Jim Smart
December 11, 2006

At one time, Mustang convertibles were the hot sellers. Everyone wanted a convertible. But it seems that today's buyers are more interested in the performance image of the fastback. This phenomenon dates back to the remake of the movie Gone In 60 Seconds several years ago. People who aren't even interested in cars had to have a '67 Eleanor fastback like the one Nicolas Cage drove in the big chase. Although the Eleanor craze wore itself out in our pages, Gone In 60 Seconds brought renewed interest to the Mustang fastback.

Daniel LePage chose the '67 Mustang fastback for its slippery roofline and outlaw persona. "In my opinion, the '67 fastback is the best Mustang ever built," Daniel tells us. "I love the body lines and have always dreamed of owning one." It was just the right Mustang body in his plan for a renewed personal image and attitude. Daniel got lucky when he got his hands on a '67 with the S-code 390 High Performance engine, purchasing it out of the Sacramento Bee classifieds from the original owner.

Twenty years ago, Daniel might have restored the car to factory original condition, but in 2006, the restomod approach is what everyone is doing, including Daniel. We found him and his '67 fastback last Memorial Day weekend at Restomods In Reno, where Daniel's Mustang looked as if it could have been trailered. It was perfect in every detail thanks to hard work by Daniel and friend Karen Harrison. Karen gets after it right along with Dan when it's time to detail the Mustang they built together.

Dan kept the 390 Hi-Po tolerable in scope, sticking with factory castings and making improvements that would enable the car to go anywhere. This meant a mild hydraulic flat-tappet camshaft with 0.554-inch lift and 230 degree duration. A double-roller timing set ensures accuracy and reliability. Hardened-steel exhaust valve seats make the 390 compatible with unleaded fuel. Forged pistons, although unnecessary for street, were fitted for added measure. When it was time to dial in the induction system, Dan opted for Edelbrock's proven Performer RPM manifold and a Street Demon 750-cfm carburetor from Barry Grant. MSD's billet distributor lights the mixture with pinpoint accuracy. For efficient cooling, an Edelbrock high-flow water pump works in concert with a Griffin aluminum radiator. An aluminum coolant recovery tank keeps the ethylene-glycol/water mix where it belongs even in the hottest conditions.

Ford Performance Applications provided the shorty headers for the FE big-block. They don't get in the way, yet provide exceptional exhaust-gas scavenging on its way to a Dr. Gas crossover pipe and Flowmaster Series 40 mufflers.

Because Dan wanted reliability, he went with a single-wire, 100-amp alternator with an internal regulator. He complemented that with an N.O.S. factory wiring harness.