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1968 Ford Mustang - Yellow Jacket
Could This Coupe Be Considered Son Of Green Hornet?
Peter Faull's '68 Mustang GT "Green Hornet" tribute Does the concept of a fully Shelby-ized '68 Mustang coupe powered by a fuel-injected Cobra Jet FE sound vaguely familiar? When Peter Faull stumbled across a solid '68 390 GT coupe for sale back in 2000, he originally planned a stock restoration, but then got to thinking about the Green Hornet.
We refer not to the schmaltzy half-hour '60s series that starred a masked Van Williams and Bruce Lee, but rather to the one-off engineering exercise crafted by Shelby Automotive in the spring of 1968. Shelby's metallic-green "EXP 500" coupe, nicknamed the Green Hornet, combined a formal hardtop body style with full GT350/GT500-style exterior accoutrements. This singular sedan also wore a disc brake-equipped independent rear suspension setup bolted to a production Mustang's leaf-spring mounting points, and had a transplanted 428CJ underhood, plumbed with a prototype electronic fuel-injection system. Inspirational stuff, right? Peter thought so too, and started planning a project that turned into what we like to think of as Yellow Jacket-Son of Green Hornet. Blame us, not Peter, for that moniker.
Like Shelby's starting point for the Green Hornet, Peter began Yellow Jacket with a GT coupe that had been born at the factory with a 390/C6 combo. Also following Shelby's example, he soon pulled and set aside that original drivetrain 'cause he had something a little manlier in mind. Living in London, Ontario, he's not all that far from the west-Detroit headquarters of FE experts, Survival Motorsports, whom he soon contracted to build a 428-based stroker sized at a generous 465 cubic inches. Following the original script, a plain, old carburetor just wouldn't do, and while the Green Hornet's "Conelec" fuel injection was a complete oddity for its day, the sight of an injected FE is unusual even today. Nowadays, Edelbrock makes a Victor (single-plane) FE manifold bunged for injectors, but Peter didn't have the luxury of much hood clearance, so he opted instead to have a shorter original-style 427 aluminum dual-plane intake modified to accept port injectors. That rather precise bit of CNC-assisted handiwork was handled by John Jacobs of the University of Western Ontario's engineering department.
Then Peter went and nearly hid that beautifully reworked manifold under the sealed carb enclosure of a Paxton Novi 2000 supercharger system-except of course there is no carb but rather a 1,000-cfm throttle body from FAST sitting atop the intake. Given the size of the Paxton "breadbox," you can now understand why hood clearance was such an issue. Anyway, this combination of gargantuan FE displacement and about 10 psi of centrifugal boost musters no less than 565 horsepower and 558 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels, giving the Yellow Jacket a much bigger sting than the Green Hornet's. Peter also departed from Green Hornet tradition when it came to his transmission, substituting a Tremec T-56 manual for the C6 auto. In his view-and ours-six speeds beat three every time, especially in a project meant to be driven as often as the truncated Canadian summers permit.
While the Yellow Jacket can't match the panache and exclusivity of the Hornet's prototype fully independent rear suspension, Peter did the next best thing by bolting in Total Control Products' sophisticated torque-arm-and-pushrod-coilover rear setup. Goodbye leaf springs; hello grip. And as if to make up for this lack of IRS, he also opted for TCP's front coilover hardware and rack-and-pinion steering, while going way beyond Green Hornet specs with Baer 13-inch brakes fore and aft. Vintage Wheel Works made up some 10-spokes that pay homage to Shelby's originals but are a more modern 17 inches in diameter-8 inches wide on the nose and a full 9.5 inches in back.
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Outside, despite its formal roofline, all the correct body components are in place to replicate the look of a '68 GT350/GT500-the nose, foglights, hood, side scoops, tail-end treatment-including that distinctive '68-only Shelby yellow hue. Kudos for that outstanding body and paint work go to John Kicks and Dave Moniz. Peter skipped the vinyl roof of the Green Hornet, and in place of that car's "EXP 500" lettering, the Yellow Jacket's side stripes accurately indicate its "S/C EFI" status. The theme continues in the cockpit with Shelby-style wood grain appliqués, rollbar with shoulder harnesses, and center console. The Yellow Jacket's buckets are from Procar but are embroidered with "Carroll Shelby" stitching; the wood-rim wheel is a period-looking LeCarra, while the gauges, including the pair in the console, inject a modern touch as they're from Auto Meter's Carbon Fiber series.
By his distinctive signature on the dash, you can see that Mr. Shelby himself approves of Peter's 5-year-long efforts to create a modern interpretation of the Texan's one-off formal-roof classic of the '60s. Like any project of this scale, he certainly didn't do it all by himself, and Peter extends his thanks to Chris Brown, Barry Bergmann, and Danny Cina for all their help in the hive of activity leading up to this thing's first flight. Like the Green Hornet to which it pays obvious tribute, the Yellow Jacket creates quite a buzz wherever it lands, with crowds inevitably making a bee-line for it. That's it; we've run out of infantile insectile puns ('bout time!-Ed.)
Peter Faull's '68 Mustang GT "Green Hornet" tribute
- 428-based 465-inch stroker FE by Survival Motorsports
- 4.160-inch bore
- 4.250-inch stroke
- Scat nodular iron crank (internally balanced)
- 6.700-inch Scat H-beam rods
- Custom Diamond pistons
- 9.5:1 compression
- Custom ground Comp Cams solid roller cam
- Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, ported
- Aluminum 427 dual-plane intake, bunged for port fuel injection
- 65-lb/hr injectors
- FAST throttle body and engine management system
- Tremec T-56 six-speed manual
- Hurst shifter
- Centerforce dual-friction clutch
- Strange Engineering 9-inch (Total Control Products)
- 3.50 gears
- Strange 31-spline axles
- FPA long-tube headers, 1 7/8-inch primaries
- SpinTech mufflers
- 2 1/2-inch exhaust
- Front: Total Control Products coilover system
- Rear: Total Control Products coilover, torque arm system, Panhard bar
- Front: Baer Brake Systems, 13-inch cross-drilled and slotted rotor, Shelby logo two-piston caliper
- Rear: Baer Brake Systems, 13-inch cross-drilled and slotted rotor, single-piston caliper
- Front: Vintage Wheel Works Shelby 10-spoke, 17x8, 4 1/2-inch offset
- Rear: Vintage Wheel Works Shelby 10-spoke, 17x9.5, 6-inch offset
- Front: BFGoodrich g-Force KD, P245/40R17
- Rear: BFGoodrich g-Force KD, P275/40R17
- Shelby-style rollbar with shoulder belts, Shelby-style console by Mustang Pony Cars Inc., Procar buckets, Auto Meter Carbon Fiber gauges, stock AM/FM radio, LeCarra three-spoke wheel with wood rim
- Shelby fiberglass nose, hood, side scoops, trunk lid, Shelby-specific yellow paint, body and paint by John Kicks and Dave Moniz