Ben Hosking
May 7, 2014

Mark decided against fitting any stereo gear, instead preferring to listen to the glorious cacophony coming from the Windsor.

In a sea of classically inspired restomod Mustangs and Eleanor clones, Mark Sullivan's '65 Fastback stands out a little more than most. Sullivan has built plenty of cars in his time, including a '69 Pontiac, a Chevy Impala, and a handful of Holdens. And when we say he's built them, we mean he's built them himself—no checkbook builds to be found here!

Situated on a couple of acres down a bumpy old road in a little suburb on the coast between two of Australia's biggest cities, Sullivan's property features an interesting array of garages that resemble something akin to Dr. Who's Tardis. You walk in through the door of what seems like a regular two-car shed, only to continue walking through doors into additional large spaces—all full of projects on the boil, including a VW Beetle awaiting fresh paint, another couple of 1970s Holdens, his father's Mustang Fastback that's awaiting new paint on its roof, and Mark's latest acquisition, a 1960 Cadillac that he's working on now.

It's within the walls of these workshop spaces that Mark creates his own version of automotive perfection, including the process of prepping and painting each vehicle in his own improvised paint booth out back. Apart from engine building and interior trimming, his latest completed project—this two-tone fastback—Sullivan handled all the hard work himself at home.

When you gaze over the images of the PPG Orange and Black '65 here, you start to appreciate just how much work the transformation process must have included. Starting with a pretty clean original specimen, Sullivan says that it only took him around 12 months of after-hours and weekend work to complete the project, which is impressive in anyone's language.

Perhaps the most obvious alterations to Mark's fastback are the deletion of the roof louvers and billet alloy radiator grilles. However, the changes go far deeper than that. Peer past the flawless bodywork and billet details (including the fuel cap and taillight surrounds) and you'll realize that the only way to get the 20x10-inch Intro alloy rims that far under the butt is to tub the car. Poke your head underneath and you'll see all the neat fabrication work Mark completed to further aid the use of the large tires and improve the 49-year-old two-door's handling. Helix coilovers are mounted at all four corners, and a MacDonald Brothers four-link setup helps hold up the rearend, with a 9-inch between the rear wheels using 4.11:1 gears and 31-spline Moser axles.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Eight ceramic-coated black trumpets poke up through the carbon fiber-style vinyl stripes that run the length of the Pony and hint at what lurks beneath. These are bolted to a set of four 48IDF Weber carbs that feed a thirsty 427ci Windsor stroker. Pop the bonnet and you'll find that everything within the bright orange engine bay is also coated in matching crinkle black. No doubt this is thanks to Mark's day job as owner of Procoat, a business that specializes in all kinds of automotive coating services. The result is striking and a world apart from the usual gleaming towers of polished and chromed metal that one sees protruding from a muscle car's engine bay.

That black theme is continued elsewhere on the Mustang, where anything chrome has been coated or painted black, like the bumpers, exterior bright work, and those Intro wheels. One area where Mark deviated from that theme was the interior, where polished billet and sandstone-colored leather keep things nice and bright.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Inside, a pair of Honda buckets live up front, with whatever hasn't been covered in the pale leather painted in the same PPG orange as the exterior. Mark smoothed off the dash, fitting a billet instrument fascia full of Auto Meter gauges. The same design theme runs right through the middle of the coupe thanks to the custom center console that features drink holders and a custom surround for the Quicksilver shifter. The scratched and fingerprint-covered billet steering wheel provides evidence of Mark's willingness to get the car out at every opportunity and cruise.

Indeed, since Sullivan completed the build, he's put more than 1,600 miles on the clock through regular weekend cruising and attending a number of car shows like Sydney's annual MotorEx and shows around his local Central Coast area of New South Wales. Despite the hours the car spends out on the road, Mark decided against fitting any stereo gear, instead preferring to listen to the glorious cacophony coming from the Windsor.

Despite a garage full of cars, Mark says he's not yet ready to part with the Mustang, although he does have an Impala sitting next to it with a fresh big-block crate engine awaiting a new owner. Instead, he's more than happy to continue cruising in the fastback while he rebuilds the Cadillac that's his latest focus. With a stack of trophies on the mantle already, we don't blame Mark for holding onto this one-of-a-kind Pony.

The Details

Mark Sullivan's '65 Mustang Fastback

Engine
427ci Dart Windsor block
Scat H-beam rods
Ross forged pistons
Scat forged crank
Bennett Racing custom hydraulic roller cam
Ported Edelbrock aluminum heads
Edelbrock intake manifold
4x48IDE Weber carbs
MDS 6AL ignition
MSD distributor
Sheetmetal rocker covers
Billet breathers
Braided stainless fuel lines
Transmission
C4
2,800rpm TCE stall
Quicksilver shifter
Rearend
9-inch
4.11:1 final drive
31-spline Moser axles
MacDonald Brothers four-link
Exhaust
Pacemaker headers (13⁄4-inch primaries)
Hooker mufflers
2½-inch mild steel dual exhaust
Suspension
Front: Rack-and-pinion conversion, Helix coilovers
Rear: Helix coilovers
Brakes
Front: Helix 330mm discs, Helix calipers
Rear: Stock drums
Wheels
Front: 20x8.5-inch Intro rims powdercoated
Rear: 20x10-inch Intro rims powdercoated
Tires
Front: 225/30-20 Kumho
Rear: 255/30-20 Kumho
Interior
Sandstone leather trim, Honda front buckets, Intro billet steering wheel, tan carpets, Auto Meter gauges, billet instrument fascia, custom dash fascia, custom center console, billet armrests and window winders, billet foot pedals
Exterior
PPG orange and black paint, deleted C-pillar louvers, carbon fiber-style vinyl stripes, billet taillight surrounds, billet fuel cap, custom radiator grille