Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
April 1, 2013
Photos By: John Machaqueiro

There's no shortage of Mustangs in Bruce Kafenbaum's automotive past. From early convertibles to late-model Shelby Mustangs, he's had a slew of them over the years. Kafenbaum, of Great Neck, New York, picked up his latest ponycar three years ago while attending the Barrett Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. No stranger to auctions, or buying cars at auction, Bruce was actually there just to see the sights (it has been said the Scottsdale auction is akin to an automotive circus with stars walking around, displays, music, and more). It was there, late on a Saturday night, when the Lime Gold fastback went across the block. Bruce was sitting with a friend and the fastback's immaculate paint caught his attention. Upon closer inspection the paint and undercarriage detailing were indeed what sold Bruce on the car. While the drivetrain was there, it wasn't to his standards. However, being an original S-code big-block car Bruce saw the potential and placed a winning bid. Bruce just bought himself another Mustang.

"She's used to those phone calls now," Bruce chuckled when we asked him what his wife said about the non-intended purchase.

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One thing that probably made that call to his wife, Sandi, a little less painful was the fact he could tell her it wouldn't cost them a dime to ship the Mustang back to their New York home. In an amazing bit of fate, FedEx chose the Mustang as the company's "pick of the day" at the Scottsdale event, an award that included free complimentary shipping of the car they picked! Of course, getting caught up in the auction frenzy can also mean a buyer can miss something. In the case of the Lime Gold fastback, it wasn't until after Bruce bought it and was backstage with his new purchase that he realized the car had manual steering (albeit a Total Control Products rack and pinion setup). What did I get myself into," Bruce recalled saying to his friend in attendance when he found out the car didn't have the power assist. He would later call up TCP to upgrade to a power rack unit only to have them recommend driving it first.

"They were right, it has a great feel and I don't miss the power steeringjust don't parallel park it," Bruce stated.

Once the Mustang was home, Bruce started going through the paperwork that came with the car and found receipts going into six figures (he paid less than half thatwhat a steal!). The original shop that built the car, Billups Auto Body in Colcord, Oklahoma, had done an outstanding job on the body and paint, but the rest of the car seemed thrown together. It turns out the customer footing the bill was dragging things out and Billups finished up the car and sold it to recoup some of its labor cost. Bruce actually bought it from the person who bought it from Billups. Bruce took the car to Northern Boulevard Collision to have some overspray removed and some light detailing done to the paint, and told us that they were impressed with Billups' work as well. Northern also updated the look of the car with the Boze Forged rolling stock wrapped in Conti's performance rubber.

Bruce, an avid racer in his past, has settled down somewhat due to health issues, but he enjoys taking the Mustang out on the track to stretch its legs from time to time. However, during a Goodguys show at Pocono Speedway, Bruce stretched things a bit too far and took out the FE that came with the car when he purchased it. Never a "glass is half empty" type of guy, Bruce took advantage of the situation and had PCHS Racing Engines build him a potent 450ci FE full of the good stuffEagle, Edelbrock, Diamond, Total Seal, Comp Cams, and more good for 539 hp. The headers that Bruce had built for the car by T&W Enterprises are nothing short of tubular works of art. Bruce tells us that the T&W crew actually built the headers with the engine in place and used stainless tubing, merge collectors, and gasketless ring clamps.

Bruce kept the Tremec TKO-600 behind it that came with the car, but he added an aluminum driveshaft and rebuilt the rear with better internals to handle the power of the new FE. While the original FE was powered by a set of side-draft Webbers, the new big-block wears a traditional four-holer right now. Bruce is hoping to put the Webbers back on some day or even upgrade to a stack EFI setup. With the engine squared away, Bruce opted to tweak the suspension a bit more to his liking, and upgraded the existing TCP coilovers to Penske double-adjustable units designed by Anze Engineering.

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One of Bruce's most recent upgrades was the addition of premium Recaro sport seats, a rollbar, Corbeau three-point restraints, and Lokar billet goodies. Other interior appointments include a tilt column topped by a MotoLita steering wheel, a set of Classic Instruments gauges in their custom housing designed to use the stock gauge bezel, and a Vintage Air A/C system. He even went so far as to bolt down the fold-down seat assembly and added a fifth Boze Forged wheel to the fold down's deck for a Shelbyinspired look. Today, Bruce enjoys the fastback as a show car, cruise night ride, and the occasional nice sunny day driver. Besides taking the Ridetech-sponsored "Low, Cool, Smooth" award at a Goodguys event (again at Pocono), Bruce has also entered the Mustang in two Mustang Club of America National shows (2011's Mustangs at the Beach and 2012's Ocean State MCA National) and has taken 1st Place awards both times. It's taken Bruce a couple of years to get the car just how he wanted it, but he's still dollars ahead over the cost of the initial build and that's one time he was happy to pick up the phone and tell his wife about his latest Mustang purchase.

The Details
Bruce Kafenbaum's
1967 Ford Mustang Fastback

Engine

  • 450ci FE big-block by PCHS Racing Engines, Bohemia, NY
  • 4.155-inch bore
  • 4.150-inch stroke
  • Eagle 4340 forged steel crankshaft to PCHS Racing Engines specs
  • Program Engineering steel main caps
  • Eagle 4340 forged steel 6.700-inch connecting rods
  • Diamond forged pistons
  • Total Seal piston rings
  • Comp Cams hydraulic roller camshaft, 0.551-inch lift, 242/252 degrees duration at 0.050-inch
  • Edelbrock Performer FE aluminum heads, ported and polished by PCHS Racing Engines
  • Manley 2.190-inch intake/1.750-inch exhaust valves
  • Manley double springs
  • Harland Sharp shaft mount 1.73 roller rocker arms
  • Trend pushrods
  • Edelbrock Victor Race aluminum intake modified by PCHS Racing Engines
  • QuickFuel Q850 carburetor
  • Mallory distributor
  • Ford Racing Performance Parts 9mm plug wires
  • 539 hp, 556 lb-ft torque

Transmission

  • Tremec TKO-600 five-speed manual
  • Hurst shifter
  • Custom aluminum driveshaft

Rearend

  • Ford 9-inch housing
  • Auburn Gear Pro Series Limited Slip
  • Strange 3.90 gears
  • 28-spline axles

Exhaust

  • Custom stainless headers by T&W Enterprises, Deer Park, NY; 2½-inch primaries
  • X-style crossover
  • MagnaFlow mufflers
  • 3-inch stainless steel dual exhaust

Suspension

  • Front: TCP tubular control arm with double adjustable Penske coilovers by Anze Engineering, TCP rack-and-pinion steering
  • Rear: TCP four-link with double adjustable Penske coilovers by Anze Engineering, TCP subframe connectors and chassis cross brace

Brakes

  • Front: Wilwood disc, 11.75-inch slotted and drilled rotors, four-piston calipers
  • Rear: Wilwood disc, 11.75-inch slotted and drilled rotors, four-piston calipers

Wheels

  • Front: Boze Forged, Pro Touring with brushed lip and satin black center, 18x7
  • Rear: Boze Forged, Pro Touring with brushed lip and satin black center, 18x10

Tires

  • Front: Continental ContiSport Contact 3, P225/40ZR18
  • Rear: Continental ContiSport Contact 3, P285/35ZR18

Interior
Black standard interior; Classic Instruments gauge cluster; MotoLita steering wheel; Sony audio with JBL speakers; three-point seatbelts; Flaming River tilt column; Vintage Air heat/cool system

Exterior
Lime Gold base/clear by Billups Auto Body (Colcord, OK) and Northern Boulevard Collision (Great Neck, NY); Shelby fiberglass scoops; Shelby grille with center headlights; Shelby taillight panel from Tony Branda and Mustangs Unlimited