Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
December 19, 2006
Photos By: Johnny Hunkins

Thomas Edison was once quoted as saying, "Genius is 1-percent inspiration and 99-percent perspiration." Well it doesn't take a genius to see that the '67/'68 {Mustang fastback was the inspiration behind the all-new '05 Mustang redesign. With its aggressive grille opening, fastback roofline, and taillight panel, you can see the classic Mustang styling cues in every angle of the new car. It also doesn't take a genius (though it probably did take a whole lot of perspiration) to know when you have a hot new product such as the '05 Mustang, you want everyone in the performance aftermarket to get their hands on one as quickly as possible to develop parts and build feature cars.

The annual SEMA show is the place to debut a new product, and for the '04 SEMA show, people were lining up to get their hands on the few '05 Mustangs Ford was handing out. It probably didn't help that the '05 Mustang was also the official car of the show. Performance West Group (PWG) [www.performancewestgroup.com; (760) 630-0547], a company that builds "image vehicles" for manufacturers, was at the top of the list since their Mustang was being built for Ford's own display booth. when PWG's Larry Weiner saw the new Mustang for the first time, and learned the '67/'68 fastback was Ford's design inspiration, he knew he had to build a classic fastback "twin" to the '05 model for Ford's display.

PWG uses a transport service to shuffle their various cars around the country, and Larry knew their transport driver had a pulse on various cars available. So he asked the driver if he'd come across a fastback lately. less than an hour later, the driver called back with the location of one-the '67 fastback you see on these pages (after the culmination of nearly 10 months of nonstop work to prepare the car for the 2004 SEMA show). The fastback had lost its indoor storage and was sitting outside. Luckily, this was California, and the car had seen previous titling in Florida as well. Rust was minimal and very fixable. The fastback was as stripped of options as they come-six-cylinder, manual trans, manual brakes-that's it. Larry called the owner, a deal was made, and the car was transported back to PWG's facility. With a quick wash, a charge of the battery, and a bleeding of the brake system, they got the car to fire right up!

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But the story gets even more interesting. The running fastback was then transported all the way across the country to Stainless Steel Brakes (SSBC) in Clarence, New York, just outside of Buffalo. The fastback was actually "loaned" to SSBC so they could mock-up some new brake systems (also for the SEMA show). But before the fastback could be shipped back, Larry's cousin, Howard Brook, made a visit to SSBC (he lives five minutes away); he then called Larry to suggest that he build the car in his garage. Larry agreed, and Howard made room in his three-car garage by kicking out his Acura NSX, Jaguar XKE, and Corvette for some working room.

Three days later the '67 was a shell, and Howard was ready to make things happen. First, the body was sent to Ken Pezdek at Aero Collision just up the road in Lancaster, New York, for a full rotisserie-style prep and paint service. The color choice was DuPont Silver Pearl, matching the '05 being built back in California. To dress the body up and give the fastback a bit more image, a GT500 nose, hood, and scoops found there way onto the body, courtesy of Mustangs Plus, as did Mustangs Plus' own Restomod Ground Effects Kit.

While the paint guns were burying fiberglass and steel under the basecoat/clearcoat finish, Howard was on the phone ordering up the suspension and drivetrain parts to put the car back together. Within weeks parts were arriving daily. First, the 9-inch rear from Drivetrain Specialists arrived, then the Tremec five-speed. Later, Stainless Steel Brakes (of course) and Classic Tube brake and fuel lines showed up, along with Oasis custom wheel replicas of the original Hurst models from the '60s. The trickiest piece of the puzzle turned out to be finding a 4.6 Modular engine. Howard found one on eBay, sold by ELD Performance for $2,000. Brian Bossone of ELD even shipped Howard a blown engine as a mock-up to help with the installation of the Rod & Custom Motorsports Mustang II front end. Everything was coming together, or so Howard thought.

Fast-forward a few months. The fastback, known as the GT/R Code Project, is comfortably sitting in Howard's garage-suspension hung, drivetrain installed, even the wheels and tires are sitting in the corner ready to go. But this is the middle of 2004, and no one makes a Modular wiring harness for street rods. It's a matter of cut and splice with a factory harness if you want to use a Mod motor. Just as Howard is about to call his cousin Larry and bow out of the project, his neighbor stops by to see the project. During their conversation Howard finds out his neighbor's friend teaches Ford electrical engineering. What a find! Within a few days, this guy trimmed the wiring harness and had it all hooked up. After installing the Kenne Bell Twin Screw supercharger and hooking up a few hoses, Howard gave the ignition key a twist, and the GT/R Code fired up on the first try. The sound through the custom-fabricated Magnaflow exhaust was pure Mustang muscle music.

Larry had received e-mail updates from his cousin, but didn't see the finished product until it rolled off the transporter in Las Vegas for the 2004 SEMA show. Sitting side-by-side with its '05 "twin," the two Mustangs were showstoppers in the Ford display area.

While Larry's company primarily builds late-model vehicles, he told us he really enjoys working on special projects like this '67. He called it a labor of love for a couple of car guys who remember when these cars were new. The build of the '67 GT/R Code exceeded his expectations and is one of his most memorable projects. We're sure wherever the GT/R Code travels, it's an inspiration to all who see it.

The Details
1967 Mustang Fastback
Owner: Larry Weiner, Bonsall, CA

Engine
2004 Mustang Gt 4.6 2v Crate Engine
Kenne Bell Twin Screw Supercharger
Kenne Bell Cold Air Intake
Kenne Bell Boost-A-Pump
Kenne Bell Boost-A-Spark
Raceware Custom Aluminum Radiator, Electric Fans, And Shroud

Transmission
Tremec Five-Speed
Hurst Shifter
Hays Clutch

Rearend
9-Inch By Dts
3.55 Limited Slip

Exhaust
Magnaflow Performance X-Pipe
Magnapak System
Polished Stainless Steel Exhaust Tips

Suspension
Front: Rod & Custom Motorsports Mustang Ii, Power Rack-And-Pinion, Flaming River Tilt Steering Column
Rear: Mustangs Plus Reversed Eye Leaf Springs, Spax Shocks

Brakes
Front: Stainless Steel Brakes, Tri-Power Three-Piston Calipers, 13-Inch Slotted And Vented Rotors
Rear: Stainless Steel Brakes, Disc
Classic Tube Hard Lines, Stop Flex Braided Lines

Wheels
Front: Oasis Alloy "Hurst" Wheels, 18x7
Rear: Oasis Alloy "Hurst" Wheels, 18x8

Tires
Front: Bfgoodrich G-Force T/A Kdw, P225/40zr18
Rear: Bfgoodrich G-Force T/A Kdw, P235/50zr18

Interior
Pro Car Bucket Seats With "Gt/R-Code" Script
Custom Leather And Suede Interior By Katzkin Leather
Grant Steering Wheel
Vintage Air A/C System
Custom Autosound Am/Fm Stereo
Optima Trunk-Mounted Battery

Exterior
Dupont Performance Coatings Silver Pearl Applied By Aero Collision And Fabrication
Shelby Gt500 Hood, Front Cap, B-Pillar Scoops, Lower Quarter-Panel Brake Duct Scoops, Rear Deck Lid, Spoiler End Caps From Mustangs Plus
Mustangs Plus Restomod Body Ground Effects Package
Mustangs Plus Bullet Style Exterior Rearview Mirrors
Covercraft Car Cover