Modified Mustangs & FordsFeatured Vehicles
1966 Ford Mustang Hardtop - The Blender
A '66 Hardtop Meets A Terminator Drivetrain, And The Results Are An Instant Classic
Jim Major's vision of the perfect Mustang is a combination of decades of refinement. Staying true to the timeless lines of the first Mustang coupe, Jim imagined a car with the polished drivetrain of the '03/'04 Cobra Mustang with the race car suspension and craftsmanship that would hearken back to the days of Shelby factory race teams. In the end, we think you'll agree this is one of the most stunning restomod Mustangs ever created-a car that mixes the best of the old with the best that modern Mustang crafters have to offer. Ladies and gentlemen, we'd like to introduce you to The Blender.
"We set out to make the best all-around Mustang," says Jim Major. "I wanted handling, safety, speed, beauty, purpose, and comfort-all in one classic Mustang. I wanted the car to be both nasty and nice. As far as I'm concerned, Paul accomplished my goals for me."The Paul that Jim is referring to is Paul Faessler, whose team of technicians at Paul's Automotive Engineering [(513)791-1087] have led the country in concours restorations for years. They have also built just about every iteration of modified Mustang you could dream up. because of this, PAE was the perfect shop to build Jim Major's perfect Mustang-a car that could do it all.
Once the '66 coupe was dropped off at PAE, it was placed into the capable hands of Roy Honsaker, the on-staff paint-and-body man. Used to handling the rarest examples of Shelby and collectable Mustang iron, Roy had a different mission with this car than simply making it perfect. Paul drew upon Roy's years of experience to meld the lines of the Mustang coupe, custom carbon-fiber Maier Racing Product body panels, and a Terlingua-influenced paint scheme into one stunning exterior.
With Shelby influences shining through, the carbon-fiber hood, front valance, trunk lid, and 111/42-inch flared fenders were put into position. Roy then covered them in a PPG basecoat/clearcoat mix. The monochrome bumpers, trimmed rear valence, and a number of other subtle touches strike the perfect balance of modified without going too far.
From the back of the car (thanks to the cleared valance), you can see a hint of the amazing race car suspension that PAE fit under The Blender. The half shafts of the custom-fabricated 9-inch Ford independent rear suspension can be seen whirling in sync with the car's speed. PAE started with a CTM Engineering T5 kit, and then heavily modified the rear geometry to the demands of this particular car. Interestingly, the kit is based off Ford's own blueprints for just such an IRS that was never brought to production. A Dan Press Industries' DPI Black Gold torque-sensing differential is loaded with 3.70:1 gearing and 31-spline axles.
The suspension for The Blender has the best the high-performance world has to offer. Bilstein coilover struts and shocks work with Hypercoil springs at both ends. A Heidt's Mustang II crossmember and A-arms support the front-end suspension components. Monstrous Wilwood six-piston 13-inch brakes work the front, with SVT Cobra-issued 11-inch discs in the rear. Vintage Wheel Works 17x9.5 rims are shod with Michelin Pilot Sport tires.
With the goal of a powerful modern engine pushing this car to unimaginable performance levels, Jim looked no further than an '04 Cobra crate motor. PAE installed a smaller blower pulley to up the boost, added Stainless Works headers, a custom PAE exhaust system, a larger fuel system, and tuned it with a FAST stand-alone fuel-injection system. This simple solution to a delightful problem is quick to kick out 450 rwhp and 490 lb-ft of torque-enough to make most big-blocks quite envious. the shock towers were cleared to make room for the massive four-cam Modular engine.
Inside, as you slip into the '04 Cobra seats, you'll slide right past the 151/48-inch chrome-moly rollcage that is stiffening the chassis and keeping the driver safe. A Tremec TKO five-speed transmission is there awaiting your demands, while the dash has been updated with modern Auto Meter gauges and a spliced-in shift light. It's simple, yet amazing, all at the same time.
The Blender makes close to 500 lb-ft of torque to the tires, and weighs 3,100 pounds. That kind of power-to-weight ratio translates into breathtaking performance in any language. Try realistic zero to 60 times of 4.0 seconds, and you get an idea of what kind of times this thing is capable of. On the street, the car starts, idles, cruises, and drives like any brand-new performance car should.
Its handling and stunning looks are what separate this car from anything else that you will see on your way to the road course. This American craftsmanship can only come from a shop that has made a living by knowing every dimension of every part that has ever gone into making a Mustang. From the custom geometry of the hand-fabricated suspension parts, to the alignment of the engine and transmission, The Blender exudes perfection. Combining the classic lines of an American icon with the latest engine and drivetrain that Ford has to offer, The Blender single-handedly justifies the restomod movement. If this car doesn't make you dream of a modern fuel-injected Modular engine in a classic Mustang, you might be reading the wrong magazine.
1966 Mustang hardtop
Owner: Jim Major, Ticonderoga, NY
'04 Cobra crate motor
2.95-inch blower pulley (14-15 psi)
Four-pound Metco lower pulley
Stock '04 Cobra intercooler
Stainless Works headers
FAST bank-to-bank fuel-injection system
55 lb/hr injectors
CPR 11/42-inch fuel rails
355 lb/hr Bosch fuel pump
MSD DIS-4 ignition
NGK TR6 spark plugs
Tremec TKO five-speed
Centerforce dual-friction 11-inch clutch
Stock Cobra aluminum flywheel
CTM Engineering 9-inch Ford IRS, modified by PAEReworked arm lengths, mounting points, and overall geometry by PAEPAE 2x3-inch through-the-floor subframe connectors
Custom PAE 151/48-inch chrome-moly cage
Front: Bilstein coilover struts,Hypercoil 8-inch 211/42-inch ID 550 lb/inch springs
Rear: Bilstein coilover shocks,Hypercoil 10-inch 211/42-inch ID 350 lb/inch springs
Front: Wilwood six-piston 13-inch discs
Rear: Cobra-spec 11.65-inch rear discs
Vintage Wheel Works 17x911/42-inch Vintage 45
Front: Michelin Pilot Sport, 265/40ZR17
Rear: Michelin Pilot Sport, 285/40ZR17
'04 Cobra seats
Matching rear seating surface
Auto Meter gauges (boost, fuel pressure, water temp, and oil pressure)Custom shift light mounted in stock dash pad
Complete racing harnesses
Shelby-style carbon-fiber hood111/42-inch fender flares
Shelby R-model front valance
Wimbledon white with black Terlingua stripes