Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
March 31, 2010

We first saw this wild ride at the 2007 SEMA show, and like many of you at car shows across the country, studied the car from bumper to bumper. Matter of fact, we loved the '05 Mustang door handles that were added to the car so much we stole the idea for our current project car, Generation Gap. While Ron Schoch of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, certainly enjoyed building this fastback for the SEMA show, it's not his first Mustang project and not his first SEMA project either. He actually took a brand-new '05 Mustang he customized to the 2005 show. Hmm, I wonder if that's where he got these door handles?

But we're getting ahead of ourselves in our story here. Ron had a '65 fastback show car back in 2003 as well. It was painted Grabber Blue and had some nice upgrades that made it show worthy, but during an indoor show Ron was attending he sold the car. He sold it because he wanted to do a '65 fastback in a more radical build, but didn't want to do it with his current fastback. He wanted to find another car and build it from the ground up. That, and it was quite a healthy check too; that always helps.

A few months went by and Ron and a friend hit the annual Hotrod and Restoration trade show in Indianapolis, Indiana (a trade-only event like SEMA), looking for some product sponsors and to check out all the new parts on display. While there Ron picked up a copy of Hemmings being handed out at the show and he spotted a rust-free '65 fastback listed for sale. It was a clean car with a 289 V-8, a four-barrel carb, A/C, a four-speed, power steering, and even disc brakes. While this was exactly what Ron was looking for, he was skeptical about the rust-free status. Ron actually called the owner on the drive back home that day and the owner reinforced the fact it was rust-free. Ron debated the purchase for two days and finally called in sick one day, hooked up his trailer and went to go check out the car, which was in Columbia, Missouri-cash in hand just in case.

Ron was surprised when he saw the car that it was exactly as described and quite rust-free indeed. Ron and the owner discussed the selling price and came to a mutual number. As Ron was loading the car into his trailer he asked the owner why the car hadn't sold yet. Come on, it's a clean, rust-free, V-8/four-speed fastback at a fair price. It turns out Ron was the first person who had called, and in fact, the only person who had called, because the copy of Hemmings he had picked up at the trade show hadn't been distributed to the newsstand or subscribers yet. Probably the luckiest break of Ron's automotive career.

The fastback sat for a bit as Ron contem-plated what he wanted to do with it and how. This is about the time he built the '05 Mustang for the 2005 SEMA show and really liked a lot of the new Mustang's details, including the flush quarter glass and other features. Ron wondered what it would be like to incorporate some of these modern looks into the classic lines of the '65 Mustang fastback. Over the course of the next year Ron and several of his friends, including Greg Huber, Brian Knigga, George Meinhardt, Todd Sclhuermann, and Milt Carley worked hundreds of hours to bring the fastback up to the beauty you see here worthy of displaying at the SEMA show.

The body, as rust-free and straight as it was, needed very little work, except for of course the modifications required to install the flush glass windshield and the '05 Mustang quarter glass. The latter accomplished with a custom-built steel framework to mimic the new Mustang's window opening for the glass to sit in properly. The '05 Mustang door handles took nothing more than a bit of welding work and relocating the door handle actuation rod from one side of the door latch to the other (the '05 handles push down instead of pull up like the '65's handles). The topcoat is not Grabber Blue, but a DuPont Hot Hues color called Bombay Blue-a close look, but a bit "softer" blue. The interior was treated to the same body color as well.

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With the body work complete Ron and his crew moved to the interior. The dash was customized with a full fiberglass redesign, incorporating additional gauge locations all filled with Auto Meter Ultralite II meters and a single DIN stereo mounting location featuring a Pioneer head unit. SCAT Pro Car seats, custom five-point harnesses, a tilt steering column, and custom gray carpeting round out the interior upgrades.

Of course Ron's fastback isn't just a looker for a static display at the SEMA show. No, he built the car to move, handle, and stop too. Underhood is a built 347 stroker featuring ported Victor Jr. heads and backed by a Tremec TKO-600. The 500-plus horsepower is put to terra firma through a late-model Cobra IRS center section that's hung between a Control Freak IRS system. Up front a Rod & Custom Mustang II suspension system is nestled between the framerails. Since the small-block fits easily between the shock towers Ron decided to keep them for their strength and for a stealth look underhood. QA1 coilovers at all four corners allow custom ride height settings at the turn of a wrench. Lest you think Ron's car is only a cruiser due to the fact it has a Mustang II setup, you'd be wrong, as Ron open tracks the car whenever time permits. We witnessed Ron tearing up the road course at the Mustang 45th in Birmingham, Alabama, with his fastback, even passing some well-prepped track cars.

The fastback turned out to be everything Ron wanted in a classic Mustang with a little modern flare on the inside and the outside. Owning classic Mustangs like a '70 Mach 1, his previous '65 fastback, and a couple of '71-'73s, as well as late-models such as a '90 GT, and '94 and '05 Mustangs (both custom-painted in Grabber colors) he finally has a ride that has a little bit of all of them wrapped up into one sweet ride that can be a show car, weekend driver, or track monster whenever he needs it. Of course he couldn't have done it without the support of his family-wife Kim and daughter Allison. Up next is a custom '78 Mustang II for Allison as her first car. We're sure she'll be riding in style if this fastback is any indication of what Ron and his crew can accomplish in just a short 12 months.

The Details
Ron Schoch's '65 Mustang fastback

347ci stroker
H-Beam rods
Kuntz & Co. ported Victor Jr. aluminum heads
Demon 650 carb
Edelbrock intake
Polished valve covers
Vintage Air front runner system
Vintage Air A/C
Tuff Stuff chrome mini starter
Canton road race oil pan
MSD billet distributor
MDS 6AL ignition
Stuart water pump
Ron Morris adjustable motor mounts
Dyno tested to 550hp

Tremec TKO-600 five-speed manual
JMC hydraulic clutch

8.8-inch Cobra IRS center section
4:11 gears

FPA ceramic-coated headers
Full 3-inch exhaust
Walker Race Magnum mufflers

Front: Rod & Custom Motorsports Mustang II, QA1 coilover shocks, tubular control arms, Flaming River manual rack-and-pinion
Rear: Control Freaks tubular independent rear, QA1 coilover shocks

Front: Stainless Steel Brakes Force 10 disc, 13-inch rotor, four-piston caliper
Rear: Stainless Steel Brakes Force 10 disc, 13-inch rotor, single-piston caliper

American Racing Shelby Razor gunmetal with polished lip, 17x9, 5.5-inch offset
Rear: American Racing Shelby Razor gunmetal with polished lip, 17x9, 6.0-inch offset

Nitto NT555, P245/45R17
Rear: Nitto NT555, P285/40R17

Custom dashboard cut & smoothed, Auto Meter Ultralite II gauges, MP Products door panels, RCI five-point harnesses, SCAT Pro Car seats, Flaming River tilt steering column, Budnik steering wheel, full Dynamat interior dampening, Pioneer head unit and speakers, power windows using stock cranks as switches

DuPont Hot Hues Bombay Blue w/Neptune Jewel Stripes, flames by Dauber, '05 Mustang quarter glass, '05 Mustang door handles, flush-mount windshield, shaved cowl vent, molded ground effects, molded sidescoops, shaved driprails, molded quarter extensions, smoothed engine compartment, Shelby R model front valance, Shelby R model cowl hood, Scott Drake billet taillight bezels, Scott Drake sequential LED taillights, Sylvania HID headlights