Dale Amy
February 3, 2016
Photos By: Courtesy of Angelo Vilardo

A Canadian ’Stang-head has embarked on an ambitious project worthy of our attention. It seems Angelo Vilardo’s love of the 1971-1973 “flatback” body style has always been tempered by the thought that its rear haunches needed more curvaceous contours—both for appearance purposes and to accommodate fatter rear rubber. Now that he mentions it, those rear quarters are kind of slab-like. Finding no available aftermarket widebody solutions for this generation of Mustang, Angelo decided to create his own, while also conjuring up some other body mods for the nose and tail.

We’re sufficiently intrigued by Angelo’s scheme and handiwork to date that we’ve decided to do a full feature on his Mustang once completed later this year. In the meantime, he’s sent us a few snapshots of this ongoing project that should result in one of the lower, wider 1971s to ever roam the streets of Toronto—or anywhere else, for that matter.

To establish the shape of his bodacious new rear quarters, Angelo painstakingly formed up a birdcage structure using metal rods, with each standoff piece carefully measured and positioned so as to create symmetrical, mirror-image contours on each side of the car.
To lay the groundwork for molds for the eventual fiberglass panels, the birdcage was temporarily skinned in two-layered cardboard scored on the backside so as to bend without kinking. This cardboard skin was hot-glued to the cage structure and then hardened with three coats of fiberglass resin. Body filler was applied and sanded to perfect the final shapes, which ultimately were used to create reusable molds for the various new body parts.
The new rear end is roughly three inches wider per side (at the wheel opening) than stock, and will be able to swallow P315/35R20 rubber on 12-inch-wide wheels without resorting to any mini-tubs (thereby preserving full rear seat width). A new valance, with diffuser, will finish off the hind quarters, which will sit about four inches lower than stock. Up front, there’ll be a 2½-inch drop.
Speaking of the front, it hasn’t been neglected either, as this early construction shot hints. That said the front fenders, which—unlike the stock rear quarters—have a decided wheelwell bulge from the factory, will remain at stock width. The fascia, grill area, and hood, however, are being re-contoured for a more assertive, somewhat Shelby-esque appearance.
In another nod to Shelby styling, with the factory inlet scoops left in place on the hood, Angelo is pairing them with functional air exit ducts at the rear. His new 347ci/five-speed combo might just generate some heat.