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.

You might expect rock-hard bushings, la racecar. You'd be wrong. "People come to us and say they want a race car. I always ask, 'Do you have fillings in your teeth? If you do, you won't after driving a race car.' Race tracks aren't like the street where you have to go over speed bumps and potholes." For that reason, John and Jason stayed with rubber bushings so the car would be smooth for its intended street use. With Quicksilver, G-Force Design Concepts has built one sweet restomod ride.

Engine289 cubic inchesRoller rockersPerformance camHolley four-bbl carburetor with polished intakeCobra valve coversCobra oval air cleanerTri-Y headersMagnaflow crossover pipe with Magnaflow mufflers

TransmissionT-5 five-speedHurst short-throw shifter with classic Handle

DifferentialFord 9-inch with 3.56 gears

BrakesStainless Steel Brakes' four-piston front calipers with 13-inch slotted rotorsStainless Steel Brakes' rear calipers with 12-inch slotted rotorsBraided linesIntegrated emergency brakeUpgraded master cylinderManual proportioning valve

SuspensionFront: Repositioned upper-front control arms, lowering springs, heavy-duty sway bar, Total Control Products shock-tower bracing system, Koni shocksRear: Mustang GT rear springs and rubber bushings, 1-inch lowering blocks, Koni shocks

SteeringStock configuration with upgraded steering box from Flaming River

Wheels & TiresFront: Budnik M5 17x7 with specific offsetRear: Budnik M5 18x8 with specific offsetTires: Bridgestone Potenza S03

BodyEleanor 2 hood from Mustang DepotShelby R-model front valanceEleanor upper and lower grillesStainless steel hood pinsShelby sidescoopsBrushed-aluminum fuel-filler flip-open capUrban Grey Metallic paint with Reflex Silver stripes

InteriorDynamat on full interior, including roofCorbeau GT 2 front seats with G-Force Design Concepts embroidered logoRear seat covered to match with silver stripesJME brushed-aluminum dash insert with silver-face Auto Meter gauge clusterBrushed-aluminum glovebox doorHurst Competition shifterSound system with CD by Jammin Car AudioNew factory door panels and carpetingMomo steering wheel