August 22, 2012

"I originally owned a Toyota Supra MA61 Group A race car," starts 59-year-old Sydney, Australia, resident Lance Weiss; but let's not hold that against him. "It was sitting in my garage awaiting restoration, but I discussed it with my wife and decided it was time to buy the Mustang I had always wanted."

Lance placed an advertisement for the Supra online that very evening and within an hour, the car was sold. This paved the way for Lance to fulfill a lifelong dream of restoring and owning a classic Pony.

"Within a month I'd found a suitable '67 coupe, located in Queensland [Australia]. I had a work colleague go take a look at it for me and his report of 'rough, but honest' was enough for me," says Lance, a Strategic Relations Officer for paint manufacturer Akzo Nobel.

After some confusing haggling with the owner in which he kept balking at accepting the asking price for the car, Lance finally saddled the Mustang for just $9,000.

"I conned my brother into driving up to Queensland with me," Lance says, still grinning at the memory. "He thought we were only going as far as Coffs Harbour (six hours north of Sydney), but around four hours into the trip I confessed that we were headed for the Gold Coast which was still another seven hours away!"

By the time Lance got the Mustang onto his car-trailer, he'd learned that the car had a few undisclosed extras, like a blown engine and a soccer-ball-sized rust hole in the fuel tank.

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"The day after I got it home, I threw some new plugs in it, rigged up a jerrycan of fuel, put in a new battery, and closed up the distributor's points from 0.040-inch to about 0.020-inch," Lance says. "Third or fourth turn of the key and the little 289 was humming. I couldn't help but call the dude and let him listen to the car purring as I suggested he get himself a new mechanic!"

Lance didn't waste any time getting into the rebuild of his new Mustang. Intending from the outset to create a restomod coupe, he went about collecting a mountain of parts. At the same time, the car was stripped down and bolted to a rotisserie in Lance's shed to properly assess the vehicle's condition.

"One of the hardest parts of the build was getting the bodywork right," explains Lance. "My painter is the most anal guy I have ever met, besides myself. Meeting his exacting standards with a 43-year-old car without using a skerrick (that's Aussie for a trace amount) of filler was a tough job." However, that's exactly what Lance and his chosen workshops did; repairing decades of use and abuse, and bringing the paint and body to a point far beyond anything the car ever rolled off the production line with in 1967. In fact, the incredible Falcon Bionic paint is "off the gun"--only requiring a hand polish instead of the usual machine cut and buff. "The word 'genius' comes to mind when I think of Peter's ability with the spray gun," Lance says.

As sweet as the paint is, that only scratches the surface of this awesome 'Stang. There isn't a single fragment left of the original car, save for some of the exterior panels. Both the inside and underside of the shell have been scraped clean and hit with paint as well--the underside and engine bay are drenched in another Ford hue called Ego.

Bolted to the undercarriage is a complement of Total Control Products' suspension parts including a chrome-moly double A-arm frontend and an adjustable four-link rear--all using Bilstein adjustable coilovers. Finishing off the suspension is a 26mm Whiteline front sway bar, TCP steering rack, and a hard-core KP Racing power steering pump. When coupled with the 13-inch/four-piston Wilwood braking setup at all four corners, you've got a thoroughly modern-handling Pony that will out-drive just about everything else on the road. Not that it'd do you much good without the proper motivation.

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Lance turned to Vic Hockley in Sydney to build him a stout, reliable combo that would make full use of the fresh suspension. Many fresh factory parts were used for the bottom end that, together with the freshening up of the bores, created a displacement of 306 ci.

Moving upward, a 670-cfm Holley vacuum-secondary carburetor sprays PULP (Aussie for Premium Unleaded Petroleum) and air into an Edelbrock Performer RPM manifold, and a set of cast-iron heads that have been ported by the guys at Trick and Mansweto--a company renowned for building big-horsepower race engines. Flowing just as quickly out through a set of custom-fabbed, ceramic-coated headers and a dual 2-1/2-inch exhaust system, the engine makes 445 hp at the flywheel and a healthy 435 lb-ft of twist. Taking the brunt of all the torque is a tough Tremec TKO five-speed gearbox and Centerforce single-plate clutch, with a slightly narrowed 9-inch rear out back running 3.50:1 gearing and a limited-slip differential.

Thanks to the extensive use of a Dynamat sound deadener, things remain pretty comfortable and quiet in the cabin of Lance's coupe. It has been tastefully and practically restored and modified using a pair of Celica buckets, a wicked Auto Meter dash conversion, a Flaming River column, and an Autotecnica steering wheel. The seats were re-covered using BA Falcon cloth, with fresh carpets and roof lining completing the effect. Lance had the hard surfaces painted like the door trims in the Ego hue that the engine bay and undercarriage were coated in. Finally, a Pioneer head unit lives in the restored dash, with two pairs of speakers making all the right noises in the cabin--should Lance tire of the sound coming from the small-block.

"It was really enjoyable having my non-car wife help out holding so many bits and using her much smaller hands to get into places I couldn't," says Lance. "Sarah, Zara, and Peta sure did lots of little bits that added up to complete the car and it is so appreciated."

With no plans to further modify the car, Lance simply plans to enjoy the hell out of it. "I had five shows I really wanted to take it to," concludes Lance. "I've done all those now, so now it's just a good little car to drive and enjoy. The next outing will be my neighbor's son's prom."

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The Details

Lance Weiss' '67 Mustang coupe

Engine

  • 306ci small-block Windsor
  • Four-bolt-main block
  • 4.030-inch bore
  • 3.000-inch stroke
  • Boss crank
  • Boss 5.155-inch connecting rods
  • Forged aluminum Speed-Pro pistons
  • Ported cast-iron cylinder heads
  • Trick Flow hydraulic roller camshaft, (232-degrees duration, 0.608-inch lift, 112- degree LSA)
  • Yella Terra 1.73:1 roller rocker arms
  • March Industries aluminum pulleys
  • 670-cfm Holley Street Avenger carburetor
  • Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold
  • Mallory electronic distributor
  • 10.45:1-compression ratio
  • 445 hp, 437 lb-ft of torque

Transmission

  • Tremec TKO 3550 five-speed manual
  • Single-plate Centerforce clutch

Rearend

  • 9-inch Ford (narrowed 3/4-inch)
  • 3.50 gears
  • Limited-slip differential

Exhaust

  • Ceramic coated custom headers (1-3/4-inch primaries), dual 21?2-inch mild steel system, X-pipe

Suspension

  • Front: TCP coilover chrome-moly double A-arm setup, Bilstein coilovers, Whiteline antisway bar, TCP steering rack, KP Racing power steering pump
  • Rear: TCP four-link adjustable

Brakes

  • Front: Wilwood disc, Dynalite four-piston calipers, 13-inch rotors, Endless pads, Wilwood high-volume master cylinder, 7-inch dual diaphragm booster
  • Rear: Wilwood disc, Dynalite four-piston calipers, 13-inch rotors

Wheels

  • Front: Showwheels Streeter, 17x8
  • Rear: Showwheels Streeter, 17x8

Tires

  • Front: Yokohama A.drive R1, P235/45ZR17
  • Rear: Yokohama A.drive R1, P235/45ZR17

Interior

  • BA Falcon cloth trim, Autotecnica leather steering wheel, Dynamat sound deadener, '99 Toyota Celica front buckets, black carpets, Flaming River steering column, Auto Meter gauges, JME dash conversion, lighted sill plates, Pioneer head unit with front and rear speakers

Exterior

  • BA Falcon "Bionic," engine bay and floorpan painted in Ford Ego, LED taillights

Additional Notes

  • Who's Responsible: Bosskraft, Koutalis Automotive Services, Tunehouse, Lumley Special Vehicle Insurance, Canberra Automotive Refinishers, Peter Gumley Smash Repairs, Electroplating Technologies, Trick and Mansweto, Racer's Choice, Craft Differentials, Heasman Suspension, Terry Toomey

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