Miles Cook
March 17, 2003

Step By Step

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Mump_0303_01_z 1968_ford_mustang_fastback Side_viewMump_0303_02_z 1968_ford_mustang_fastback Front_viewMump_0303_03_z 1968_ford_mustang_fastback 302ci_small_block_engineMump_0303_04_z 1968_ford_mustang_fastback Interior

"The rebuilding of this car took me nearly eight years," Todd Brown tells us. While that's not out of the ordinary--since we have friends with cars that have sat for more than a decade--it's still long enough to savor the finished product once the hard work is finally in the rearview mirror. "I have worked long and hard on this car and will likely never sell it," says Brown. "The offer would have to be right, and I would have to think long and hard before making a final decision," he continues.

We wouldn't be in a hurry to sell this Grabber Blue '68 fastback either if it was in the Mustang Monthly staff garage--mainly because Todd did such a great job "restifying" it. While it's not the usual full-on resto rig we normally feature in these pages, it's still a way-cool Mustang and the perfect way to mix up the usual diet of vintage resto cars around here.

The foundation making Todd's Lynwood, Washington-based fastback look so good, is, of course, the body. Repaired and refinished by the folks at Burlington Collision, Todd's decision to go with the '70-vintage Grabber Blue was influenced by a high-school teacher who owned a '70 Mach 1 of the same color. The sano black stripes were added later, and the slick PS Engineering 17x8-inch wheels complete the look of this cool street machine. Yokohama AVS 245/40ZR17 skins are also at each corner.

Inside, Todd added Auto Meter Pro Comp gauges to the factory dash, a LeCarra steering wheel, and an aftermarket center console from Classic Consoles. Inside and out, this car's a visual exercise in subtle good taste and impressed us at the '01 Mustang Roundup, where its paint color, wheels and tires, and other mild mods made it an easily feature-worthy ride on which our cameras focused.

But no car is much good if all it does is please the eye. It's gotta please the spirit, too, when you ask its mechanical bits to push you into the seatback. Todd did well in that area by adding a freshened 302 small-block (actually a late-model 5.0) that once moved a '91 GT down the road. The 306-cube Henry has been breathed on by plenty of go-faster goodies, including a Cam Dynamics roller cam with a .540-inch lift and 242 degrees of duration, an Edelbrock port-matched intake, and a Holley 650 cfm carb. Other items include an 8-quart Milodon oil pan, ceramic-coated Hooker headers, and some port work on the cast-iron GT-40 cylinder heads. Behind the hearty 5.0 resides a Top Loader four-speed and a 9-inch axle with a Trac-Lok differential and 3.70:1 gears.

Now that the car is done and Todd has met the dream of owning a vintage fastback Mustang built his way, he can put earlier hardships behind him and enjoy the finished project. "I can still remember loading box after box of parts along with windows, doors, fenders, and seats. Nothing was bagged or tagged, and the whole car was in pieces. I started buying parts a little at a time. It would then sit for a while, and I would work on it again. At one point I even called and received a salvage bid on the car. But I just couldn't sell because I wanted to see it completed." We're glad he didn't change his mind and bail out midstream. If he had, we wouldn't have had the chance to catch one of the cleaner '67-'68 vintage restomoded Mustangs we've seen in recent memory--one that we enjoy looking at likely as much as Todd does driving it.