Far past the winding hills of the road course and beyond the 8-second quarter-mile time slips, there’s another scene taking place in the Mustang realm called “Stance.” One can look at this as the artistic side of the automotive world with owners sculpting their cars into photographic perfection, but for Christian Haag, his 2017 Mustang GT is a perfect example of combining the art of stance — with muscle car performance.
Little did I know how insane things would get. — Christian Haag
His story begins with chasing down a 2017, S550 at a local Florida dealership, but after deciding to make the purchase and driving to the lot, the car was already sold. Though sitting off in the distance was a bone stock Mustang GT in solid Oxford White — a perfect blank canvas to take home.
Welcoming home his new addition began with a celebration amongst friends and a round of scotch, followed by watching YouTube videos of exhaust clips; which led to ordering a full-length Corsa Extreme exhaust system. That night was followed by weeks of upgrades including tinted the taillights, adding Diode Dynamics running lights, a Cervini’s chin spoiler, grille piece inserts and 4-inch cowl hood, along with adding an RTR rear diffuser.
“I was pretty satisfied with how the car was beginning to look but then realized if I continue to keep ordering popular parts from the big-box vendor sites, it would come to look like everyone else’s car,” Christian said. “I wanted the exact opposite.”
So with that in mind, he knew it was time to take the car to the next level. “I started with envisioning a final product, and my mod list grew from there.” he said. “That’s when I decided to go widebody — and little did I know how insane things would get!”
Being experienced in mechanics, he jumped into his build starting with an Air Lift air ride suspension kit with the V2 management system; which was a pretty large undertaking that he’d never attempted before. So with the help of a couple friends they spent an entire weekend making sure it was done correctly, but things got hairy before the installation was complete.
“On that Sunday around 11 p.m., we had the system nearly complete and the front of the car was on jack stands while the rear tires were on the ground,” he explained. “I had to start the car to let the system calibrate itself, but when we originally parked the car in the garage, I didn’t realize it was left first gear — without the parking brake pulled.”
“I was literally kneeling on the ground next the driver seat and reached into the car and pressed the clutch pedal with my left hand, and pressed the start button with my right hand, when I let my left hand up the car lunged forward and skidded the jack stand for about three feet!” he added.“Luckily, nothing was damaged and it made for some incredible laughter along with nearly three-feet of scratches along my garage floor!”
2017 Mustang Mods
• Air Lift suspension w/ V2 management system
• APR carbon fiber front splitter
• BC Forged two-piece modular wheels, 11-inch (front) and 12-inch (rear)
• Black roof and mirrors
• Boundary crankshaft and oil pump gears
• Cervini’s Auto Designs chin spoiler
• Cervin’s Auto Designs 4-inch cowl hood
• Cervin’s Auto Designs upper and lower grille inserts
• Corsa Extreme full-length exhaust
• Diode Dynamics running lights
• Kooks 1 7/8-inch long-tube headers
• Kooks high-flow catalytic convertors
• Liberty Walk trunk spoiler
• Lund Racing custom calibration
• McLeod RST clutch
• McLeod billet flywheel
• Mustang Muscle roof spoiler
• Mustang RTR rear diffuser
• Paxton Novi 2200 supercharger w/ 3.6-inch pulley producing 13 psi at 7,500 RPM
• Shelby GT350 steering wheel
• Stage-3 Performance fender flares
• Toyo R888R tires, 295/35/19 (front) and 345/35/19 (rear)
“People say you’re crazy for cutting up a brand new Mustang!” Fernando said. “But it’s something we do all the time and after talking to Christian, I knew exactly what he wanted, which was to be very wide and extremely low.”
The install process began by pre-measuring the flare sizes, then cutting out the rear quarter panels and front fenders. “Not a lot of people realize, you have to re-weld the inner body work to the outer body panel,” Fernando explained. “This keeps the body sealed from the weather and it’s quite a process. After that, we weld the flare mounts and match all the body work for a seamless look.”
The last step was mounting the massive Toyo R888 tires, sized at 295x35s in the front and 345x35s in the rear, wrapped onto BC Forged wheels. “With the tire size and to get the drop Christian wanted, we even went further with custom shaving the fender flares so the wheels could be tucked even deeper without issues,” Fernando said. “Overall, the look is amazing.”
With the widebody completed, the next checkmark on the list was the motor performance which began by ordering a Paxton Novi 2200 supercharger system combined with 3.25 pulley and Lund racing tune. To support the added boost, Christian reached out to his long time friend, Matt Artosky of MBA Motorsports in Fort Myers, Florida, where they installed a set of Boundary oil pump gears, crank gear, McLeod RST clutch and billet flywheel along with a braided clutch line. Lastly, a set of Kooks long-tubes with high-flow cats to help the Coyote 5.0-liter breathe more easily.
With a fresh new stance, the performance work completed, and a few finishing touches being wrapped up, Christian sent the car over to Five Bar Performance in Fort Myers to get the final numbers on the 5.0 Coyote. On the dynometer they dialed in a street-safe tune resulting in 704 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, which is more than enough to move the car into the 11-second time slip range.
“Driving the car is indescribable,” Christian enthused. “I honestly don’t like attention, it’s not why I built the car — but the constant compliments and questions are a nice touch.”
So far, there are many who agree that Christian’s car is a visual sensation. Over the past couple of months, he’s taken home several show awards including the “Top Mustang” award at Fort Myers, Sixth Annual Stangs and Vettes show along with Best Domestic and Top 25 awards at the Clean Culture Miami Show, but this just seems to be the beginning.
Commenting on the build process Christian says that he wants to thank the national G.T.F.O. Squad Mustang group. “This is a group of what I would describe as elite Mustang owners and have answered countless questions and have been there for me during some tough personal stuff!” he said. “I swear to God this car and the people I’ve met through building it probably saved me from destroying myself mentally and that alone has made me appreciate it that much more!”
But of course like most Mustang owners, we’re never finished with any project, and Christian says that next on his list are new seats and more suspension components. For Christian, he’s still chasing the white rabbit.