Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2009
If any of our illustrations from Cars by Chris look familiar then you're probably a regular reader of Modified Mustangs & Fords. We took the parts we liked best from our favorite restomod Mustangs and merged them together in our illustration. Up front, we have a CDC Flashback front fascia and a '67 Shelby GT350-style hood. Moving rearward, you'll notice the flared wheelwells, Mustangs Plus rocker molding/ground effects, S197 Mustang door handles, and lower C-scoops. Out back is a Shelby-style trunk lid and end caps, a blacked out taillight panel with a LeMans-style pop-open fuel filler, and a body color rear bumper as well. The fastback is sitting on low-profile rubber wrapped around Centerline Retro Legend wheels with optional black faced spokes, and the car is drenched in one of our favorite late-model Ford colors--Dark Shadow Gray with Ebony stripes. Minor changes will most likely happen as we move forward on the project and some products don't make the cut or we find other products to use, but this is our ultimate goal shown here in our illustration. If you're starting a new project, or just want a cool illustration of your completed car, give Cars by Chris a shout for your very own custom illustration at www.cars-by-chris.com.

There's no doubt about it, car magazines need project cars. From the basic bolt-on upgrade to a complete car build up, readers soak up the information like a sponge. We've heard numerous times of readers cataloging tech projects for their own future builds and even building their own projects up to mimic the projects they see in their favorite magazines, which we find quite flattering to be honest.

Our new build we're debuting here is a '68 Mustang we're calling Project Generation Gap. After completing our Factory Five Roadster last year we wanted to get back into a classic Mustang project for our readers. Some of you longtime readers may remember the '68 Mustang coupe we purchased last year; well this is the launch of that project. But you're probably wondering why our illustration, courtesy of Chris Jones at Cars by Chris is a fastback. Well, we're converting our coupe to a fastback of course! Our fastback conversion is also going to feature a 4.6L Three-Valve engine for motivation and upgraded suspension from Heidt's Hot Rod Shop with braking from Stainless Steel Brakes Corp. Naturally, we'll be looking into making the fastback as safe as we can with high-back seats, three-point belts, power brakes and steering, and much more. We've got a lot of other sub-systems to still figure out, but we're sure you'll like what we've got planned.

But what about the project name, right? Well, we must give credit where due and our good friend and fellow editor, Steve Turner, of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords magazine, gave us the suggestion and it fit our story. You see, we're building this car by merging different generations of Mustang into one sweet ride. As we progress you'll notice parts from S197, Fox era, and other generations of Mustang being used in the build. But more importantly, Editor Houlahan will be building the car with the help of his 16-year-old son, Kyle. These two generations, working together to build the Mustang, are just as important, if not more so, in the project coming together. We know it won't always be a smooth ride (because 16-year-olds know everything, right?), but we know the end result will be an absolutely bitchin' ride and a positive parent/child experience.

For our fastback conversion and rust repair we reached out to Drake Customs in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The company has been quickly growing its name with completely refurbished '65-'70 Mustang body shells. An original coupe body shell is stripped, media blasted, all rust damage replaced (just about every car gets a one-piece floor), and the fastback conversion process applied. Drake Customs uses Dynacorn sheetmetal for a great fit and a stronger car. Complete body shells will set you back $9,000 for '65-'68 models and $10,000 for the '69-'70 models. These shells come with a Ford VIN (for a coupe, of course) from the original body, and a clean title, making registration and titling easy in any state, even California. They will also convert your existing coupe body to a fastback for $5,500 to $6,500, depending upon the model year. Full refurbishment of your body shell is also available. If Drake Customs can bring back our rusty and accident-damaged coupe from its date with the wrecking ball, it can fix any body shell in our opinion. Be sure to check out our build progress online, where we'll post extra photos, videos, and more.

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