Joe Greeves
June 26, 2013

Matt Clarke, from Florida Street Machine in Clearwater, Florida, has been building unique cars for himself and customers for decades. In the seven years he has been here, having relocated from his home in Adelaide, Australia, Matt has built 20 cars of his own and modified more than a hundred for his customers. When he first heard about this '65 Mustang K-Code, GT fastback, he learned it had been stored in a box trailer for 15 years behind a Ford dealership in St. Louis, Missouri. Advertised as a complete project car with very little rust, it was the perfect candidate for an idea that Matt had been thinking about for years. He wanted to build a 351 Windsor twin turbo V-8, but with a twist. Since this is a K-Code GT, a fairly valuable car in its own right, all the changes would have to be reversible and he wanted to leave the original shock towers in place. Chats with multiple magazine editors as well as discussions on forums around the world said the installation wasn't possible without cutting the towers from the car, but as you will see, Matt is not one to run from a challenge.

Although most builders would have been quite satisfied with a 500hp car, Matt wanted to push the envelope and he believes his twin turbo Mustang is capable of upwards of 1,200 hp. The '91 351 Windsor was punched out to 408 cid and equipped with an Eagle/Probe Industries rotating assembly and Trick Flow 185cc ported and polished aluminum heads. Custom engraved valve covers and components by Trucraft Engineering in Clearwater, Florida, dress up the high-performance V-8.

The motor runs Edelbrock Victor Series electronic fuel injection pressurized by a pair of 82mm Masterpower turbochargers currently running a conservative 10 psi. The custom built, 3-inch exhaust manifolds use a Titanium exhaust wrap to minimize heat in the engine compartment. Routing the plumbing for the turbos was one of the car's biggest challenges and it took three tries to get the perfect set of pipes that fit the tight confines of the Mustang. Matt went so far as to lower the engine three quarters of inch and move it forward half an inch to obtain the necessary clearance. The headers flow forward through the turbos, through the intercooler that uses a nitrous ring for cooling, and come together at the 3-inch plenum. MSD ignition, Aeromotive fuel rails, and RC 650cc injectors help to create the current dyno number of 771 rwhp with more to come. Matt plans to dial up the boost to 18 psi in order to achieve 950 hp and match the GTK-950R designation on the car's side stripe.

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"I'm very confident I can get it," says Matt. Transferring the power to the ground is a Performance Automatic, Pro C4 transmission capable of handling up to a thousand horsepower with a Pro-Tree type trans brake, PTC converter, and Hurst shifter.

To plant all that power, the chassis was reinforced with a Total Control Products subframe connector. TCP was also chosen for the new front and rear suspension—the Fab 9 rear with 3.50 gears and 35-spline Strange axles is held in place with a TCP four link. Altitude control is accomplished thanks to the Ride Tech air suspension using a trunk-mounted, RidePro e3 Air Pod with its combination of reserve tank, compressor, and solenoids. The setup shares space with a nitrous bottle that fogs the intercooler.

While Matt was attending to performance issues, his wife Sheri was dealing with the interior. Once Dynamat was applied to every inch inside, Sheri redid the seats, stripping them down to bare metal, repainting them, then adding new foam and custom Parchment leather. The doors and headliner also boast supple white leather and there is a white carpet to match. The color scheme follows the original pattern, with the shades just slightly tweaked for a personal touch. For a clean and subtle upgrade, Matt chose the One Piece Products side glass that eliminates the vent window. A collection of Auto Meter gauges was added to the reworked dash as well as the new center console that also holds the controls for the Ride Tech air suspension system, auxiliary switches, and stereo. Even with so much of the space within the car devoted to horsepower, Matt and Sheri still found room to squeeze in a little additional entertainment. The stereo system begins with a Power Acoustik head unit with a 7-inch monitor. It energizes a pair of Sony component sets in the kick panels and a single 10-inch sub in the rear quarter-panel. Power comes from a pair of 500-watt Sony amps, concealed behind the Air Pod in the trunk.

Body modifications to the car were kept simple, beginning with a raised steel hood from Ford, Shelby R Model front valance and side scoops, along with the one-piece side glass. For the perfect finishing touch, Randy Hubbard from Palm Coast Auto Hot Rod Shop in Palmetto, Florida, sprayed the Dupont Sparkle Gold and White Pearl stripes. It's a close match to original Mustang Prairie Gold but like the interior, it has that little extra twist that Matt and Sheri were looking for.

They began the project in September 2012 and the photo shoot occurred in November—lightning quick for a build of this complexity. (That could be why the car runs "K OTIC” license plates!) Now that it is complete, Matt plans to "keep it, unless a very large envelope full of cash arrives to change my mind,” he told us with a smile. "I really love it, but I do have another project up my sleeve, so I may part with it in the next few months. I'm going to display it at car shows for a while then have a bit of fun with it.”

Is he happy with the way the car turned out? "This is the fastest, toughest, nicest car I've ever built! I wanted to build this because it's something I've never done before and possibly, it's something that's never been done before. It is the culmination of 25 years of experience in restoring and building cars and I did it just to see what we could accomplish. I think we nailed it.”

MSD ignition, Aeromotive fuel rails, and RC 650cc injectors help to create the current dyno number of 771 rwhp with more to come. Matt plans to dial up the boost to 18 psi in order to achieve 950 hp and match the GTK-950R designation on the car's side stripe.

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The Details

Matt and Sheri Clarke's '65 Mustang K-Code, GT Fastback
Engine
Windsor 351 V-8, now 408 ci
4.030-inch bore
4.00-inch stroke
Eagle nodular cast-iron crank and chrome-moly connecting rods
Summit forged pistons
Comp Cams hydraulic roller tappet camshaft and Ultra Gold roller rockers
Trick Flow 185cc aluminum heads, ported and polished
Edelbrock Victor electronic fuel injection
Twin 82mm Masterpower turbochargers regulated to 10 psi of boost
OBX Racing Sports blow off valves
Aeromotive fuel system
MSD ignition and plug wires
Flex-a-lite Trimline 16-inch fan
Custom engraved billet valve covers
Transmission
Performance Automatic Pro C4 transmission
Pro-Tree type trans brake
PTC converter
Hurst shifter
Rearend
Total Control Products Fab 9 rear with 3.50 gears and 35-spline Strange Engineering axles
Exhaust
Custom turbo headers and dual 3-inch exhaust
Titanium exhaust wrap
Suspension
Front: Total Control Products struts, wishbones, rack-and-pinion steering
Rear: Total Control Products four-link
RidePro e3 Air Pod with reserve tank, compressor, and solenoids in trunk
Brakes
Front: Bear Claw Serious-Street disc, four-piston calipers, 11.35-inch discs
Rear: Bear Claw Serious-Street disc, four-piston calipers, 11-inch discs
Wheels
Front: MB Old School, 18x8
Rear: MB Old School, 20x9.5
Tires
Front: Falken FK452, P225/40ZR18
Rear: Falken FK452, P245/35ZR20
Interior
All white Pony interior; white bucket seats, door panels, headliner, and carpet; custom center console holding Hurst shifter, air suspension controls, additional gauges and 7-inch Power Acoustik head unit; Sony component sets in the kick panels; Sony 10-inch sub in the rear quarter-panel; Two 500-watt, trunk-mounted, Sony amps
Exterior
Ford raised steel hood; Shelby R front valance and side scoops; one-piece side glass; Nitrous bottle and Optima battery in the trunk; Dupont Sparkle Gold and White Pearl stripes sprayed by Randy Hubbard, Palm Coast Auto Hot Rod Shop in Palmetto, Florida; Rendering by Chris Cross