John Machaqueiro
January 10, 2014

Under the hood, the 351 Cleveland was tired; rebuild or replace were his options. Pressed for time, Dennis opted for a crate 351 Windsor from Carolina Machine Engines in Johnston, South Carolina. After it was delivered, he detailed the new mill, along with all the ancillary components mated to it. The C4 was also tossed in favor of a T5 manual box, while a Ford 8-inch Traction-Lok rear was chosen to handle the delivery of the newfound ponies. The addition of Hooker Competition headers mated to a full MagnaFlow exhaust system ensured that the spent gases exit efficiently. The rest of the drivetrain was also upgraded. A complete ’05 Mustang GT disc brake setup replaced the antiquated Ford units, while a TCP coilover conversion and leaf springs gave the ’69 a nastier stance. Elegant AFS Mustang Mach 1 wheels wrapped in sticky Nitto skins completed that look.

The interior, like the rest of the car, was also ravaged by the elements and in need of a refresh. For that task, Dennis had James Zabatta II at Phoenix Interiors (Franklin Square, New York) do the stitching. Up front, the Mustang received a Sport Seat conversion. He also installed a gauge cluster from Year One. The hand brake was relocated, and an ’05 Mustang GT center console installed, along with the installation of power windows, and power locks with a keyless entry system. The AM radio couldn’t cut it anymore, so he installed a Pioneer Double-DIN DVD/NAV system that allows him to plug in his iPod, or pull down some tunes from Sirius. Outside, he installed H4 headlight assemblies, Xenon driving lights, and sequential LED taillights.

When it came time to lay down some paint, Dennis took the Mustang to Body Works Collision in Lynbrook, New York. He points out, “The only part of the car I didn’t have my hands on was the paint.” After the body prep, Vick Ram applied a two-tone combination of Spies Heckler KAD Nissan Gun Metallic and Black basecoat/clearcoat paint. “I couldn’t believe this was the same car my father and I worked on nearly 10 years ago,” he fondly remembers. “It was an emotional moment for me to finally see the car back together.”

The imposed deadline was met with two weeks to spare. Francesca was instrumental in maintaining the workflow at an even pace. She spent countless hours online researching, and ordering the parts needed to ensure that their engagement photos would happen as planned. For Dennis, beyond meeting their deadline, he adds that, “I wish my father was here to enjoy this with me. I know if he was around, he would be proud of me, and even a little impressed about what I have done to his car.”

The Details

Dennis and Francesca Riese’s ’69 Ford Mustang SportsRoof

Ford 351 Windsor block, crate engine from Carolina Machine Engines, (Johnston, SC)
4.040-inch bore
3.500-inch stroke
Ford OEM nodular iron crankshaft, Magnafluxed, reground, micro polished, balanced
Ford OEM steel connecting rods, Magnafluxed, balanced
Keith Black Hypereutectic pistons
Perfect Circle piston rings
Comp Cams hydraulic flat tappet camshaft
RHS Cyclone iron cylinder heads, bowl blended, pocket ported, multi-angle valve job, Elgin valves, 2.02-inch intake/1.60-inch exhaust valves
Procomp stainless steel roller rocker arms
Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum intake manifold
Quick Fuel 650-cfm four-barrel carburetor
MSD Pro-Billet mechanical advance distributor
Classic Auto Air Perfect fit Elite electronically controlled air conditioning system
10.0:1 compression ratio
Ford T5 five-speed manual gearbox
King Cobra clutch/pressure plate
Center Force flywheel
Steeda Tri-Ax short throw shifter
Modern Driveline hydraulic clutch pedal conversion
Ford 8-inch rearend
Richmond 3.55:1 gears
Powertrax No-Slip differential
Stock 28-spline axles
Hooker Headers, 15⁄8-inch primary tubes, 3-inch collectors
Full MagnaFlow 2.5-inch custom stainless steel exhaust
MagnaFlow mufflers
Front: TCP coilover conversion, 1.125-inch antisway bar, KYB Gas-A-Just Shocks
Rear: 2-inch lowering leaf springs, polyurethane bushings, KYB Gas-A-Just Shocks
Unisteer power steering rack-and-pinion
Front: ’05 Mustang GT disc, 12.4-inch vented rotors, two-piston calipers
Rear: ’05 Mustang GT disc, 11.75-inch vented rotors, single-piston calipers
Front: AFS Mustang Mach 1 aluminum wheels, 18x9, 26mm offset
Rear: AFS Mustang Mach 1 aluminum wheels, 18x9, 40mm offset
Front: Nitto NT555, P245/40/ZR18
Rear: Nitto NT555, P275/40/ZR18
Restored original style interior upholstered by Phoenix Interiors (Franklin Square, NY); Mach 1 seats upgraded to sport seats; Year One six-gauge instrument cluster; ’05 Mustang GT center console; relocated parking brake; Grant hardwood 13-inch steering wheel; Pioneer Double-DIN DVD/Navigation system with iPod dock and Sirius radio, power locks, and keyless entry system
Spies Heckler Nissan Gun Metallic and black basecoat/clearcoat applied by Body Works Collision (Lynbrook, NY); smoothed door lock cylinder; welded lines between quarters and sail panels, smoothed rear quarter extensions; functional shaker hood; sequential LED taillights; H4 headlight conversion; Xenon driving lights