Joe Greeves
January 8, 2016

Every now and then, we discover a Mustang build that justifies the much-overused taking-it-to-the-next-level phrase. The words are always sought-after, but often only amount to a builder’s wishful thinking. That’s not the case with the experienced team from Classic Muscle Motor Company in Daytona Beach, Florida. The crew has been building muscle cars, restomods, and frame-off restorations since 1993. One look at their 1967 fastback and you’ll agree the company has the talent, tools, and imagination to get the job done. CMMC President Paul Newman had a vision for a one-of-a-kind car that could truly punch through to the next level of awesomeness, while simultaneously showcasing the talents of his staff. The two-year build enhanced virtually every nut and bolt on the car, upgrading every element and turning it into a genuine showpiece.

Great rides begin with solid foundations, and the rejuvenation process started at the chassis level. But first, the car went on a rotisserie to clean, smooth, detail, and paint the underside until it was as slick as the outside was going to be. Next, the team tossed the stock shock towers and suspension in favor of complete Detroit Speed & Engineering front and rear suspension. That included DSE’s Aluma-Frame front and QuadraLink rear suspension setups and massive Baer brakes (14-inch rotors in front, 13-inch in back), which hide behind special Forgeline wheels and BFGoodrich tires.

Of course, the heart of any build is the powertrain. This one uses a 427 IR all-aluminum crate V-8 from Roush Racing with a showy Roush eight-stack electronic fuel injection setup with velocity stacks that sends an estimated 560hp to the Tremec five-speed. This show Pony looks good and gallops fast!

The front end incorporates a combination of Shelby-style additions with a billet grille and multiple driving lights, appropriate for a pro-touring ride like this one. Custom hood pins lock down the Mustangs To Fear fiberglass hood, and twin black stripes down the center accent the Pepper Gray paint job.
The shaved rear features a molded-in spoiler, tightly tucked rear bumper, back-up camera, and full-width Shelby-style taillights equipped with a one-of-a-kind, rolling sequential mechanism employing 300 LEDs. Foot-wide rear tires hint at the performance under the hood.

Body mods were next, and while it’s not a replica, the Eleanor influence is strong. Most body men have learned that aftermarket parts rarely fit properly, but according to Newman, the Mustangs To Fear upgrades were the best he’s ever seen. All the additions were molded to the car, including wheel flares, deck lid spoiler, upper side scoops, functional lower side scoops that cool the rear brakes, and rocker panels with side-exiting pipes. MTF’s fiberglass hood and billet grille with multiple driving lights created a distinctive front end, while the rear sport’s full-width, Shelby-style taillights have been custom fitted with 300 LEDs, scrolling like a theater marquee and redefining sequential taillights. The rear-view camera resides where the trunk lock used to sit, and Shelby side mirrors complete the changes. Lots of time and effort went into ensuring the cut lines were precise, bumpers were tight to the body, and panels were glass smooth.

Dozens of inside modifications transform the Mustang into a new millennium, interstate cruiser. Italian leather seats with Cobra skin inserts, new center and overhead consoles, Classic Instruments gauge package, Vintage Air, and an elaborate Pioneer/Hertz audiovisual system pamper the driver and passengers, truly taking this car to the next level.

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With the sheer volume of distinctive touches applied to the exterior, the interior had to be match and it does not disappoint. All the upholstery elements were done in-house. The first things that catch your eye are the plush sport seats, in Italian leather with Cobra snakeskin inserts, and matching Roush valve covers. The handcrafted rear seat was stitched to match. A re-shaped dash features Vintage Air Gen IV A/C vents and a collection of electronic analog gauges from Classic Instruments, including a shift-light indicator. Check out the tiny Shelby racing stripes added to the tach and the CMMC logo applied inside the speedo. Newman added a Budnik wheel to the Ididit tilt column. Both the new center console with its unique Bowler shifter and the matching overhead console were upholstered in black Italian leather.

Entertainment is essential for a ride of this caliber and just like the motor, suspension, exterior, and interior, the audiovisual system qualifies for next-level status, employing a Pioneer Double Din receiver that offers navigation, DVD, and Bluetooth connections. It controls a rear-mounted Hertz five-channel amp that powers a pair of Hertz 10-inch subs in the rear package tray, separated 6.5-inch component sets in the rear quarter air vents, two additional 6.5-inch component sets in the custom kick panels, and a pair of tweeters in the doors. All inside painted surfaces match the exterior and are accented with black-painted trim. The Mustang has a full range of power options, including steering, brakes, windows, door locks, and trunk release. The keyless entry system uses Kindig-it door handles outside and re-purposed door lock buttons inside to act as door poppers. The final step was paint, sprayed by the experts at the CMMC Garage, using Pepper Gray with black center stripes.

The two-year build was worth the effort with this next-level Mustang capturing Best of Show in every event that it has attended. It’s a rocket on the road, too, and when it’s at shows or simply parked out in front of the shop, it’s the perfect, eye-catching way to introduce the public to the talents of the team at CMMC Garage.

Removing the shock towers made room for the 560hp Roush 427 aluminum crate motor, complete with an eight-stack electronic fuel-injection setup, which feeds ported and polished aluminum heads, while custom headers dump into stainless steel, side-exit exhausts. A unique touch, the Cobra skin valve covers match the seat upholstery. Finally, a Billet Specialties TruTrac serpentine system locates and turns the accessories.
Upholstered to match the interior, the trunk’s custom panels conceal the car’s electronics, battery, and stereo components. The CMMC logo is proudly displayed on the back panel.
The bottom of this Mustang is as highly detailed as the top. The Detroit Speed Aluma-Frame front suspension with tubular A-arms, rack-and-pinion power steering, and adjustable aluminum coilover shocks handle front-end duties, while in the rear, QuadraLink 4-link with Panhard bar hold a Ford 9-inch equipped with Strange 31-spline axles and third member, along with a second set of Detroit Speed coilover shocks. The combination provides lightning quick, autocross-ready response, transforming this almost half-century old car into a modern autocross competitor. Everything has been painted to match.
The car became a roller, thanks to special Forgeline rims, fat 18x12s in the rear, and 18x9s up front. BFG rubber—P275/30ZR18 in front and P335/30ZR18 in the rear—helps the Mustang stick to asphalt like Velcro.
Owner and builder Paul Newman (also president of Classic Muscle Motor Company in Daytona Beach, Florida), has been working on his company’s masterpiece for the last two years. The Mustang has become a rolling advertisement for the talents of his build team.
The classic lines of the fastback silhouette are enhanced with dozens of additions, each carefully molded to the body. Wheel flares, side exhaust rocker panels, functional side scoops, and distinctive Kindig-it door handles are unique touches.