Jim Smart
May 1, 2005

When you are planning a restomod project, sometimes the greatest challenge is knowing what to do with the car in the first place. Some of us have a passion for drag racing-dumping the clutch and blasting through the traps. Others enjoy the euphoria of weekend cruising in a classic Mustang. Still others of us want to challenge ourselves with the rigors of road racing because the pavement is there to be flirted with and caressed.

Building a road racer takes understanding all the elements that work on a car when we head for the twisties. We need to have a solid understanding of handling and braking. We also have to know how to build an engine and driveline that will stand up to the punishment that road racing delivers.

Tim Ring wanted a fast Mustang that could be driven and raced with predictable reliability. It had to be streetable, yet ready to tackle the road course when the mood hit. When a friend of his snapped ever since. up this '65 six-cylinder Mustang fastback at an auction intending to turn the car around and make a fast buck, Tim made a fast-quick deal with him. tim took possession of the car and parked it for a year while he worked on his plan.

Tim stripped the six-banger body to the shell and built this car from the ground up as a small-block road racer. He did all the usual stuff: powerful 302ci small-block with World Products Windsor heads, a Crane solid-lifter camshaft, an Eagle bottom end with H-beam rods, a nodular iron "2M" crank, and forged pistons; on top, a 650-cfm Holley, Weiand Stealth manifold, and more; down under, a Canton nine-quart road-race pan; downwind, a Ford Top Loader four-speed, Lakewood scatter shield, and high-performance clutch; in back, a 9-inch Ford axle with Limited Slip 3.50:1 gears.

Dampening the ride and refining the handling would be assigned to Koni shocks, 620 coils, and super-stiff five leaf springs. A 1-inch front sway bar keeps the body centered around its longitudinal axis. In the solid tradition of Mustang racing, Tim fitted his ride with 15-inch American Torq-Thrust Ds wrapped in Yokahama tires.

Inside, Tim kept it simple, functional, and safe. That's a four-point roll bar protecting an otherwise stock interior that still sports the Mustang's original Falcon-style, horizontal-sweep instrument panel. Where you might expect twin bucket seats, Tim opted for a bench seat. When we photographed Tim's interior, we wanted it dressed exactly the way it is when he goes racing-with a smattering of mud and dust around the pedals. That's a Hurst Competition Plus four-speed shifter, just like we remember from the good old days.

When Tim heads for the road course, he dons his helmet and tackles the asphalt from the seat of his pants. He eyeballs the Shelby tachometer and listens to the 302 scream as he puts the Top Loader through its paces. There is a strong feeling of satisfaction that comes from knowing you've gone after your dream and managed to make it real.