A custom ’67 Mustang fastback built for show and go
Words: Francis Pallarco
Photos: Jerel Fajardo
Over the years, Alex Isip of Alex car Restoration has set the benchmark in building, restoring and modifying all kinds of car show winning classic Mustangs. From his faithful recreation of the “Eleanor” GT500E Mustang to a host of other builds that even includes a one-off RHD to LHD converted Mustang that’s bound for Australia. As such, its no secret that a lot of classic Mustang builds come out of his shop of which depending on the owners tastes ranges from mild to wild. But I guess the real question after finishing a Mustang project is; how does he top the recent build? Most especially when it comes to custom projects that have to be bolder, badder, faster and so on than the previous one.
The answer is his latest creation, which made its debut during the recently held Transport Show where it celebrated the 50th anniversary of America’s favorite ponycar. It’s a ’67 Mustang sporting the highly desirable fastback body style that “Bullitt” fans will instantly recognize. But apart from its affiliation with the Hollywood movie, the fastback body style has the familiar Mustang ponycar silhouette that most enthusiasts desire. Being a custom project, these one-off builds are also like art paintings where it stems from an inspiration or a particular car. In this case, Alex was strongly influenced with Troy Trepanier’s ’67 Mustang Fastback project. Owner of Rad Rides by Troy, he’s a well-known hot rod builder in the States along with the likes of Chip Foose as Alex explains, “I personally met him 2 years ago at the SEMA auto show and then I offered the project I had in mind to my customer who had a Mustang fastback that wanted to give it a custom treatment”. The end result is this custom Mustang that combines the early Mustang heritage and theme with the modern power and stance courtesy of the updated high performance power plant and suspension that’s seamlessly integrated.
Delving first into the exterior, the Mustang incorporated a lot of subtle mods that Alex incorporated. In fact it’s so subtle that it’s hard to spot if it weren’t pointed out. Just like the blocked off c-panel windows while managing to retain the original shape. The integrated side vents on the quarter panels, or the blacked out horse emblem on the grille and the brushed aluminum finish of the door handles and tail light trims that somehow toned down the amount of chrome bits and pieces. I personally like the custom front spoiler that’s reminiscent of those used in the 70’s Trans Am series races where ponycars battled it out on the track. “We had a lot of free hand in terms of customization and it was our own choice” according to Alex that totally differentiates this build from his previous ones. The popular pepper gray finish with a broad stripe in a contrasting silver using Cromax paints that completes the exterior. Aside from the custom mods, the build also entailed fitting a modern drivetrain and suspension, which necessitated reinforcing the body along with the critical structural components.
A stout 427 cubic inch big block Ford crate engine from Roush performance singing to the tune of over 500 horses can be found under the hood. What’s great about it is that all Roush assembled engines are hot-tested, with horsepower and torque levels verified on a dynamometer, and issued its own serial numbers. The fully built engine comes with fortified internals, roller valve train, including ported aluminum cylinder heads. But the real cool feature is the 8-Stack Fuel Injected Induction System controlled by a Roush engineered calibrated ECU. Resembling Weber IDA carburetors, it’s a cool throwback for what was once the norm especially on GT350R Shelby’s. A heavy duty Tremec 5-speed manual trans that’s rated up to 600 ft-lbs of torque backs up the enormous power through a well-fabricated and race-spec FAB9 differential.
With its newfound extreme power levels, the entire suspension system was ditched in favor of high performance units. A Chassisworks, G-Link 4-bar suspension with Varishock coil overs directly replace the archaic leaf springs at the rear for remarkably improved handling and performance. Unlike a stiff drag-type 4-link suspension, this system allows multiple positions to adjust chassis anti-squat and optimize vehicle handling according to the manufacturer. Up front there are now tubular upper and lower A-arms with coil over dampers. Stopping power comes courtesy of Wilwood 6-piston calipers and cross-drilled discs. Stiffening the entire floor pan is a tubular underbody brace from Total Control, which acts like a sub frame connector. The great looking wheels are the latest “Halibrand Style” VN801 American Racing Wheels in a staggered set up with 9-inches up front and 10-inches at the rears. It lends a nostalgic yet modern look with its flat gray finished centers and polished outer lip.
Inside, the interior was redone with a nice blend of aluminum bits, black leather and dark gray fabric with a neatly tucked roll bar giving it that understated look yet giving off that racing vibe all throughout. The Procar seats by Leather plus really made the interior standout as it looks reminiscent of those found on the classic GT40 racecars. Other interior mods consist of the wood-rimmed Motolita Steering wheel, Dakota gauges and those fine looking billet aluminum Lokar pedals and shifters. Inside the trunk is a Fuel safe fuel cell and an Optima battery.
Based on the people’s reaction during its outing at the Transport Show, this Mustang really is a standout from the inside out and it shows as Alex notes that this is his best Mustang build so far. But in order to fully comprehend the amount of mods and work done, one must spend a considerable time poring over every detail that went into it. In the world of custom car building, its more than just putting in a high horsepower motor or spraying on some candy toned paint. In my opinion it’s not about extremes but in the unique subtleties of the work that has been done in creating a one off custom build.
1967 Ford Mustang GT (Fastback)
Alex Car Restoration
Engine: Ford FE 427 Roush Performance crate engine
Engine Type: 427 cubic inch, V8, iron block and heads,
Bore and Stroke: 4.125” x 4.00”
Engine Mods: Dart engine block with 4-bolt main, Forged Steel Crankshaft,
Forged H-Beam Connecting rods, Wiseco forged pistons,
Double roller timing chains, Roush roller camshaft,
Roush CNC ported aluminum cylinder heads, Roller valvetrain,
8-Stack intake with Roush Electronic Fuel injection system,
Electric “High Volume” Fuel Pump, Wide Band 02 Sensor,
Intake Temp. Sensor, Engine Coolant Sensor, MAP Sensor,
IAC (Idle Air Control), and MSD Ignition Control,
JBA Exhaust headers and Flowmaster Mufflers,
Engine Management: Roush Calibrated ECU,
Horsepower: 560 Horsepower (Roush factory specs)
Torque: 540 ft.-lbs (Roush factory specs)
Transmission: Tremec TKO 5-Speed Manual
Differential: FAB 9 housing with
Suspension: F: Total Control Double adjustable tubular Upper and lower control arms
With Varishock Coil-overs
R: Chassisworks G-Link Canted 4-bar with Varishock coil-over
Steering: Total Control rack & pinion kits
Brakes: Wilwood (6-piston) calipers and cross drilled discs
Rollers: American Racing VN801 Wheels (F-20×9, R-20×10)
Nitto tires (F-245/30Z20, R275/25Z20
Interior: Pro Car seats custom made by: Leather Plus, Motolita steering wheels
Dakota gauges, Lokar pedals and shifters,
Exterior: Custom front spoiler,
Body & Paint: 2-Tone color by Alex car Restoration using Cromax Automotive Paint
Other Stuff: Fuel Safe fuel cell, Optima Battery, Painless Wiring Kit,
Rondavis Racing Custom Aluminum radiator with fans