Finding the car of your dreams is seldom a simple task. However, the rewards cannot be measured when you finally reach the finish line. Joe Cade, from Columbus, Mississippi, had to reach out across a couple of thousand miles of flat, dusty prairie in order to find this '65 Mustang fastback in west Texas.
"I'm a lucky man," Joe tells us. "My wife, Phyllis, has been very supportive of this project and many others." What Joe envisioned for his Mustang wouldn't have been easy under any circumstances because he intended to create an exciting one-off Mustang restomod.
Wanting something as unique as his own thumbprint, Joe looked to the talents of Allan Shepley at Mustang Central in Byron, Georgia, to handle bodywork and paint. Ghosted-in silver stripes blend into an ebony so rich and dark it looks like you could walk into the finish. The body mods are stealthy with a lot of nearly invisible sheetmetal work, like the '67 Shelby-style hoodscoop, custom front valance with hand-formed slots and scoops for improved cooling, shaved windshield wipers, eliminated fastback air extractors, and a rear valance with '67-'73 Mustang-style dual exhaust reliefs. The front parking lights are an integral part of the Tri-Bar Halogen headlamps. Shelby racing mirrors flank the wing windows, providing sharp contrast against the black DuPont Imron basecoat/clearcoat urethane.
Beneath the hood is a '90-vintage 5.0L V8 with Ford Racing polished cast aluminum valve covers and a Cobra induction system. All that shiny plumbing on the left is a BBK cold air kit. An MSD ignition system offers a reliable light-off at high rpm. Scavenging the fumes is a Dynomax dual exhaust system with 2 1/2-inch pipes. The World Class T5 five-speed transmission works in conjunction with 3.55:1 Auburn Traction-Lok cogs in an 8-inch Ford rearend, as built by Allan Shepley.
Allan also added the Force 10 rotors and calibers from Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation at all four corners. Wheels are 18x8-inch Coy's Racelines with Nitto 555 series radials. The original front suspension system was tossed aside for a Heidt's Mustang II system with Flaming River power rack-and-pinion steering for crispy handling and predictable control. Custom-made subframe connectors keep everything tight for exceptional handling. In back, heavy-duty leafs and Cal Tracks traction bars help get the power to the ground.
Inside, Joe's Mustang is just as stunning as the outside with Ford Racing Old Tyme instrumentation, Flaming River steering wheel and a tilt column, TMI Sport Seats, JME Enterprises brushed aluminum, Lokar hand brake, and Electric Life power windows.
Joe Cade has all the visual benefit of a classic with a twist along with modern technology designed to make the drive safer and a whole lot more fun. This is what will keep these wonderful old Ford classics alive for generations to come. And if Joe has anything to say about it, he's going to be there to see it.