Very rarely in life does one get to have the best of both worlds. Most things have a downside, and this can be especially true when it comes to classic cars. Older cars just don't handle or brake as well as modern cars, not to mention a lack of modern conveniences and safety features. Enter Modern Muscle [www.realmodernmuscle.com; (727) 869-9533], a Hudson, Florida-based company that combines the styling of classic muscle cars with modern components. "Our mission is quite simple. We take classic muscle cars and apply state-of-the-art engineering and technology," said Mike Staveski, co-founder and owner of the company. "These cars can be used as daily drivers or weekend cruisers that will either out perform or stay with any modern day sports car." The current lineup includes a '69 Camaro, a '70-'71 'Cuda, and the '69-'70 Mustang SportsRoof you see here. Each is available as a conversion from the original chassis or a "supercar" version that utilizes an all-new chassis custom built for the car.
As you can imagine, building these cars can be quite an undertaking, but fortunately the work is being done by experienced hands. Time Machines, Inc., founded by Mike and his brother Joe back in 1996, has unsurpassed experience in custom building and restoring muscle cars. In the past decade, more than 100 muscle cars have passed through their doors, with all of the work being done in house. The company received a GM Design Award for its Baldwin Motion Super Coupe in 2005 as well as a Chrysler Design Award for its Six Shooter 'Cuda in 2003. The joint venture with Modern Muscle started a few years ago when Staveski teamed up with Bill Sefton, a noted muscle car collector, to bring modern technology to classic designs.
For its Mustang project, Modern Muscle started with a unibody from a '69 Mustang SportsRoof. Much of the exterior retained the looks of the 1969 model year, but you'll notice the front end got the sheet metal from a '70. "In the past many people have focused on the '66-'68 model years," Mike told us. "We wanted to do something different, plus the '69 and '70 Boss Mustangs were the real muscle cars." The rear of the car has also been slightly revised, with recessed taillights and the Mustang lettering shaved from the rear deck. The silver paint is a custom color from Modern Muscle and with the addition of a Boss 429 style hood and hockey stick stripes on the side, this custom Mustang has both a clean and aggressive look.
While the exterior might be from a classic Mustang, that's where the similarities to a classic Pony car end. Under the hood lies a supercharged 5.4L V-8 from a modern day Shelby GT500. Several modifications have been made, however, that make it very different from the production motor. First, a Kenne Bell 2.8H supercharger replaces the stock unit, complete with a 10-rib pulley, a Mammoth air inlet, a dual 75mm throttle body, and custom inlet piping to the dual vents outside of the left headlight. An AFCO aluminum radiator and heat exchanger help keep things cool while AFCO long tube headers and Flowmaster mufflers ensure easy breathing on the exhaust end. In total, the engine produces an astounding 725 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Fortunately, the drivetrain is built to handle the sort of punishment that comes with that much power. A Tremec six-speed manual transmission from the GT500, a Hurst short throw shifter, and a 9-inch rearend all help direct power to the rear wheels.