Modified Mustangs & FordsFeatured Vehicles
1967 Ford Mustang Fastback - Passing On The Pepper
Steve Richmond's vision of an Eleanor Mustang was anything but gray
As popular as the Gone In Sixty Seconds Eleanor look is, there are those that have grown tired of the Pepper Gray and Black striped look. Seminole, Florida's Steve Richmond planned an Eleanor build of his own and from the outset, it was going to be a bit different.
A paint and body man for 23 years, Steve decided in 1998 to go into business for himself and started Dent Solutions, a paint-less dent removal service. It goes without saying that Steve knows how to make a car straight, one way or another. After finding a suitable candidate for his Mustang project, Steve would put those skills to the test over a three-year, 1,300 man-hour buildup.
From its outward appearance, this vivid fastback looks like it came from a high-end shop, and that is a testament to the detailed work that its owner put into it while completing the entire restoration in his two-car garage.
"I had a hurricane-rated, insulated garage door installed to reduce the noise I would be making," Steve recalls. "I was also able to keep it [the garage] air conditioned that way." An HOA would likely be dismayed about someone doing such extensive work in the neighborhood, but Steve went to even greater lengths to make sure that painting at home wouldn't be an issue. Covering most of the garage with plastic sheeting, Steve then opened up the attic door in the garage and installed air filters in the opening so fresh air would be drawn in from the exterior soffits. The main door opening to the garage was fitted with a fan to draw the air out, and Steve built a series of small walls outside the door to muffle, disperse, filter, and otherwise hide the exhaust. Steve was quick to point out that the real key to painting at home was the high-quality filtration setup he installed for his air compressor.
With his workspace dialed in, Steve got to work on the Mustang, which he found out started life as an original 390-powered, GT fastback with air conditioning. Steve considered restoring it once he found out what the numbers said, but he ultimately determined that the car was too far gone to bother with a restoration, and proceeded with the Eleanor conversion.
"It ran and you could drive it, but it was a basket case," Steve tells us. "It was actually in baskets and milk crates. I had to go back the next day to pick up all of the parts." Steve took note of the fastback's poor overall condition, concluding that a previous owner had drag raced the white over red pony car. The 390 was long gone, replaced with a tired 302. And so began hours upon hours of metal work, fiberglass work, and bodywork.
"I was going to do blue with gray stripes, and I looked at a lot of bright blues, but they all had a purple cast to them," Steve says. "I went back to my old standard—pretty much every car I've had has been red." For this build, Steve chose Ford's late-model Redfire Metallic complemented with a likewise modern shade of gray, Tungsten, for the stripes. And like the Pepper Gray, the Eleanor hood wasn't Steve's first choice either. He opted for a fiberglass Shelby-style G.T. 500 hood with louvers—he actually refabricated the louvers to his liking. Steve also planed for a Super Snake stripe down the center of the car, which worked better with the 500s hood lines.
Making sure that this Mustang was no slouch, Steve dropped big money on one of Roush Performance's FE crate engines. The all-aluminum powerplant cranks out 500 hp at the flywheel and more than 550 lb-ft of torque. Backing up the stout engine is a Tremec TKO 600 five-speed manual transmission, and a Fab9 9-inch rearend.
Since its completion, the Mustang has hauled in a host of Best of Show trophies, but Steve's most interesting award came from the 2010 Pensacola MCA National show where it won the Lark Bragg award. The show officials enlisted the help of several Marines from the local military base that were fresh out of boot camp and were volunteering for the show to make the choice. While Steve had Carroll Shelby's signature on the dash, he was even happier to have Jack Roush sign it at the Brandon Ford car show in 2009. After all, Steve's Mustang was packing 468 cubic inches of Roush power under the hood, and Jack was happy to check it out.
Over 1,300 man-hours of labor went into this work of love, and that didn't include time on the computer researching and ordering parts. “That's what I did during the week at night. That's the fun part,” Steve tells us. “I wanted to work on it at least 40 hours a month, and when I was done, it averaged out to about 38. If you don't work on a project, it never gets done. I was bound and determined to not let that happen and figured 10 hours a week was feasible.
It's good to have a plan when you start a project, and it would seem that Steve has another plan in the works. You might just see his Mustang come up at one of the big auctions in the near future, and if pepper doesn't suit you, this Mustang just might.
Steve Richmond's '67 Mustang Fastback
468ci FE V-8 built by Roush Performance
Shelby aluminum block
Scat forged steel crankshaft
Scat forged steel connecting rods
Wiseco forged aluminum pistons
Edelbrock FE aluminum cylinder heads, 2.09-inch intake/1.66-inch exhaust valves, port-matched
Harland Sharp 1.76:1 roller rocker arms
Crane hydraulic roller camshaft, 302/308 advertised duration, 0.598/0.616-inch lift at 0.050
Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold
Holley Street Avenger 870-cfm carburetor
MSD billet aluminum distributor
10:1 compression ratio
Fuel Safe fuel cell
500 hp/550 lb-ft of torque
FPA long-tube headers, 1¾-inch primaries, 31⁄2-inch collectors
Owner fabricated 21⁄2-inch stainless exhaust tubing
Unique Performance/SpinTech mufflers and tailpipes
Tremec TKO 600 five-speed manual
McLeod 12-inch clutch
Roush Performance billet steel flywheel
Chris Alston's Chassisworks Fab9 9-inch
Strange Engineering third member with limited-slip differential
Strange Engineering 31-spline axles
Strange Engineering 3.70 gears
Front: Total Control Products coilover conversion
Rear: Total Control Products g-bar four-link with coilovers
Total Control Products power rack-and-pinion
Front: Wilwood disc, 13-inch rotors
Rear: Wilwood disc, 13-inch rotors
ABS Power Brake electric power assist
Front: Raceline 239-GT, polished, 18x8
Rear: Raceline 239-GT, polished, 18x10
Front: Nitto NT555, P245/40ZR18
Rear: Nitto NT555, P275/40ZR18
New black interior components, Auto Meter Pro-Comp Ultralight instruments, TCP billet pedal covers, Procar bucket seats, four-point rollbar with G-Force harnesses, Moto-Lita wood steering wheel, Alpine stereo head unit
PPG Base/clear Red Fire Metallic paint with Super Snake stripe in; body and paint performed by owner; Eleanor fiberglass conversion; Maier Shelby-style hood with louvers; Shelby gas filler cap; molded in front bumper, wheel flares, side exhaust skirts, and door jambs