Jim Smart
January 1, 2007

Step By Step

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How much can you personalize a classic Mustang? Personalization can either be conservative or it can be extreme. The Ring brothers' creations, for example, can easily be labeled extreme because they change everything about a Mustang-in a positive way, of course-to create a hot rod that even purists can appreciate. What's more, when they're finished, it's still clearly a Mustang.

Those who prefer to keep restomods on the mild side will appreciate Scott Moore's Raven Black '66 Mustang fastback. Check out the conservative twist-crisp lines, shaved emblems, low ride height, Shelby fiberglass hood and racing valance, and mouthy honeycomb grille void of pony, corral, and bars. This Mustang's appeal is in its wonderful simplicity. It's clean and simple, with no bells and whistles, no stripes, and no loud and obnoxious exhaust system-just good, clean fun in a classic Mustang fastback.

When you examine the details, you can see that Scott took great pains not to be like everyone else. He was seeking a practical yet good-looking ride. Underhood, he built a common-sense 289-based engine using the car's original block. He added a 331ci stroker kit, AFR 185 heads, and a Clay Smith hydraulic cam to achieve plenty of torque for the street.

Scott understands that horsepower isn't worth a flip until you marry it to a healthy torque band that comes on strong at 2,500 rpm and keeps on pulling through 5,000 rpm. Torque curve is everything on the street because it gives you the traffic-light advantage. Horsepower doesn't mean beans unless you're going racing.

Scott achieved a nice balance of street power and practicality that comes from the right combination of parts. Holley carburetion and MSD ignition help light the fire, while ceramic-coated Shelby Tri-Y headers assist low to midrange torque. Past the headers, a 2 1/2-inch exhaust system with SpinTech mufflers gets the gases out at high rpm while providing a snarly exhaust note when Scott hits the pedal.

With the Tremec World Class T5 transmission, Scott makes the most of his 331-inch power in gears One through Four, then slips it into Fifth gear-Overdrive-to save fuel along with wear and tear. Scott opted for 3.50:1 rearend gears and a Detroit Locker in a Bill Thomas differential to give him a street-performance advantage.

Inside isn't much different than outside-simple and stealthy. Sparco bucket seats provide exceptional comfort and security. Other interior amenities include a JME Enterprises custom billet instrument panel with Auto Meter gauges, a LeCarra steering wheel, billet handles on the standard interior door panels, and a Hurst shifter.

On the ground, Scott wanted handling and good looks, so he opted for a conventional suspension system sporting KYB shocks and Eaton springs at all four corners. Large 16x7 American Torq-Thrust IIs wrapped in Dunlops keep the Mustang secure with a good contact patch. Four-piston front disc brakes and rear drums provide plenty of stopping power.

Scott's fastback restomod is clearly a vintage Mustang, but it's not overdone. Call it stealthy without being sneaky.