Wayne Cook
November 1, 2008
Photos By: Jim Smart

Chad McCance of Atlantic, Iowa, is the longtime owner of this '65 Mustang coupe. He was only 19 years old when his father bought the car home as a project in 1986. He was pleasantly surprised when his parents gave him the coupe for his 20th birthday. To put it mildly, "it was a bit of a mess at the time." The rear quarters were rusted out and the Mustang had orange shag carpeting. It also had long rear shackles with the original wheels and hubcaps. Chad was lucky because from the very first day he was able to enlist the help of his dad, who is a Ford enthusiast and professional mechanic. Modifications started right away as they tossed the 289 and replaced it with a 302, graciously donated by his grandma's Comet. Chad and his dad rebuilt grandma's engine with a radical cam and 351 Windsor heads. He drove the car with that engine for many years.

Since he has owned the Mustang he has gone through it several times. For example, this is the third paint job in the 22 years since he has owned the coupe. He has replaced leaking cowls, both quarter panels, both fenders, the radiator support, the hood, the driver's door, both rear subframes, and both front floor pans. When he finally decided on a completely new engine, he knew that he wanted to build it himself. He ordered a PAW short-block and then added the Edelbrock Performer Power Package top end kit. Dad came out to oversee the installation and to be sure that Chad didn't mess anything up. He found that the new engine transformed his car into an excellent daily driver.

Boost Is Better
However, Chad felt that his Mustang looked just like everyone else's at the car shows he attended. He began to ponder what could be done to set his car apart from the crowd. When he saw Paxton advertising its updated supercharger kit for small-block Fords, he knew what he wanted to do. He ordered one and, once again, his father was on hand to assist with the installation. He says that he loves the way the supercharger works. There was no change to the nice cruising manners his car had and when he hits the throttle the car "goes like mad." He chose the polished version, saying that it does get a lot of attention every time he lifts the hood.

Chad wants to thank a lot of people for helping with his project, especially his dad. Ron and David Bramlett of Mustangs Plus have been of tremendous help and he considers them both to be good friends. Mark Montoya of Ray's Paint and Body in Price, Utah, did a great job, and Chad was also careful to mention that his wife has shown "extreme patience." She also gets credit for picking the colors. Chad has enjoyed working on his Mustang, but he says it's not his favorite thing about the car. To Chad, the best aspect of ownership has been that a shared interest in the Mustang has kept his family close. He has had to call home countless times to ask his father questions. Also, his parents traveled over 700 miles to help with the installation of the supercharger. Finally, Chad hopes to bring the next generation of his family into the hobby. He wants to instill the same passion he has for Mustangs into his son, Bryce, and he recently bought a '67 Mustang coupe in pretty rough shape for the two of them to work on (Boy, that sounds familiar! -Ed.). Bryce is somewhat intimidated by the magnitude of the project before them but, at 15 years old, he has lots of time.

Photo Gallery

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The look is polish and aluminum underhood, with the large Paxton carburetor enclosure dominating the scene. Underneath the dog house is the Edelbrock Performer Power Package, complete except for a Mighty Demon 650-cfm carburetor, which comes from Demon Carburetion

Paxton & Mustangs Go Way Back
In April 1966 Shelby-American concluded an agreement with Paxton to install its centrifugal superchargers on the Shelby GT350. The blower was to be offered as a special option on new Shelby Mustangs and be available on manual and automatic transmission cars. Few were ordered, and it is thought that less than a dozen supercharged '66 GT350s were produced. The original Shelby American/Paxton package used the stock-sized 460-cfm Autolite carb and a special fuel pump. The blower was an expensive option for 1966 at $675. Shelby American claimed a 40 percent increase in horsepower worth about 390 hp. The original superchargers were "ball drive," while modern Paxton blowers have a gear-driven system.

The Details
Chad McCance's '65 Mustang Coupe

Engine

  • 302 V-8 bored 0.060 oversize (311 ci)
  • 4.060-inch bore
  • 3.00-inch stroke
  • Engine assembled with ARP fasteners
  • TRW 9.5:1 forged pistons
  • I-beam connecting rods
  • Ford crankshaft
  • Edelbrock Performer aluminum cylinder heads
  • Edelbrock camshaft, .448/.472 lift, 214/214 duration at .050-inch lift
  • Edelbrock Performer Air Gap 302 aluminum intake manifold
  • Barry Grant Mighty Demon 650-cfm four-barrel carburetor
  • Paxton Novi 1200 centrifugal supercharger
  • MSD E-Curve billet distributor

Transmission

  • Ford Racing Performance Parts T-5 five-speed manual
  • Pro 5.0 shifter
  • Centerforce clutch
  • Hydraulic clutch linkage
  • Aluminum driveshaft

Rearend

  • Currie 9+ 9-inch Traction-Lok differential
  • 3.50 gears
  • 31-spline axles
  • Total Control spring plates

Exhaust

  • Hooker Super Competition headers
  • 3-inch aluminized steel exhaust system
  • Flowmaster 40 series mufflers

Suspension

  • Front: Mustangs Plus Magna upper and lower control arms and 620 front coil springs, Edelbrock shock absorbers, 1-inch diameter antisway bar, Total Control rack-and-pinion power steering, KRC power-steering pump, Total Control subframe connectors and export brace
  • Rear: Mustangs Plus Magna four-leaf springs, Shelby under-ride traction bars, 3/4-inch rear antisway bar, Edelbrock shock absorbers

Brakes

  • Front: Baer 12-inch disc, cross drilled and slotted, two-piston caliper
  • Rear: Currie 11-inch drum

Wheels

  • Front: Edelbrock 409 full polished, 15x7
  • Rear: Edelbrock 409 full polished, 16x8

Tires

  • Toyo Proxes T1R, P205/45R15
  • Toyo Proxes T1R, P245/45R16

Interior

  • Corbeau sport seats, Neoleather upholstery in black and silver done by Hancock Upholstery of Salt Lake City, Utah, LeCarra steering wheel, Haneline six-gauge instrument cluster, Haneline Elite Series gauges, Auto Meter boost gauge, Hurst shift lever with "cue ball" knob, ididit polished aluminum tilt steering column, Kenwood AM/FM DVD receiver and 7-inch fully motorized monitor, trunk-mounted CD changer, package tray with Pioneer 200-watt speakers and third brake light, Sony 180 watt kick panel speakers, 8-inch trunk-mounted subwoofer, custom center console, 10-disc CD changer, Clarion 5.8-inch monitor for backseat passengers

Exterior

  • Ford Sapphire Blue Metallic paint, Le Mans stripes in Silver Frost, GT-style rocker stripes, Shelby-style brake scoops, 3-inch cowl-induction hood, rear spoiler, Shelby R-style front valance, GT rear valance panel, GT exhaust trumpets