This year's Modified Mustangs & Fords car of the year contest was stacked full of high-dollar one-off builds, hot at-home customs, and top-notch street machines. Just when we thought it was tough to choose during our inaugural contest last year, we tripled the difficulty this year with no less than three cars from Ringbrothers, a Ridler-Award-winning '56 Sunliner and a Ford Outstanding Achievement in Design award winner. Two of our finalists here competed for Goodguys Street Machine of the Year, so you know they get driven pretty hard for that, and the car rounding out our trio of finalists is probably the fastest Mustang we'll likely see in the running for the prize.
National Parts Depot is back to provide our winners with a bevvy of gift certificates, and our parent company, Source Interlink Media, will send our finalists their own custom laminated plaque to commemorate their inclusion in Modified Mustangs & Fords Car Of The Year contest.
1969 Mustang Sportsroof
Whereas last year's winner was over-the-top bold and heavily modified, Matt Lazich's '69 Mustang built by Pure Vision is a model for understated elegance. There's no lack of modifications to this Anvil Auto project, it's just that Steve Strope and Matt Lazich expended great effort to make sure that they sharpened and accentuated the car, rather than redefine it. That's really what struck a chord with Ford's judges at the 2010 SEMA show, and with us as well.
The list of modifications to the car is simply too vast to recap here, but the amazing thing about the Mustang is that it looks like a factory race package that the average enthusiast could open track on one weekend, and take to the car show the next. Big-block power, a race-bred suspension, and an appearance inside and out that rivals the finest European luxury brands simply puts this SportsRoof in a league of its own.
520ci Boss 9 built by John Kaase Racing Engines
Electromotive EFI tuned by Nelson Racing
Tremec TKO-600 five-speed manual transmission
Speedway Engineering Grand National 9-inch full-floater rearend
JME inboard cantilever coilover front and rear suspension with Maier torque arm and inverted Watt's link
Gurney Eagle-inspired Evod Industries custom billet wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport II tires
Baer 6S disc brakes
Fully customized interior with Eric Thorsen upholstery, rear seat delete, and integrated rollcage
Fully customized exterior with Anvil Auto carbon-fiber hood, front fenders, front and rear spoilers, vented taillight panel, and widened rear fenders