About This Site
This site is dedicated to providing the UK or EU buyer with information about performing DIY light conversions on S197 Ford Mustangs. There is also information about buying, importing and registering a new shape Ford Mustang S197 from 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 or 2009.
You will find out exactly what work you need to do to the car to make it pass the UK SVA or IVA (type approval) test, and then you can make an informed decision about if you want to do the work yourself or entrust the work to a specialist garage and/or importer.
If you speak to an American car specialist, they will give you horror stories about the technical difficulties of making a Ford Mustang S197 compliant with UK vehicle lighting regulations. The reality is that it is not very difficult if you actually have the information to hand, written by someone who has actually done it themselves several times. See more about why this site exists here.
When I was searching for the information you will find on this site, it was like getting blood out of a stone! It took me over a year of trawling the Mustang forums, talking to guys, calling guys and trial and error to get anywhere close to having a complete mental picture of what is involved in a simple light conversion on a Mustang. “How can this information be so hard to find?” I asked myself. I am no slouch when it comes to Googling stuff, but I could not believe how hard this information was to come by. There are a group of folks out there who seem to make it their business to keep this information rather secret. My view is that we are not in Soviet Russia any more, and information is free. If you want to do a DIY light conversion to your Mustang, all the information you need is right here. If you think you might be clueless and may make a hash of it, then be sure to read the disclaimer before you go any further.
The new Ford Mustang (known as the S197 – that refers to the model shape) comes in various models. Base models are well equipped with air conditioning, CD player, electric windows and most creature comforts you will need. Premium models come with leather, upgraded stereos and a few other things like ABS and electric seats. 4-litre V6 and 4.6-litre V8 engines are available. The V6 gives adequate power and better MPG. The V8 is the classic one the purists always want, offering more BHP and a nice engine note. In reality, either are fine cars with good performance.
Automatic and manual models are available; both are fine – just a question of personal taste. Do not worry that the Automatic models may be sluggish and slow – they are not!
Online research is always a must in any endeavour such as this, there is an active Mustang Owners Club in England and several online discussion forums dedicated to the Mustang (You will find links to them elsewhere on the site). Of course, as with any forum, there are a few grumpy die hards who know it all and business owners looking for new clients. There are many helpful folks there too. Most will advise against doing the SVA work yourself, usually because they want to charge you upwards of £1000 to do it for you or sell you a car already on the road and UK legal.
If you actually have the cash in your pocket to buy a car, there is no reason why you cannot import directly from the USA. You will find articles and advertisements on this site to assist you in that regard. Of course there is a small risk you may buy a ‘pig in a poke’ but if you stick to reputable dealers – and use your brain – it is unlikely. If you are conversant with basic auto electrical installations, and have a practical flair, nothing is stopping you from doing the SVA light conversion work yourself and taking it for test.
If you don’t actually have the cash to spend, you can always buy direct in the UK from a dealer/importer or used. You may get a warranty, finance and other things that give you peace of mind if you need those things to feel happy.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to buying a Ford Mustang in the United Kingdom. As with the cars themselves, there are options; you may want a V6 base model, V8 Convertible, GT500, a Shelby, Saleen or Roush special edition. This site is only here to open your eyes and direct you to the resources you may find useful. More importantly, this site is here to demystify the hype you will read elsewhere about DIY light conversions to S197 Ford Mustangs.
The work you need to do, the parts you need and how to actually import a car is covered on the other pages on this site. Have a look around. If you think I have got something wrong, you have a better way or you simply wish to say “Thanks”, there are comment boxes on most pages.
I am in the process of updating and expanding this site, so bear with me till I get it working right in the next week or so.