Jim Smart
July 1, 2009
Photos By: Dave Wallace

What does it take to authentically reproduce a classic Mustang part? There are extraordinary people in our industry who have produced the wealth of reproductions available today. We're familiar with many of them-Scott Drake, California Mustang, Dynacorn, Kevin Marti, Dennis and Scott Carpenter, Tony Branda, and a host of others who have committed themselves to authentic reproduction parts.

Then there are the names we seldom see, like Scott Fuller, who has reproduced obscure pieces for Shelby, Boss, and Cobra Jet Mustangs, including the super-rare '68 starter time-delay modules for '68 Cobra Jets.

Charles Turner provided Dave with this photo of what was left of an old factory Arvinode dual exhaust system. Research and development began with this photo.

Dave Wallace is another passionate caretaker of the breed who saw a need and went after it. Dave's objective was fundamental; he needed a correct Arvinode dual exhaust system for his '65 Hi-Po Mustang fastback. The aftermarket industry doesn't offer one. In fact, few people even knew about the system when Dave started his reproduction project.

Used for just five months on the rare 289 Hi-Po '65 Mustangs, the Arvinode exhaust system was a very limited-production piece. When the 289 High Performance V-8 was first offered in the Mustang in June of 1964, it came with a transverse muffler dual exhaust system. On October 15, 1964, Ford switched to the Arvinode dual exhaust, which was used on Hi-Po Mustangs through March of 1965 when the GT dual exhaust system took its place. Originally produced by Arvin Industries, the system did not utilize conventional mufflers. Instead, the exhaust note was "tuned" by combining the effects of resonance tubes in front with conventional resonators integrated into the tailpipes. The sound was low, aggressive, and loud, and it's said that the system increased peak torque and horsepower.

There's nothing quite like original Ford engineering drawings to work with when it comes to reproducing Mustang parts. Here's the C4ZA-5A426-G Bracket & Insulator, released for production on April 1, 1964. Ultimately, C4ZA-5A426-G would become C5ZZ-5260-D-a tailpipe hanger. Waldron's Antique Exhaust was able to reproduce key parts thanks to these drawings.

For Dave, low production numbers made producing a concours-correct system a daunting task. In 1965, just 7,273 Hi-Po Mustangs were produced outside a handful of Shelby GT350s, and only a small percentage got the Arvinode exhaust during its five-month production period. There just weren't enough survivors for Dave to get measurements. When he began examining his '65 fastback and reviewing the Arvinode illustration in Bob Mannel's Mustang & Ford Small-Block V-8 book, the tumblers fell into place. He knew he was onto something beneficial for himself and others who needed this special exhaust system.

Dave began his efforts with posts on the Hi-Po forum at www.hpm.com. Charles Turner quickly chimed in and sent Dave a picture of a complete Arvinode dual exhaust system from a '65 Hi-Po Mustang he was restoring. Unfortunately, the system was thrown away before he realized what it was.

Dave contacted Arvin Industries, the original manufacturer, but did not get a response; turns out the company has been absorbed several times through the years via mergers and acquisitions. He also touched base with several custom exhaust system manufacturers, none of which were interested in Dave's low-production project. But when he contacted Joe Tonietto at Waldron's Antique Exhaust, things began to happen.

Waldron's initially produced a prototype Arvinode system, based on a glass-pack muffler, without a single drawing or blueprint. Before Dave could bolt the prototype system on his car for a fit and sound check, a breakthrough occurred that would change everything.