Most of us know that it is a great accomplishment just to get your project up and running, let alone be able to drive it to the local cruise-in. You end up investing quite a bit just to get it to that point, and when project funds are hard to come by, sometimes having things work is more important than having them look good. With that said, we devised a budget-minded engine bay upgrade that is more about being neat and tidy than over-the-top glamorous.
We sort of stumbled upon this story as we searched for a test vehicle on which we planned to install Lambert Street Tech's (LST) new engine compartment bracing system. While the chassis stiffening system isn't what some might consider inexpensive, our subject vehicle gave us the opportunity for a quick and cheap makeover to complement it.
The '66 coupe seen here belongs to John Paolillo of Spring Hill, Florida, and the project is the very definition of budget. Starting as a $600 bare chassis, the Mustang is now complete thanks to the bartering and trading skills of its owner. John just has a few more things to do before it's ready to rumble down the road.
With a limited budget, this Mustang is more function over form. The engine bay was utilitarian in appearance. The rebuilt 302 got a fresh coat of Ford blue, along with some '85 Mustang GT valve covers and some fancy wire looms, but we needed to dress things up just a bit more to keep up with the nice machined aluminum components from LST.