Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
December 1, 2009
Photos By: James Pickett

While the outside looks great (two-tone paint schemes look sweet on the classics in our opinion), the interior and under-hood hold even more surprises and garner their own share of trophy goodness as well. Raising the fiberglass hood reveals a fender-to-fender filling of modern Blue Oval power in the name of an '04 Mustang Cobra 32-valve 4.6L "Terminator" engine. Currently, the major spinning parts inside are all stock (not a bad thing when the Terminator came with beefy Manley rods and a steel crank), but the Cobra spec F1 ProCharger conversion kit amps up the power quite nicely. It doesn't hurt that it looks good doing it either. ELD Performance in Millersville, Maryland, was responsible for the sano-clean engine build, detailing, and installation, including the DFI fuel management. Exhaust is a combination of stock manifolds, Borla mufflers, and stainless tubing. Backing the engine is a Brand X Turbo 350 three-speed auto with a 4,000 rpm stall converter (more ex-race car stuff) with a Gear Vendors overdrive unit to split the gear ratios for better fuel economy.

Inside, the Mustang is mostly show car with a little bit of race car planning left over. The interior is a mix of gray leather and suede on just about every surface-from the seats and door panels to the custom suede headliner. Bowtie Auto Trim in Mt. Airy, handled the interior upgrades, custom panels in the trunk, and recovering the Flofit seats to match. Other interior niceties include a Clarion audio system with two amps (one for the sub and the other for the main speaker setup) installed by Wolf Mobile, five-point harnesses in all four seating positions, custom center console, and a smoothed and painted dash (no dash pad, like the early Falcons). A Budnik steering wheel is connected to a Flaming River column and manual steering rack for when it comes time for Rick to turn corners.

Since the car has been completed and on the road for about two years now Rick has been enjoying taking the family out for ice cream and hitting the local show/cruise circuit. He's trailered the car to the farther events, such as the Carlisle All-Ford Nats where we've seen him the last two years polishing the car incessantly. Oh, and since life is always filled with irony we'd be remiss in stating that the 75-80 Dragway, after being closed for five years (most of Rick's project time frame), reopened to the public with a refurbished facility and lots of upgrades this past April.

On a whim one Friday night, Rick and his father visited the track. "My dad had not been to the track in nearly 40 years and I hadn't been in nearly six. Needless to say, we had a lot of fun that evening. The outcome would have been better if we could have gotten some wrinkle out of those 315/35 series tires, but then again, you're not breaking anything when your spinning." For the record, Rick's coupe ran an 11.50 at 121 mph with a 2.10 60-foot time.

Like most project cars, Rick's Mustang made a lot of memories for his friends and family, but he's gotten used to the 500-plus horsepower and is looking forward to upgrading the heads and cams as a winter project in the quest for more power with the support of his wife and kids throughout the whole project; and that's far from a drag if you ask us.

The Details
Rick Lane's '65 Mustang coupe
'04 Cobra 4.6L 32-valve modular
3.552-inch bore
3.543-inch stroke
Manley H-beam rods
Steel crank
Forged pistons
ProCharger F1 supercharger
88-lb/hr injectors
Air-to-air intercooler
Custom aluminum radiator
DFI engine management
Aeromotive pump, filters, and lines

Turbo 350 three-speed automatic
Gear Vendors overdrive unit
4,000 rpm stall speed converter
B&M Magnum Grip Pro Stick shifter

9-inch Ford
Motive Gear 4.11 gears
35-spline axles

Stock 4.6L 32-valve iron manifolds
Borla 4-inch-diameter mufflers
Stainless steel dual side exhaust