Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
April 27, 2005
Our '66 hardtop is now ready for the summer heat as well as MCA judges. Our compressor and compressor mounting brackets were installed when we detailed the engine for the May '04 issue.

The "restomod" Mustang seems to be the hot ticket these days. Whether it's an Eleanor clone, a Shelby clone, or someone's rendition of what the ultimate Mustang should look like, it's a hot topic among Mustang enthusiasts. One of the great things about restomod Mustangs is there's no rulebook. You can build one with any parts you want and won't be judged on paint daubs and date codes. For many who have been in the hobby for a long time, it's refreshing to be able to build what you want and drive when you want.

But make no mistake, there's still a large contingent of early Mustang owners who live and breathe by Mustang Club of America judging rules. These people can quote factory oddities and Ford part numbers better than their kids' birth dates.

While far from a complete list of parts installed, this photo shows the main package of hoses, brackets, wiring, dryer, and condenser included with the kit. Not shown is the main underdash evaporator assembly and previously installed compressor and brackets on the engine. If your Mustang has power steering, you'll have to replace the straight-neck power-steering reservoir with the slanted version for compressor clearance. Classic Auto Air now offers reproduction reservoirs.

Our '66 hardtop project falls somewhere in between. We aren't restoring this Mustang with N.O.S. parts or following the letter of the MCA (we can't see putting orange peel in a new paint job on purpose), but for the most part we wanted the car to look like a show winner, yet still have better performance, handling, and functionality. So we installed hidden engine performance mods, urethane suspension bushings with mild lowering springs, clearcoat paint, a CD changer, and more during the course of the restoration.

We wanted to add air conditioning for the sweltering summer show season here in the South, and we could have taken many directions with the installation. Classic Auto Air has multiple choices for Mustang cooling needs, from completely new solutions to systems that use stock-appearing plastic parts. Its new Perfect Fit series features complete heat and cool functions (in one case under the dash) with remote vent locations, all hoses, brackets, and a highly efficient Sanden compressor. It's a great-functioning system we've installed before, but it didn't offer quite the right look for our '66 restoration.

Classic Auto Air's Daily Driver system for the '65-'66 Mustang is one of its most popular sellers, featuring a plastic version of the original-style underdash unit, with hoses, brackets, and the Sanden compressor. The Daily Driver system is great for those on a budget, and can even be upgraded later to look concours correct. For our '66, however, we felt the factory-style "concours" system would be a better fit for the look of the car.

Al Sedita built Classic Auto Air's business upon this system and, while not his best seller these days, there wouldn't be a Daily Driver or a Perfect Fit without Al's tireless research and investment in the Mustang A/C system restoration and reproduction marketplace.

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