When we first met Rick Liwush and his sons, Andy and Justin, at the Carlisle Ford show a few years back, we couldn't help but stare at the monster engine package under the hood of this '67 Mustang fastback, especially when there was a crowd of 30 some odd people doing the same thing. It was easy to assume the car was Rick's, and that his sons were just there to take in the show. But no, Rick quickly corrected us. The fastback was indeed Andy's car that he built with the help of his brother.
Rick, the proud father, beamed a huge smile as he told us the story of Andy wanting to build "the meanest-looking Mustang around." We stood there intently, listening to Rick. You could hear the pride in his voice as he discussed the project and the many hours his two sons put into the car. We knew we had to have the car featured in our magazine, not just because of the killer hardware, but because of the story.
We feel the story is what makes the car, more than a bunch of gleaming chrome and spotless paint. Problem was, the brothers weren't quite ready to unveil their masterpiece yet, as the suspension and brakes had yet to arrive for their project. It was quite a while before Andy and his brother got the car sorted out and the rest of the upgrades finished, but at this year's Carlisle show they were ready, and so were we.
Andy has been a lifelong Ford fan, most likely due to the fact that his dad has owned so many cool Fords, including a killer '68 Shelby GT500KR convertible. Andy's first car was this '67 fastback, but with a C-code 289, a four-speed, and manual everything. He not only learned to drive in this Mustang, but took his road test in it as well. The DMV employee, being a Blue Oval fan himself, told Andy it had probably been 15 years since he gave an exam in such a car. Of course Andy passed with flying colors. With license in hand, Andy drove the car as-is for a year, but felt let down at the car shows he attended when all the other Mustangs looked the same to him. He wanted his Mustang to be different.
Andy's father owns a tool and die company and has a large open-style assembly shop for large jobs. Andy thought the facility would be the perfect place to strip down his Mustang for a repaint and to drop in a 428CJ big-block he had acquired. The time came in the winter of 2004, when his dad was on a weekend business trip. Andy, with the help of his brother Justin, blew the car apart to the bare body and proceeded to sandblast the body in the shop, cleaning up the mess before their dad returned. Trouble was, the sand went everywhere, including the shop lights, rafters, and so on, and when Rick returned, the brothers were busted for their weekend thrash.
Once the mess was properly cleaned up, Justin, who was just learning how to paint cars, tackled the refinish work. He gave the fastback a fresh coat of Nightmist Blue. Andy dropped the 428 between the shock towers and reassembled the car. Andy says, "I turned a few more heads that year and felt a bit quicker on the highway, so I thought we were doing pretty good." Trouble was, Andy got a taste of track time and fell head over heels for the pastime.
It was SAAC 31 at Virginia International Raceway where Andy put 560 track miles on the fastback in one weekend! The Sunoco fuel bill must have been outrageous! Being on the track with 50 other classic race cars was a blast for Andy, except for one Ford GT supercar that he just couldn't seem to get close enough to, leaving him to think, "I must go faster." A week later Andy blew a head gasket and cracked a head on the 428; it was time to move to phase two.
With the car out of commission, Andy and Justin put their heads together. What would really make the car stand out from the rest of the herd, and make it brutally fast and quick on the track? They decided the only way to go was with a power adder, and a ProCharger supercharger with intercooler was put at the top of their shopping list. Again the car came completely apart, and again was sandblasted to bare steel.