Blues Brothers: OEM+ '04 Terminator Mustang is One Half of a Killer Combo
One of the more underrated aspects of a successful car enthusiast is the ability, or foresight, to properly cultivate a matching set of vehicles. For many, that usually just looks like brand-matching the most interesting version of a late model crossover or SUV to the project car.
And as much as that puts a smile on the face of another fellow brand snob, that’s child’s play when it comes to killer combos.
A Blues Throwback
Real dedication is putting two legends from the same year in the driveway. Owner Bryan Lester did just that, and made sure they were color matched as well. And this wasn’t a white, black, or gray, this was one of Ford’s best colors of all time: Sonic Blue. This Mustang SVT Cobra “Terminator” and second-generation Lightning pickup truck, both made in 2004, are a match made in Blue Oval heaven.
While both vehicles have respected pedigrees, the Mustang Cobra is the performer of the two. We’ve certainly touched on why this generation of Cobra is special, but the “Terminator” is a modern muscle car that was released when traditional American performance was ending a half decade lull.
From the outside, Bryan has kept the Terminator’s style intact, thankfully aware that Ford nailed the subtle enhancements over the base SN95 body. A set of H&R lowering springs and Koni Yellow shocks bring the muscle car closer to the ground, while also improving the handling of the nearly twenty year old car. A set of Full Tilt Boogie IRS bushings aid in the rejuvenation of the Mustang’s suspension.
The one aspect that has been improved is the rolling stock. A set of 18” BBS RKs fill out the wheel wheels, giving the car perfect period correct OEM+ vibes. Bryan’s wheel selection was inspired by the BBS-sporting Panoz Esperante, a Georgia-made supercar from the early 2000s, that borrows much from the Mustang chassis. When Panoz ended production of the Esperante, Bryan called the company and bought up a few set of center caps to pay respect to the hometown brand.
Everyday Performance with the Nitto Invo
Bryan wrapped the wheels in a set of Nitto Invo 295/35/18 ultra high performance street tires. The tires are a personal favorite of his, offering a good ride with a softer sidewall that also works well at the dragstrip. Additionally, he notes they are quiet on the road, and handle rainy Georgia weather well.
Given that the Terminator Mustang is a legend in the Ford stable of special editions, this ponycar has been kept relatively mild with quality aftermarket enhancements. A UPR cold air intake provides the supercharged V8 with fresh air, while Kooks long tube headers and a Bassani exhaust expel spent gases.
A 2.8 pulley adds additional boost via the factory supercharger, while Metco idlers keep everything running smooth. All in all, the bolt-ons are good for 470rwhp, around a 100hp increase over stock power. A RST twin disk clutch ensures that the power makes its way to the ground.
In total, there were 1,392 Sonic Blue Terminators made in 2003-2004, spread between the coupe and convertible body style. As rare as that is, Bryan’s Sonic Blue Lightning is one of only 1,319. Between brand, year, powertrain, and color these two very different cars are strikingly similar, and make an incredible combo. Don’t miss the feature of the Lightning, which is an impressive build in its own right.