Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
March 10, 2014
Photos By: Drew Phillips

Just as that plan was about to come together, the economy crashed, Chris lost his job, and he also had to undergo brain surgery for a tumor. Character is all about fighting back when things get tough, though, and Chris is full of it. Eventually the job prospects turned around, and Chris underwent successful surgery. The Pro Touring build got up to full steam.

Another one of Chris' close friends, Bill Fudge, suggested a modern suspension, big Baer brakes, and modern wheels and tires, which led to mini-tubs and huge 335mm-wide rear tires.

"Bill did all of the tin work; he made the trunk floor, aluminum fuel tank, wheeltubs, and back half of the car floor," Chris said. "He tunneled the car so the Tremec trans would fit right, made a radiator support to accommodate the air-to-air intercooler, shaved the firewall and notched the shock tower so the downpipe would fit better. He is a master fabricator and his work is first-class; he spent nearly every Sunday at my house for a year and I am extremely grateful."

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Rick Coricelli, in addition to handling the turbo plumbing, moved the rear framerails in, built the rear suspension, and helped Chris install the Painless Performance wiring harness. Work on the car finally moved to the interior and Chris and Brian Barrett tackled that.

"Brian was an animal covered in fiberglass and body filler dust while making the quarter-panel interior parts and speaker box for the subs."

With the car nearly complete, Dennis and Kevin from CSU came over to tune the blow-through carburetor setup. Chris drives the car around town with the turbo limited to 10 psi of boost—good for around 500 hp and 520 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. At 14 psi with a 50/50 mix of 91-octane gas and C16 race fuel, the Mustang makes a bit more, and that allowed it to traverse the quarter-mile in 11.20 seconds at 128 mph.

Aside from the bodywork and paint, all of the Mustangs modifications were made right in Chris' garage—surely the local pizza joint was on speed dial and the fridge was full of beer to accomplish such feats.

"There are numerous parts on this car that are custom or one of a kind, most of which would not have happened without the help of my friends, and I can't thank them enough," Chris told us.

A dedicated Mustang enthusiast, Chris has had other Mustangs as his regular drivers; first, an '85 GT and then a '95 GT, have come and gone. Chris told us that his turbocharged '69 actually gets the same fuel mileage as his current daily, an '06 Roush Stage 2 with a Saleen supercharger. With the Mustang mostly complete, Chris told us that he is looking at changing the hood to lower its profile, and perhaps go with carbon-fiber construction for weight savings and the cool factor. With the great group of friends that he has to help out, that should be easy to accomplish, and we wouldn't be surprised if there was more in store for this high school hotrod.

The Details

Chris Catalano's 1969 Mustang Mach 1

306ci small-block Ford, stock '87 5.0L block, assembled by John Brooks, Joel and Paul Barrett
4.030-inch bore
3.48-inch stroke
Eagle forged steel crankshaft, polished, chamfered, and knife-edged
Eagle forged steel I-beam connecting rods
JE forged aluminum pistons
½-inch tool steel main cap girdle, ARP studs
Trick Flow Specialties Twisted Wedge cylinder heads, 2.02-inch intake/1.60-inch exhaust valves, port-matched and O-ringed
Trick Flow 1.6:1 roller rocker arms
Edelbrock Torker aluminum intake manifold
Competition Cams hydraulic roller camshaft, 215/215 duration at 0.050, 0.520/0.520-inch valve lift
CSU-modified Holley 4150 750-cfm carburetor
PTE 54mm turbocharger with integrated wastegate
Custom Spearco air-to-air intercooler
MSD 6AL with boost/timing controller
8.3:1 compression ratio
591 hp, 611 lb-ft of torque

Ford Racing Performance Parts 15⁄8-inch stainless steel shorty headers, reverse mounted
Custom 3-inch stainless steel exhaust crossover with 3-inch downpipe and exhaust fabricated by the owner and Rick Coricelli
Flowmaster two-chamber muffler

Tremec TKO 500 five-speed manual
Tremec shifter with Hurst handle
Clutchmasters clutch and pressure plate
Factory 5.0L steel flywheel

'69 Cougar 9-inch housing
Detroit Soft Locker
31-spline axles
3.50 gears

Front: Total Control Products tubular upper/lower control arms with QA1 adjustable coilover shocks
Rear: Custom unequal length four-link with QA1 adjustable coilover shocks

Front: Simmons FR, 17x9, polished lip with powdercoated silver center
Rear: Simmons FR, 17x12, polished lip with powdercoated silver center

Front: Michelin Pilot Sport, P245/45ZR17
Rear: Michelin Pilot Sport, P335/35ZR17

Front: Baer disc, four-piston calipers, slotted and drilled 13-inch rotors
Rear: Baer disc, single-piston calipers, slotted and drilled 11-inch rotors

Custom/restored interior by the owner and Brian Barrett, Zoops 7107 forged-aluminum steering wheel, Cobra Misano bucket front seats, carbon-fiber-look gauge cluster modified for Auto Meter Phantom instruments, custom emergency brake lever with modified Hurst handle, custom center console trimmed in brushed aluminum, modified rear seat side panels to fit wheeltubs, custom speaker box with 8-inch Kicker subwoofers made to appear like factory fold-down rear seat, Sony xplod head unit, Kicker 4½-inch door speakers and 6-inch rear speakers, custom door panels, lighted door sill plates

PPG base-/clearcoat by Wyatt's Auto Body (Rialto, CA); Unlimited Products fiberglass hood modified by Kenny Smith; front and rear bumpers tucked, rear marker lights removed