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Tony Castillo & Custom Mustang

The license plate on Tony Castillo’s 2014 Mustang GT reads “2 HOTT,” as if the flames in his car’s striking paint job left any doubt as to the theme Tony was going for with his red Stang. But as you might expect from someone who works at Ford’s Cleveland Engine Plant, Tony also turned up the wick underhood. To find out how much more firepower Tony gave his 5.0, check out the story below that was put together by fellow Cleveland Engine Plant employee Tom Misson:

The license plate reads “2 HOTT” – and boy is it ever. Fire-engine red, with yellow and orange flames crawling down each side from bumper to bumper, as well as draped over the hood.  If that wasn’t impressive enough, add a huge, green Cobra snake -- in striking position -- on the hood and both sides of the car. This is the custom-made Mustang GT 5.0 owned by Tony Castillo, Process Coach for Team 3 on the I-4 Assembly line at Cleveland Engine Plant.

“My wife and I couldn’t afford a Cobra (Mustang),” Castillo admitted. “She said that we’ve been doing cars for some 40 years already, and if I needed something to make that much power, I should build it myself.”

And so he did. Castillo bought a simple, all-red 2014 Mustang GT 5.0, and stripped it down.

“Me and my two boys – along with a bunch of people in here (CEP) – went to work on it,” explained Castillo. “We did the engine first, transmission, rear end, and then we had to do something with the paint to accent all the horsepower we were making.”

What gives the impression of vicious horsepower like a big, venomous snake and giant flames? Not much else. Castillo let his son, who has a painting background, get creative with the artwork on the car.

“Being a kid, it has to appeal to him, and he and his buddies went to town on it,” Castillo said with a smile. “I brought in a buddy of mine who teaches air brushing, and he gave them some pointers – that’s the end result.”

Remember the horsepower Castillo mentioned?

“We were making 655 horsepower at the rear wheels – that’s dynoed horsepower – which equates to about 750-770 at the crankshaft,” Castillo said without hesitation.

“We were just blown away.”

Blown away is what you’ll be if you see this beauty in person. It looks fast, even when parked. Castillo lets the car loose on occasion, taking it to sanctioned, legal races.

“We race it at the Fun Ford Weekends, basically all the Ford events,” he clarified. “It’s a true 10-second car (meaning it can cover a quarter-mile from a dead stop in 10 seconds or less).”  

And here’s a couple more eye-popping stats: This beast gets 22 miles-per-gallon, and Castillo said the engine will shift at 8,000 RPM! He’s extremely proud of his custom-made ride.

“A lot of people enjoy it,” he said. “That’s the kick I get out of it – you know, little kids, all sorts of people. And it also accents what we do here at Ford. A lot of people think we’re Ford guys, we build Ford cars, but we know nothing about ‘em. We actually have a ton of people with tons of car knowledge.”

As the saying goes, ‘Knowledge is Power’ – and this car embodies plenty of both.

Editor’s Note: One of the most popular features on FordPerformance.com and in our Fast News e-newsletter continues to be "Ford Fan Spotlight," where readers can send in their own reasons why they're fans of Ford Motor Company. You know who they are: Ford "superfans;" grassroots Ford racers; unique Ford vehicle owners; loyal Ford enthusiasts; notable Ford club people; special Ford families; and/or any avid supporter of Ford, Ford vehicles, Ford motorsports or Ford Performance who deserves a little bit of special recognition.

All you need to do to get you, your car or candidate considered is to send in a brief description (200-300 words or less) and a few photos (in .jpeg format, preferably 300 dpi) of a person (full name and hometown, please) and vehicle that you think Ford Performance should feature (and why) in the "Ford Fan Spotlight" for an upcoming installment of Fast News and posting on FordPerformance.com. Then email it to: AskTFR@Ford.com. Should you wish to send a video, you simply need to post it on www.YouTube.com (preferably 1-2 minutes long) and send in the link, along with a brief description, to that same AskTFR@Ford.com email address. We'll choose one submission each week.