Jim Smart
October 1, 2007
Photos By: Johnny Hunkins

Would you believe this is the first car-building effort for Bill Edmunds? You see, Bill had a dream-a classic car from the '60s that would excite the senses without being loud and obnoxious. It had to be clean, simple, and void of complexity. It had to be a Mustang.

Maybe the reason this '67 fastback turned out so well is Bill had no preconceived idea about what the car should be. He wasn't brainwashed by friends, car magazines, and other subliminal elements that influence our creative thinking. He wanted a fastback, and he liked what Ford did with the Mustang's notchy roofline. He winged this one using his own imagination-building his dream one idea at a time by himself, for himself.

We love this custom tubular grille that came right out of Bill's imagination. Restomod can be off-the-shelf or something you fabricate yourself.

Bill would have to thrust digits deep into his pockets and sofa cushions to get into a fastback. There once was a day when convertibles commanded premium prices with fastbacks falling a considerable distance behind. Then came an inanimate character known as Eleanor, a Hollywood-conceived '67 Mustang fastback, most recently piloted furiously by actor Nicholas Cage in Gone In 60 Seconds. The Eleanor passion endures and so have high fastback-resale prices.

Bill had his eye on a '67 fastback in California, but the price was more than he wanted to pay. With the luxury of time on his side, Bill knew all he had to do was wait. As Christmas drew closer, the seller became more pliable, and Bill took delivery of the car on Christmas Eve in 2003. It was a diamond in the rough-ragged around the edges yet long on potential.

Because The Engine Factory in New Jersey makes it easy to get into a powerhouse without spending a fortune, Bill ordered a 302ci crate engine. The shop installed Wiseco forged pistons, Eagle H-beam rods, Edelbrock heads and induction, and a Comp Cams roller shaft. Bill then dressed his mill with billet performance pieces, including MSD's billet distributor. Those are Shelby-inspired Tri-Y ceramic-coated headers. Deep, throaty Flowmasters broadcast Bill's arrival. These days, we've become so used to having our cake and eating it too that it's unthinkable to build a car like this without a Tremec five-speed box and aggressive rearend gears: hot as hell in First through Fourth, then economical cruising in Fifth.

Reliability has always been a challenge with older cars. However, technology has caught up with the tow truck. Cooling-system technology has improved dramatically with the advent of big aluminum radiators, high-flow water pumps, and heavy-duty fans. Bill decided to go with a high-amp, single-wire alternator and two batteries just to make sure things keep humming.

Power gets respect only when we learn how to manage it wisely. Bill looked to Mustangs Plus for answers. Underneath is the company's Grab-A-Trak suspension that keeps Bridgestone Fuzion ZRi skins firmly planted on those Arizona twisties in the mountains around the Maricopa Valley that is Phoenix.

Bill's 302-inch small-block from The Engine Factory makes a guesstimated 375hp, good for the race track, super for the street.

Bill says his car is a lot of fun to drive. When it's time to park and go in the house, it's always worth a once-over-he always does a 180 and checks it out. So do the neighbors. Cars like this start neighborhood fevers. Suddenly everyone wants one. People are drawn to this car for its custom grille and low profile. Neighbors are inclined to ask Bill how he got the car and how they can get one like it. When you study Bill's creativity, it's so simple we're amazed we didn't think of it ourselves. Do you see the Shelby air extractors? Yet where are the air-grabbing quarter-panel sidescoops? Bill opted out on the Shelby scoops because he liked Ford's flush-finned treatment better. It works.

Inside, Bill kept it simple. Note the white-faced instrumentation, Grant classic-Mustang steering wheel, Cal Custom pedals, and standard interior. Nothing fancy here. No extraneous bolt-on tachometer or aftermarket gauges lining the dashboard-just good, clean fun in a classic Mustang.

It may surprise you to know Bill did this Mustang in just 11 months, getting there through shear determination and vision. He'll tell you it wasn't as easy as all that. Bill isn't a patient man. Once he pinned the butterflies, he decided to go all the way. No apologies. No lame excuses. Just results-by himself, for himself.

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