Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
January 1, 2009
Photos By: Jim Smart, Matt Stone, Gateway Classic Mustang

Chad refers to the Gateway gang as "artisans," and we can see why based on the Mustang's bodywork and paint. Lonny prepared the body for paint, applying plenty of seam sealer, perfecting body panel gaps, and prepping the sheetmetal. For accuracy, he also added the '68 sheetmetal "indentations," robbed from a parts car in Gateway's back-lot graveyard, for the early-'68 rear quarter-panel reflectors.

With the body painted in DuPont Hot Hues' Highland Green, it was ready for reassembly. Lonny points out that most of the parts needed to complete the assembly of a Dynacorn body are available brand new from Mustang mail-order companies. For Chad's Bullitt, he only used a handful of vintage parts, such as the glovebox door, cowl-to-dash brace, and tachometer instrument cluster. YearOne supplied the bulk of the new replacement components, while Dynacorn provided the fold-down rear seat assembly, headlight buckets, and other sheetmetal parts.

The project started in earnest when the crew ripped open the crate from Dynacorn. The reproduction '67 fastback body provided a clean starting point without the need for time-consuming rust and sheetmetal repairs.

To bring handling and braking up to par with a new Mustang, the buildup incorporated RRS front and rear suspensions. At the front is a coilover strut system with RRS's phase II brakes with dual-piston calipers, as supplied by Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation. Power rack-and-pinion, also from RRS, beats the vintage steering gear every time for precise control. At the rear is RRS's bolt-in three-link suspension system, which securely locates the 9-inch rear axle with a Watt's link and an extra-long torque arm. The three-link offers a number of improvements over the factory rear suspension, including improved traction and better handling via adjustable ride height, tubular arms, and urethane bushings. Disc brakes are part of the package.

For power, Chad gets to put his foot into a Ford Racing Boss 347 crate engine, rated at 450hp and 400 lb. ft. of torque. On top of the 4-bolt block and between the aluminum "Z" cylinder heads is a Victor Jr. aluminum intake topped by a 770-cfm Holley Street Avenger four-barrel carburetor. Headers are from JBA, followed by a complete JBA exhaust system with straight tips like those of the movie Mustang.

In the quest for accuracy, Gateway's Lonny Childress transferred the rear quarter reflector indentations from a boneyard '68 Mustang to the '67 Dynacorn body, which didn't have provisions for the reflectors that became standard equipment for '68. Jason Childress notes that the original Bullitt Mustang was an early production car, so it had the indents for the reflectors. Later production '68s (after February 15, 1968) had bolt-on reflectors without the indentation in the sheetmetal.

Steve McQueen shifted a four-speed in the movie, but this modern rendition is equipped with a late-model T-45 five-speed, adapted for the vintage Mustang with a conversion from Keisler Engineering, complete with a stealthy '68-style shifter handle. Out back is a beefy 9-inch rearend with 3.50:1 gears.

Like the movie Mustang, the interior is black, but it's upgraded to Deluxe with woodgrain trim and molded door panels from YearOne. The bucket seats are from TMI's Sport line. Hidden behind panels are Boston Acoustic speakers, subwoofers, and amp.

The buildup crew debated over the wheels. There was no doubt that iconic five-spoke American Racing Torque Thrusts would be used. However, some thought 18-inch versions would look better on the restomod replica, while others, including creative advisor Matt Stone, wanted to stick with the original 15-inch wheels. In the end, they compromised, going with slightly larger 16-inch Torque Thrusts with BFGoodrich G-force Sport tires.

Chad's modern Bullitt was slated to debut during November's SEMA Show. However, before heading to Las Vegas, the just-completed '68 Mustang detoured to Malibu, California, so Chad could get an up-close look at the latest addition to his Bullitt stable. With the Celebrity Rides cameras rolling, Chad watched as the Mustang was unloaded from Gateway's Haulmark trailer, grinning broadly as he pointed out the Bullitt details and restomod upgrades. Then he did exactly what the guys at Gateway and YearOne wanted-he took it for a spin.