Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
December 16, 2010
Photos By: Steve Baur

With the main bodywork checked off the lengthy project list, it was time to move on to the suspension and brakes. Brian knew he wanted an adjustable ride height to get the car in the weeds, yet still ride comfortably. The proven Rod & Custom Motorsports Mustang II frontend conversion got the nod up front, including coilover shocks. Brian liked the R&C setup because it was specifically designed for the Fairlane. In the rear, he designed his own four-link rear suspension, again using coilover shocks, around a narrowed 9-inch rear. The challenge out back was to tie the mounting points into the chassis properly, yet have the correct suspension movement without binding. Brian also fabbed up his own subframe connectors, adding to the chassis's suspension and handling upgrades. For brakes, Brian opted for Wilwood discs at all four corners with custom-made stainless hard lines and braided hoses.

Satisfied with the chassis upgrades, Brian blew the car apart and started modifying the body for final paint. First, all emblem holes were filled, the cowl was filled, driprails shaved, and all weld seams on the body and engine compartment were filled and smoothed to give the car a sleek finish. Brian liked the modern look of one-piece door glass and designed his own window channels and had new door glass cut to eliminate the vent window assembly. With the help of a rotisserie, Brian and Ron completed the bodywork and painted the undercarriage. Finally, the suspension and brakes were reinstalled and the body placed on the ground for final application of the topcoat. Brian knew that a two-tone paintjob would complement the body nicely, and he wanted to use standard Ford colors for ease of touch up/repairs. A stroll through his local dealership's lot netted him the exact colors off of an '09 Taurus and F-150-Blue Flame and Brilliant Silver. The colors were applied in PPG basecoat/clearcoat, and Rick Kubicki airbrushed the simulated chrome trim back onto the Fairlane.

Rounding third base to completion Brian finished off the fresh bodywork, paint, and chassis upgrades with a 351 Windsor built by Performance Engineering in nearby Ross, Ohio. The Windsor features World Products heads, an Edelbrock Air-Gap manifold, and a Demon 650-cfm carb to put 407 hp to the crank. Brian backed the small-block with a Tremec T-5 five-speed transmission and the venerable 9-inch rear. He then wrapped up the build with NOS rubber/trim items, and rechroming the bumpers and door handles. Brian stuffed an ididit tilt column, Classic Instruments gauges, Scat seats and a Vintage Air heat/cool system into the interior, which was trimmed out by Ron Sutton of Ron Sutton Upholstery in Tipp City, Ohio. For the finishing touch, Brian bolted up a set of 18-inch Budnik Flare wheels wrapped in sticky BFG tires, and a matching Budnik steering wheel tops the ididit column inside. Overall, the challenging build took 41/2 years to complete in his spare time, mostly a lot of weekends, and with the blessing of his wife, Colleen. There's no doubt that Brian has certainly built something different this time around.

The Details
Brian Knigga's '62 Fairlane two-door

Engine

  • 351 Windsor (0.030-inch overbore)
  • Bored, honed, and decked
  • ARP main studs
  • Machined for one-piece rear main seal
  • Eagle forged connecting rods
  • Keith Black forged pistons
  • Speed-Pro rings
  • 10.5:1 compression ratio
  • Stock crankshaft
  • World Products iron heads
  • Comp Cams hydraulic roller camshaft
  • Edelbrock Air-Gap intake
  • Moroso polished aluminum valve covers
  • Demon 650-cfm four-barrel
  • MSD distributor, 6AL ignition, and wires
  • Vintage Air Front Runner serpentine beltdrive
  • 407 hp

Transmission

  • Tremec T-5 five-speed manual Pro 5.0 shifter