The road less traveled has certainly been embraced throughout the build of this Shelby, with perhaps no better example than the underpinnings. Eckert explained that the desire to drop the car in the weeds and make it handle dictated a custom suspension, as nothing on the current market tucked up far enough underneath to meet his expectations. Beginning with custom subframe connectors and beefed-up rear framerails for adequate stiffness, Eckert's crew dove in up front with fabricated lower control arms, '96 Mustang spindles, a steering rack originally intended for an '86 Ford Escort, Global West strut rods, and modified GP Moto struts with QA1 450-pound coilovers. Not to be overlooked is the completely revised rear suspension, consisting of Eckert's own four-bar system, custom swaybar, and QA1 coilovers.
Moving inside, the customized nature of this beast continues to roll. Obvious items include a full complement of Auto Meter gauges, a center console with Merkur shifter and DVD player, and a Vintage Air Gen II A/C. Almost expected is the full leather skins over the original seats and door panels, but we were startled to find the metal portions of the doors and dash to have the full leather treatment as well-bet you've never seen that in a classic Mustang before. In spite of having a clean slate from the start, we think Jerry was smart to retain many of the original '67/'68 interior styling elements-gauge placement, panel shapes, and so on, but particularly the factory Shelby rollbar with inertia-reel shoulder harnesses.
Though his GT350 contains some of the best street rod-style workmanship one could imagine, Jerry has every intention of driving this show-stopper whenever and wherever his heart desires. The results of the project were everything hoped for when it launched, with reports of crisp response in all areas of the performance envelope, and cosmetics like nothing else on the face of the planet. The latter can only be realized in the flesh, which is when you realize Jerry's vision for the ultimate Shelby is truly over the top by any standard.
Perhaps it won't resonate with every enthusiast of the breed, but this GT350 is a shining example as to why the classic automotive hobby is thriving as never before. We find more and more enthusiasts choosing to stray from a once-common path, seizing on a new spirit of open-mindedness and making the most of unprecedented options and oppor-tunities to build the car of their dreams. Jerry is clearly one who has broken from the cookie-cutter mentality, teaming with Dave Eckert to create a one-of-a-kind Ford that we're thrilled to share with our readers.
'68 Shelby GT350 Fastback
Owner: Jerry Logan, Hillsboro, Oregon
Stock '68 302 block, 0.030-inch overbore
347 ci of displacement
SCAT 3.40-inch forged crank
Comp Cams hydraulic roller cam
Brodix ST 5.0R cylinder heads
Crane roller rocker arms
Professional Products intake manifold
Demon 650 Mighty Demon carburetor
Paxton Novi 1200 supercharger
Modified '70 Mustang tank w/in-tank electric pump
Mallory Hy-Fire VI CD ignition
TCI 2,000-rpm converter
Gear Vendors overdrive
Dutchman 31-spline axles
Custom 2 1/2-inch polished stainless
Modified JBA headers
Front: Eckert's Rod & Custom modified w/rack-and-pinion, custom lower control arms, GP Moto struts, QA1 450-pound coilover springs, custom subframe connectors
Rear: Eckert's Rod & Custom four-bar w/QA1 450-pound coilover springs, ERC rear sway bar, custom rear subframe reinforcement
Front: Baer 13-inch disc, drilled and slotted, two-piston caliper
Rear: Baer 11.625-inch disc, drilled and slotted, single piston caliper
Front: Raceline GT, 17x8-inch
Rear: Raceline GT, 18x9-inch
Front: Toyo Proxes, P235/40ZR17
Rear: Toyo Proxes, P275/35ZR18
Auto Meter gauges, custom leather seating and door panels, custom-built console with Merkur XR4Ti shifter and power-window controls, Moto Lita steering wheel, tilt column, power mirrors, Vintage Air Gen II air conditioning
Cadillac Pearl White tri-stage acrylic urethane hand-fabricated lower spoiler, grille/driving lights, lower quarter-scoops; shaved door handles; tucked bumpers; frenched emblems, hood locks, headlights, and taillights