MM&F Staff
January 16, 2012
Photos By: Isaac Mion

For 2011, the staff here at Modified Mustangs & Fords magazine has decided to honor one of our feature vehicles with the distinction of Car Of The Year. We combed through the feature files of every vehicle that has hit the pages of MM&F throughout 2011, and picked the one car that we thought took the Modified mantra to the highest level in every respect.

To make the award more than just a pat on the back, we teamed up with the folks at National Parts Depot to provide a $250 gift certificate to the winner, as well as a $150 and $100 gift certificates to the First and Second Runners up respectively. In addition, we will provide the winner with a laminated plaque featuring this very article and achievement to commemorate the award. We hope to build on this next year to include an even larger prize package, and we eagerly anticipate the upcoming entries and possible contenders of 2012. It was quite tough to pick just one from this year's top three finishers, as all three cars were over the top.

What's remarkable about all of them, aside from the great fabrication, design, and engineering, is the fact that all of these have been driven to the limit at some point. We personally saw both Joe Brown and Erich Bollman compete in the autocross at the Good Guys Columbus, Ohio, event as part of the Street Machine of the Year requirements. You can find the Taylors weaving their black machine through various autocrosses on the web as well. These are not just pretty show cars, but they are indeed built to be driven, which is exactly what we like to see here at Modified Mustangs & Fords magazine.

Winner

Joe Brown

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'67 Mustang Fastback

We would probably be hard-pressed to find a more modified Mustang in all of MM&F's history than Joe Brown's '67 fastback. It's not only the amount of modification that's impressive on this Butterscotch Pearl machine, but also the quality and tastefulness with which it was all accomplished.

Joe is used to building over-the-top cars for customers looking to compete on the indoor show car circuit, including the prestigious Ridler award, so it makes sense that Joe's own personal car would follow that trend. As Joe told us, the only completely stock part on the car is the front chin spoilerùeverything else has been modified in some way, or fabricated from scratch.

Having a late-model, modular-based powerplant certainly makes driving this machine extremely enjoyable, and the supercharged 5.4L DOHC mill definitely offers plenty of horsepower and tire-melting low-end torque. The six-speed transmission, 3.50 gears, and 20-inch rear hoops make for an excellent highway cruiser as well. You'd be hard-pressed to not want to own any of these three Car of the Year finalists, but Joe's fastback is the one we pick above the rest.

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The Details

  • '03 5.4L (281ci) supercharged modular crate engine
  • Kenne Bell Twin-Screw 2.8 supercharger
  • Tremec T-56 six-speed manual transmission
  • Ford 9-inch rearend
  • Scott's Hotrods and Customs independent front suspension and triangulated four-bar rear suspension
  • Wilwood disc brakes
  • Intro Wheels custom billet wheels with Mickey Thompson Sportsman SR radials
  • Fully customized interior, Upholstery by Pro Auto Custom Interior
  • Fully customized exterior, Dupont Butterscotch Pearl basecoat/clearcoat, satin BASF Charcoal Metallic stripes

First Runner Up

Erich Bollman

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'69 Mustang Sportsroof

Boss Mustang enthusiast Erich Bollman first dreamt up his creation by simply wanting to shoehorn the then-new Shelby GT500 5.4L engine into a '69 Mustang. Rather than create a high-powered Boss clone, Erich opted to showcase the skills of his shop, Christiana Muscle Cars (CMC), by building a one-off custom masterpiece of a Mustang. The result is project Nasty, a searing orange beast that is quite a departure from your average '69 Mustang SportsRoof.

Sourcing a chassis from his cohorts on the Boss302.com forums, Erich had his metalsmiths at CMC fabricate the factory flanks into reflections of designer Murray Pfaff's original rendering. A custom interior followed, and RideTech's air suspension system allows attitude adjustments at the push of the console-mounted button. Erich isn't afraid to turn a tire with Nasty either, as he got the crowd cheering with his NHRA-honed burnout skills at the Good Guys Columbus autocross event. Nasty was about as close a runner up as you can find.

The Details

  • Shelby GT500 5.4L DOHC Crate Engine from Ford Racing Performance Parts
  • 500 hp at 6,000 rpm, 480 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm
  • Eaton Roots-style supercharger
  • Tremec T-56 six-speed manual transmission
  • Moser 9-Inch rearend
  • RideTech Strong Arm front control arms, AirBar triangulated four-link, Shockwave air springs
  • Stainless Steel Brakes Corp disc brakes
  • Bonspeed Huntington, billet aluminum wheels, BFGoodrich g-Force KDW tires
  • Customized interior, custom rollbar, fullsize spare wheel/tire, upholstery by New Castle Auto Upholstery
  • Custom exterior modifications, "Nasty Orange" BASF Glasurit basecoat/clearcoat paint, paintwork done by Christiana Muscle Cars

Second Runner Up

Scott and Laura Taylor

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'68 Mustang Fastback

We received quite a bit of email regarding Scott and Laura Taylor's '68 Mustang fastback, and rightfully so. Its menacing stance and classic good looks draw in just about every Mustang enthusiast. Some will argue that the Eleanor look is overdone and worn out. It could be the IndyCar ride height, or the fact that Chip Foose did such a good job designing the panels and overall look that it is a bit timeless, but we just look right past the "Eleanor" theme and see something more.

We love the unique color scheme, and the interior offers everything one would need to cruise in comfort. Having watched the Taylors attack the autocross, we have to say the sound may just be the best part of Naja's aura. It's crackling 490ci FE engine will get the blood pumping in any performance enthusiast's heart.

While the body mods may not be as extensive or unique as the others, it's sexy Black and Candy Apple Red colors combined with a performance-inspired chassis and drivetrain were enough to bring it into the top three finalists.

The Details

  • Shelby 427 FE aluminum block, 490 ci, built by Tom Lucas at FE Specialties
  • Tunnel Wedge 2x4 intake manifold, NOS Pro-Shot fogger nitrous system
  • Aviaid dry-sump oiling system
  • 705 hp at 6,300 rpm, 639 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm
  • Tremec TKO-600 five-speed manual transmission
  • Ford 9-inch housing
  • Art Morrison Max-G frame, RideTech Ride Pro system
  • Wilwood disc brakes
  • American Racing Shelby Cobra 427 wheels, BFGoodrich g-Force KDWS tires
  • Custom black leather interior and sound system
  • Extensively modified body, PPG Black basecoat with Candy Apple Red over Silver metal flake, Super Snake and GT side stripes