Pedestrians literally cannot walk past without whipping their smartphones out for a picture. A handful of people change their route for a second look and some even follow us between locations.


I’m not sure if it would get the same reaction over the US, where the Mustang is far more commonplace, and certainly cars on the whole are bigger and wider, but here in quaint little England this thing looks completely alien.

Navigating around side streets and junctions is a test of concentration, Indy tells me. I’m watching him as he drives and he’s constantly checking his side mirrors to see where the massive rear wheels are in relation to the edges of the road. Parking requires 100% focus and our pokey drive thru lanes are a big no. I’ll be honest – it looks exhausting to live with.


I guess it’s not much different to running a supercar in a city, except the Mustang is even more snug in its surroundings – it’s around three-inches wider than a stock Aventador Indy tells me.


The one thing that we do very well here is twisty B-roads, and out in the countryside Indy’s finds a suitable stretch and is able to open up the V8. At regular to enthusiastic road speeds the suspension handles the curves as well.


Out of the bends and a squeeze on the loud pedal brings the 5.0-litre powerplant to life. The exhaust is reasonably quiet up to full throttle, at which point there’s no mistaking the angry bark of a muscle car.


The reception that the car’s had in the UK has been great, Indy tells me: “When we have taken the car out to cars & coffee meets and for promo work, it’s always gotten a lot of love. I think the subtle ‘Eleanor’ hints make it relatable to non-car people, but the way that it sits and the way it sounds always draws attention too.”


TPC have even had the nod from the top as well: “When Kato-san was over two weeks ago he couldn’t stop photographing it, so I guess that means he likes it,” Indy reveals.

“There’s no better person to respect and like what you’ve built than the person behind the original vision.”

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters

Cutting Room Floor


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"This is England.

We like cups of tea, pints of beer, football (no, not soccer), queueing, apologising, being humble and talking about the weather. Sorry."
Was an excellent opening! Great feature and fun to read (especially as an English guy living in the States). The car isn't exactly my cup of tea but I appreciate it all the same!

However, this...
"There’s a possibility that one day in the near future you’ll be able to order a Liberty Walk build from the showroom."
Breaks my heart somewhat. Another opportunity for show-off's who actually don't care about the car scene to say 'look at me! Aren't I trendy?'. I know body-kits have been fitted to new cars in the showroom before (thinking Dimma) but I've got to admit, I've never been in love with over-fenders and I'm looking forward to whatever is next!


Well summed up Andy. I agree with the Showroom LW statement.


Thanks for reading! You won’t like this, but many of LW’s clients sit outside of the scope of traditional aftermarket tuning. Indy was telling me of one who rang his local Lamborghini dealer to find out about a kit because he saw it his his kids video game! It’s increasingly becoming a premium brand, much like Mansory for example.


Ah, Mansory, that unparelled bastion of good taste. See also Kahn.


Aesthetics aside, it's only an example of the market LW is moving into.


I know man, just need to get the mind bleach out again because you reminded me of Mansory...


You reminded me of Kahn so let's call it even.


amazing quality photos Jordan, wow!


Best title to a SH post I've seen in a long while. Love it.


Agreed that aesthetics lies in the eye of the beholder, but Liberty Walk kits look unfinished and imperfect. It looks like the car is trying too hard to attract attention, and as a brand the rise of Liberty Walk is a fad, a trend that will die down faster than it rose. Doing something different for the sake of being different is a surefire to attract attention but not retain it! Will this brand be remembered as a tuning great 25 years from now on? Hardly so, but now it is all the rage like RWB, Pandem & other crazy creations from Japan. Form follows function, incompleteness is never perfection and there is no shortcut to fame which all the LBW fan boys will learn the same. As a journalism outlet. Speedhunters has the responsibility to affect a change for the betterment not fan the fire, however large the fire may be! Freedom of expression is good as long as it does not lead to people expressing their wildest fantasies!! LBW, Pandem, RWB will be gone to be never heard of again in 15-20 years, much to my happiness!!


I'm with you, Michael--the overfenders on this Mustang (and most cars) look like crap. I don't get the fascination with fender flares that look like they were pop-riveted on. This current Mustang has great lines and the flares ruin it. From an aesthetics standpoint, why don't the front of the front flares extend or blend into the front bumper? Why does the rear of the front flares end so abruptly and not blend into the side skirts?

The only redeeming part of this Mustang are the Shelby Cobra style wheels. Love these wheels.


You’re mistaken on one point - as a journalistic outlet Speedhunters has a responsibility to report on what is, not what we want to be.


Off course, you have the responsibility to report on the current affairs but having an opinion on the affairs is also a welcome. RWB is out there raping every classic 911, and would you introduce a RWB 993 to your kid or the real one, and let him decide what to do with it while advising on will stand the test of time. It is our responsibility to preserve automotive as it is, not in the form of some overfender monstrosity that looks more like a 40 Ford coupe!!


Eye of the beholder and all that. In my mind, modification and personalisation is the very essence of automotive culture. Sure, preservation is a part. But before we ever had preservation, we had modification and people engaging in the pursuit of making their cars better, faster, more "their" regardless of what brand, chassis, model, provenance. This is my opinion on affairs as a contributor, I welcome introducing an angle-grinder or panel saw to anything if it's in the pursuit of passion and what makes you happy as a car guy. Being built well helps too, but again, it's subjective.


How can build quality be subjective? It is something that can be measured by hard numbers, and felt by everybody. You can say design being subjective, but built quality is not. Agreed that everyone has a right to express themselves, and make a car, "theirs" but we live in a society with other people. Having a right does not always mean that you should exercise it!! My point is modifications should be done with a purpose which should not be to merely express yourself or attract attention.


Everyone has a different opinion on what is built "well" or "correctly." Hence subjective. One man can be happy with a weld that the next is not, even though they may be equally functional. Having spent much of my formative years in club motorsport, it's extremely evident in this sphere that what determines a quality build is highly subjective. Many driving factors. I see your point, and my rebuttal is that kind of view would be very restrictive to the wider automotive culture as a whole. I see the whole "function only" ethos as being far too niche to grow the culture. Motorsport and going fast is extremely niche, when you think about it. Looking cool is not. Looking cool or wanting to look cool is universal, be it fashion, architecture, the visuals that surround music genres. This is what draws individuals into the car sphere, introducing so many more sets of influence and flavours. Embrace it.


What is aesthetically pleasing is up to debate. Quality of a build comes down to materials, HOWEVER, skill in craftsmanship is not subjective. If you see a proper fender flare that is hand shaped or in other disciplines english wheeling metal that is absolutely not objective.

It takes much more skill to hand form fenders and use an english wheel than design over fenders. I think that should be taken into account when you discuss quality / craftsmanship.


I have a HUGE amount of respect for people who can hand-form metal. BUT, playing devil's avocado here, arguably there's probably just as many metalworking people who don't have the skills to scan, 3D design and render and produce FRP/carbon overfenders as there is the other way around. Saying one is more skilful than the other is comparing apples and oranges.


Being a club motorsport guy, you would appreciate this subjective approach applied to a roll cage. Now, do you think the welds on a cage are subjective or should they be put on a bend test to see the strength? Does the NHRA eyeball roll cage designs or actually test them to see the functionality. Quality is never subjective if you can put a number behind it. As far as form only, you totally missed my point. I am not saying that it should be "form" only, what I am saying that if you want to look cool, do it in a way that involves proper effort and perfection. I spent 30k on paint alone on my Mk4 Factory Five Roadster to look cool, and I did the homework. I did not just scatter $30 worth of glitter to look cool.
In case of LBW, they could form the whole front fenders instead of riveting the extensions which makes it look cleaner. If you are going for the riveted look, go for the overall look and make every joint riveted so that the design flows. Symmetric design and balance is what makes something reflective and should be encouraged. Not transitive trends! I, personally have seen graphic renderings of LBW kits smoothed out and they look amazing as compared to the half-hearted rivet jobs. Even Speedhunters posted on White Ferrari 458 with a smoothed kit, and it looked complete!!


I am being drawn into an argument that is largely unnecessary, but we shall have to agree to disagree. New things create new trends, some may pass, some may lead to enduring styles and traditions. If we dwell on the past only, things would get homogenous very quickly.


There we go!! By the way, will Speedhunters cover my Mk4 Roadster?? I just spent nearly $150k on it, I think I deserve a car feature!!
Haha! It was good talk, Richard and blended LBW is the best!!


You are insufferable


Damn it, Jordan. You made me want a mustang now. This car has excellent presence. Nothing really looks too garish or out of place, despite being a very wide boi. As for worked-in vs bolted on, it matters very little to me. What I expect is tastefulness and proper execution. Whatever you do, take your time and do it properly. This Mustang definitely falls into the "done properly" category.


I would definitely say that a front-engine design is much more menacing and straightforward than a rear-engined car like a 458 or and Aventador.

The current Mustang's proportions and drivetrain layout may not be considered "premium," but there's something about a long hood and a short trunk that say "MOVE ASIDE, NOW!" to whoever you're tailgating.


If I were to see that on the streets, I'd presume the owner was a bit of a nob.
Doesn't do it for me, especially in England.


Don't worry bud, they're "nobs" over here in the u.s. if they modify them or not


Wow. So you literally judge a book by something isn’t even its cover.

I won’t tell you what I think of the author when I read a comment like this…


It's not judging a book by its cover. Its growing up in an area which doesn't see American cars all that often, surrounded by people who don't particularly enjoy obnoxiousness and eccentricity or flaunting money. So yeah, I retain my statement because a liberty walk kit is particularly obnoxious on an american car which is also quite obnoxious.

TL;DR. It's an opinion. I don't happen to like the car.


Opinions are welcome, but negative personal comments aren't.


Presume connotes impersonal. I'm sure he's a nice guy.


Your photos are great... But the whole over fender with the bolts sticking out is like looking at porn stars for the 90's. Good looking women who ruined their looks with bad fake boobs and visible scars. Like the NSX - this did not make the car any better, and it will be harder to fit in UK parking spots. Great photos, but not my cup of tea.


Im a big fan of Liberty Walk but I will be honest, the Mustang kit could of been MUCH better. Compairing this to the RTR kit this has no chance of getting bought over the RTR(at least in USA, just my opinion)


Now time to work on "Overpowered"
Not a fan of bolt-on fenders in general but this is a car i can live with it


The whole exposed rivets or blended in isn't really of much bother to me, both have their visual appeals. The thing that gets to me about most of these over-fenders is how they completely disrupt the lines of the car. Too many of them are a very generic style flare that really only works on a car that doesn't have much shape to begin with. But with modern cars having more complex and flowing lines its really a tragedy to slap some fenders on that look like they would better suit being fitted to a tractor.


That ducktail spoiler, on the Mustang shape, is PURE PORN!


The S550 Mustang really does look like it needs a spoiler - it just has this blunt-edged surface out back begging for an extension.

This is the best one I've seen so far - from an earlier Speedhunters article, no less.


Not a huge fan of LW kits, but I have to say this is exceptionally unappealing. It looks cheap and the proportions aren't appealing. You can call me a hater or w/e you want...I don't really care. The guys at Clinched Flares did a much better job with their kit displayed at SEMA this year.


At driving height, this car looks perfect.

Nice angles and lighting on those last three shots in the main article.

Oh, and forget parallel parking - the only correct way to get this thing up to a curb is an Elwood Blues 180.


Never knew the new generation Mustang looked so good wide and low!!! Looks stunning, stock form not so much, but this takes it over the top, surprised LB didn't do this in the US. Also love the wheels, nice homage to the original shelby wheels, nice work!!!


Diggin the pony...until I saw that air-ride nonsense.


Do elaborate…


I think what he means is air suspension is for people who aren't serious about performance...which is true.


Suddenly this is a terrible track car. /S


haha, very funny. Jokes aside there is a big difference between a car you can drive on the track (I can drive a Saturn Ion at the track with cooling upgrades and lowering springs) and a TRACK car....this is primarily a show car which is very evident in the mods...700hp or not.

For people who like TRACK cars air suspension is garbage as is evident in any vehicle built to actually go racing. No one at the top levels of Time Attack or SCCA is running on air. I think that's what OP was implying with his sarcastic b.s.


I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes here – Liberty Walk Europe’s Mustang isn’t that – it’s an out-and-out show car.

I mean, I did say that. Exactly that. I don't get the negative connotations with modern show cars – it doesn't seem to extend to hot rods or classics either – if building and showing your car is what you enjoy over drift/drag/tracking then it's no lesser a niche in my eyes.


Fair point Jordan.


Like what John B. said in the first comment. Overall, I understand that air-ride can be helpful to a car...to a degree. Once one does the stance and tucking bit, it just ruins it for me. Pains me to see such potential wasted or dragged on the ground.
Sorry just my preference, love the ride just not a fan of the stance bit.


can we please get more phone wallpapers? loving it!


You forgot to add that "No other NATION can Queue like the Brits too, but if you asked any Americans they'd also add we ALL have BAD TEETH too!", yes I'm also a Brit who gets the whole self defecating thing too!


Hey, some of us might have bad teeth, but at least we don't have to remortgage to get them fixed ;)


Don't defecate on yourself. It smells.


Why do people have to hate on what others spend their money on? I learned how to read on my dad's mustang magazines, and while I'm not a fan of the whole overfender movement or where modern mustang culture is - I don't spend all day complaining about it, or why speedhunters is covering it. I have built a 1965 fastback exactly the way I think mustangs should be and I share it online and drive it as much as I can.

I love Speedhunters because they capture what is going on in the car community and how varied our hobby can be. I especially love the stories and the reasons why people create what they create. Great article as always guys, keep on making awesome content!


Evanvukets, I love your 2+2's stance. Is that Tropical Turquoise or Silver Blue Metallic? It's a great shade and I appreciate you didn't try to "Shelbify" it with an R-code bumper. Clean and simple. Whatcha got in it?


Part of the problem with culture right now is that if you criticize something or critique it you are a "hater."

I was very critical of Cody Miles air suspension WRX being totted as "proof that air suspension can perform on the race track" when in fact if you do the research it is never used in any application or field where the competition is serious. I was labelled a hater and many other things.

We have to be careful about this "accept what everyone does" mentality because it distorts factual information and makes people dumb over time. While I agree you can't criticize where people spend money...free country...you can absolutely criticize quality of work, structural integrity and things that can be quantified i.e. lap time etc. Just my thoughts.


Do not confuse being accepting of others and their build ethos as meaning drinking their Kool-aid and absorbing their ideals into your own.

Like anything, it is important to be rational and have your own judgement. But at the end of the day it is a hobby, and there is no reason why your form of self-expression through cars is more valid than someone else's.

As per the comment on bags, it was not stating that bags made the car miraculously faster than a sports car and no other supporting mods were needed. The way I saw it was a commontary on how far air bag technology has come. The car doesn't feel like a low rider or a big truck as many people assume, it was capable enough for a track day and retained the ability to hard park when needed. I didn't read anything where the bags made the car better than dedicated track spec coilovers, but that they were competent at handling a race track.


Well said. Per your last comment IMO the term "capable of going to the track / competent at the race track" is a very over used term in the industry when describing things. Any car, by virtue of the fact that it is a car, is capable of going around a race track.

Competence is a relative term which was my point with the WRX. Your Mustang looks great btw, would love to have a 60s Stang some day.


I'm sure that I'm not the only one who has a nagging feeling where all this over-fender stuff is headed. Won't be long before you can go down to your local Pep Boys and pick up a set of over-fenders for your....Elantra? Or your Kia Soul, Chevy Equinox...or whatever. It's getting boring.


Yup...but it's getting coverage because of the media / product sales relationship between these guys and outlets like SH. It's a business model that is working for both parties.


It’s not been built with performance in mind, but rather to attend shows, command attention, show off

Aren't they all?


Parked, with the air suspension down, this is actually offensive to me. Raised up to drive, it's better, but I still don't like the rear fenders. Not that I'd buy anything made by a company that calls itself "6666 Customs" anyway. And yes, I do honestly think that molded-in flares would look better, even on a modern car, at least to a point.