July 26, 2010

Marc Schiliro of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, is the proud owner of this '65 Mustang 2+2. Although he works at Mercedes Benz during the day, for evenings and weekends he's all Ford. Mark doesn't talk much about his day job when he's at Mustang Club of New England events. He's also a member in good standing in the Mustang Club of America.

Marc started out in the hobby with a good-looking '65 Mustang coupe, red with white interior. It was a nice car, and he spent some time on the show circuit with it. But the fastback version of the Mustang kept catching his eye. Finally, when a good deal on a black '65 fastback with a red interior came along, Marc had to scramble. First he had to sell the '65 Mustang coupe. Then he had to arrange financing for the balance. He accomplished both tasks in record time, and the 2+2 was his. This Mustang was a nice car as well, and Marc drove the streamlined fastback as his daily driver for several years. During that time, he had local engine expert John Souza go through the drivetrain, subjecting the 289 to a complete rebuild.

When the latest rendition of the movie Gone in 60 Seconds made the Eleanor Mustang famous, Marc was intrigued by the aggressive-looking car. After some research, he discovered that turnkey Eleanor conversions can cost in excess of $100,000. Fiberglass components for the movie-star car began to appear, but they were based on the '67-'68 Mustang fastback body style. Marc began to explore the possibility of making an Eleanor Mustang out of his '65 fastback. When he discovered that Mustang Depot in Las Vegas, Nevada, offered conversion components for the '65 model year, the decision was made to convert the car to Eleanor status.

The project got off to a slow start. The shop that agreed to do the job let the car sit for three months with nothing to show but a thick coating of shop dust. Then, on the advice of a friend, Marc moved the car to Jennings Garage in Fall River, Massachusetts. The crew at Jennings began the project in earnest without delay. Owner Joe Jennings was an experienced body and paint man, and he was also familiar with fiberglass parts. He urged Marc to order the whole kit, sidepipes and all, so that his Eleanor Mustang would have every feature seen on the car in the movie. The parts were ordered from Mustang Depot and the long metamorphosis began. The Jennings crew accomplished the entire conversion including paint in about three months. They also performed the interior renovation a short time later.

Marc believes his car is the first '65 Mustang Eleanor conversion, and it carries a plaque under the hood denoting its special status. We say Marc's Eleanor Mustang conversion is an interesting project that turned out great.

The Details
'65 Mustang 2+2 Eleanor conversion Owner: Marc Schiliro, Portsmouth, RI

Engine
289 0.030 oversized
Reciprocating assembly balanced
Steel I-beam rods
Federal-Mogul hypereutectic pistons
Comp Cams flat-tappet hydraulic camshaft
Hardened exhaust valve seats
Edelbrock Performer 289 aluminum intake manifold
Holley 600-cfm four-barrel carburetor
Accel distributor and ignition

Transmission
C4 automatic
Shift improvement kit

Rearend
9-inch
3.00 gears

Exhaust
Tri-Y Headers
Dr. Gas 211/42-inch side exhaust
SpinTech mufflers

Suspension
Front: lowering coil springs,
KYB Gas-a-Just shocks
Rear: four-leaf springs,
KYB Gas-a-Just shocks

Brakes
Front: power disc
Rear: power drum

Wheels
Front: Unique Performance GT40 wheels, 17x8
Rear: Unique Performance GT40 wheels, 17x8

Tires
Front: Nitto, P225/40ZR17
Rear: Nitto, P225/40ZR17

Interior
Red Deluxe upholstery
Custom aluminum door-trim panels
Grant steering wheel
JME instrument bezel
Auto Meter gauges
Pioneer stereo head unit
Twin Pioneer amplifiers
Kicker 8-inch sub woofer
Boston Acoustics speakers

Exterior
Eleanor fiberglass conversion components from Mustang Depot
Hood, headlight buckets, upper nose opening, lower nose opening
Fender flares, side-exhaust skirts, upper and lower side scoops
Trunk lid with end caps
Taillight panel modified to accept Shelby taillights
DuPont Fleet 44490 Pepper Grey Metallic
Stripes: DuPont Black Metallic

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