Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
June 15, 2006
Besides the main frame component, FFR also manufactures its own side exhaust, tubular control arms, and other steel products. To say there's a lot of welding going on here is an understatement.

What Does "Donor Built" Mean Anyway?
When the Smith brothers decided to use donor parts from a single vehicle for their Roadster replica, they were simply looking for an economical way to allow a customer to build a replica with proven parts that would give the car decent performance. There have been thousands of builds in which a customer buys a wrecked 5.0 Mustang, strips it of the necessary parts, resells the parts not needed for the build-often recouping their full purchase price of the donor-and has all of the donor parts cleaned, painted, and ready to go when their kit arrives. These cars are all over the country and can be found road racing, hitting cruise nights, and even winning show trophies. Building with donor parts is often the only way a Roadster will fit into a family's budget. Remember, just like any other classic Ford you'd build, it's your car, and you should build it your way.

Within the last five years, more FFR owners are moving away from the typical donor build, FFR's Mark Dougherty tells us. They're seeing more owners using crate engines, stronger transmissions, aftermarket brakes, and so on. There are a few Mustang-specific parts you'll still need to complete the build, but these are often acquired from the local Ford dealer or from a cottage industry of FFR parts suppliers. Whichever direction you plan to take with your FFR Roadster, start with a build plan and a realistic budget. Then, pick up the phone and talk to FFR about making your dream come true.

Years ago, a fiberglass replica body would be made by using a "chopper gun" to spray fragmented fiberglass cloth into a mold. At FFR, the fiberglass body sections are made by cutting fiberglass cloth with this CNC-composite cutting machine.

21st-Century Assistance
FFR has a great customer service crew and will do all they can to help you successfully build your own Roadster. But if you're like me and enjoy talking to other owners for different ideas, or understand an assembly step better by seeing photos or having it explained by someone who has experience, you don't have to look any further than FFR's customer-based Web forum at

Run by Bill Pierce, this nearly 10,000-member strong forum is a great place to ask questions pre- and post-purchase, and to look for ideas ranging from paint and stripe colors to dash layouts to braking performance.

Many people peruse the forum and read posts for several months before actually purchasing their Roadster kit. Answering all their questions, seeing the other owners' builds, and so forth gives them a sense of comfort, which in turn gives them the confidence to call FFR and order a Roadster. Check out the site, and you'll be looking at your budget and contemplating picking up the phone, too.