Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
January 1, 2000
Contributers: Jeff Ford Photos By: Petersen Publishing Archives

Your vintage Mustang is great. You wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China. Then you ride in that late-model Cobra and something happens. You get the urge for a bit more power out of that 289, or you want it to actually handle rather than wallow. Even worse, you sit in rapt fascination as the windows roll up with a switch rather than a crank. You also are amazed that the late-model has a CD player and enough volume to cause deafness in three counties. You are mildly jealous of the super-sized meats with which the car is shod. Two-oh-five 14s are the top of your tire range in that '65 hardtop. The biggest problem is how you can get all that into your Mustang and make it look like it should be there. What to do? We are here to help.

What follows is our attempt to help you fool the show car judges and get what you want-right down to the power window winders and hidden remote keyless entry. Yep. If technology is cool, then these things are frigid.

Geared For Action
What can add sparkle to your Mustang's acceleration is a new gearset, especially if the rear is housing a 2.80 or 3.00. We recommend a 3.25 or 3.50 rear gear for better get-up-and-go. We also prefer a Traction-Lok gearset. With the 3.50, you'll be running at around 2,500 to 2,800 rpm on the interstate at 60-65 mph.

Rolling Stock
When it comes to transferring power to the pavement, there are some additions that can make all the difference in the world. Good radial tires are essential for the weekend warrior and can even be applied to the Concours Street Driven Mustang Club of America competitor. But we really don't consider radials a hidden mod. After all, they're right there in front of your face.

Shocking Development
The stock shocks on your vintage Mustang are adequate. Wouldn't it be better, though, to get a set of performance gas shocks to help stabilize the car in the corners and over the inevitable bumps in the road? We like the KYB shocks for this reason. The way to hide them is to fill the stamped type at the bottom with body filler, remove the stickers with Goo Gone, and then paint them black. If you want to go a step further, put the paint markings on them as well.

Rubber Baby Buggy...
The black urethane bushings that are available for your Mustang are great. The sway bar end link bushings make for a sharp contrast to the soft stock units. What is lacking is the correct size to fit your stock sway bar mounting hardware. What we have done on our Lazarus Project '72 Mach is obtain the urethane bushings for our stock sway bars and cut them down to fit the brackets. Thus we can have our cake and eat it, too. We recommend that you have a machine shop do this for you to ensure good fit and long life. We also recommend periodic checks to ensure they are still in good condition.

The Big Comfy
When it comes to having our cake and eating it, too, we want to have the best of all possible worlds-therefore creature comforts and performance must not be forgotten. If we keep asking the manfacturers for such products, they'll keep delivering them. Of course, if they are out there, we'll keep showing them to you so that you can have your cake and screaming stallion, too!

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