Modified Mustangs & FordsFeatured Vehicles
1966 Ford Mustang Fastback - More Than Meets The Eye
A formerly forlorn fastback gets back on the fast track with subtle mods and fantastic attention to detail
When it came to the powertrain, the Seaders kept it simple, with a dressed-up original A-code 289 and Toploader four-speed manual transmission. With a factory rating of 225 horses, it's not horsepower that will win the Kentucky Derby, but it's plenty enough for a car designed for easy, trouble-free driving.
Even the brakes are stock-spec drums at all four corners, but they're hidden with disc-like covers that Tony Seader built himself. Crisscrossing the Rocky Mountains with four-wheel drums seems like more of a hair-raising driving experience than we'd prefer, but hey, some of us think ketchup is too spicy and some take showers while wearing a bike helmet out of the fear of slipping and falling.
The stock powertrain and brakes may not garner any Optima Challenge trophies, but that's just fine, because the Seaders' trophy case is filling up with plenty of awards from shows throughout Colorado and beyond.
"From the moment the car was finished, we wasted no time in getting in it and enjoying it—that's exactly why we built it," says Seader. "We have had loads of wonderful experiences in it, including many family trips to the Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado."
Indeed, with the success they've had there year after year, it would be hard to stay away. The two-tone fastback has nabbed three people's choice awards, a vendor award from Yokohama tires, and a number of excellence awards. Not surprisingly, the car's trophy haul has been just as plentiful at other shows.
"The show awards are great, but we honestly get the biggest thrill from the reaction the car generates from people on the street," says Seader. "We get thumbs-up all the time while driving down the street and strangers ask to take pictures of it. That's a lot of fun for us and very rewarding."
Such adulation is a far cry from the faded filly the Seaders started with about a decade ago, and we're sure a high degree of the attention comes from the great-looking fastback body style, which is an increasingly rare sight in either original and modified forms these days. Theirs takes the design into the 21st century without losing the characteristic form that makes it a true classic. Talk about a Rocky Mountain high.
Tony and Tammy Seader's '66 Mustang Fastback
'66 Ford A-code 289 cubic-inch V-8
Stock nodular-iron crankshaft
Stock iron connecting rods
Stock aluminum flat-top pistons
Stock iron cylinder heads—stock ports and stock 1.77-inch intake/1.42-inch exhaust valves
Stock camshaft and hydraulic lifters
Edelbrock RPM Air Gap aluminum intake manifold
Edelbrock 650-cfm four-barrel carburetor
Ford Racing valve covers, chrome valve covers, chrome alternator and brackets
Billet single-groove pulley set
Stock single-point distributor with vacuum advance
9.8:1 compression ratio
225 hp at 4,800 rpm
305 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 rpm
Ford Top Loader four-speed manual (2.32 First gear)
Stock-type 10-inch clutch
Stock open differential
JBA "shorty" headers with stainless steel primary tubes
2.5-inch exhaust system by Exhaust Pros, Northglenn, Colorado
Front: Stock-type with Grab-A-Trak 620 coil springs (1-inch lowering), shocks, 1-inch stabilizer bar and polyurethane bushings; chrome export brace and Monte Carlo bar
Rear: Stock with Grab-A-Trak five-leaf/mid-eye leaf springs, shocks, ¾-inch stabilizer bar and polyurethane bushings
Stock Ford recirculating-ball (no power assist)
Stock steering column
Front: Stock drum
Rear: Stock drum
Front: American Racing Torq Thrust II, 17x8-inch
Rear: American Racing Torq Thrust II, 17x8-inch
Front: Yokohama A520, P235/45/ZR17
Rear: Yokohama A520, P235/45/ZR17
Modified by Dirk Trevarton (Loveland, CO), oyster-color leather upholstery with dark orange carpeting, Procar Elite Series 1100 front seats and stock rear seats, two-tone orange horse motif embroidered on seatbacks, Colorado Custom steering wheel, stock dashpad deleted and dashboard rounded/smoothed, and stock gauges with white faces
Modifications by Ambrosio Concepts (Westminster, CO); Sunset Orange Metallic and white exterior colors, separated by purple pin stripe; upper cowl vents, radio antenna, side mirrors and rear quarter vents deleted; Ford Racing fiberglass front apron with spoiler; molded-in rear corner extensions and rear spoiler; Mustang Deluxe billet grille insert with matching lower billet grille insert; functional Shaker-style air scoop crafted from a G.T.3 50-style scoop and bolted onto the engine; windshield and rear window "glued" in place—window seals and moldings deleted; and owner-made polished drum brake covers