Jim Smart
December 1, 2002

We have to tell you, this one caught our eye quickly. The story that went with it held our attention. Then Neil Ohlson of Discovery Bay, California, spun the crank for an adrenaline rush, and we still haven't recovered.

OK, OK—so we’re really excited by this ride. And the darned thing begs all sorts of questions like: What color is it? How much power does it make? What did you spend? And, is it really true that love is better the second time around? We can answer the first three questions easily. Neil and Sandy can answer the fourth. For each of them, it’s the second time around. And what a second time it is. Call it an involved story with a happy ending.

Neil's ex-wife purchased this Mustang for his 30th birthday. At the time, it was gloss black and in need of a facelift. When Neil started on his Mustang project, he didn't bank on a divorce to follow a short time later, which kept his fastback in dry dock for several years. In 1995, he pulled off the car cover, blew off the dust, and went back to work with boatloads of enthusiasm. Neil's Mustang project wouldn't see the finish line for six years.

What made Neil's undertaking extraordinary was the enthusiasm of his friends who became closely involved. Mike Blackstone comes to mind, who has had his ride featured in Hot Rod magazine. Neil gives Mike a lot of credit for the success of this Mustang project, especially the screaming 500-horse, 355ci stroker small-block he built beneath the bonnet. It is quite possibly the most powerful 289/302-based engine we've ever published in Mustang & Fords. A Lakewood scattershield is home to an 11-inch Centerforce flywheel and clutch. Ford's bulletproof Top Loader four-speed, shifted by Hurst, stands up to the severe punishment of this radical small-block. Inside the Lincoln Versailles 9-inch housing are 3.55:1 gears in a Traction-Lok package. Disc brakes do it well on all four corners.

If you’re wondering how Mike Blackstone managed to squeeze 500 hp and 460 pounds of twist out of this small-block, it boils down to know-how. Mike massaged the Edelbrock heads and Victor Jr. intake for improved breathing. He outfitted the small-block with an MSD ignition system and a Barry Grant fuel system. Two-inch header tubes allow for effortless exhaust scavenging. It looks to us like Neil got his exhaust system from a local plumbing supply house with huge Spin Tech 3½-inch sewer pipes and silencers. Call this an idea borrowed from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. It roars!

Believe it or not, that’s ’65-’67 Mustang Vintage Burgundy with a twist. Neighbor and close friend Steve Keefer worked the body and laid down DuPont 2-Stage urethane with Violet Pearl in the clearcoat for this overwhelming end result. Would you believe this was accomplished in Neil’s garage? That’s Maier Racing fiberglass beneath the violent violet. Inside, those are Corbeau Sportsman bucket seats. Neil did the upholstery work. Auto Meter gauges provide vehicle performance insight.

For Neil, an extraordinary fate led him to Sandy, who has shared in his passion for a number of years now. The second part of the second love the second time around is this awesome violet/purple Mustang that Neil believes can clock a top speed of more than 160 mph. Call this—extraordinary.