Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
February 4, 2014
Photos By: Courtesy Anvil Auto
12. Plastic body filler is used to level the bumper out and to tighten and sharpen the mating edges. The addition thickness of the fiberglass and body filler needs to be taken into account when shaping the foam, and a mild amount of shrinkage during the curing process is also considered. This is less of a problem when using an autoclave to cure the carbon fiber parts.
13. Gray primer is used after fiberglass and body filler to make it appear more uniform for further inspection and changes. Once the bumper has been bodyworked and primed, then the pattern, as Lazich refers to it, can be used to cast a mold for the end product.
14. The finished product is seen here in its beautiful carbon-fiber finish. You can see the carbon-fiber fender extensions and spoiler addition here as well.
15. Seeing a need to augment the relatively flat rear appearance of the stock rear deck spoiler, Lazich opted to create an extension rather than build a new spoiler altogether. To start this endeavor, tape is laid down followed by a coating of a release agent. Then a layer of body filer is laid down and the foam block is bolted up and tightened down. About an hour, after the body filler has been allowed to cure, it is removed to cure fully.
16. In creating new fenders for the Mustang the process began with the Mustang’s original steel fenders. The Pure Vision crew widened them slightly, as they now bow outward about 11⁄8-inch. Then a mold is made and the composite part is made inside that.
17. The fender’s inner structure is splash-molded right on the fender. Then the inner and outer composite pieces are bonded together permanently.
18a. One of Anvil Auto’s most recent product additions is this firewall for First-Gen Camaros. We’ve included this to show you some of the process that Anvil goes through to create a new product.
18b. Seen here in a computer modeling program, the firewall’s overall shape and contours have been established. Modifications to the ribbing at the upper right were made to accommodate a number of wiper motor options.
19. Seen here without the mods to the wiper motor area, the firewall appears in a carbon-fiber finish. Computer modeling allows you to get a very good idea of what the finished product will look like, and you can even take note of such subtleties as shadows and highlights from the raised sections.
20. The blue part at the top is sheet acrylic template that Lazich made to test fit onto cars before the design went to computer modeling. The prototype firewall was then whittled from a thick sheet of ABS plastic.
21. Anvil has been working on getting ’65-’68 Mustang parts into its product line, but other projects have taken precedence until recently. “We’re considering the options regarding stock Shelby-type parts, or going the full-custom route, which can be ‘dangerous’ if you get too custom,” Lazich noted. Here, the company’s latest Mustang project are these carbon-fiber C-pillar vents for the ’65-’66 fastback. Expect to see more Mustang-specific product from Anvil in future.


Carbon Fiber vs. Fiberglass

As prices for CF parts are still at the higher end of body replacement panels, fiberglass version are likely to be a more popular, lower-cost option. Still, some will want the additional weight savings, carbon-fiber appearance, or perhaps the cache that comes with CF components.

"Composites cured in an autoclave are much more stable long term, since they are cured in a pressurized autoclave using heat, rather than a chemical catalyst for curing," Lazich tells us. "Also, pre-preg (or dry carbon) parts utilize less resin than ‘wet layup’ processes. Too much resin makes parts heavier and less stiff, therefore composite parts produced using pre-preg material can be as much as 1⁄5 the weight of the equivilent steel part and are more stiff. Anvil can also make the parts to a customer’s request for parts that are lighter (fewer layers) or stronger (more layers)."

Hand-Crafted or Digitally Mastered

As you will see in the photos, the majority of the'69-’70 Mustang parts were created by hand. Top-of-the-line technology would employ digitizing the factory parts using a high-priced scanner, but that would not be cost effective, especially in a niche market like aftermarket body components. Late-model components short-cut this through programs like the SEMA technology transfer program. Through this program, the OEMs offer companies like Anvil access to digital data that can be put into the computer modeling program to produce an end product much quicker than if you were to create one by hand.