Mustang MonthlyFeatured Vehicles
1965 Ford Mustang Mean Green Custom Restomod
A boy’s first car gets turned into a man’s custom restomod years later
Do you remember that journey of setting out and finding your first car? Going back to 1986, Wylie Saulsbury and his dad, Jerry, set out to do just that. Even after many dead-end trips for what he thought would be promising cars, Wylie did not give up, and one day noticed something interesting sitting next to a barn on a lone country road near Lake Winnebago, Missouri. After locating the owner and making some back and forth offers, a price was agreed upon and Wylie had a ’65 Mustang for his first car. The car was dragged out of the field and put on a trailer to be taken home so some of its first restoration could begin. Once back at his parents’ house, Wylie scrounged up enough money to get his Mustang running. He shared his story about his newly found ride with his good friend Mike Norris and that got the gears turning on plans to finish building the car.
Wylie ended up driving his ’65 all through high school, but when it came time to head off to college the decision was made to leave it at home. So, with the help of his uncle the car was taken to his barn for storage, and it sat there for roughly 10 years.
After the decade of storage, Wylie pulled the car back out of the barn and did another rebuild with a new engine, transmission, and all new electronics until his car was reborn once again. Wylie got to enjoy his freshened-up ride by taking it to some local car cruises and shows and that’s where he met Bobby Schumacher, the owner of Vintage Fabrication. Schumacher had a good reputation of building high-quality, custom-built cars, many of which had been chosen to grace the covers of magazines over the years.
Wylie set up an appointment with Schumacher on a new direction to go with his car—he had visions of creating a mean corner-carving machine with plenty of power from a modern 32-valve Cobra transplant. The plan was set in stone and in went his Mustang for the final rebuild. This time Wylie got to watch the transformation take place with precision from a shop that knew how to stay on task and perform quality work in a short amount of time. This blew Wylie’s mind because he was not used to a shop that actually had the experience and knowledge to carry out such a plan.
Some of the custom additions to the body of the car required some metalwork. Schumacher looked up his good friend Mike Mclin with The RestoMod Store to assist with the build. The plan was for extensive sheetmetal work to create an unequally customized ’65 Mustang. One thing that had no place on the car was fiberglass; it had to be an all-steel car. Mclin and his boys did all of the custom sheetmetal fabrication, then prepped and sprayed it all with a coat of DuPont custom satin green paint. Once the exterior was finished, it was time to head back to Bobby’s shop to receive a custom interior. Corbeau seats were recovered with black/carbon-fiber Ultraleather. A full custom rollcage now resides inside to help stiffen up the chassis while also providing maximum safety protection.
Under the hood resides a 4.6L 32-valve Cobra engine that is fed by a Kenne Bell blower. Performance Automatic built a mighty manual valvebody automatic transmission to be able to handle every bit of horsepower turned out from the supercharged engine. In the hands of Erik Radzins, he was able to tune the combination to about 600 hp to the wheels.
Chassis-wise, a Heidts setup was used up front and a custom round tube chassis was constructed out back to allow this corner carver to exceed the stock design. To bring everything to a screaming halt, a set of Wilwood disc brakes were installed at all four corners. Finally, to complete the whole handling package, a custom set of lightweight three-piece Billet Specialties 18-inch wheels were wrapped in Nitto rubber.
Wylie’s biggest surprise was when he got the keys to his beautiful Mustang after only 12 months. He was amazed that Vintage Fabrication could work that fast and get such a huge project done in that time frame. Wylie would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who was involved with this transformation.