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.

With the body mods and paint in check, Classic Restorations turned its efforts to the SportsRoof's suspension. Heidt's products are used at all four corners, but just like the rest of the build, the Heidt's stuff didn't stay stock. The front Mustang II setup was installed higher than the instructions state for a lower stance while the rear four-link kit utilizes custom-fabbed frame brackets and Panhard bar to allow the huge rear tires to clear. Wilwood binders got the nod front and rear for stopping power while a 9-inch rear with a 3.70-geared Auburn and a Tremec TKO-600 back up the Ford Racing crate engine Mark provided. Budnik GTX wheels, 18s up front and 20s out back, finish off the suspension upgrades and give the custom red paint some much needed contrast with their powdercoated gray centers.

For the interior, Classic Restorations had Cutter's Custom Stichin' in nearby Dillsboro, Indiana, do what it does best with a combinat-ion of dark charcoal leather, wool carpet, and stainless steel mesh in what must be one of the most interesting Mustang interiors we've seen in quite a while. Modified SCAT seating and a matching Budnik GTX steering wheel are joined by a Custom Autosound Secret Audio system, a JME gauge cluster in a modified dash that leads into a custom console and rear seat setup, while power windows and a Vintage Air A/C and heat round out the interior. Even the trunk is fully dressed in a cow's hide worth of leather, more stainless mesh, and wool carpeting.

With the completion of the SportsRoof, Pat and Dustin wanted to put a few miles on the car before delivering it to Mark and that's where we met up with the crew of Classic Restorations during the NMRA finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky, last year. Before Mark took delivery of the car, Classic Restorations had taken a couple of awards with it, including four different Goodguys events awards, a Best of Show at Bowler's Day at the Strip show, and Director's Choice at the NMRA World Finals. It's not every day that you can take delivery of a fresh Mustang build and have it come with a trunk full of awards too. Now Mark has two fresh SportsRoofs to start building many more years of Mustang Memories.

The Details
Mark Jacobi's '70 Mustang SportsRoof

Ford Racing 460ci big-block crate engine
Ford Racing 460 Super Cobra Jet aluminum cylinder heads
Hydraulic flat tappet cam, 0.588/0.614 lift, 244/254 degrees duration at 0.050-inch
Edelbrock Victor intake
Barry Grant Demon 850cfm
MSD distributor
MSD 6AL ignition
MSD 8mm ignition wires
K&N air filter in custom, hand-fabricated sheetmetal air cleaner
10.5:1 compression ratio
550hp at 6,250 rpm
600 lb-ft at 4,750 rpm

Tremec TKO-600 by Bowler Performance
Hurst shifter

9-inch nodular
Auburn Pro differential
3.70 gears
31-spline axles

Classic Restorations built 17/8-inch long-tube headers
3-inch collectors
Stainless band clamps
3-inch Flowmaster DeltaForce Race 40 Series mufflers

Heidt's Mustang II crossmember, QA1 coilovers, power rack-and-pinion
Rear: Heidt's four-link, QA1 coilovers

Wilwood disc, 12-inch drilled and slotted rotor, polished caliper
Rear: Wilwood disc, 12-inch drilled and slotted rotor, polished caliper with internal parking brake

Budnik GTX, gray powdercoated center, polished lip, 18x8
Rear: Budnik GTX, gray powdercoated center, polished lip, 20x10

BFGoodrich G-Force T/A, P245/40R18
Rear: BFGoodrich G-Force T/A, P295/40R20

Charcoal gray leather seating surfaces, door panels, console, and headliner; charcoal gray wool carpet; stainless steel mesh accents by Cutter's Custom Stitchin' of Dillsboro, Indiana; gray powdercoated Budnik GTX steering wheel; modified SCAT seats; JME Enterprises gauge cluster painted to match interior; Auto Meter gauges; Custom Autosound Secret Audio system; 6-inch speakers in kick panels; 6x9 speakers in rear seat panels; trunk-mounted 10-disc CD changer; lower half of dash custom fabricated; custom console and rear seat; New Relic power windows; Vintage Air A/C and heat system; recessed A/C vents in lower dash panel; electric trunk release; custom billet quarter-panel vents in door openings

PPG Concept Classic Resto Red custom mixed paint, custom fiberglass hoodscoop, custom fiberglass front spoiler, front and rear bumpers tucked tight to body, shaved side marker lights, trunk lock, and emblems, recessed LeMans fuel cap, molded front and rear fender extensions, welded rear valance, rear fender openings stretched 1 inch, bottom of hood smoothed, recessed taillights, rear wheel housings tubbed, recessed rear license plate, body underside coated in color-matched truck bed liner