Jim Smart
October 1, 2006

Build an early Mustang and the world will beat a path to your door. Just ask John Brooks and Jason Huber. They built this '65 fastback and took it to the All-Ford Nationals at Carlisle. "There were three people trying to hand us money for two days," John said.

John and Jason own G-Force Design Concepts in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. With this Mustang, their goal was to create a "G-Machine" with an upgraded suspension and a more modern drivetrain. Of course, there are many ways to accomplish these goals. Mustang restomod builders are akin to designers. Their job is almost like starting from a clean sheet of paper in a design studio.

John recalls that their clean sheet of paper was a California "no-rust shell," which he and Jason completely stripped. Then, they got creative.

First, there's the exterior. The silver and gray colors give the '65 a very contemporary shade. John chuckled when he told us the Reflex Silver stripes and the Urban Grey Metallic are from Volkswagen. "That particular silver flows so smooth. So many silvers get shadowed. We had painted a Fox-body Mustang that color, and the car was just beautiful."

Design-wise, John and Jason borrowed some elements from the Shelby Mustangs of the '60s, like the rear scoops. The front valance that replaces the chrome bumper is vintage '65 GT350 R-model. Instead of a scooped '65-style Shelby hood, they went with the tiered Eleanor 2 from Mustang Depot in Las Vegas. Basically, it's the high-rise hood made popular on the '67 Eleanor Mustang, but designed for the '65-'66 models.

When they got the car, the rust-free fastback already had the popular '66 Shelby plexiglass side windows. John and Jason decided to replace them with standard fastback vents because they wanted to make a statement that the car isn't a Shelby clone.

Open the doors and you see Corbeau seats emblazoned with custom G-Force logos in big, bold letters. High backs and side bolsters keep the driver and passenger motionless in tight corners, all the more to feel those G-forces. The thin, stock steering wheel is gone. In its place is a fat, tacky Momo three-spoker in front of white-face gauges laid out on a flat background.

The shifter mixes the gears of a modern T5, which fits the stock transmission-tunnel opening with no modifications. Under the hood, a vintage 289 pumps out 275 rwhp. The heavy-duty 9-inch rearend can handle the extra ponies. Likewise, the five-speed takes advantage of the 3.56 rear-axle gears for digger starts in First as well as excellent highway cruising in Fifth.

The suspension is tight but not rough. This car is made to handle well on the street. John says, "A lot of the suspension is stock but upgraded with Koni shocks and a new Flaming River steering box that provides quicker steering. We lowered the front control arms, basically like Shelby did on the '65 Mustang GT350s."

Lowering was very important, both for looks and function. John feels getting the car down not only drops the center of gravity for sweeter handling, but the front end also doesn't pick up as much air and lift.