Jim Smart
March 9, 2013

In 1998, high school teacher Stan Edington spied a white '65 Mustang fastback sitting in a buddy's garage during a 50th birthday party. It was rusted, dented, and suffered from typical daily commuter neglect. When Stan asked if the car was for sale, he got the usual answer—it was going to be fixed up one day. Stan went home and put the fastback out of his mind. Three weeks later, his phone rang. It was his buddy offering to sell the car. Stan didn't waste any time coming up with the cash.

For the next eight years, Stan used the Mustang as his commuter car in and around San Francisco. Then his cohorts in the Bay Area Mustang Association, also known as "BAMA," surprised him with an engine compartment detailing, which was a sharp contrast to the rusted and dented body. So Stan drove his Mustang to Tommy's Auto Body in nearby Hayward, where he was welcomed by mutually deranged car people who understood what he wanted. Because Tommy's is a mass-production crash shop that depends on insurance work, they repaired Stan's fastback as time permitted.

"Body work and paint took nearly two years," Stan tells us. "By the time they were finished, I couldn't believe the changes." Those changes included PPG Merlot Jewel Metallic urethane along with a clean shave to delete all body emblems.

Stan then hauled the car to Chuck Wiltens' shop for assembly and detail work. With details like boloney-sliced exhaust tips, bare rocker panels, a push and twist gas cap, clear parking lamp lenses, a billet grille, H4 headlamps, and American Racing Torqlite 17-inch wheels wrapped in Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec tires, it's clear that Chuck and Stan were on the same page.

Stan equipped the interior with '93 Mustang front bucket seats, sans headrests, with Simpson race belts and custom Ultra Leather handcrafted by King Kustom Kovers. The custom door panels could pass for molded factory originals. The interior is also outfitted with a Kenwood KDC-122 stereo system, LeCarra Mark 9 leather-covered steering wheel, and a Lokar automatic shifter wrapped in a custom boot.

When Stan bought the Mustang, it had a 289 coupled with a C4 and 2.80:1 peg-leg cogs. He saw little need to change it because the car ran so well. To improve acceleration, Stan added an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake and Holley 4160 650-cfm carburetion. The vintage Autolite distributor is retrofitted with a PerTronix Ignitor, otherwise the 289 is box-stock with flat-tappet hydraulic cam and cast-iron heads. The 2¼-inch dual exhaust system includes Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers for a throaty bark. Because Stan wanted driving range, he fitted the Mustang with a '70 vintage 22-gallon fuel tank.

Stan also opted for a dual-circuit braking system from Stainless Steel Brakes with four-piston front disc brakes complimented by drums in the rear. In front are 620-pound per inch coils along with mid-eye leafs in back. A one-inch antisway bar in front gives this fastback good roll qualities.

Restoring and driving a classic Mustang has been a learning curve for Stan. For him, 2+2 adds up to great fun.

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