Monday, May 20, 2024
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MIGHTY MUZZI – 1967/2015 FORD MUSTANG FASTBACK

Whether you’re a regular or casual reader, you’ll most likely have seen the ongoing build of this Mustang at Oz Rods Hot Rod & Street Machines. The amalgamation of a 1967 fastback body and a 2015 floor pan is a daring project, but one that the company were pleased to take on for their regional-based customer.

“They weren’t planning to do what they did when they bought the ’67,” says Clint at Oz Rods, aware that a restoration was the initial intention. We don’t know where the spark came from to blend the old and the new, but a damaged 2015 Mustang GT purchased two years later certainly provided the fuel.

It’s difficult to divulge the extent of fabrication involved in forging the two fast Fords into one, but those who have followed the project over the last three years will have gained some insight to what’s required. The first challenge, and often the final, is registration for the road. For this, Queensland engineer, Tim Bartrop was called upon for guidance. 

“We engaged Tim to make sure that it could be done,” confirms Clint. “He spoke to his counterpart at main roads who was supportive of the project, which gave us the confidence to go ahead.”

Dimensionally the two cars are less than an inch apart in wheelbase, but the 2015 model has some extra girth. This meant widening the ’67 below the beltline while keeping the roof turret intact for factory glass. An Eleanor body kit provided some of the critical components, such as the grille and taillight panel, but the sills were custom made in steel. Using a fibreglass hood would have been an easy option, but engineering required a steel unit, which had to be stretched regardless. Original guards were flared using the ‘glass pieces as templates, and rear quarter panels were split and widened. The overall result is a post-lockdown Eleanor – slightly chubbier, but keen to party!

“We consulted extensively with the client on how the car was to look.  We also consulted with Sam and Jesse from Cinema Vehicles in California who built the Eleanor vehicles for the film Gone in 60 Seconds.” 

Extensive fabrication was also undertaken in the engine bay area, crafting the removable shock tower struts, adapting the ’67 model radiator support, and remodelling the cowl area for the wipers and to house support modules for many of the 2015 car’s functions.

While retaining the original 2015 floor allowed fuss-free installation of the original front seats and console, that’s where the conveniences ended. Reducing the height of the 2015’s dashboard structure to fit within the proportions of the ’67 was challenging, all the while having to retain the form and functions of the later model vehicle and meet engineering requirements as well. Then there’s the electronics!

While it’s difficult to delve into every aspect of this build in depth, the defining factor is that aside from airbags, everything from the 2015 model works in this car. There are no compromises, and the final finish is impeccable. And the performance? Carroll Shelby would be proud.

BY GAVIN KELSO, AS APPEARED IN CRUZIN MAGAZINE #250
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