Vintage Mustang suspension upgrades abound. You can flip through this very magazine and find all manner of suspension upgrades from stock replacement to trick weld-in systems. While welding in multi-arm/multi-link suspensions or grafting in suspension designs from other vehicles (or from newer Mustangs) often leads to a car with great track-like handling, sometimes you just want better handling that only requires basic hand tools and keeps the stock suspension configuration. Let's face it, coilover struts, four-bar rear ends, and the like aren't for everyone and for the typical weekend cruiser who just wants to be able to take a highway on-ramp at speed and feel some g-forces once in a while it is most likely overkill and a waste of budget dollars.
Keeping with the "bolt-on" theme means you can upgrade your first gen Mustang's suspension yourself in your home garage using hand tools, some jack stands, and a free weekend. At worst you'll have to fab up, buy, rent, or borrow a coil spring compressor, but otherwise the work is a typical nut and bolt affair. Using a stock-type suspension system also means there's no fabrication or drastic changes to your Mustang's chassis that are required, keeping the stock look of the car but with better handling in a true bolt-on scenario. The questions that usually follow include "whose springs to use?" and "what shocks work with said springs?" and so forth. However, the folks at Hotchkis Sport Suspension have done the homework for you and have devised a complete suspension package that will improve handling and create a safer driving environment with more control and predictability.
Hotchkis is known for its performance enhancing suspension offerings for newer vehicles, including the '79-'13 Mustang. Hotchkiss has now taken their Total Vehicle System (TVS) approach to '65-'66 Mustangs (and '67-'73 by the time you read this); giving the owner a suspension upgrade that will have your Mustang at home on your favorite winding road or at an autocross/track day event. Hours of track testing has ensured that the TVS package will improve your Mustang's handling measurably. The TVS package (PN 80040-1, $1,461.95) includes Sport coil springs with a 700 lb/in spring rate and Sport leaf springs with a 180 lb/in spring rate. The springs lower the Mustang for better handling by lowering the center of gravity without affecting ride quality. A larger 1¼-inch front sway bar and a 7⁄8-inch adjustable rear bar (both tubular steel) are included to help control body roll. Pairing a new suspension with upgraded shocks is a smart idea and Hotchkis-tuned SPS shocks by Fox Racing are available (PN 79020016, $550.95) to keep the suspension and tires planted. The SPS shocks feature aluminum mono-tube bodies, large ½-inch diameter shafts, and specially formulated oil and nitrogen gas for a great ride. All Hotchkis parts are made in the USA. The installation is designed to upgrade your Mustang in a single afternoon (it took us about five hours with photography) and, except for drilling two holes in your rear frame rails for the sway bar end link mounting, the system is a complete bolt-on and includes all new fasteners except for the front shock upper mounting bolts and the rear leaf spring front eye bolts.