The entertainment industry continues to deliver movies about cars to satisfy the part of the audience that takes great joy in the automotive world. That has been so for a while now.
We have classics such as the Grand Prix (1966), the Bullitt (1968), the Vanishing Point (1971), and the Smokey and the Bandit (1977), to name just a few. On the other hand, the modern achievements include the Fast and Furious franchise (2001-present), Ford v Ferrari (2019), and many others.
We apologize in advance if we missed mentioning your favorite car movie. Our goal was only to highlight how these movies remain very popular and widely present, which means moviemakers continuously have to come up with new, creative plots.
In 2008, Paul WS Anderson, an English film director and producer, broke the code of “regular” with the Death Race, an American dystopian action thriller. Starring Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Ian McShane, and Joan Allen, the movie was quite successful, but not only because of the actors.
the Death Race showcases the wretched world with a collapsed economy, unbelievable crime rates, private prisons, and above everything, Frankenstein vehicles. We already wrote about all the different rides used in the Death Racebut today, we want to talk more about the mighty ford Mustang GT.
Whether you’re a fan of the movie or not, you’ll have fun reading more about the heavily modified Mustang GT starring in the Death Race. Here, it’s about the car, not the movie.
How The Ford Mustang GT Ended Up In The Death Race
Let’s briefly explore the Death Race plot to understand the unbelievable rides starring in it. The movie setting is 2012, supposedly a year of economic collapse and the bloom of criminals. Jansen Ames (Statham) is an industrial steelworker and former race car driver (you see what they did with the name, right?) who ends up framed for the murder of his wife. He gets sent to the Terminal Island prison where Claire Hennessey (Allen) is a warden and organizer of Death Race, a combat racing series that earns her a lot of money.
Hennessey recruits Ames to impersonate Frankenstein, a driver favorite among watchers who died after one race. She promises to free Ames to raise his daughter if he proves successful in the races. Of course, he is faced with numerous other (vicious) contestants. Driven by the desire to get back to his daughter and take revenge on the warden guilty of the death of his wife, Ames takes racing to another level and uses his Ford Mustang GT to break from the jail.
Now, we could discuss the quality of the plot, the acting, and the camerawork here, but that’s not our goal. We’re more excited to explore the Mustang GT, a heavily modified car Ames takes to the track to race the modified Porsche 911, the Chrysler 300C, the Buick Riviera Boat Trail, the Pontiac Trans Am, and others. Of course, all of them got coated in armor and weapons.
It’s less known that Anderson initially wanted to give the movie protagonist a Dodge Challenger, but he concluded the Ford Mustang GT would be more recognizable. He was right, we dare say. Even if you don’t like the movie for the plot, you just have to appreciate the aesthetics and sound of the Mustang on the track.
The Changes and Visual Updates Of The Mustang GT For The Death Race Movie
Upon looking at the Ford Mustang GT in the Death Race, one can conclude there was quite some adjusting involved for the movie. But do you know what these details?
Roush Performance was the automotive company to get the honors of modifying the cars for the movie. The team did a Ford Racing Performance supercharger upgrade to help the rides spin their tires and perform burnouts under the heavy armor. The parts were plastic, of course, but they still added a lot of weight to the cars.
Some other tweaks included adjustable coils over front struts, rear shocks, rear lower control arms, a Brembo disc brake system, and more. In terms of the visual “appeal,” the Mustang GT is hardly recognizable under all the armor and weaponry, which is quite fitting for the race car driver known as Frankenstein.
The twin hood scoop, the mini guns, the slats over the windshield, the altered doors, the massive armor plate on the rear, and many other heavy upgrades mask the true identity of this vehicle. But still, you can tell the car on the road is a Mustang based on the grille, the hood, and the overall stance.
Things are not any different inside. The Mustang cabin looks like a cage patched together from various car remains, evoking the racing feeling in a somewhat disturbing way. But we have to admit the Mustang GT from the Death Race is an interesting modification. Well, all six of them, since the movie required more units for various filming needs.
We managed to dig out that about three Mustang units remained operational after the movie. One even ended up at auction, where a private collector bought it. In the end, whether you like the movie or not, it’s not every day you get to buy such a crazy ride, and we’re jealous of the collector having the Death Race Ford Mustang GT.
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