Slide down low in the seat and rest your right wrist on the steering wheel at 12 o'clock. Then lean back. This driving posture is the very essence of Lonney Weber's restomodded '67 Mustang fastback. Turn on, tune in, and lean back.
It's hard not to notice this tangerine-orange fastback, even when it's parked amongst dozens of other good-looking rides. We discovered this fastback at the Restomods in Reno show-the car caught our attention because it wasn't an Eleanor clone, nor was it another Shelby replica. It stood alone as a classic Mustang charting its own path through the changing world of restomod.
It all began for Lonney when he spotted this '67 fastback for sale in a local newspaper in April 2003. It was a run-of-the-mill, C-code fastback with no special options. Although missing its engine, Lonney hauled the forlorn body home, where it sat for nearly a year before he was ready to weave his magic.
Lonney will tell you he doesn't know much about car building and restoration. What he does know is how to find people who are familiar with those things. Western Motorsports in Calgary, Alberta, handcrafted the fuel-injected 351W small-block, stroking it to 393 ci and bolting on Trick Flow Twisted Wedge aluminum heads. Induction is unconventional for a fuel-injected engine. Instead of a 5.8L SEFI setup, Lonney opted for an Edelbrock Performer RPM manifold with fuel-injector bungs welded to the runners. He won't talk about the power, but we're guessing it's somewhere around 500 hp with boatloads of torque due to the stroke and induction velocity through long intake runners-yet the darn thing idles with a civilized attitude.
A Tremec T56 six-speed gearbox offers good gearing for acceleration along with two overdrive ranges for highway cruising. In back is a 9-inch Ford with 3.70:1 gears and Moser 31-spline axles.
For braking, Lonney has Baer binders in all four corners and 13-inch Baer Claws in front, complemented by 12-inch Baers in back. We like the Billet Specialties 18-inch wheels all around, wrapped with Kumho rubber, 235/40/ZR in front and 275/35/ZR at the rear. Underneath is a conventional suspension system bolstered by Edelbrock shocks. Steering is precise thanks to a rack-and-pinion system from Randall's Rack.
If you're mesmerized by the tangerine-orange metallic candy finish, you're not alone. Lonney won't tell us where he got the paint, but he tips his hat to the guys who worked the body and laid it down. Ralf & Morris of Peachland, British Columbia, did the wonderful body massaging, going the extra mile to french in the taillights, blend the quarter-panel sidescoops, and fit the front end with '67 Shelby fiberglass. Although it's easy to call this car a Shelby clone, it's not. It incorporates nuances that transcend anything Shelby did.
Inside, Lonney went to the street- rod parts crib for a lot of great ideas, such as abundant rich leather from Dan's Place in British Columbia. He fabricated his own instrument panel using a '67 cluster as the foundation and substituting AutoMeter Phantom instrumentation for gauges. The Billet Specialties steering wheel on the Flaming River column matches the wheels on the outside. A Sony high-performance sound system enrichens the driving experience, while a Vintage Air A/C system keeps temperatures cool in the summer.
When we asked Lonney if he'd ever sell his car, he said: "Everything has its price." That means anything is possible for those with dreams and money. But we're willing to bet he intends to experience a lot of seat time before that happens. So Lonney, take the wheel, turn on, tune in, and lean back.