Wayne Cook
April 1, 2002

There are a lot of great products out there designed to enhance performance, appearance, and safety of your vintage Ford automobile. From state-of-the-art radial tires to complete interior kits, the variety is almost overwhelming, especially if your car happens to be a vintage Mustang. When this "bolt-on" assignment came up, there were several different angles to consider. For example, what do we consider to be the best of the bolt-on components for your car? Which represent the greatest value? How involved is the installation process? When all was said and done, we wanted to consider all of these factors.

First, we wanted our bolt-on selections to be relatively quick to accomplish. Hence, the installation of our choices can usually be accomplished in one day. We wanted our selections to provide a great value for your time and money spent, so look for real-world gains in the performance enhancement of your car. One of our choices will greatly increase the safety you'll enjoy while operating your car. Most vintage Ford owners could use these three projects on their own car, be it a Mustang, Fairlane, or Falcon.

For the first of our three projects, we'll take a quick look at a front-disc-brake install. This is a great performance and safety upgrade for those who have cars with four-wheel drum brakes. Next, we'll look at an exhaust upgrade, which is one of the easiest ways to gain horsepower. Any subsequent engine upgrades will benefit greatly from having a good exhaust system already in place. Finally, an induction upgrade is also a great way to gain horsepower, and it will work especially well with that performance exhaust.

For those of you with C-code Mustangs, shelving that two-barrel carb and intake and replacing it with a good four-barrel carb and a modern aluminum intake manifold is an excellent idea. If you've got the money and a decent selection of handtools, a set of good aluminum cylinder heads is a hard upgrade to beat, because you'll pick up lots of horsepower and take a lot of weight off the front wheels to boot. Thus, an aluminum-cylinder-head upgrade is a handling upgrade as well as a horsepower/performance boost.

Let's look in on a vintage Ford front-disc-brake installation, and then we'll talk about exhaust and induction. We obtained a complete front-disc-brake kit from Stainless Steel Brakes. Everything we need to get our car up to factory disc-brake standards is included, so let's take a look.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery