Eric English
December 29, 2009

Scott Wahl's '68 1/2 Cobra Jet fastback
Long-term friendships are most often rooted in a combination of common beliefs, shared interests, and an overall similar outlook on life. Among these, we've observed that a mutual interest in all things automotive is as strong a bond as you're likely to experience. Most of us can identify lasting human connections that have stemmed from our love for cars, and in the case of Scott Wahl and Frank Schultz, we have a prime example.

"I first met Scott when I was 12, as his '66 Shelby was always parked at the Safeway grocery store where he worked" says Frank. "Every chance I got, I either rode my bike or went to Safeway with mom so I could check out the Shelby, which was lowered into the weeds and sounded nasty. I was hooked on Mustangs from that point on." The recollections from more than three decades ago are clear as day for Frank-the impression that a then 18 year-old Scott made on him being immense. It's amusing to think of how far apart the worlds of a 12 and 18 year old were, but how similar life is for the men at age 47 and 53. Amazingly Scott still has that Shelby from so long ago, while other acquisitions indicate the two have more automotive passion than ever.

Scott Wahl's Blue '68 1/2 CJ Fastback
"Back in the late 1990s, I was looking for the right big-block '67 or '68 fastback, as I'd only owned small-block cars to that point-the Shelby, a Boss 302, and so on. I found this car in Hemmings Motor News, and it sounded like what I was looking for," explained Scott. He and his wife Lindy eventually flew to St. Louis to check out the Acapulco blue GT, and ended up driving it back home to Seattle. "Quite the trip with 3.91 gears," says Scott, but all is well that ends well.

Over time, Scott began to effect change as he saw fit. Great as a CJ car is in stock form, Scott's experience with Mustangs of better overall balance directed his efforts. He had West Coast Restoration in Snohomish, Washington, add a Baer four-wheel disc setup along with Vintage Wheel Works V45s-17x8 front, and 17x9.5 in the rear. Scott reveals a traditionalist side when he explained his preference for the look of a 15- or 16-inch rim on a classic Mustang, but such was his desire for stellar braking, that he went with the 17s to clear the 13-inch rotors.

The 428CJ in Scott's car was near stock at the time of our photos, but a stroker 427 was being readied on the stand to take its place. Yep, not only is Scott willing to modify his rare ride, he's willing to drive it with gusto too, so putting the original engine away for safe keeping sounds like a good idea. Either way, the power is directed through a Tremec five-speed to the aforementioned original 3.91 geared 9-inch-equating to plenty of gear bangin' fun in our book.

The Details
Scott Wahl's '68 1/2 Cobra Jet fastback

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Engine

  • 427 center oiler block, 0.030-inch over
  • 4.260-inch bore
  • Scat 4.25-inch stroker crank
  • 485 cubic inches
  • Ported Edelbrock aluminum heads, 2.19/1.73 valves
  • Jesel shaft roller rockers
  • Holley 950 cfm carb
  • Blue Thunder dual plane intake
  • Custom Reed solid roller camshaft

    Transmission

  • Tremec TKO five-speed
  • Hurst shifter

    Rearend

  • 9-inch axle
  • 3.91 gears
  • Traction-Lok differential
  • 31-spline axles

    Exhaust

  • FPA Tri-Y headers
  • 2 1/2-inch pipes
  • Flowmaster three-chamber mufflers

    Suspension

  • Front: Grab-A-Trak 1 1/8-inch swaybar, 620 springs, poly bushings, KYB shocks
  • Rear: Grab-A-Trak 4 1/2 leaf mid-eye springs, heavy-duty shackles, staggered KYB shocks

    Brakes

  • Front: Baer "Track" kit 13-inch slotted/drilled/zinc-washed rotors, two-piston PBR aluminum calipers
  • Rear: Baer "Track" kit 13-inch slotted/drilled/zinc-washed rotors, single-piston PBR aluminum calipers

    Wheels

  • Front: Vintage Wheel Works V45, 17x8, 4.5-inch backspacing
  • Rear: Vintage Wheel Works V45, 17x9.5, 6.25-inch backspacing

    Tires

  • Front: BF Goodrich g-Force T/A, P245/45R17
  • Rear: BF Goodrich g-Force T/A, P255/50R17

    Interior
    Predominately stock, except for aftermarket stereo, console, Hurst shifter, and '67 GT500 style steering wheel (Scott explained that he always liked Steve McQueen's leather wrapped Shelby wheel in the original Bullitt, and duplicated it here)

    Exterior
    Stock Acapulco Blue w/black stripes, front and rear fenderlips rolled for tire clearance

    Frank Schultz's White '68 1/2 CJ Fastback
    Unlike Scott Wahl's experience with high strung small-blocks, Frank's been a big-block guy since his very first Mustang at age 15-an R-code '70 CJ Mach 1. "Scott called me up in 1999 to tell me about his latest purchase, the '68 1/2. To be honest, I didn't even know Ford made a '68 1/2 R-code at the time, but all it took was one ride to know I wanted one." It would be several years until the timing was right, but in 2005, Frank scored the Wimbledon White beauty you see here, which had been fully restored by Paul's Automotive Engineering in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Frank never intended to purchase a car that had been taken to such a high level, as his desire from the outset was to modify a '68 1/2 to reflect his own performance passion. As you can see, any guilt was fleeting, but all original parts have been carefully stored away for the future. Right out of the gate, the original C6 was swapped for a five-speed-a Tremec TKO to be specific, which is paired with the car's original 4.30 geared 31-spline 9-inch. Talk about a First gear traction problem! At least the power is more modest compared to Scott's stroker FE, as there are currently no plans to alter the virtually stock CJ. Paul's rebuilt the torque monster 428 to near factory specs, deviating only with a mild Comp Cams hydraulic grind, roller rockers, and basic cylinder head massaging. Why mess with a good thing?

    Where Frank strayed far from stock is in the suspension, brake, and rolling stock departments. Clearly visible are the Wheel Vintiques billet Magnums, measuring in width the same large proportions as Scott's. Hidden beneath at all corners are more Baer discs, paired with substantial suspension upgrades thanks to the handiwork of Shawn Carlson and Zach Thureson at West Coast. Said crew did its best to turn the nose-heavy big-block Pony into a corner carver, bolting in Global West tubular upper and lower control arms, adjustable strut rods, Koni shocks, and a big front sway bar. It's certainly no Boss 302, but Frank reports it now "drives beautifully." No doubt!

    Fast Friends
    Frank and Scott have been buddies for more than three decades now, and the similarities in their Cobra Jet Mustangs indicate how similarly they see the world. For these two, cars are meant to be driven, meant to be improved, and meant to be tastefully personalized to their individual inclination. We have to admit to not seeing many of the 1,044 '68 1/2 fastbacks whose owners will take such liberties, so to Scott and Frank, we say kudos for blazing their own path.

    But lest you think these owners are two peas in a pod, it turns out all isn't parallel in their universe. Frank admits to also owning a '70 LS5 Chevelle and a Pro Street '56 Chevrolet pickup, transgressions we're assured Scott bears no responsibility for. We're left to think that despite Scott's influential guidance, poor Frank must have fallen in with the wrong crowd at some point in his life. But hey, we'll cut him some slack in the end-for his pick to represent a Ford in his garage could hardly be any sweeter!

    The Details
    Frank Schultz '68 1/2 Cobra Jet fastback

    Engine

    • 433 cubic inches
    • Stock block, 0.030-inch overbore
    • 4.160-inch bore
    • 3.980-inch stroke
    • Stock head castings, prepped by Paul's Automotive Engineering
    • Stock Holley 735cfm carb
    • Stock cast iron intake
    • Comp Cams hydraulic cam
    • Comp Cams roller rockers

      Transmission

    • Tremec TKO five-speed
    • Lakewood bellhousing
    • McLeod clutch and billet flywheel

      Rearend

    • 9-inch axle
    • 4.30 gears
    • Traction-Lok differential
    • 31-spline axles

      Exhaust

    • Stock CJ exhaust manifolds
    • MagnaFlow stainless dual exhaust

      Suspension

    • Front: Global West upper/lower control arms, strut rods, and springs; Koni shocks; Grab-A-Trak 1 1/8-inch swaybar
    • Rear: stock w/Koni staggered shocks

      Brakes

    • Front: Baer "Track" kit 13-inch slotted/drilled/zinc-washed rotors, two-piston PBR aluminum calipers
    • Rear: Baer "Sport" kit 12-inch slotted/drilled/zinc-washed rotors, single-piston PBR aluminum calipers

      Wheels

    • Front: Wheel Vintiques billet Magnum 500s, 17x8, 4.5-inch backspacing
    • Rear: Wheel Vintiques billet Magnum 500s, 17x9.5, 6.25-inch backspacing

      Tires

    • Front: BF Goodrich g-Force T/A, P245/45R17
    • Rear: BF Goodrich g-Force T/A, P255/50R17

      Interior
      All stock except for an aftermarket console and shifter, original automatic car is reflected by lack of a tachometer in the factory instrument cluster

      Exterior
      Stock Wimbledon White w/red C-stripe, paint by Paul's Automotive Engineering, front fender lips rolled for tire clearance