Joe Greeves
February 1, 2013

Power makes its way to the ground thanks to a hydraulically operated Centerforce clutch and Tremec TKO-500 five-speed trans with an old school Hurst shifter. Once they got the rebuilt engine back, Matt and his son, Jason, reinstalled it and with everything hooked up and running, Matt returned to GRC to get it properly tuned. Final numbers yielded a strong 328 hp at the rear wheels. Once it was strong, it had to be pretty, so engine dress-up items include the chrome air cleaner, Endurashine intake, billet valve covers, and chrome 100-amp alternator, along with the shiny chrome shock tower brace and Monte Carlo bar.

Matt chose to respect the original lines of the car, aiming for "old school simple" and limiting the changes to a '70 Mustang hoodscoop, a grille from Mustangs Plus, and Dupont Vivid Black paint with Hertz Gold stripes. In the rear, the aftermarket LED taillights are sequential.

Inside, the same subtle approach continued, although the first things that catch your eye when you open the doors are the heavily bolstered, black vinyl Scat buckets. The bench seat in the rear is original but is a close texture-match to the front. A wood-rimmed Grant wheel provides a nostalgic feel along with the cue ball Hurst shifter and new old stock pedals. The row of auxiliary Auto Meter gauges mounted low and the oversized Auto Meter tach with shift light up high join forces to keep tabs on the new engine. Out of sight, but still a vital upgrade, Dynamat covers every interior surface for both sound deadening and a heat barrier. When the mellow rumblings of the twin Flowmasters are quiet, the Alpine CD stereo with its MP3 and iPod connections becomes a second music source, playing through the pair of 6x9 Pioneer triaxials in the rear package tray. Of course, the black fuzzy dice are the perfect finishing touch.

The build started in 2003 and Matt began showing his "old-school" custom in southern California in 2008. The first time we saw the car was at a car show, shortly after Matt relocated from California to Florida in 2012. It just happened to be the first outing for the car on the East Coast. Matt says he is still working on his favorite car project, and like most enthusiasts, it will only be finished on the day he sells it.

The row of auxiliary Auto Meter gauges mounted low and the oversized Auto Meter tach with shift light up high join forces to keep tabs on the new engine

The Details
Matt Swartwood's 1966 Mustang coupe


  • 302 V-8
  • 4.040-inch bore
  • 3.028-inch stroke
  • Eagle nodular cast-iron crank
  • Eagle H-beam connecting rods
  • Federal Mogul hypereutectic 9.5:1 pistons
  • Speed-Pro piston rings
  • Comp Cams hydraulic roller tappet cam
  • Comp Cam roller rockers
  • Edelbrock RPM aluminum heads, 1.90-inch intake and 1.60-inch exhaust valves
  • Holley Ultra Street Avenger 670-cfm carburetor
  • Edelbrock RPM Performer Endurashine intake manifold
  • MSD 6AL Pro Billet Street ignition and MSD wires
  • Billet pulleys
  • Billet valve covers


  • Tremec TKO-500 five-speed transmission
  • Centerforce clutch disc and pressure plate
  • Hurst cue ball shifter


  • Ford 9-inch rearend
  • Detroit Locker
  • 31-spline Moser axles
  • 3.50 gears


  • Headman headers, 15⁄8-inch primaries, 3-inch collectors
  • H-style crossover pipe
  • 21⁄2-inch exhaust
  • Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers


  • Front: Performance 620 coil spring kit, Bilstein Sport/Track shocks, 1-inch antisway bar, Unisteer Electra-Steer power steering, chrome Monte Carlo bar, shock tower brace
  • Rear: Subframe connectors, Grab-A-Track five-leaf springs, Bilstein Sport/Track shocks


  • Front: Granada disc, 11.5-inch rotors, single-piston calipers
  • Rear: SSBC disc, 10.5-inch rotors, single-piston calipers


  • Front: VIP Modular VR08 three-piece wheels, 18x8
  • Rear: VIP Modular VR08 three-piece wheels, 19x9.5


  • Front: Hankook Ventus, P245/35ZR18
  • Rear: Hankook Ventus, P275/30ZR19

Black standard interior door panels, black carpet and headliner, Scat Pro seats, four-point RJS shoulder harnesses, Auto Meter gauges, Alpine stereo with 6x9 speakers

'70 Mustang hoodscoop, Mustangs Unlimited grille, sequential LED taillights, Vivid Black with Hertz Gold center and rocker stripes accomplished by Eddie's Body and Paint (Placerville, CA)