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1967 Mustang Fastback - Throwback Thrills
The Pro Street theme runs strong in Duke and Rich Hilfirty's '67 Mustang Fastback.
The plan was to do an original resto. As you might have noticed, this restoration didn't really go according to plan. The '67 fastback you see here started off as a $2,500 rolling chassis that Duke and Rich Hilfirty picked up at the Glazier Nolan Mustang Barn in Souderton, Pennsylvania, in March 1987. The father/son team was looking to replace a previous '67 fastback that Rich was driving at the time--a rust bucket that suffered a highly destructive front end incident at the hand of a nefarious pothole.
Bright orange and begging for a drivetrain, Rich swapped in a 302/four-speed combination by the end of 1987, and drove the car on and off for about two years. About that time, Rich's father, Duke, finished up his newly minted four-car garage, and it wasn't long after that the duo decided to embark on the previously mentioned restoration.
As the parts came off and the body was stripped and sanded down, ideas began to float around the shop. Duke, a former NHRA Stock Eliminator, C/, and D/gas racer, had never owned a supercharged car before, and wanted a blower on top of the engine. While Duke was hatching his boosted plan, Rich thought they should convert the body over to Shelby specifications--Duke wanted an automatic transmission to be easier on parts, Rich wanted to back half the car. The volleying of ideas went on and on, and as Duke put it, "a simple two-year deal ended up taking over 20 years."
The '67's chassis was sent to Ott Brothers Body Shop (Salfordville, Pennsylvania) where it was put on a rotisserie and sandblasted. Duke tells us that he and Rich modified the Mustang's floor a number of times, finally resulting in a complete floorpan replacement with a custom transmission tunnel.
Numerous Shelby components were sourced from Glazier Nolan Mustang Barn, as well as Tony D. Branda's Shelby and Mustang Parts, and were carefully massaged until they fit the fastback's flanks. The originally yellow, and subsequently orange fastback received yet another color change when the Ott Brothers laid down the PPG basecoat/clearcoat hues.
"I saw the Cranberry color on a street rod on the cover of a magazine and really liked it," recalls Duke. "My dad showed the magazine to me at breakfast one morning, and we took it outside to look at it in the sun and agreed that was the color," notes Rich. The Cranberry with Pearl White striping looks quite factory until the sun hits it.
Many of you will have been waiting to hear about the engine at this point, and the Hilfirty's went with a Cleveland small-block for the foundation. The block was Magnafluxed to check for any weak points, and after receiving a passing grade, was subjected to a 0.030-inch overbore. It was then filled with forged aluminum slugs attached to stock steel connecting rods swinging on a stock steel crankshaft. Topped off with a pair of 4V Cleveland cast-iron cylinder heads treated by Mike Rogers, and then stuffed with an Isky hydraulic camshaft, the small-block was then adorned with a polished BDS 6-71 supercharger and a pair of Holley carburetors.
Handling the massive amount of torque that only a 6-71 can deliver is a C6 automatic with beefed up internals and a Fairbanks torque converter. Gearing out back is 3.70:1, which works with the 29-inch-tall tires nicely. Suspending the Art Morrison 9-inch rearend is a four-link setup from the same company. Special attention was given to getting the axle width and ride height just right for optimum wheel/tire placement within the rear quarter-panels. Weld's Pro Star lightweight racing wheels complete the big and little look.
With elegant looks and a stout powertrain, the Mustang was turning out nicely, but the interior space needed refurbishing as well. To that end, Duke and Rich called upon Glazier Nolan once again for new TMI seat upholstery and door panels. While Craig's Auto Marine Specialties (Telford, Pennsylvania) handled the installation of the carpet, Duke and Rich relied on Lew Reid Inc. (Hatfield, Pennsylvania) to take care of the headliner and trim the rear plastics around the wheeltubs. Duke and Rich also installed a four-point rollbar as well.
The teamwork displayed in the interior work is just a small part of what went on during the entire build. Mike Skordian helped with the wiring, miscellaneous mechanical details and final assembly, while Jerry Korneman, one of Duke's drag racing buddies, helped with the engine assembly and used his milling machine to cut an extra keyway in the crank for the blower pulley. There is also Duke's wife, Jacqueline, who Duke credits for her patience and help with the build. We suspect her involvement is a bit deeper than that, considering she made some calls on our behalf to do some fact checking.
"Gas mileage is not so good, but the car really pushes you back in the seat when you step on the gas pedal," says Duke. Pro Street was never about mileage or comfort, so call it mission accomplished. The throwback thrills await.
"Gas mileage is not so good, but the car really pushes you back in the seat when you step on the gas pedal," says Duke.
The DetailsDuke and Rich Hilfirty's '67 Mustang Fastback
- 357ci Ford Cleveland
- 4.030-Inch bore
- 3.5-Inch stroke
- 8:1 compression ratio
- Forged aluminum pistons, stock steel connecting rods and crankshaft
- Isky hydraulic flat tappet camshaft with 0.542-inch lift (Intake) and 0.565-inch lift (exhaust)
- Ford Cleveland 4V cast iron cylinder heads, polished combustion chambers, 2.05-inch intake valves, 1.70-inch exhaust valves
- Blower Drive Service intake manifold and 6-71 supercharger (11 psi)
- Holley dual 600-cfm double-pumper carburetors
- Mallory Unilite distributor, Accel 300+ coil and ignition box
- Hooker 1-7/8-inch long-tube headers with 3-inch collectors
- 3-inch pipes with Summit Racing Equipment 3-inch glasspack mufflers
- C6 automatic
- Fairbanks 2,000-rpm stall converter
- Art Morrison 9-inch rearend
- Detroit Locker differential
- 31-spline Dutchman axles
- 3.70:1 gears
- Front: Stock upper/lower control arms with ball joint wedge kit and Shelby drop mod
- Rear: Art Morrison 2x4 framerails and four-link with QA1 coilover shocks
- Front: Stock Mustang disc, single-piston calipers
- Rear: Stock Ford truck drum, 11-inch
- Front: Weld Pro Star, 14x6-inch
- Rear: Weld Pro Star, 15x12-inch
- Front: Prime Well PS850, P215/70R14
- Rear: Mickey Thompson Sportsman Pro, 29x15.5xLT15
- Restored factory upholstery, Shelby reproduction steering wheel, Haneline gauge bezel and instruments, Lokar shifter, emergency brake lever and billet aluminum pedals
- PPG Cranberry basecoat/clearcoat by Ott Brothers Body Shop (Salfordville, Pennsylvania); Shelby hood, nose, trunk, endcaps, and scoops from Quality Fiberglass; Shelby grille and emblems