Lebanon Ford is Flinging Out Cheap Roush-Supercharged Mustangs Like You Wouldn't Believe

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

You remember Lebanon Ford — the suburban Cincinnati Roush Performance dealer that suddenly began offering the country’s greatest performance bargain early last month?

Well, its 727-horsepower supercharged Mustang GTs are now flying off the lot (at the insanely low price of $39,995), and the once-sleepy Ohio dealer has become a nationwide performance mecca, Automotive News writes.

Credit to the idea goes to Charlie Watson, Lebanon Ford’s Roush Performance manager. Watson came up with the idea of a low-priced supercar as he lay in bad one night after watching Smokey and the Bandit.

“Back in the day, it was just a man and his car,” Watson told the publication. “It had a big engine, it had tons of power and it was all fun. It wasn’t about the fancy body kits, the heated seats and the touch screens and all this other craziness. It was just a lot of power and a lot of fun.”

Inspired by the movie’s mustachioed hero, Watson started working out the possibilities of creating such a car. He realized that by fitting a Roush Phase 2 supercharger to a base 5.0-liter Mustang GT, he could offer a 727 hp vehicle to buyers for under $40,000 — 25 grand less than a 707 hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted, Ronald Reagan once said, and that applies to both Watson and the buyers of his supercharged creation. Store owner Lisa Cryder went all in on the idea, and the result was instant promotion and sales.

A month after Lebanon Ford began offering the modded Mustangs (in both 727 hp and 670 hp Phase 1 versions), the dealer easily fields 1,000 calls a day to its newly created internal and external call centers. Three to five 727-horsepower Mustangs leave the lot daily, with the majority of buyers going for the hotter Phase 2 version.

The moral of the story? As another famous film once said, “Build it, and they will come.”

[Image: © 2016 Lebanon Ford]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Olddavid Olddavid on Jun 12, 2016

    I spent 30 years trying to get the dealer body to think outside the box. Their job is to build equity and sell the manufacturer's iron - full stop. Now, could some use a little sensitivity training? Could others use some empathy? Absolutely. However, I have come to the belated conclusion most buyers are useless mooches who expect- in the American tradition - something for nothing. The fact that some on this forum question the value offered is fine, but never question some poor sap with his and the next three generations mortgaged future trying to make a buck by offering something no sane individual would purchase. You do know our risk/reward heritage, right? Have you read the San Jose expose on the CIA and crack cocaine? A 700 hp Mustang with wobbly legs is right up our collective alley. YeeHaw

  • Tedward Tedward on Jun 12, 2016

    I think this is awesome. Big props to the dealer for having the stones to give their performance customers what they want. Tons of performance cars out there have aftermarket support for ludicrous outputs, a 400hp fwd gti or focus for example, is possible with similar bolt ons and a new turbo. Just like with those cars, you pay to play, and you pay a lot more for a complete build, which almost never happens in one fell swoop. I don't understand the outrage or shock in the comments above when all the dealer is doing is completing the first stage of a customers performance build.

    • See 6 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Jun 12, 2016

      @LS1Fan Anyone can swipe a credit card and get the same "mods", and it can be on a used 425 HP, 2011+ Mustang GT for a lot less "cash". We're dealing with "adults", here mostly. Or try getting insurance, under 25 years old, for just the basic Mustang GT, automatic. I spent $8,111 for my new 5.0 LX, in cash, from mowing lawns, digging ditches, and washing cars, when I was 19. I drove like... well let's just say I'm lucky no one ever got hurt, but I had speeding tickets like you wouldn't believe and I'd waste new Goodyear Gatorbacks in weeks. Btw, the lowest "full coverage" insurance quote I got was $5,000 a year in '88. Basically, I was an uninsurable risk, even with a clean driving record, early on.

  • Ajla Nice car.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Not at all.
  • Verbal Here's a little tale about long-term Tesla ownership.In 2017 my buddy bought a three year-old Model S for $68k, which was the going rate at the time. He kept it garaged and treated it with kid gloves. It looked and ran virtually like new. The only problem he ever had with it was some kind of recurring issue with the driver's door handle. He never had to replace the brakes.A couple months ago, at ten years of age, the original battery finally bricked. Tesla quoted him $17k to do a battery replacement. But! If he replaced the battery, they would give him $11k in trade on a new Tesla!!! You don't have to be a math genius to see that those are crooked numbers.Using aftermarket parts is a non starter. Rebuilt batteries can be sketch. And the cap that goes on the battery is a Tesla-only part.Most people don't have $17k burning a hole in their pocket for a car repair. What are you going to do? Ask your credit union for a $17k loan to put a new battery in your ten year-old car? Good luck with that.A local auto recycler quoted him $1000. The recycler said that if he replaced the battery, the car would have a resale value in the low $20k's. That wouldn't give him enough headroom to make it worth his while. He said there are 150,000 dead Teslas in the national inventory (don't know where he gets this figure). And there's no demand for used Tesla parts, since most Tesla owners seem to treat their cars well. So Teslas with dead batteries have marginal scrap value.Thus, my friend's Tesla, with 80k miles on the clock and in excellent condition, with a dead battery, was scrapped. During his ownership, the car depreciated by around $800 a month.He saved a lot of money by not paying for gas, oil changes, tune ups, and consumables. But in the end, all those saving were erased by huge depreciation.Welcome to long term Tesla ownership, folks.(Cue the wailing and rending of garments from the Tesla fanboyz.)
  • Aja8888 My BIL had one of these years ago. great car!
  • Wjtinfwb Job cuts and EV's... is that a winning strategy? You're locked in to substantial labor expense after the UAW agreement signed a few months ago. And EV's ain't exactly flying off the shelves en masse. Get the new Charger out already, it's been teased more than the Bronco and Supra were combined. Get a real Hybrid option out for the RAM trucks and big Jeeps that consumers will buy. Consider bringing back a Gen 3 Hemi with an aluminum block, direct injection and perhaps a Hybrid option to counter the Toyota debacle and get a jump on GM. Dump the Hornet and build Dodge a version of the Jeep Compass they can actually sell. A Dodge with Alfa bones isn't compelling to either brands fans. Fix the Durango's oil cooler problems to avoid alienating police departments nationwide. Do you want every cop in the US driving an Explorer? Freshen up the Pacifica and get Chrysler a cool sedan or wagon that can create a buzz like the 300 did more than a decade ago. And fix your dealers, they are by a large jackasses. Plenty of opportunity for improvement.