Mustang MonthlyFeatured Vehicles
1966 Mustang GT - RD & GT
"Mustang Steve" Wilkes Has Developed His Own Line Of Restomod Parts Using His '66 GT Fastback
For years, Steve has been partial to '70 Mustangs, so his classic theme for his '66 fastback is part early GT, part '70 Mach 1. "If Ford built a Mach 1 in '66, this is what I would've had," he says. "I've owned 10 '70 Mustangs, from Bosses to convertibles to Mach 1s. I picked up this '66 out of the want ads in the Dallas newspaper. I figured I'd throw an engine in it, paint it, and sell it to make a quick buck. But I fell in love with it because it's so simple to work on. This particular car has never been wrecked."
Inside, Steve mated an original Mustang horn ring to a Grant wooden wheel. The console is a stock '66 Mustang short version, necessary to mount the OEM air-conditioning evaporator case. He adapted switches from a '77 Chrysler Cordoba to work the power windows and door locks. "I wanted to make the switches look as though they came from the factory."
Underhood is a 351 Windsor that Steve calls "a big 289." It has been enhanced with a Crane retro-fit roller cam, Edelbrock aluminum heads, and a port-matched Weiand Stealth intake with a 670-cfm Holley. Balanced and blueprinted, Steve says the engine made 400 hp at the crank on an engine dyno.
To put this power to the ground, Steve chose a 9-inch rearend out of a Lincoln Versailles. He fitted it with a 3.70:1 Traction-Lok. He modified the suspension with 600-pound front springs and a 1-inch sway bar, along with a set of Cobra Jet rear-leaf springs from a '68 Mustang. He lowered the car "like Shelby did," meaning he relocated the upper control arm mounting points 1 inch lower.
So how does the 400hp restomod drive? "It's a bit rough," he says. He did, however, drive it from Dallas to Atlanta last year and says, "Going down the highway, it rides beautifully. You can put one finger on the steering wheel and cruise all day."
Needless to say, Steve enjoys the car. He has it where he wants it.
"My main thing was to keep the body stock-appearing without scoops or anything like that, and I wanted a fully optioned car. It's an original A-code (289 two-barrel) car, but I added the Hi-Po emblems to the fender because I like them. I figure if a high-performance engine had 271 hp and I have 400 hp, I can still lay claim to high performance. I'm not a concours guy by any means."