Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
December 1, 2006
Photos By: Chick Key

So the project was born, but the '67 didn't make it very far into the build process. Dave felt it was too nice to cut up for the project. Instead, a '68 fastback was purchased for the build, and a '67 hardtop "mule" was purchased for fitting purposes before hacking away at the '68.

The project's early plan was for a modern rendition of Frank Bullitt's Dark Highland Green fastback from the movie Bullitt, but Ford beat Dave and Doug to the punch with its own Bullitt Mustang in 2001. After some discussion, the focus settled on a question: If Ford's Special Vehicle Team was around in 1968, what would they build? They decided that SVT, known for building high-performance, great handling, yet understated-looking late-model Mustangs and other Fords, would build just what you see here, a stealthy, almost-stock looking, '68 fastback with class-leading power, handling, and braking.

Dave worked his magic over the course of several years, formulating the build into one of the cleanest we've seen in a long time. This isn't your typical Mustang II front-suspension and mod-motor swap. No, this fastback is way more sophisticated than that. The MIB features the same Mustang engine cradle and front-strut suspension found on any '96-and-up Mustang. This is not a bolt-in; many hours were spent measuring, tweaking, and re-measuring before a single cut or weld was made. The fastback sports the Cobra's IRS out back as well. With a kit devised by DVS, the IRS for a '67/'70 Mustang is now almost at the status of bolt-in.

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Of course, the drivetrain itself and the completed installation are amazing, but that's a small part of the overall picture. This Mustang features all of the comfort, safety, and conveniences of the modern Cobra Mustang. Have a desire for anti-lock brakes on your classic? They're on it. How about traction control? That's there, too. Even the original Cobra cruise control is installed, actuated through an NOS '68 cruise switch. The wiring alone on this project would be enough for most of us to crawl into the corner of the garage and curl up in the fetal position. This fastback now sports over 50 fuses, a big jump from the original six.

The classic styling of the Mustang itself wasn't forgotten either. Both floor and overhead consoles were added during the build, along with tilt-a-way steering, a fold-down rear seat, and more. The original AM radio still resides in the dash, while a hidden Alpine head unit, speakers, and a trunk-mounted CD-changer now provide the tunage, all controlled by an infrared remote.

The fastback's body doesn't have a single GT or Shelby-styling add-on. Dave and Doug didn't think the fastback's classic lines needed any help, and they left well-enough alone. The exception is a set of Hella Black Magic driving lights in the grille, and the grille corral was removed for a more modern look. The topcoat is BASF black in a 12-layer base/clear configuration. The ghost-painted charcoal C-stripe matches the wheel paint and is a classic nod with a modern flair. Finally, the Mustang GT Premium/Bullitt wheels are the perfect mix of old and new for this project.

When Dave finished the car and shipped it to Doug for approval and inspection, you might think Doug rolled this black beauty into his garage and shut out the lights. You couldn't be further from the truth, but it's OK, we thought the same thing. Instead, Doug took his new toy for a weekend of driving, racking up over 100 miles. When he returned it to Dave for some minor detail work and prep for another show, Dave found french fries in it. Now that's our kind of car owner! Since then, the fastback has since been to the 2005 All-Ford Show in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the 2005 SEMA Show, and a few other appearances. For 2006, there are a few more show commitments, and then Doug will finally get to enjoy his fastback, while Dave and the DVS crew move on to the next project, including an all-aluminum, blown Cleveland build and several mod motor projects, as well as another project for Doug. We can't wait to see what's next.