Modified Mustangs & Fords
1965 Ford Mustang Fastback - Built To Be Driven
This Is One Early Fastback That Sees Plenty Of Use
There are all types of Mustang people in our hobby. From dyed-in-the-wool first-generation fans who like 'em stock, to hard-core drag racers who want tons of horsepower, we have Mustang enthusiasts from all walks of life in this hobby of ours. Wendy Bradshaw-Brown is one of those multi-faceted Mustang fans who likes all parts of the hobby. Wendy and her husband, Bob, reside in Broadalbin, New York, and are members of the Adirondack Shelby Mustang Club. After completing the restoration of a '67 Mustang GT (a 390/four-speed car no less) to Mustang Club of America's Trailered Concours level, Wendy missed having a Mustang to drive just for fun rides, cruise nights, and so forth. The GT fastback, being a concours car now, was off limits to such "frivolity." Wendy put the word out she was looking for another classic Mustang project, something that would be a fun driver, but that wasn't anything special or rare so she could modify it to her liking. A fellow club member (Wendy and Bob are also members of the Garden State Region Mustang Club) tipped her off to a '65 Mustang fastback that had been converted to a Shelby clone. Wendy went to go see the car and felt it would make the perfect project for her. The fastback was dark green with white stripes, white interior, and was powered by a 289/four-speed and even had factory air conditioning.
For the next two years, Wendy drove the green and white fastback during the summer driving season before she decided it was time to strip the car and repaint it. To do the car right, the complete drivetrain was removed for a rebuild, the car stripped to bare metal, and all new trim items purchased. Somewhere along the way, though, Wendy says things got a "little" out of control. The mild rebuild of the 289 became a 408ci, stroked 351 Windsor with Edelbrock aluminum heads and a Scat reciprocating assembly. The 8-inch rear became a Currie Enterprises 9-inch with a polished center section, Traction-Lok, and 3.55 gears. In between the fresh stroker and built 9-inch went the obligatory Tremec TKO five-speed manual transmission, all built and assembled by Shadowland Performance in Brandon, Vermont.
Of course, all this work didn't happen overnight. No, the build took on a life of its own and consumed almost six years before it was completed. Before the fresh drivetrain was installed into her fastback, Wendy shipped the body off to Eddie's Restorations in Morris Plains, New Jersey, for some subtle upgrades including a Tony Branda Shelby hood, rear seat delete, and sidescoops. The rear flow-through vent area of the quarter-panels was also modified to accept the '66-style Shelby quarter-windows. Once Eddie's Restorations had the body smooth as glass, the company laid down a coat of PPG's Intense Blue over the fastback's body and finished it off with Sterling Silver Le Mans stripes for a custom Shelby look. The underside was fully detailed and painted as well. Subtle changes, like a raised fuel tank and cutback rear valance, allow for easy viewing of the ultra-clean undercarriage.
Once back from paint, the interior started to come together. Rattlesnake Ridge Upholstery in Fairhaven, Vermont, stitched up some gray and blue tweed covers for the '93 Mustang GT seats, along with a matching cover for the Shelby rollbar and a tire cover for the spare tire. A complete Dakota Digital gauge package monitors the 408 stroker's vitals, while a Kenwood audio system keeps Wendy and her passenger entertained. Cut pile carpeting gives the interior a clean look. In the trunk, Rattlesnake Ridge Upholstery performed its magic there as well, with custom-made panels for the floor, front wall, and side panels, along with a taillight panel cover and filler neck cover all in matching tweed.