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“THE V8 bug hit me at eight years old, when my mother gave me a toy ’69 Mustang. Who would have guessed decades later I would own the real thing? Coming off the production line in lime green metallic, this ’69 sportsroof originally had the 302/three-speed manual with optional style pack, which included bonnet scoop, hood pins and stripes. A previous resto saw a debadged body with new sheet metal, Raven Black paint, a latermodel 302 and four-speed. I purchased it over the internet a few years back, and boarded the big bird to Perth with a mate in readiness to seal the deal, looking forward to the our ensuing 3000km road trip home.
But my rudimentary skills and patience were tested when 50km out from home the actuator rod on the clutch master cylinder snapped, followed by exhaust leaks at the manifold, the rear muffler coming off, the coil giving up the ghost, oil leaks from who knows were around the gearbox, overheating and severe vibrations in the driveline. But the Ford got us all the way home, and then she was straight into a mate’s shed with a hoist. There it received a new radiator, water pump, harmonic balancer, carb, ignition, full exhaust (ceramic tri-Y and 2.5-inch Magnaflow), and complete driveline from the new bellhousing back, including a Tremec TKO 600 and Truetrac diff centre.
Parts are dirt-cheap and readily available for early Mustangs, so the usual stuff like all-new body rubbers, glass and wiring were added to the mix to ensure trouble-free comfy cruising.
Is another road trip on the go? You betcha, though I think a 347 stroker is beckoning first.”
Photos: Matthew James Imagery
“I HAD a UC sedan as my first car. I thought I might build a hatchback with a V8 in it this time, as I’ve never owned a V8 before. Starting off with an eBaypurchased dark green four-cylinder hatch from Melbourne, I originally was going to build it with a 304, so I purchased a Commodore with one in it. But after I crunched the numbers, I worked out it was going to cost the same as inserting an LS2. So I got in contact with a bloke at a local Holden dealership and purchased a brand new six-litre. Backing up the 400hp V8 is a strong 4L60E transmission sending the power through to the 3.7:1 shortened nine-inch running a Truetrac centre with 31-spline axles. I spent threeand- a-half years massaging those panels until they were super smooth. The car only left my garage twice; once to get the extractors and pipes bent and fitted and the second time for the black paintjob by my good friend, Matt Petrovics. After a tune-up thanks to TDR Racing, the car ran 11.6@118mph at Calder Park.”
Photos: Caprice Photography
“I BOUGHT my ’64 Belvedere at the start of the year after selling my eight-second nitrous BBC HQ, as I was looking for a change. It has a 500ci Max Wedge and the heads and manifold are period-correct 1964 items, which are very sought after. The combo has run high 10s in the USA. The mill is backed by a pushbutton 727 Torqueflite and Dana 60 with Truetrac and 3.9 gears, all fitted by the previous owner. The car underwent a resto six years ago with fresh paint and interior. I recently fitted some fresh wheels: American Racing Torq Thrust Ds (15x4.5 and 15x8.5) running M/T S/S Street Radials. I also sorted the stance to getting it sitting sweet. I bought it mainly to be able to cruise it on the weekends with the family, but it will see some track time once I make some changes to the fuel system and carbs.” Photos: Steve Kelly