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1967 Ford Mustang - French Connection
This 1967 Mustang Fastback flies under the French radar
Once Randy started working on the car, communication between France and Delaware happened on a daily basis. The six-month deadline that was agreed to required a second set of hands, so Ron Falkner jumped in to assist with the workload. It's worth pointing out that the build of this car occurred without a single phone call ever taking place. It all happened in the virtual world via email, and messaging on Facebook. Ron or Pam would upload photos in the evening of the work performed on the car. With a six-hour difference, Olivier was able to view the progress of the build the following morning.
The crew at Iron Hill handled all of the bodywork; the '67 had a fairly solid body, yet it still needed floors, quarters, and a number of other sheetmetal pieces. Part of the plan was to also add some fiberglass reproduction Shelby trim. This was achieved with a set of Tony D. Branda upper and lower sidescoops, fastback trunk lid, endcaps, and a louvered hood. Olivier opted to keep the '67 front end, instead of adding the Shelby panels up front. Once the body was together, and the bodywork completed, Randy applied numerous coats of primer, which were then topped off with a number of layers of Acapulco Blue Valspar paint and clear. The end result is a car that is visually very similar to the previous '67 that he owned.
On the mechanical end, Olivier did extensive research online to see what combination of parts would best suit his needs. With the daily exchange of Trans-Atlantic communication, he conveyed his ideas to the crew at Iron Hill. Based on his experience building Fords, Randy also made suggestions as to what he felt would work best. In the end, he had Ed Thomas Performance Engines in St. Georges, Delaware, build up the mill for the '67. They started with a 302 block stroked to 331 cubic inches.
In his research, he also determined that a Tremec five-speed would be the ideal gearbox for his needs. Hanlon Motorsports in St. Peters, Pennsylvania, handled that part of the puzzle. This potent combination transmits its power to an Eaton Truetrac-equipped, 3.70-geared, 9-inch rearend. Because of the issue with the French government, they settled on the use of a TCP coilover front suspension and rack-and-pinion, along with VariShock coilover shocks at the front. At the back, TCP mid-eye leaf springs and Monroe shocks sort out the handling issues. American Racing Torq-Thrust II wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich G-Force T/A Radials, are the last piece of the handling package, while Wilwood four-piston brakes at all four corners bring it all to a stop.
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The interior also received a complete makeover. Most noticeable is the addition of the Scat Enterprises Procar seats. The Auto Meter Comp II instruments, Lecarra Steering wheel, Auto Custom carpet, and custom center console all combine to add the final touch to an already stunning interior. However, while those were added, the radio was deleted because of an incompatibility with U.S. and European radio frequencies. Olivier also had Randy install retractable seatbelts at the rear, along with a booster seat. Plans were for the entire family to enjoy the '67 when it arrived.
The project was completed within budget, and the six months that were agreed upon. Without a doubt, the most intriguing aspect of this was the use of Facebook and email, instead of the phone, to get the job done. This was actually a positive experience for both parties. Randy points out that, "It's a big move to contact somebody that you don't know, trust them to take your money every month to fund the project as it goes along, and trust that they aren't going to work you over. Olivier did! It was a really pleasant experience."
Completion of the Mustang wasn't the final chapter in this story, however. After a few weeks, the car was picked up in Delaware, and shipped to Miami, where it was placed on a ship destined for France. When it arrived, it was directly impounded until it could be legalized. That process was supposed to take a month or two; however, it dragged out for six problematic months. Olivier points out, "She suffered from six months of sitting with surface rust issues underneath the vehicle. I worked hard to clean the mess, and I succeeded. I do have roof paint damage as a result of some spilled oil or coolant that occurred during the sea travel. No one cleaned it for six months!"
Biggest question is, of course, if the car lives up to expectations, which Olivier is comfortable in stating that, "She has quite enough power with the 331 and the sound is incredible! All in all, it is a very balanced car, safe and powerful. She corners flat, stops fast, and handles way better than stock. I found myself cornering just a little slower than with my Lotus Exige on the open road." The next step will be some tracks days where it will be put to a more rigorous test.
Olivier wanted a Mustang that was suitable to do track days with, so outright horsepower wasn't as important as maximum handling
Olivier Legrand's 1967 Ford Mustang
331 Ford small block, 4.030 bore, 3.250 stroke built by Ed Thomas Performance Engines (St. Georges, Delaware)
Trick Flow Specialties aluminum cylinder heads, 2.02-inch intake valves, 1.60-inch exhaust valves
Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold
Scat steel crankshaft
Scat steel connecting rods
Probe Industries forged aluminum pistons
Comp Cams roller camshaft, 0.555 lift, 295/300 duration at 0.050
Demon 650-cfm carburetor
10.6:1 compression ratio
Patriot headers with 15⁄8-inch primaries, 2½-inch collectors
Flowtech 2½-inch mufflers
2.5-inch aluminized steel pipes
Tremec five-speed built by Hanlon Motorsports (St. Peters, Pennsylvania)
Pro 5.0 shifter with custom billet shift handle
Ford 9-inch housing
Eaton Truetrac differential
Front: TCP coilover front suspension and rack-and-pinion, VariShock coilover shocks
Rear: TCP mid-eye leaf springs, Monroe shocks
Front: Wilwood disc, 12-inch rotors, four-piston calipers
Rear: Wilwood disc, 12-inch rotors, four-piston calipers
Front: American Racing Torq-Thrust II, 17x8-inch, chrome finish
Rear: American Racing Torq-Thrust II, 17x9-inch, chrome finish
Front: BFGoodrich G-Force T/A P225/45ZR17
Rear: BFGoodrich G-Force T/A P275/40ZR17
Scat Enterprises Procar seats, Auto Custom carpet, Auto Meter Comp II instruments, Lecarra Steering wheel, custom center console, rear retractable seatbelts, rear booster seat
Valspar Acapulco Blue applied by Iron Hill Auto Body; Tony D. Branda fiberglass hood, decklid, scoops, and quarter extensions