Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
May 1, 2001

We made every effort to get our Styled Steel wheels onto our Project '66 in time for the Silver Springs Mustang Show, but unfortunately the UPS driver showed up a day late with our tires and we ran out of time for mounting. Originally, Tom Sensebaugh of Specialty Wheels suggested a 15x7-inch version. We were fine with that, as long as we could still use a trim ring (it is, after all, a '66). After attempting to install a countless number of trim rings, Tom called us back and told us none of them looked appealing (he usually sells the custom sizes with a chrome '65-style rim). So we opted for the '67 Styled Steel wheel (a 14x5.5-inch model with a black painted rim) and all the lugs, caps, and rings we would need.

Once we figured out the wheel, we moved on to the rubber that will ultimately meet the road. After hearing positive statements about Hoosier Tires' new radials, we decided to try them out. Hoosier, well known in the racing industry, introduced its line of street radials in 13- to 17-inch sizes approximately a year ago. These tires feature an outstanding 440 rating in tread wear and an "A" rating in both temperature and traction. They look great in either black sidewalls or raised-white-letters; it's your choice. We opted for 205/70R14s at all four corners.

We ordered a set of these nifty paint pens from our lifesavers at The Eastwood Company. The pens come unassembled in a pack of six and are ready to be filled with your custom mix paint. We mixed up a little bit of our Anniversary Gold, as well as the two different blacks for the engine compartment and interior and added them to our show kit. Get a little stone chip, break out your paint pen, and touch it up fast. We used our pens quite a bit during assembly (those vent window frames are tough to install and can cause a scratch or two). And best of all is the price. In Eastwood's last catalog these pens (order no. 34071) are just $9.99 for the set of six!

I originally planned to paint the '66 myself with some training and help from Classic Creations of Central Florida, the shop responsible for the bodywork and prep up to this point. My hands became dirty while sanding and blocking (and even a little wet-sanding afterwards), but I never got a chance to hold a spray gun, because our time leading up to the MCA Grand National last year quickly ran out. Even so, the loads of manual labor made me appreciate what skilled bodymen do every day all that much more. Classic Creations doesn't usually perform paintwork because the time involved and the space needed precludes the folks there from painting, so they contract with a local custom painter. They graciously spent their valuable time (even spraying the clearcoat on an early Sunday morning) helping us get the hardtop's Anniversary Gold sprayed in time for the really big show in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, last year.