Drew Phillips
January 4, 2010

For most people, a business card is a simple 3.5x2-inch piece of card stock that lets people know what you do and how to contact you. For others it's so much more. Take Steve Keefer, for instance. His business card looks a little bit different than most. In fact, you're looking at it right here. You see, Keefer has been professionally turning wrenches for more than two decades, working mostly on hot rods and muscle cars. When he made the leap to start his own shop last year he wanted to build a vehicle that would represent his capabilities and show potential customers what he could do. This '70 Mustang does just that and plenty more. "The car got the name 'The Business Card' because it was built to showcase the workmanship and ideas we represent at East Bay Muscle Cars," Keefer told us. "The ideas incorporated on this car can be applied to any of our customer cars whether it's a street rod or muscle car, so it represents our business very well."

The story of this Mustang goes way back to when Keefer was in high school. He would constantly spot the owner driving it around, so much so that he recognized it several years later in 1998. "He still had the car. It had been sitting in his driveway for eight years," Keefer remembered. He bought the car for $1,000, safely storing it away for another 10 years. Then in 2008, when Keefer started thinking about opening up his own shop, he retrieved the Mustang from storage and brought it back to life. There is almost nothing on the car that didn't receive a complete makeover, and Keefer utilized all of his skills from the one-off bodywork to the custom suspension system.

Like any Pony car, the heart of Steve's Mustang is the engine. Starting with a Mexican 302 block, Keefer bored it 0.020 over (for a total displacement of 304ci) and added a set of Boss forged connecting rods and crankshaft, and 11.0:1 Venolia forged pistons. Breathing is made easy via fully ported and polished '69 351W castings fitted with Manley 1.94/1.60 valves and Crane valvesprings and rocker arms.

For induction, Steve installed a Barry Grant Mighty Demon 750cfm carburetor and a Roush air cleaner mounted on an Edelbrock Victor Jr intake. On the other end, a set of JBA 15/8-inch shorty headers ushers out the exhaust through custom mandrel-bent tubing and SuperTrapp 3-inch mufflers. In total, the V-8 produces 500 hp at the crank, although an NOS fogger system can kick in an extra 150 ponies when needed.

Delivering all that power to the rear wheels is a big-block Top Loader four-speed transmission mated to a Hurst shifter and a Centerforce clutch and flywheel. To fit within the 10-inch wide wheels, Keefer used his talents to narrow a 9-inch rear by 4 inches and then stuffed it with Richmond 3.89 gears and a Traction-Lok differential hooked up to Moser 31-spline axles.

To ensure that his Mustang could take on a road course just as well as a dragstrip, Steve installed a suspension system befitting a true modern muscle car. The frontend received a Total Control Products (TCP) adjustable coilover system modified by EBMC, while the rear was fitted with the g-Bar Canted-4-Bar coilover system. Steve also fitted a Maier Racing front sway bar and Global West subframe connectors. Steering is provided by a Steeroids rack-and-pinion steering system and an ididit tilt steering column. Stopping power comes from drilled and slotted Wilwood brakes-13-inch discs up front and 12-inchers at the rear. To fit those big brakes Steve mounted a set of Budnik Cannon wheels, 18-inches up front and 19-inches at the rear, wrapped with BFGoodrich KDWZ tires.

While the custom-built motor and suspension make his Mustang a blast to drive, Steve's favorite part of the car is actually the exterior. "I love the subtle modifications that most people don't notice until they are pointed out," he told us. The custom details in the bodywork are everywhere, from the custom rear valance and taillight bezels to the extended rocker panels. If you look closely you can also see a carbon-fiber taillight panel and smoothed bumpers. The paint is eye-catching as well, although its source is rather unexpected. The Red Salsa Pearl comes from (drum roll, please) . . . a Toyota Prius. While we probably never would have thought twice about the color on the Japanese hybrid, it looks stellar on Steve's Pony car.

As you might expect, the interior of Steve's Mustang is just as clean as the outside. A mix of components combines for a look that is modern, classic, and functional all at the same time. A set of Corbeau black microsuede and leather seats with four-point harnesses keep the driver and passenger securely in place, while matching rear seats can fold down if needed. Keefer also added a Flaming River steering wheel, Wilwood pedal assembly, and a custom-painted Year One gauge panel that houses Auto Meter silver face gauges. For the audio system Steve knew that anything but custom wouldn't do, and built unique enclosures for the Image Dynamics 10-inch subwoofer and Alpine amp in the trunk as well as the Pioneer component speakers just behind the front seats. All of that is controlled via a Pioneer touchscreen DVD system that provides quite a bit more convenience than the standard AM/FM radio that originally was there. The interior is finished off with a set of sill plates custom-built by Steve.

As you can imagine, this Mustang took quite a bit of Steve's time to build. He told us it took nearly a full year of full-time work from start to finish, and that paying for it wasn't easy either! Still, he will be sure to tell you that every minute and dollar spent has been completely worth it. Steve has taken his Mustang to both local and nationally recognized car shows and rarely fails to bring home some hardware. In fact, we're told he has yet to not win an award at every single show he's entered. Are we surprised? Not at all. After all, when someone endowed with such an incredible aptitude for building cars as Steve sets out to create something, you know it's going to be good. We can't think of a better way for him to show off his abilities, and we're glad he expressed his talent on a Mustang.

The Details
Steve Keefer's '70 Ford Mustang
Engine

  • 304ci V-8
  • 4.020-inch bore
  • 3.00-inch stroke
  • Venolia forged 11.0:1 pistons
  • Boss 302 polished crankshaft
  • Boss 302 connecting rods
  • Childs and Albert Total Seal rings
  • Ultradyne solid roller camshaft
  • Manley valves
  • Crane roller rocker arms
  • Barry Grant Might Demon 750cfm carburetor
  • Edelbrock Victor Jr intake
  • NOS 150-shot Sportsman Fogger nitrous system
  • Holley fuel pump
  • Roush air cleaner cover
  • MSD distributor
  • MSD 6A ignition control system
  • 500 horsepower (650 with nitrous system)

Transmission

  • Ford Top Loader four-speed
  • Hurst four-speed shifter

Rearend

  • 9-inch axle narrowed 4 inches
  • Traction-Lok differential
  • 31-spline Moser axles
  • Richmond 3.89 gears

Exhaust

  • JBA 1 5/8-inch shorty headers
  • SuperTrapp 3-inch mufflers
  • Custom mandrel-bent and TIG-welded tubing

Suspension

  • Front: TCP adjustable coilover system modified by EBMC, Maier Racing sway bar, Welded and reinforced shock towers, TCP strut-tower braces, Steeroids rack-and-pinion steering system, ididit tilt steering column
  • Rear: TCP g-Bar Canted-4-Bar coilover system, Global West subframe connectors

Brakes

  • Front: Wilwood, 13-inch drilled and slotted disc, four-piston caliper
  • Rear: Wilwood, 12-inch drilled and slotted disc, two-piston caliper
  • Wilwood pedal assembly and master cylinder

Wheels

  • Front: Budnik Cannon, 18x9
  • Rear: Budnik Cannon, 19x10

Tires

  • Front: BFGoodrich g-Force KDWZ, P255/40R18
  • Rear: BFGoodrich g-Force KDWZ, P295/35R19

Interior
Black microsuede and leather Corbeau seats with factory fold-down seat, Auto Custom Carpet carpet set, Flaming River steering wheel, Auto Meter Ultra-Lite gauges, Year One gauge panel custom painted by EBMC, custom doorsill plates by EBMC, Wilwood pedal assembly, Pioneer touchscreen DVD system, Alpine amplifier, Image Dynamics 10-inch subwoofer in custom enclosure, Pioneer component speakers in custom enclosures

Exterior
Red Salsa Pearl basecoat/clearcoat; East Bay Muscle Cars extended rocker panels (1 1/4 inches), custom rear valance, and custom taillight bezels; smoothed bumpers; filled side markers; carbon-fiber taillight panel