Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
January 7, 2016
Photos By: Travis Waters

Your average 12-year-old is not thinking about their first car, let alone working on it side-by-side with her father, but then again Frankie Waters of Fontana, CA is not your typical pre-teen. Already an accomplished archer and shooter, her father set point goals for her archery competitions and through earning these goals earned the Mustang you see here, a 1967 S-code 390 big-block fastback that her dad, Travis, purchased in March of 2015. The fastback had been sitting in a yard in Lake View Terrace, CA since 1985. Though the big-block was long gone and in its place was a rusty 302 short block from a mid-1980s Ford van. Frankie stated she wanted to keep the S-code a big-block, but also being on a budget and realizing what a fully built 390 FE would cost, the Waters family found a freshly built 460 big-block engine on Craigslist and snatched it up for the project. Frankie installed the new Edelbrock cam, heads, intake, and carburetor herself.

Currently in the 7th grade, Frankie works on her fastback in her spare time between school work, chores, and her archery competitions and her goal is to have the fastback completed by the time she is of driving age. Frankie is currently saving up her money for parts and also earning parts from her parents through achieving additional archery point goals. Her plans are to keep the car fairly original (save for the aforementioned engine), and that includes the less-than-popular Sauterne Gold exterior with Ivy Gold deluxe interior. The fastback does have power steering, factory in-dash tach, deluxe steering wheel, C6 automatic, and fold down rear seat, and according to the Marti Report was built in San Jose and sold new in the Los Angeles sales district. The one other nod to safety is a plan to use Wilwood disc brakes at all four corners with modern BFG Radial T/A tires and American Racing chrome Torque Thrust wheels.

Frankie submitted a video to the Generation M contest to tell us all about her Mustang project and her plans for it after realizing that her custom made valve covers won’t fit and the “Cobra 460” valve covers sold by Tony D. Branda Shelby & Mustang Parts, Generation M’s sponsor, would fit. She hoped her submission could potentially win and she could use the $200 gift card from Branda for her new valve covers and a matching Cobra oval air cleaner assembly. We were excited to let Frankie know that she indeed had won and we look forward to seeing more progress photos and updates on her 1967 fastback!

Once Frankie and her dad got the fastback home to their garage the first thing they did was pull the non-original late-model 302 and automatic trans that had been rusting away in the engine bay.
Any damaged or rusty bolt-on metal was removed next and then Frankie concentrated on removing old wiring, exhaust, brake lines, and more from the fastback.
Mocking up the fastback with new metal was one of the highlights of the project, as Frankie could see the fastback’s panel looking new again, even without paint yet.
The 460 short-block was found locally on Craigslist and Frankie finished off the engine with some help from her dad with an all Edelbrock top end (heads, cam, intake, carb).
Frankie is even getting some tips on painting and stripped and painted her engine bay all on her own as well!