Imagine the purple and orange hues of the Arizona desert horizon as the sun sets, creating a backdrop for a gloss grey S550 parked in the middle of a steaming asphalt road. Across the pavement, tucked behind the lens of a Sony camera, the click of the shutter snaps another scene that will soon be exposed throughout the S550 community as a pillar of Mustang inspiration—and project of passion—for owner Nathan Brummer.
One could say the photography of his car is worthy of placement in an advertisement or hung from an enthusiast’s living room; the reason is that Nathan has a serious knack for photography. At first glance you may see his car as a decently modified S550, but behind the lens, he’s dedicated every moment of spare time, financial wherewithal, and patience to tweak the fine details of this prime 2015 Mustang GT.
Though he didn’t start out as a Mustang enthusiast, like many, the S550 platform lured him away from his 2011 Subaru WRX STi into an American muscle car and powerplant. Describing the STi as a magnet for high-school kids, he says, “I was ready for a mature-level car build.” and after a trip to a local Ford dealer in Sanderson Arizona, he left with a special-ordered Ingot Silver Premium GT and a head full of ideas for his upcoming project.
I was ready for a mature-level car build. - Nathan Brummer
Slammed to the ground on the Arizona asphalt, the Air Lift Performance airbags are doing their job, cradling the Mustang over the BCforged wheels.
“I actually began ordering parts before I even had the car,” laughs Nathan. “From there, you can say things just kind of snowballed.”
Looking for his own inspiration, he became a member of the Mustang 6G forum and began using the board as a journal to tediously document nearly every modification, while giving others advice in the process based on his own experiences. One thing to know about Nathan is that he’s a hands-on guy, not only with his photography but also with mechanics, so it wasn’t a problem when tackling weekend projects in his garage.
From The Ground Up
Using the 550 as a daily driver, the end-game for Nathan was to have a solid car from the ground up, while also complementing its looks. He began the suspension modifications by installing a set of Eibach Pro Kit lowering springs to accommodate the stance, then over the following months a wave of aftermarket suspension parts were bolted on, including a Steeda G-Trak K-member brace, rear IRS subframe braces, differential bushings and subframe bushing inserts.
Adding more stability came later by installing custom Ingot Silver powder coated sway bars with billet mounts along with rear BMR toe end links, vertical links and adjustable rear camber arms. Needless to say, there isn’t a stock suspension part left in place, and although the undercarriage is beefed up like a Sherman tank, the exterior is just as detailed.
Arguably, the most eye-catching piece on any Mustang is the hood, and Nathan opted for a Cervini’s Stalker fiberglass hood complemented by a Stalker lower splitter. He then split open the headlights to install a set of Diode Dynamics Tri-Bar DRL lights and Switch Back turn signals, and while apart, he added a personal touch by blacking out the interior of the headlamp bezels.
Shadows of the gloss grey exterior complement the aftermarket accents, including the Cervinis hood, custom headlamps and GT350-style fenders.
As for the grill inserts, he originally spent months cutting and fabricating his own and since then, he’s even helped several local S550 owners reproduce the look, but he eventually he swapped those out for Cervinis Stalker inserts. Overall, the look of the front end is sinister yet subtle.
Continuing along you’ll notice the nosepiece is quick-connected to a pair of GT35- style front fenders that flow into a pair of SCS carbon fiber mirrors hovering over the Roush Winglets installed on the lower side-skirts. Follow the body line down, and capping off the rear of the car is a Ford Racing rear decklid topped off with an Air Design rear spoiler for a touch of extra downforce when blazing down the Arizona freeways.
Beyond Looks Lies Power
“There were several things that pushed me towards the Whipple supercharger,” says Nathan. “I liked the fact that there were no modifications needed to fit it on to the car and to me, it just seemed like the most reliable and complete kit on the market.”
After picking up a great deal on a Generation 2 Whipple kit from a close friend, Nathan spent a weekend sweating over the engine compartment in his summertime sauna-like garage.
“The hardest part of the install was stopping to chat with the neighbors,” he says. “I think four different neighbors stopped by and asked what I was doing that day, and when they saw the top of the car pulled apart they all thought I was crazy!”
The Whipple 2.9-liter supercharger is a nice touch for this daily-driven Coyote. Nathan performed the installation over the weekend at his home garage.
Many people could say that crazy is the fact that he uses the car as a daily driver. Since this is his situation, he’s opted to run a conservative Whipple tune designed for his vehicle setup. Meanwhile, the supercharged 5.0 huffs out the exhaust through full length Ford Performance Borla S-Type cat-back 2.5-inch exhaust system with X-pipe and polished quad tips exiting the rear Shelby GT350 rear diffuser and bumper valance.
Although he’s yet to put the car on a dyno, for good measure he went ahead to backed up the supercharged power with a McLeod twin-disc clutch, G-Force aluminum 1-piece driveshaft and GT350 rear axle shafts to help with the holeshots. Stopping the car is controlled by 2-piece DBA brake rotors and Hawk performance pads.
The hardest part of the install was stopping to chat with the neighbors.
The Final Touches
“Being it’s a daily driver I often find myself in various situations where a very low car can be an issue,” he says. “So I eventually decided to change up to air ride to overcome these issues.”
That’s when the Eibach lowering springs were swapped out for an Air Lift Performance airbag suspension system with the digital V2 controller. With just a push of a button, the car glides down and over the brush black tinted, 19-inch BC Forged HCS04S wheels.
Meanwhile, the interior received several upgrades, including a Beith Performance carbon fiber steering wheel, Steeda Tri-Ax shifter, Raceseng shift knob, Diode Dynamics interior LEDs and a custom-designed dash badge crafted by Nathan himself. This piece, along with several other badges including the grill and fender emblems are custom items that Nathan worked one-on-one with the folks over at Space City Spy to develop. Since then, they’ve produced several of his designs that adorn thousands of Mustangs in the community.
From left to right: Nathan's custom designed badge, Beith Performance carbon fiber steering wheel, Tri-Ax shifter with Raceseng knob.
Pushing the look even further is the recent addition of the vinyl exterior wrap. For this project he sent the car over to Next Level Styling to help install the Gloss Grey Avery vinyl. As meticulous as Nathan is, the project exceeded his expectations and pushed the look of his car to a new level.
But there’s no stopping now. “My next big project is an engine bay wire tuck and also to clean up my air set up in my trunk and make it more of a showpiece. I’m just waiting for the heat to go away,” he laughs.
“Overall, I love the Mustang community that I’ve connected with… The friendships and relationships that I’ve made through owning this car are insane! I mean come on—I’ve had my car photography placed on the side of a building in Australia at Stang Mods Headquarters, and it’s used frequently in the monthly TunerGuys Subscription boxes. Stuff like this just blows my mind!”