Jerry Heasley
January 1, 2005

Was it an original 289 Hi-Po car? No, but like every non-Hi-Po '65-'66 GT, it came mandatory with the 225hp four-barrel 289. His father's even had the four-speed from the factory.

Even with this performance heritage, Shane preferred to go the restomod route rather than restore. "I like the restomod look, so that's what I went with," Shane told us.

Shane wasn't worried about building value. He's strictly an end-user who has no plans to sell. His father bought the Mustang brand-new, then wrecked it in 1969. Shane grew up with the car, which was sometimes stored in the garage, often left outside, and was periodically "towed on a little dolly" as the family moved from house to house. The one-owner status and low mileage belie the actual condition of the vehicle.

According to Shane, "The front end was bashed up pretty good. It needed a new hood, a new fender, an apron, and core support."

In 1969, the grand plan had been to turn the Mustang into a dirt-track race car. Shane's father stripped the '65 to "bare nothing" before giving it to his son in the mid-'70s. Shane told us, "It was rusted, with bodywork done in some places and not in others. It looked pretty rough."

Luckily, both father and son are in the collision repair business. Shane did all the body and paint work. He had no grand plan. This was his first "restoration," as he calls the buildup. he started looking for ideas in magazines and assembled the coupe with the pieces he liked. His body shop talent shines through in the clean lines.

Performance would be the hallmark. Fly Yellow, a Ferrari color, was the brightest yellow Shane could find. The GT badges remain on the front fenders, but the GT stripes are no more. Shane explains, "it's pretty much as loud at as it needs to be just by being Fly Yellow."

The main body upgrades are the fiberglass Shelby sidescoops that direct air to the rear brakes, the '67 Shelby fiberglass scoop molded into the stock steel hood, and the Shelby front apron. Shane pulled the large galloping Mustang medallion out of the grille opening, so you can look right through to the Griffin aluminum radiator-a very pleasing sight to hot rodders.

The 289 remains under the hood, but it's been stroked to 347 ci, then pumped to big-block torque and power with a Paxton Novi 2000 supercharger. It dynoed at 470 hp to the rear wheels, but there's a caveat: the 347 was running lean, and Shane only got one pull. With a super tune, could he pull 500 horses on the dyno? Shane laughs out loud when posed that question, "Hell of a ride with that kind of horsepower."

Herein lies the advantage of the restomod. The 347, backed by a Tremec five-speed and spinning a set of 3.55 gears in a 9-inch spool, will blow the doors off a stock 289 GT and a lot of other exotic machinery. One giant step forward is the extra gear supplied by the Tremec's 0.68 ratio fifth gear. "With the four-speed, you're cruising along at 70 mph at 4,500 rpm," Shane says. "It just doesn't work. That's why I switched to the Tremec five-speed."

Shane lowered the car an inch with reverse eye leaf springs in back and 620-pound coil springs at the front.

Inside, the clean look continues with stock seats and upholstery trim accented by a Ferrari Yellow instrument panel fitted with billet gauges with white faces. "Most people would go with the flat black dash," says Shane. "That was common on those cars, but I prefer the gloss in there."

Shane parks the coupe outside his body shop, Xtreme Collision Repair in Plano, Texas. The car is an ice breaker for people who would otherwise not stop to talk restomods. Late models are his major business, but Shane is an enthusiast and has taken in a little vintage work lately. He told us, "Right now, nobody wants to stay with the stock thing anymore. Everybody wants a restomod."

His next project, already underway, is an Eleanor.