January 1, 2004

To Partika's delight, he also discovered that the owner was less than a week away from being discharged and moving back home to Wisconsin. "He desperately needed to sell the car. After giving him a check for $900, I loaded up the pieces and towed the Mustang home."

Andy's wife declared, "That's the ugliest thing you've brought home yet!" However, after Andy decoded the paperwork and realized the car was a genuine Mach 1, he was able to convince the missus that it was money wisely invested.

"The first thing I did was clean away 30 years of dirt, grease, and neglect," said Partika. "Before I knew it, I had the car stripped down to the bare shell." In the process, he had to replace a floorpan, and, to prevent any further rust damage, he completely undercoated the body shell with POR-15. Then Conrad Carvello painted the Mach in PPG Raven Black.

Once back from the body shop, Partika began the reassembly, but not as a concours show car. This Mach is anything but stock with a Pro Motorsports front suspension kit, competition antisway bars, a 9-inch Traction-Lok rear suspended by Eaton Detroit's Musclecar Series springs, KYB shocks, and American Racing Torq-Thrust IIs with huge BFGoodrich Radial T/A rubber. Randall Kubo at Al's Auto performed the machine work on the 351 Cleveland, which features 11:5:1 TRW pistons, '70 quench heads, a Weiand intake with a 750-cfm Holley Dominator, an MSD Pro-Billet distributor, and Hooker Super Comp headers with Flowmaster mufflers.

Completed in 2001, Partrida's modified Mach 1 not only wins show trophies, it runs in the mid-14s to boot.

Pukalani PowerhouseTwenty-eight-year-old Maui mechanic Edric Breeden grew up around fast cars, crediting his uncle Rusty Medeiros, an NHRA racer, as the chief inspiration behind the building of his '65 Mustang 2+2. But it was his grandmother who helped him get started.

"The fastback was owned by my grandmother in Oregon," Edric explains. "It had been in storage for about 10 years, and the last time I visited her, I mentioned that if she ever decided to sell the car, call me first!" Six months later, the phone rang, and his grandmother said, "Come get your Mustang!" So Edric and Uncle Rusty flew over and drove the car to Seattle, where it was loaded in a container and shipped home to Hawaii.

Once on Maui, Edric tackled the project with a vengeance. The suspension and brake systems were completely rebuilt, and a set of American Torq-Thrust IIs and Goodyear Eagles were added. The next order of business was modifying the fastback's drivetrain with a Comp Cams cam, a Weiand intake, a 600-cfm Holley four-barrel, and a PerTronix/Bosch ignition. Also onboard is a California Mustang engine dress-up kit and Hedman "shorty" headers with Sonic turbo mufflers.

Edric performed the paint and bodywork himself, spraying the 2+2 in DuPont Poppy Red, and adding a pair of Champagne Copper stripes. On the inside, Breeden's Mustang features a Vintage Air A/C, a Kenwood/Pioneer audio system, and tan vinyl upholstery.

"Now this car is better than new," Edric exclaims as he and girlfriend, Buraine Norwood, prepared to cruise the island on a Sunday afternoon. Thanks, Grandma!