Isaac Mion
September 24, 2010

Fred Bishop's '65 Fastback
We all know how the project car game goes. You pick up a beater for what you think is a steal, and plan a few minor upgrades to either get it running, or at least free from rust and looking presentable. Then you pick up a Modified Mustang & Fords and flip through (like you are doing now) to see what others are doing to their cars-how they're arranging their ovals, if you will-and how you could do it different or do it better. There just so happen to be ads with everything a Mustang enthusiast could drool over, so the checkbook opens and the next thing you know you're knee deep in Roloc discs and Bondo dust and your daily driver is shifting toward a full on show n' shine piece.

Make no mistake, we are the evil impetus for this obsessive behavior. We scour the shows looking for these special Fords to capture on cell-uloid and we print the ads and the feature cars that many of you may strive to emulate. We are automotive crack. But you, our readers, are the smokers, and the suppliers. Case in point here is Fred Bishop, car owner, and Kevin Triplett, a street rod builder from Grand Junction, Colorado. Fred bought the fastback you see spread before you a few years back with the intention of building a clean daily driver. Six months later he had a red sled that could raise the dead.

"The car came from Texas. I originally bought it to be used as a daily driver," said Fred. "So I decided to take it apart. And that's when it all began. We stripped it to the shell and started over." Once the body was torn asunder, Fred took it to Kirt Cooley at Cooley Auto Body in Grand Junction. There, they sprayed it House of Kolor's Cosmos Red but not before sending it to Tripnozzi Muscle Cars to get the fuel filler shaved. Kevin is the owner of Tripnozzi Muscle Cars, a Grand Junction-based outfit that has been building muscle cars since 2006. Kevin bought a car in 1999 and made a little money on it. "As I started to build more and more cars for Barrett-Jackson I needed them built on deadline and the shops wouldn't work like that," said Tripnozzi. "So I started up my own operation."

Kevin's modus operandi is in the form of muscle cars with enormous rear wheels-15x20 in some cases-and air ride suspensions. The mixture of menacing meats and the chassis lying flat on the deck has garnered somewhat of a reputation for Kevin's shop. "There was a car that looked similar to mine at an event and I overheard somebody say, 'Look at that, it's been Tripnozzied,'" Kevin said. While Fred's fastback isn't as extreme as Kevin's other rides, he does have a pretty solid footprint out back with the 20x10 Intro wheels and 18x7 in the front. These rims are wrapped with Nitto Invo rubber, P285/30R20 and P225/45R18 respectively.

Before the rollers were bolted on, the body had to be completed. Fred decided in the middle of the process that he wanted the fuel filler, trunk lock, and emblems shaved. The body was already painted at the time, so they had to send it back to Cooley's to get repainted after Jeff Jacobsen at Tripnozzi patched the areas to be shaved. The car then went back over to Fred's where they yanked the stock engine and installed a 347ci stroker with a ProCharger P-1SC supercharger and aluminum heads. Other additions to the already potent crate motor came in the form of a 3-inch air intake and an aluminum radiator. Last but not least, a Demon 750 carburetor does what its name might suggest-fuel the flames.

It was then that a point of contention arose around the completion of the engine bay. "The build went well for the most part," said Fred. "But when I wanted to paint the engine bay silver a lot of people tried to talk me out of it. But with all the chrome and black I thought it would set it off. You be the judge." As you can see, the engine compartment has had its share of wire tucking and shaving, which it received at Tripnozzi's and the result is nothing if not alluring. One of the most memorable experiences with this car was driving it for the first time," said Fred. "Wow, it was fast, with approximately 600 horsepower."

At this point the car was near completion and it only needed to do what birds do in the winter-go down south. To accomplish this, Triplett turned to RideTech. With air suspension at each corner, the chassis can be lowered 4 inches, from regal ride height, to super tucked in. Like all project cars, they need to come to a stop at some point, especially those with 600 hp. It's just as important as what it takes to make all that forward momentum. Wilwood disc brakes at all four corners handle the stopping duties quite well.

Like the Sprite commercial said, "Fool, it's the interior that matters!" You can't have a Cosmos Red exterior looking as cherry as an orchard with a clapped out cabin. The entire interior is kept stock (redone in '65 deluxe red) save for the Auto Meter gauges in an aftermarket gauge panel and a Lokar shifter poking through the stock non-A/C long console. "One of the most challenging parts of the buildup was getting the right color red and getting the interior to work with the color," said Fred.

When Fred Bishop got his car in "OK" shape on eBay, he should've known the project would balloon. If you're friends with a guy like Kevin Triplett you're bound to get the itch to go that extra mile for style. And while Bishop's ride may not be quite as extreme as Tripnozzi's other fat-tired creations, this duo from the Western Slope of Colorado has definitely shown us how they function in Grand Junction.

The Details
Fred Bishop's '65 Fastback

Engine

  • 347ci stroker
  • 4.030-inch bore
  • 3.400-inch stroke
  • ProCharger P-1SC supercharger
  • Trick Flow aluminum heads
  • Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap intake manifold
  • Demon 750 carb
  • Hand-fabricated air intake plenum
  • Northern aluminum radiator
  • MSD distributor

Transmission

  • Dynamic Racing Mighty Mite C4 three-speed automatic
  • 3,000-rpm stall speed torque converter
  • Reverse valvebody
  • Lokar shifter

Rearend

  • 9-inch housing
  • 31-spline axles
  • 4.11-gears

Exhaust

  • 3-inch diameter stainless dual exhaust
  • Flowmaster mufflers

Suspension

  • Front: RideTech Shockwaves, upper and lower control arms
  • Rear: RideTech AirBAR four-link

Brakes

  • Front: Wilwood Engineering, 13-inch disc, six-piston caliper
  • Rear: Wilwood Engineering, 12-inch disc, four-piston caliper

Wheels

  • Front: Intro Route 66 Series billet aluminum Flagstaff, 18x7
  • Rear: Intro Route 66 Series billet aluminum Flagstaff, 20x10

Tires

  • Front: Nitto Invo, P225/45R18
  • Rear: Nitto Invo, P285/30R20

Interior

  • Stock deluxe red interior, Auto Meter gauges, Lokar shifter, Wilwood pedals

Exterior

  • House of Colors Cosmos Red basecoat/clearcoat finish, emblems shaved, trunk lock shaved, fuel filler shaved