Friday, July 13, 2012

2000 Mustang GT - A Father & Son Project by LDJ Auto Body & Mechanical, Gibsonton, FL

2000 Mustang GT Project Car!
A Father and Son Colaboration
by Howard and Eric McCorkle! Great Job Guys!

Cars are something that all of us deal with daily.  But, our first car....well, now, that is something special!  We all remember that special day when we got our driver's license.  That day is, if you think about it, the first real step into the future.  The day when we experience real freedom. It's a special feeling to push that key into the ignition knowing that we are truly "on our own". 

The next step to "emancipation" from parental control is the day we get our first car.... And our first car is something that stays with us for the rest of our lives.  I'll bet there isn't a single one of us that doesn't remember the day we bought it!  I can even remember how it smelled!  Seriously....our first car is something special.  It is a special feeling that we just never forget. 

That's why this story is special to me.  I love seeing a father and son team up and work together on that special vehicle.  It's something I have been lucky enough to share with many "father and son" teams and each and every one of them makes me smile.

Our latest project car was just that.  We got an email from Howard, Eric's dad, asking how much it would cost to "just paint the car and install a carbon fiber hood".  There's "no body work" the email went on to say, "but, my son would like a nice paint job, and we're thinking about a Lemans stripe package".  "He is paying for the work himself and I have heard that you guys do some really great work there." "I'd like to see him get a nice job." "Please get back to me. Thanks. Howard".  As I read the email, a smile crept over my face as I thought about all the "first cars" we had painted here at LDJ.

I remembered my youngest daughter's first car, a Mitsubishi Eclipse that Larry had literally "cut in half"!  Yep, she wanted that car more than anything in the world, and, at that time, the only way we could afford a DOHC, fully turbo charged, gleaming black Eclipse was if we "fixed one up" and the only one we could find to fix up was basically "a total loss" in the rear end!  So, Larry and I bought another one and he cut the damn car in half and welded the two halves together!  Walah!  One gleaming black, DOHC fully turbo charged Mitsubishi Eclipse commin up! Yes, having one of the best body men on the planet for a dad has it's advantages!

As I answered Howard's email, I already knew that we'd be taking on this job.  My husband Larry is a great bodyman.  But, first and foremost, he is a dad and a husband.  And, I also knew that Howard had come to the right place to get his son's car painted and modified.  As Larry looked at the pictures of the car, I could see the smile....the same smile I see every time we paint a "first car".  It is just something that he loves to do....and, he loves seeing the look on the face of that "first car owner" when they see the car for the first time after it's done.

This is an awesome representation of what a great
father & son team can do when they put their heads
together!  This beats all the video games and time lost
with our kids due to "texting" and "facebooking"!
This car was special though.  We both love Mustangs and Howard and Eric had already been very busy doing what guys do to "first cars"!  When I was asking Howard for his permission to share this car with all of you, I also asked him what he and his son, Eric, had done to the engine and the rest of the was obvious that they had been working hard on turning this first car into something very unique!  In his own words..." We started with brakes and suspension.  We replaced the brakes, shocks, struts, ball joints, and lowering springs. Installed 4.10 gears and a cold air intake. Installed Comp 270 cams, long-tube headers, and catless X-pipe. Intalled racing seats and short throw shifter. We purchased a 3 1/2 inch cowl hood. Then we started searching for a painter and decided to go with LDJ Auto Body and Mechanical. Very happy with the outcome of the paint and the hood installation!  And believe me, they did an outstanding job!  Here's a shot of "under the hood"!  I wish I had recorded the sound of this's awesome!  You can see the time spent under her hood is significant and the car runs great.

The car was in great condition for it's age to begin with.  A few minor scratches were the only "body work" that needed to be done.  We started by removing the finish on the vehicle.

The car was fitted with a new, fiber carbon, 3 1/2 cowl inducted hood.  After fitting and prepping the hood.  The painting process began.

From primer to base coat, the car progressed nicely.  The Lemans stripe package really impressed me.  The color of the stripe is a pearl, gun metal blue-gray that really set off the red in the car's primary color scheme.

The paint job was completed using all DuPont products.  From the filler for the 3 very minor scratches to the base coat / clear coat finish, DuPont supplied every stitch of the material.  Even the outrageous "gun metal blue to silver" flip / flop pearl Lemans stripe was DuPont. 

The finished product is spectacular and the color combinations are fabulous.

The 2005 Mustang GT has some fantastic body lines and screams "muscle car" with styling that brings back the original "pony" car itself. 

Ford's attempt at re-creating the original look of the early Mustangs was a huge success and the Mustang, new or old, has become one of the most popular cars on the road today.

We hope Eric enjoys this outstanding "first car" as much as we enjoyed helping him get this project finished! 

We'd like to thank Howard and Eric for letting us share this great vehicle with our readers and we wish them all the best.

For more information on restoration and custom paint work, give us a call at (813) 644-4497.  Larry Blackman is always available to answer your questions and help you find the best solutions to getting your project up and running at prices that will fit your budget. 

We also do motorcycle restoration and custom bike work. 

Estimates are always free so call us today to see how little it can cost to get your dream car or bike on the road today!

Happy Motoring!

Larry and Dee Blackman
LDJ Auto Body and Custom Shop
Gibsonton, FL


  1. WOW! Great article and that is TRULY a gorgeous paint job and vehicle! Great job you guys!! Defintiely does bring back the momories of my first car as well!

    1. Thanks so much for the compliment! We babyboomers are definitely gettin a little older and seeing these great looking muscle cars comming back sure does bring back some great memories!

      Anyone with some nostalgic pics of "their" first cars, send em' on over! We'd love to do an article with a collection of "first car" pics! Send your pics to! Be sure to include the make, model, and, year of the car and include a first name! When we get enough photos to post the article, we'll all vote on the best pic, favorite vehicle, best engine work and anything else you guys want.

      I'm looking forward to those pics!

      Happy Motoring!

      Larry and Dee Blackman, LDJ Auto Body, Gibsonton, FL

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Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you! -Larry and Dee Blackman, LDJ Auto Body, Gibsonton, FL.