Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
November 23, 2006

Step By Step

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Bud hasn't had much time to appreciate his new baby, however. After being in L.A. for a short time, Blackened made the trip back to Year One (stopping off at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Arizona) for some tweaking and show prep. The SportsRoof later went on to a Barrett-Jackson event in Miami, and other Year One-sponsored venues. The car was most recently seen at the MCA 30th Anniversary show in Birmingham in September. Soon it will be back at Bud's California home for good.

Probably the most amazing part of this story is that not only does Bud still own his original '69, but his father still has his '65 as well. Even Bud's brother has a '67 Mustang.

Now, 22 years later, on their dad's 60th birthday, the father and two sons met and discussed the six Mustangs they own between them, and that father/son project is finally underway. Bud says his original Mach 1 will retain its Gulfstream Aqua finish when completed. But we have to wonder, don't we?

Tales From The Dark Ride
Standing next to Blackened as I talked to Bud, it began to sink in just how "black" this SportsRoof is. Even the chrome and stainless trim have been powdercoated black. Except for the lick of brilliant polished aluminum coming from the Foose Design wheels, this baby is just, well, black. It looks as if it could be Knight Rider on steroids. Even more amazing is that when I asked Bud to move the car for our photo shoot, he reached into his leather-jacket pocket and tossed me the keys with a nonchalant, "Here ya go, Houlahan, move it yourself. Do whatever you need for your pictures." Now mind you, this was maybe the third time I had met the man in black, and he didn't know me from Adam, but I wasn't going to stand there and argue the point. I had the keys to one of my favorite body style and year Mustangs, with 500 hp waiting for me at the twist of the key.

Slipping into the Cobra seats, I surveyed the landscape in front of me. Because of the all-black interior, I felt almost claustrophobic, but once I fired the mod motor and let it settle into a nice, staccato idle, there was no turning back. Dropping the shifter into gear, the rear of the SportsRoof squatted lightly under load as if it were ready to shred pavement, and it did just that. ("Throttle's a little touchy," I later said with a grin to Bud.)

Having an automatic-equipped Mustang for my daily driver, also with a stall converter, I was completely at home behind the wheel with the power and shifting of the car. After making some spirited laps around the Road Atlanta property (unfortunately, it was late in the day and track access was closed), I found a location to photograph the car before the light was completely gone. When we were done, it was time to return the car to Bud, but he was nowhere in sight. What a shame, I had to drive the black beast around a little while longer until I bumped into the guys from Year One and they tucked Blackened in for the night.

This baby has it all-looks, power, handling, and brakes. If I could only get used to seeing out the mail-slot back window. Oh yeah, and have about 150 grand to build my own.

Two-Wheeled Wonders
At the time of our photo shoot, Year One was in the final stages of planning and announcing its Year One BikeWorks division. To show off their latest creation, the crew from BikeWorks built Bud a custom motorcycle to match Blackened. He's shown here on his new ride with David Gravely, Year One's new product development manager standing behind him. Behind Blackened is (L to R) Chip Foose; Phil Brewer, Year One's creative director; and Kevin King, Year One's president.

Each BikeWorks creation starts off with a KustomWerks softtail frame with a 5-inch backbone stretch. To that BikeWorks adds a 96-inch S&S engine rated at 100 hp, a Prowler six-speed transmission, custom Year One-designed body work and trim, a stainless exhaust, billet wheels, and a headlight with integrated gauges. The bikes all receive a musclecar-themed paint job, and even feature air ride and a 250-series rear tire. You can check out more photos and options at or contact BikeWorks at (800) YEARONE.