Cam Hutchins
February 2, 2011

Not looking to build a purist car, Tony installed larger 17-inch Centerline wheels, a custom air cleaner, and a hoodscoop from a '72 Gran Torino. Heidts upper and lower tubular control arms were installed in the front, and the back end got lowering blocks and Monroe shocks. Tony also installed rear window louvers, although this car did not originally come with them.

Power comes from an '87 5.0-liter HO pumping out 325 hp, backed by a modified C4 transmission.

Tony also took care of the small details, like recreating the Monroe Handler dash and door panel plaques. It's the little things that have helped put this Monroe Handler tribute back in the limelight.

Hot Rod Handler
In 1977, the "IMSA look" was the going thing. So when Monroe decided to build a Mustang II to promote its Handler line of shocks, they went for the wider fenders and tires as used on the sports cars in the International Motor Sports Association race series. The Monroe Handler appeared on the cover of the June 1977 Hot Rod, which also included part one of the car's buildup. There were a total of three articles in the series, with two more in the July and August issues.

The styling of the original Monroe Handler came from a contest-winning sketch and was combined with creative additions by well-known designers like Harry Bradley, Tod Gerstenburger, and Harry Weeks. Creative Car Kraft's Dave Kent created the body kit out of steel while Jack Roush built a 363ci small-block that produced 400 hp. Harris Dynamics modified the suspension, using Monroe Handler shocks, of course.

Upon completion of the project, Monroe liked it so much that the company commissioned Kent to build six more, this time with fiberglass, for promotional purposes. On his own, Kent sold complete Monroe Handler body kits.