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High-performance horse

RIDE OF THE WEEK: 2003 FORD MUSTANG ROUSH GT CONVERTIBLE STAGE 1.0

This week’s ride is a 2003 Ford Mustang Roush GT Convertible Stage 1 owned by Ron Hankey. The Roush Performance, established by former Ford Motor Company engineer Jack Roush in 1988, had been known for providing performance parts, vehicles and engines when the company decided to introduce three performance packages for the Mustang. Stage 1 comes with 17 inch (340 mm) wheels, a lowered suspension system and a side-mounted exhaust system. The Stage 1 also features an air dam, side skirts and a rear spoiler.

Hankey says he’s had a passion for Mustangs since buying his first one five years ago.

“Roush is a performance and aftermarket giant that has produced five generations of speed oriented Mustangs,” he explains. “I knew I just had to have one. … the Mustang has always been the standard for sports car performance, and the Roush Mustangs just take that performance to a higher level.”

Hankey’s Mustang has a 4.6-liter, 8-cylinder engine that has had a BBK Cold Air Intake installed. Since air and fuel are the two elements that keep a car going, the BBK Cold Air Intake can add up to 15 horsepower and give the Mustang smooth, cool and clean airflow.

Hankey’s Mustang has about 17,000 miles on it. The car has a high-performance exhaust system that includes hand crafted, polished side exit exhaust tips that come out of the sideskirts, along with a BBK High Flow Exhaust Pipe. Some other modifications on the Roush Stage 1 package include: the Mustang’s front fascia, rear valances, side skirts, CNC Billet Roush pedals, signature Jack Roush window banners, emblems and dashboard.

Roush Performance Mustangs are very rare. For 2003, in the black convertible choice, only eight Stage 1 Mustangs were produced along with 45 black coupes for a total of 53. Seven of the Mustang Convertibles have 5-speed transmissions, only one has an automatic. Of those 53, 18 are 6-cylinder and 26 are 8-cylinder, like Hankey’s.

Look out for Ron Hankey’s rare 2003 Ford Mustang Roush GT convertible at a car show near you.

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