The Mustang has always seen its share of special edition releases. Over the 50 plus years of Mustang production, we’ve seen the Mach 1, the Cobra, the GT500, the GT350, the California Special, the Boss (302, 351, and 429) and so on. With the popularity of the Mustang platform, we’ve also seen companies like Roush, Saleen, Shelby, and even McLaren put their twist on the iconic pony car. With so many great variations of Ford’s flagship muscle machine, it’s hard to focus on one, as each is special in its own right, but today we’re taking a look at the 2008 Mustang Bullitt.
A Fresh Take This retro reboot is a beloved staple in the Mustang lineup. It’s meant to honour one of the coolest cars ever driven on film by one of the coolest guys to ever drive a car. The car we’re featuring in this article is our friend Jason’s 2008 model. This car can be identified as a Bullitt by a few styling cues: the lack of badges, no rear spoiler, the Bullitt emblem on the back end and steering wheel, and the numbered plaque on the strut tower brace (0840 in this case), as well as a few other goodies. When this car came from the factory, it boasted a respectable 315 HP at the crank, or close to 265 at the rear wheels. Those numbers aren’t bad, but we’re in the performance business and Jason wanted a little more out of it.
The Goodies As a street car, we really didn’t want to go over the top with mods and power. We started by bolting up a new exhaust system, made up of Kooks long tube headers, a Kooks X-Pipe, and a Corsa axle back. Once that was done, we added a set of Ford Performance Hot Rod cams, intake manifold, throttle body and valve covers, and JLT cold air intake kit. This combination really woke up the 4.6l power plant and gave Jason the muscle car sound he was looking for. The next thing we addressed was the stance. Although the Bullitt comes standard with slightly lower springs than the GT, we went a little lower. We sat some Eibach Sportline springs on Koni Yellow shocks to give us the drop we wanted and installed a Steeda adjustable panhard bar to square up the rear end. We then installed some beefy Eibach sway bars to stiffen things up and put new wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson Street Comps on all four corners then off it went to the dyno.
The Result As it sat, the car looked amazing, aggressive yet subdued. The cam and exhaust combination gave the Bullitt a rumbling purr at idle and a banshee’s scream at wide open throttle. We tuned the reawakened beast with an SCT X4 tuner and after a few dyno pulls, it was time for the moment of glory. With everything we had done, we expected the car to make about 330 WHP. You can imagine our excitement when the Bullitt clocked in at twenty ponies over our predictions, for 350 WHP! With those numbers, we were happy to call it a day.
To appease the purists, we find it important to note that throughout the build process, no original parts were discarded, cut up, or modified in any way that couldn’t be returned to stock configuration. That means Jason can have a blast in his car and return it to factory at any point for an eager collector to buy it, should he ever decide to part with it. Truly the best of both worlds.
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