With the stock transmission sidelined, Chuck ordered up a Tremec TKO600 five-speed gearbox, a Pro 5.0 shifter, and a 10.5-inch King Cobra late-model clutch assembly. A JMC hydraulic clutch and master cylinder now squeeze the Ford Racing disc against a Fidanza aluminum flywheel. Right behind the 3-inch aluminum driveshaft you'll find a beefy Currie 9-Plus rearend housing. It's been fortified with a 3.89 gears and a Detroit Truetrac differential.
As you can imagine, Chuck was quite unimpressed with the factory Shelby handling, especially considering most of the current crop of front-wheel-drive econoboxes would probably run circles around it. Adding more power to an underwhelming suspension would only exacerbate the situation, so Chuck bolted in a Total Control Products power rack-and-pinion to start with. Following that, the frontend also saw the addition of a coilover front suspension from Global West. QA1 coilover shocks combined with Eibach springs now work with a 11/4-inch front antisway bar to make sure that the Mustang handles like a modern Quarter Horse.
The rear suspension was also modified extensively, starting with the five-leaf mid-eye springs. Competition Engineering Slide-A-Link traction bars are employed along with a pair of QA1 adjustable shocks. The suspension renovation put this Pony in the modern era of handling performance, and with that, there was only one area left to upgrade-the brakes.
Baer Brakes has long been associated with Mustangs, so they are right at home on Chuck's GT350. Factory parts set aside, Chuck installed Baer's Track front system, which utilizes 13-inch rotors and two-piston calipers, while the rear kit features 12-inch rotors and single-piston calipers. It's worlds apart
from the factory brakes, both in performance and looks.
One other area that stayed relatively stock in appearance is the interior. Just like the outside of the car, Chuck wanted the appearance of the factory Ford/Shelby look on the inside as well. The only modifications made to the cabin space are the five-speed shifter patterns on the shift knob and the console.
After the mechanical work was completed, Chuck spent the next two months or so sorting the car out, and making sure that in the end, it would be turnkey reliable.
"I'm not at all sorry what I did," says Chuck. "I've gotten some criticism over it, but it's my money and my car. They're no fun if they are just sitting there, and this one is a hoot to drive now with the five-speed, different rearend, better power, and new suspension. I'm not afraid to take it any place." We think Chuck made the right call. Carroll and his crew built these cars a long time ago to be driven and driven hard, which is just what our man Chuck is doing today.
"It's hard for me to do anything concourse wise. I guess there's too much hotrodder in me." Sounds like a rebel with a cause if you ask us.
Chuck Young's '68 Shelby GT350
- Ford Racing B50 8.2-inch deck block, decked and line-honed
- 4.030-inch bore
- 3.400-inch stroke
- Eagle forged steel crankshaft
- 5.400-inch H-beam connecting rods
- Mahle forged aluminum pistons
- Lunati hydraulic roller camshaft, 114 LSA, 288/288 duration, 0.598/0.598 lift
- Crane Gold Race 1.7:1 roller rocker arms
- AFR 185 cylinder heads, 2.02-inch intake valves, 1.60-inch exhaust valves, Extrude Hone ported
- Edelbrock Performer RPM Air Gap intake manifold, Extrude Hone ported
- Holley 650-cfm HP Double Pumper carburetor
- MSD Billet distributor
- Tremec TKO 600 five-speed manual
- Ford Racing 10.5-inch King Cobra clutch Pro 5.0 shifter, Fidanza aluminum flywheel Aluminum driveshaft
- JMC hydraulic clutch and master cylinder
- Currie Enterprises 9-Plus, Detroit Truetrac differential, 3.89 gears
- Stainless Works custom tri-Y headers with 15/8-inch primaries, 21/2-inch secondaries