Modified Mustangs & Fords
1968 Mustang Fastback - Beating The Odds
Although This Mustang Needed A Huge Amount Of Work To Put It Right, The End Result Was Spectacular. It Truly Represents A Case Of...
When it came time to paint it, the choice was made to use a color that would stand out, and what could be more fitting for a bruiser like this than red? And as we all know (especially insurance companies, it seems), red cars are faster-right? The actual hue chosen was Classic Porsche Guards Red. Sikkens base and clear was used to spray on the new color and once the Shelby hood, trunk lid, and scoops were installed on the car, along with the fiberglass snout and tail panel, the '68 was really starting to look the business.
Cool paint is one thing, but a classic Ford like this is no good if it doesn't have a decent drivetrain to back up its racy looks. A lot of folks seem to go the 302 route in these cars, but Allan decided to try something different. "We had this 351 Windsor motor from a '94 F-150, which we used as the foundation. We bored it 0.030 over, but kept the stock crank and rods." Linked to these rods was a set of TRW pistons, but with forced induction in mind, the compression was kept at a relatively low 8.5:1. A pair of Edelbrock Victor Jr. aluminum heads were added, along with a Comp Cams bumpstick and 1.6:1 roller rockers.
Because Don wanted a car that had plenty of go and that he could drive anywhere on a whim, tractability was of paramount importance, so Allan installed fuel injection. "It runs a Trick Flow upper and lower intake and 42 lb/hr injectors, along with a 70mm throttle body," he said. "We installed a Vortech supercharger on the car, along with BBK 15/8-inch headers and 21/2-inch exhaust with DynoMax mufflers."
Combined with a Tremec TKO-500 five-speed manual gearbox and a built 9-inch diff with Auburn soft locker, 3.70 gears, and 31-spline Strange axles, the car "hooks pretty good"-no doubt a pair of CalTracs bars on the rear springs help out. Other stuff we'll mention (before we run out of space) are the Mustang II front suspension clip (sourced from Rod & Custom Motorsports), the four-wheel disc brake conversion, and 17-inch Vintage Wheel Works 10-spoke '68-style Shelby rims shod in modern high-performance rubber.
Although the car is clearly a fully tricked-out restomod, Allan and Don wanted to make sure it captured the essence of a '68 Shelby. "On the outside, you'll notice that we've tried to keep it more or less stock looking," said Allan. "There are no fender flares or rocker panel extensions and even though the wheels are 17s, they look like they belong on the car."
The same goes for the interior. Yes, you can find a set of Auto Meter gauges mounted in the instrument cluster and a Kenwood sound system, but the overall effect of these additions is subtle. "We've tried to keep it looking like a classic Mustang," Allan said, which explains the Sebring wood-rimmed steering wheel and the classic shade of black chosen for the upholstery, along with a Shelby rollbar.
Modern safety also comes into play, so you'll find a Lokar handbrake between the seats as well as three-point belts to keep occupants in place. "This car is a blast to drive," said Allan. "It took us about 9 months to complete the project, and after that we kept it for a while and drove it to make sure everything was fine and there were no issues. We took [the '68] to shows and it was very well received. We won a number of awards with the car, so when the time came to give it back to Don, he already had a fistful of trophies and awards in the trunk."
So Don gets a hot car and a bunch of awards in one shot. Not a bad deal, considering what he and Allan started out with.
Dr. Don Campbell's '68 Mustang fastback