"I drive it all the time. I take customers for rides, and drove it home the other day and put it in my garage," Kevin Sittner said.
We wanted to know just how driveable his blue '66 fastback was with 1,000 horsepower on tap in a Mustang looking so stock.
"The guy [Troy Nunes] who does all my tuning was with me. I had a GPS on the dash and it said 140 when the rearend started to spin and kind of stepped sideways."
The build began when a customer came to Kevin's shop, Precision Machines in Lodi, California, and wanted a '65/'66 Mustang fastback built into a real sleeper for the street. In other words, he wanted to retain the vintage appearance as much as possible, but build significant horsepower.
Kevin and his staff are no strangers to fast Mustangs, as they spend most of their waking hours building, maintaining and racing vintage Mustangs. Having built Mustangs Plus' Ronster restomod, their expertise goes well beyond your average Shelby track car.
"He wanted a crazy, over-the-top street car," Kevin said.
To make a long story short and not get into sordid details, Kevin now owns the wild '66 fastback. We met up with him and photographed the machine at the 2011 "NorCal Mini-Nats," a regional show of SAAC (Shelby American Automobile Club) held at Infineon Raceway.
One thousand horsepower has become a more frequently heard number these days, but engineering that amount of power into an early Mustang that has no real frame must be even more of a challenge. Kevin says the chassis upgrading was just as difficult as hitting 1,000 horsepower. Of course, major horsepower is useless without the ability to put it to the ground, not to mention the ability to stop from the ample speed it provides.
An almost laughable specification is the size of the Baer six-piston disc brakes. They measure 141?4 inches, or larger than the 14-inch diameter of the original wheels on this classic '66 model. The 18-inch Budnik custom wheels that the Mustang now wears dwarf the original rims. The 18s wear P235/40ZR18 tires on the front and P285/40ZR18s on the rear.
The secret to the chassis' ability to allow what is basically an antique Mustang to plant 1,000 horsepower to the pavement is the Total Control Products suspension, featuring coilovers at all four corners. Kevin described an "outside subframe connector" common to just about any Mustang with significant horsepower. However, an X-brace was added to connect them, and provide a front mounting position for a torque arm.
The center support section stiffens the car laterally and makes it "really rigid." Then, welding a six-point 'cage reinforces the chassis top to bottom. The end result is a '66 Mustang basically converted to a full-frame car.
In the rear, Kevin's shop installed a "Direct Fit Fab9" from Chris Alston's Chassisworks. Of course, Alston bought out the patents from Total Control. So once again, the components are TCP (Total Control Products) that Kevin's Precision Machines works closely with.
The Fab9 is a complete setup for everything between the torque boxes and the axle bearings. It includes the axle housing and carrier in a range of widths, optioned with adjustable upper control arms, antiroll bar, and the Alston VariShock rear coilover shocks. For Mustang builders, the good news is the Fab9 rear bolts directly to any suspension designed for a stock Mustang rear axle.
But what about the engine--what was the plan? Kevin chose a Ford Racing RDI aluminum block for the foundation and fitted it with strong internals--a Scat Series 3 lightweight forged crank, Manley rods and JE forged pistons, timed by a solid roller Crane cam.
"To achieve 1,000 horsepower, we had to use some cubic inches, so we went with a 9.2-inch-deck-height block." The shorter deck height (standard Windsor is 9.5 inches) would hopefully help with hood clearance, and bring the exhaust headers inward as well.
Basically, the RDI piece is an aluminum block fitted with steel sleeves. This V-8 was Ford's racing block 4-5 years ago for NASCAR, and now sports 427 cubic inches of displacement.