Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
March 25, 2011
Photos By: Bill Erdman

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.

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For suspension, Wendy wanted to keep to bolt-on upgrades, but that doesn't mean she had to skimp on the suspension components either. Total Control Products got the nod for adjustable control arms and rack-and-pinion steering aided by KYB shocks up front; while out back, four-leaf springs, and KYB shocks keep the ride level. Two concessions to the bolt-on route were Shelby override traction bars and through-the-floor subframe connectors. Traditional 15-inch Shelby 10-spokes wrapped in Firestone rubber support the Shelby theme at all four corners.

Wendy started to think the project was never going to be finished (remember, we said it was a six-year ordeal) and actually purchased a 5.0L Fox Mustang as a driver/weekend toy. But fear not, the fastback finally made its way to completion, and Wendy kept the Fox Mustang as well, growing their Mustang stable to four. Besides the concours '67 Mustang GT, the Fox Mustang, and the '65 fastback you see here, they also own an '07 Mustang GT/California Special. Though each Mustang is owned by the Browns for a certain reason, you can rest assured that Wendy's '65 Shelby clone is meant to be driven, and driven it gets. Just ask Wendy; you can see her most any weekend at eastern New York cruise nights.

The Details
Wendy Bradshaw-Brown's '65 Mustang fastback

351 Windsor block (painted body color)
408ci Scat stroker assembly
4.030-inch bore
4.00-inch stroke
6.200-inch connecting rods
Edelbrock performer aluminum cylinder heads
Chet Herbert roller cam
Chet Herbert roller rockers
Edelbrock aluminum intake
Holley 850-cfm four-barrel carburetor
Pertronix billet distributor
MSD 6AL ignition
Griffin aluminum radiator
Milodon oil pan (painted body color)
Built by Shadowland Performance, Brandon, VT

Tremec TKO five-speed
Centerforce clutch
Lakewood bellhousing
Hurst shifter
Aluminum driveshaft

Currie 9-inch housing
Polished aluminum center section
Traction-Lok differential
3.55 gears
31-spline axles

Hedman full-length headers (HPC coated)
Flowmaster mufflers
Aluminized 21/2-inch dual exhaust

Front: Total Control Products tubular upper control arms, KYB shocks, Total Control Products rack-and-pinion steering, antisway bar, Shelby export brace
Rear: Four-leaf springs, KYB shocks, recessed (through floor) subframe connectors, Shelby override traction bars, antisway bar

Front: Disc, two-piston calipers
Rear: 10-inch drums

Front: Shelby 10-spoke, 15x7
Rear: Shelby 10-spoke, 15x7

Front: Firestone Firehawk SZ50EP, P225/60R15
Rear: Firestone Firehawk SZ50EP, P225/60R15

Custom interior with gray and blue tweed by Rattlesnake Ridge Upholstery, '93 Mustang GT seats, Dakota Digital gauges, reproduction Cobra steering wheel, upholstered Shelby rollbar, Shelby-style rear seat delete with spare tire mount, custom spare tire cover, cut pile carpeting, trunk fully upholstered, Kenwood audio, air conditioning

PPG Intense Blue Metallic basecoat/clearcoat, silver Le Mans stripes, N.O.S. Ford sheetmetal, fiberglass Shelby hood, fiberglass Shelby sidescoops, Shelby quarter-windows, paint and body by Eddie's Restorations