Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
August 11, 2010

It's no secret that the '65-'73 Mustang's factory front suspension is archaic in design when compared to today's new cars, especially the fabulous '11 Mustang. The old double control arm, coil spring, and shock system was state-of-the-art in the mid-1960s, providing a good ride with decent handling, even good handling on models equipped with the heavy-duty suspension. But times have changed. These days, many owners want new-car ride and handling when climbing into the classic good looks of a vintage Mustang.

It's also getting difficult to find a tire or auto shop that knows how to align a 40-year-old Mustang front end. Think about it: The majority of today's auto technicians weren't even born when first generation Mustangs were in Ford showrooms.

Thanks to the restomod movement of the past ten years or so, front suspension upgrades have become common. Now Gateway Performance Suspension (GPS), a division of Gateway Classic Mustang, has entered the market with a new MacPherson strut system that not only improves the ride and handling, it's also easy to install.

"It's truly a bolt-on system," says Gateway's Jason Childress. "If you have any mechanical abilities at all, you can install it in your backyard with jackstands and a few tools."

When it comes to handling, Jason and brother Lonny have plenty of experience. Both drove monster trucks before launching Gateway Classic in 1999, starting out in St. Louis before moving a few miles west to Bourbon, Missouri. Today, they specialize in Mustang restomod builds, including the Red Rocker for Sammy Hagar and a special modern '68 Bullitt fastback (see "Modern Bullitt," June 2009 Mustang Monthly) for Chad McQueen, son of Bullitt star Steve McQueen. Although they have used other suspension setups in the past and even distributed the Australian-designed RRS components for a while, the Childress brothers wanted to come up with their own suspension design.

Their design is simple: a coilover strut and unique spindle replaces the factory upper A-arm, coil spring, and shock to provide both improved ride quality and handling. Jason describes the new spindle as "a fusion between the early and late-model Mustang spindles," stating that it is made in the USA from 4140 steel and uses American-made Timken bearings. With a better Akerman angle (geometry for correct turning angle when negotiating a corner or curve) and improved camber, the Gateway system also creates less horizontal stress than the factory double A-arm front suspension. By changing the location of the steering arm, the Gateway suspension eliminates a lot of the Mustang's inherent bump steer, depending on ride height.

GPS offers several versions of their new suspension, starting with the entry-level Super Stock that provides spindles and non-adjustable coilover struts but without brakes. From there, the various upgrades add brakes (from 11-inch to 14-inch rotors with six-piston calipers), adjustability (ride height and/or struts), and Koni struts. Extreme GTS Pro Touring, Extreme GTS, Road Race, and Drag Pack versions are coming soon. A shock tower notching kit is available for owners who plan to install a big-block or modular V-8 engine.

The GPS front suspension fits '65-'73 Mustangs and Cougars, as well as '60-'65 Falcon/Comet/Ranchero, '66-'71 Fairlane/Torino/Falcon/Comet, '69-'77 Maverick/Comet, and '62-'65 Fairlane/Meteor. We got a look at the new front suspension system during a recent trip to Gateway, where Jason and Lonny demonstrated the installation of the Street Extreme front suspension on a bare '67 body, sans front fenders for photo access.

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Gateway Suspension Systems*

Super Stock

PN GPS1000$1,595

A non-adjustable entry-level system, the Super Stock features a MacPherson strut like new Mustangs and many European GT cars at an affordable price. Brakes are not included.

  • Non-adjustable MacPherson strut system with street shocks.
  • Custom spindle.
  • Eibach springs.
  • Ready to accept bolt-on disc brake kit or Gateway's optional brake kit.
  • Requires wheels with 2.5-inch center opening (post-'70 Ford wheels will fit).

Super Stock GT

PN GPS100$2,395

All the benefits of the Super Stock system but with brakes and a strut leg that is adjustable for ride height.

  • MacPherson strut system, adjustable for ride height.
  • Non-adjustable KYB sport shocks.
  • Custom spindle.
  • 11-inch disc brakes with single-piston calipers (rotors and caliper replacements are available at most automotive parts retailers).
  • Eibach springs.
  • Requires wheels with 2.5-inch center opening (post-'70 Ford wheels will fit).

Street Avenger

PN GPS1010$3,195

Ride height is adjustable like the Super Stock GT but also includes a single adjustable KYB shock and bigger 12-inch brake rotors with dual piston PBR calipers from Baer.

  • MacPherson strut system, adjustable for ride height.
  • Single adjustable KYB shocks.
  • Custom spindle.
  • 12-inch disc brakes with dual-piston PBR calipers from Baer (replacement rotors and pads available from most automotive parts retailers; replacement calipers available through GPS). Eibach springs.
  • Requires 17-inch or larger wheels.

Street Performer

PN GPS1015$4,595

Adjustable ride height like the Street Avenger but also includes single adjustable Koni struts and 13-inch brakes.

  • MacPherson strut system, adjustable for ride height.
  • Single adjustable Koni struts.
  • Custom spindle.
  • 13-inch thermal stability disc brake rotors with Baer four-piston calipers (replacement rotors and pads available through GPS.
  • Eibach springs.
  • Requires 17-inch or larger wheels.

Street Extreme

PN GPS1020$5,195

Same as Street Performer but adds double adjustable struts for adjustment of damping and rebound and 14-inch rotors with Baer six piston calipers.

  • MacPherson strut system, adjustable for ride height.
  • Double adjustable Koni shocks.
  • Custom spindle.
  • 14-inch thermal stability brake rotors and Baer six-piston calipers (rotors and pads available through GPS).
  • Eibach springs.
  • Requires 18-inch or larger wheels.

Extreme GTS PRO Touring (Coming Soon)

PN GPS1025$6,595

Offers road racing excellence with street manners for those wanting the best in performance and braking for either application. Adjustable ride height with shocks that allow finite adjustment. A Road Race version (part #GPS1030, $7,695) substitutes Road Race shocks.

  • MacPherson strut system that is adjustable for ride height.
  • Double adjustable, inverted Extreme GTS Pro Touring race shocks.
  • Custom spindle.
  • 13-inch thermal stability brake rotors and Baer six-piston calipers.
  • Eibach springs.
  • Requires 18-inch or larger wheels.

*Gateway was still finalizing the packages at press time so some items may change.

Three-Link Rear
To take the vintage Mustang suspension to the max, GPS offers a three-link rear setup that eliminates the factory leaf-springs and their inherent axle hop under hard acceleration and jounce over railroad tracks and bumps. With its super-long torque arm, coilover shocks, and sturdy construction, the GPS three-link provides confidence for attacking corners on the road course or digging in off the line at the drag strip. The $3,500 package comes with a 9-inch rear end housing; just add your 9-inch center section. Urethane isolated trailing arms help to prevent axle wind-up.

The base three-link kit is designed to be a perfect match for the GPS Super Stock GT strut kit. Three-link packages are also available with upgraded shocks to match the Street Avenger, Street Performer, Street Extreme, and Pro Front kits.