2003 Ford Mustang GT
2003 Ford Mustang GT
Austin Loving was just a typical kid back in early 2006, living the carefree existence of a youngster. He spent his days playing out in the yard, chasing down the ice cream truck, and throwing the occasional dirt clod at his friends for kicks. Being a nine-year-old he had no real interests beyond what fun he could get into for the day until his life changed course completely one fateful afternoon. One day he was just an innocent little tussled hair kiddo, then fate befell him and he was doomed to spend his days in dimly lit garages with engine muck forever trapped under his fingernails.
The event that forever changed the course of Austin’s life was his Uncle Nathan came by the Loving household to show off his new-to-him 2003 Mustang with 16,000 miles on the clock. Uncle Nathan offered a wide-eyed Austin a ride, and his life was forever changed. He completely fell in love with the speed, the exhaust note, the feeling of tearing up a twisty back road and knew what his future would hold. Ten years later, he purchased the Mustang from his uncle and the rest is history.
Keeping it Simple and Clean
After a few years of running with the stock seats, Austin knew it was time for an upgrade. All the upgrades and all the seat time told him he needed to have a place to park his butt that was much more secure and offered much more style. After doing some research on race-style seats, he quickly learned that the off-the-shelf stuff just would not work. He found that TMI had a seat that not only offered more support, and was significantly better looking than all the other offerings. He ordered up a set of Pro-Chicane in the Sport pattern with Charcoal black vinyl and outfitted them with a set of RJS Racing harnesses then kept the interior upgrade going with a Dakota Digital dash, an SVE steering wheel, a UPR Mustang billet automatic shift knob, a Mach 1000 Audio System, mated to a Pioneer head unit with Apple Car Play.
A Gearhead’s Worst Nightmare Austin had rolled the Mustang for a few years and had logged significant miles on the 4.6L, even having ticked off a few appearances at Mustang Week in South Carolina. The ’03 had made the five-hour trip a few times when disaster struck in 2018, and the 2-valve decided it was time for an unplanned retirement. He had no choice but to tow the wounded Stang back to the Virginia coast. On the trip back he decided that instead of just replacing the stock powerplant, he would upgrade to a 1st Gen Coyote mill teamed up with a 6R80 transmission, and courageously Austin decided to tackle the swap himself. Coming in at 364 days, he gets to brag that it took him less than a year. Other upgrades in the less-than-year-long swap included a Boss intake manifold, Kooks long tube headers, off-road H-pipe, and a MAC cat-back system.
Shining Bright That fateful day that Austin’s uncle Nathan brought over the ’03 that started all this madness, it was wearing the stock Ford Redfire Metalic that was given to it before leaving the factory. Both Uncle Nathan and Austin rode it a little hard, but the Stang lived the life it was supposed to and had the scars of rock chips and random scratches to prove it. The Ford needed some new paint and a little body touch up here and there, but Austin knew he was going to keep driving it the way that the Ford engineers intended. So he decided to take it to the local Maaco for some light bodywork and to get the paint re-sprayed the stock color and added a Cobra front bumper from LMR.
Now that that the Ford was dressed in its Sunday best and had a heart transplant, it was time to get the right shoes. Austin chose a set of SVE Series 1 wheels in gloss black with a set of Toyo Proxes Z5 tires 265/35/18 for the front and 305/35/18 for the rear.
Keeping it in the Family Austin was welcomed into the automotive community at an early age and it’s obvious he shows no signs of slowing down. Now at the ripe old age of 24, he has gone to countless shows, cruise nights, and days on the track and has plans to do that till the cows come home. Countless car-heads can trace their origin story back to the influence of a family member and who will no doubt pass that interest on to future generations.