Rob Kinnan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
July 14, 2015
Photos By: Lawrence “Kiwi” Bryant

Do you like Mustangs and occasionally like to puff on a premium cigar? If so, this ’65 convertible is right up your alley. The car is being built by Lawrence “Kiwi” Bryant at Autocraft in Camarillo, California for owner James Topp, and it’s sponsored by Cigar Aficionado magazine to be one of the highlights of The Big Smoke, one of the magazine’s big events. While the body has been mostly left alone, everything under the skin is custom-built and trick.

The chassis uses Heidt’s Mustang II coil-over suspension with an Art Morrison 9-inch rearend and 4-link setup, while Wilwood Brakes (which is a stone’s throw from Autocraft) provided a set of their 13-inch, six-piston brakes (four-piston on the rear), which you’ll see between the spokes of 17-inch Shelby replica wheels. Motivation comes from a Ford Racing Boss 302 crate motor topped with a fully custom-built TVS 1900 supercharger with a rear intake setup and a liquid-to-air intercooler. If you look closely at the engine compartment photos here, you can begin to see some of the subtle custom work done in this area—the underside of the car is just as nice, if not more detailed. Kiwi built the headers and complete exhaust system out of 304 stainless steel, and they are a thing of tig-welded beauty. The interior will of course be completely custom but with the feel of an early Mustang, with an ididit tilt column and a Classic Instruments gauge cluster, but the centerpiece, literally, will be a cigar humidor built into the center console. And since this is a car for the type of distinguished gentleman that enjoys expensive cigars and premium spirits, the transmission is an automatic, specifically a Performance Automatic 4R70W.

We’re really digging the color choice; the car will be painted mocha brown with a copper pearl laid into it, which is understated class. The car is at paint as we write this, with a debut set for the SEMA Show, which is a week before The Big Smoke, also in Las Vegas (November 13-15, 2015). While the car is destined for those two Vegas shows, Kiwi said the idea is not just to create a show car but one that performs like a real car. “I have loved what guys like the Ringbrothers have done all these years,” Kiwi told us, “but it’s time for a change.” We’ll try to grab this one once it’s finished and bring you a full feature, and maybe even smoke a cigar afterwards.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery