Photo Gallery | First Coast Gears: Mixing Old School Style with New School Technology

If you were among the thousands that made it out to the Jacksonville International Car and Truck Show at the Prime Osborn Convention Center last month, you saw plenty of Mustangs.  But I guarantee you didn't see any like this.

West Coast Customs and Microsoft teamed up for Project Detroit, which is quite literally the reimagining of an American Classic.

If you're looking at the photos and thinking this is just another tricked out 1967 restoration, think again.

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West Coast Customs started with a 2012 Ford Mustang and then grafted a Dynacorn 1967 Mustang fastback replica fastback body.  

But the real fun is inside. That's where Microsoft went to town, combining its next generation Windows 8, Kinect for Xbox 360, Azure cloud service, Windows Phone, Microsoft developed Ford Sync and more.

The standard gauges were swapped with a swipeable cluster that allows the driver to toggle between different eight different dashboard skins that include replicas of the 1967 and 2012 Mustang's instrument panel.  Another option is Microsoft's Metro design which was introduced with Windows Phone 7 and will be featured in Windows 8.


On the passenger side, a Windows 8 tablet is embedded.  A Windows Phone app allows car functions to be controlled remotely via the Nokia smartphone, such as changing the accent lighting or activating a projector screen. Front and rear Kinect cameras transmit a live video feed of surrounding pedestrians.

The video from the cameras with motion detectors can also be streamed to the smartphone

The Mustang debuted last Sunday night on Inside West Coast Customs on the Velocity cable channel.

Seemingly taking a page from the Knight Rider remake, a heads-up display is included for the driver and passenger that projects Bing maps information directly on the windshield.  That allows drivers and passengers to view nearby restaurants, shopping centers and more without diverting their eyes from the road.  Passengers can even play Xbox on the windshield.

The rear window is also tricked out. While driving, it can serve as a customizable display that can play video, show images or display custom messages such as "stop tailgating."

Microsoft says it started the project as a fun way to show what its technologies can do in the automotive environment. Microsoft is hoping to generate buzz in the developer community and will be making source code for the major components of the project available. Microsoft powers such automotive infotainment systems as Ford's Sync, Toyota's Entune and Nissan's LEAF information hub.

Who knows, maybe Microsoft can do for the car what Apple did for the smartphone.  Project Detroit is not just a Mustang, it's a 400 horsepower device.


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Visit the First Coast Gears webpage


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