Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
April 1, 2010

Mark Jacobi's '70 Mustang Sportsroof
No matter what our favorite year, body style, engine displacement, or color, it's safe to say every one of us has a "one that got away" story. From the classic selling it due to marriage/starting a family, to theft, or even a total loss collision, we've heard the stories hundreds of times. Sometimes the stories end there, with the story teller still wanting that car, or a reasonable facsimile of said car in their garage once again. But there are countless others that have been able to continue their dream, either by finding and buying back their original car (it has happened more than you think) or building another project that reminds them of their original car or pays respect to it in some manner (same color, same body style, and so on).

Mark Jacobi of Floyds Knobs, Indiana, is one of those with a story. Though it took a few twists and turns, and even resulted in a third Mustang purchase, Mark is all too happy to tell us the story. Mark was lucky enough to own a '70 Boss 302 as a 16 year old in the mid '70s, but the killer ride didn't last long when it was totaled in an accident. It took Mark another 15 years to realize he had to have another Mustang. He saw the '70 you see here in the local Bargain Mart newspaper and the old memories of his Boss came flooding back. He took a trip to see the Mustang and it was in rough shape. "There wasn't a piece of chrome left on it and the whole thing was painted in gray primer" he told us. The Mustang's original 302 and auto trans was still in it and Mark decided to purchase it.After jump starting it, Mark was able to drive it home, though the steering was so bad Mark tells us it would change lanes on its own if he took his hands off the steering wheel.

Once Mark got the SportsRoof home he knew the stock drivetrain just had to go. One of Mark's previous toys, a mud-bogging truck, provided an alcohol-injected 460 big-block with a huge 550hp shot of nitrous (for good measure we presume). The Mustang also got a Dana 60 rearend swap to handle the power. In this combination the '70 SportsRoof never actually saw the street. In the meantime Mark found another '70 Boss 302 and purchased it as well. The Boss made its way to Classic Restorations ( right there in Floyds Knobs for a full restoration. Now that Mark had an honest to goodness Boss 302 with his name on the title once again, his interest in the first SportsRoof he purchased turned to building it as a restomod. His wife, son, and two daughters surprised him with a Ford Racing 460ci big-block crate engine one Christmas as the new foundation for the project and once Classic Restorations finished his Boss, Mark sent the SportsRoof down the street to them to perform their magic on this SportsRoof as well.

Pat and Dustin Foust, the father and son team of Classic Restorations, were given the SportsRoof, the big-block crate engine, and an idea. Mark wanted a classic Mustang that kept the recognizable shape of the '69-'70 SportsRoof, but had subtle styling changes inside and out to make the Mustang uniquely Mark's. The Fousts started by fixing the Mustang's rust issues and strengthening the unibody with convertible framerails, new torque boxes, custom inner sheetmetal from the firewall forward with 15/8-inch diameter tubing hidden behind it for strength, and extra boxing and framerail plating/doubling for strength as well. On the top side of the body more visible mods include a custom hoodscoop (similar to Boss 429) and front spoiler made from fiberglass, molded fender extensions, shaved emblems, marker lights, bumpers tucked to the body, smoothed cowl vent, recessed LeMans fuel cap, rear wheel openings stretched 1 inch and the rear wheel housings widened to fit a 12-inch wide rear tire. After this grocery list of mods Classic Restorations bathed the SportsRoof in a custom mix of PPG Concept they dubbed Classic Resto Red.