Wayne Cook
July 1, 2004

Keith and Susan Vogel of Queensbury, New York, own this excellent '68 Mustang GT hardtop. it's loaded with deluxe features not found on most Mustangs. First on the list of factory goodies is the original FE 390 Thunderbird V-8 engine. When the big-block option is considered along with the car's original GT status, what we have is one very desirable pony. It turns out that this 390 GT Mustang is a one-of-one build-no other '68 Mustang was produced exactly like it. It's a safe bet that not many Mustangs were built with the GT package, big-block engine, and four-speed transmission. Numbers narrow down to one when the original color of Sunlit Gold, a bench seat, and black-out-hood treatment are factored in.

The Vogels may someday return their car to exact factory specs, but for their current use they chose to go restomod, and they have done some interesting upgrades, while not completely changing the original personality of their Mustang. The original gold color has been substituted with a light pewter metallic color, and this compliments the black interior nicely. Original-type styled steel wheels with GT caps were used, but they were widened and plus-sized to accept modern-size rubber and then chrome plated. BFGoodrich tires are used all around with the front tires sized at 215/65-15. The rear tires are a beefy 275/60-15. The aggressive stance on this car is due to a completely refurbished suspension, featuring urethane bushings, Motorsport front coil springs, and dropped upper control arms as used on the early GT350. Front disc brakes, which were optional on the '68 GT package, have been upgraded with 1131/44-inch drilled and slotted rotors. The rear axle is controlled by custom arched rear springs with Shelby-type traction bars. Bilstein shocks dampen suspension movement at all four corners. The net result is a 2-inch drop overall. A {{{Monte Carlo}}} bar keeps shock towers from flexing, while steering is accomplished with the help of a new Flaming River steering box.

Under hood lives the mighty 390 engine. It's been upgraded with Edelbrock aluminum cylinder heads and intake manifold. These components save a lot in weight, as well as adding horsepower. Fuel comes from a 750-cfm Holley four-barrel carb, and a Mallory distributor fires the engine. Hooker Super Comp ceramic-coated headers exit the exhaust gases into a custom-made (by Keith), 3-inch-diameter exhaust system. Power from the big FE mill goes through a refreshed top loader four-speed, and on to a nodular iron 9-inch axle equipped with 3.50:1 gears and Strange axles.

The factory bench-seat interior was left stock, but treated to a fresh black upholstery job. A Hurst Competition Plus shifter works the gearbox, and a Grant steering wheel rounds out the driver position.

It sounds to us the big-block Mustang is dialed-in nicely, and with the warmed-up FE, we're willing to bet the GT hardtop runs just fine.

Obviously, Keith and Susan are experts at the restore and modify game, and consistent good taste in the choice of changes has led to a silver hardtop where high performance is complimented by understated elegance.