Jaded…… yes I am, and so is the name of my car. It’s a 1966 Mustang Coupe 6 cylinder, three speed trans, 4 lug turd that was rescued from the tin-worms to be the mule for many technical articles for car magazines over the years since 2003.
It’s got one of the very first complete one piece floorpans ever to be installed into an early mustang… as well as tons of other modifications and tweaks, at first mostly centered around rust repair…
At first it was the recipient of an “Eleanor E-2 Kit from Mustang Depot, which featured a cool fiberglass treatment on every corner, including wheel flares…
Once I had driven a friends 2004 Cobra there was no turning back, I HAD to have that kind of power, but in a classic Mustang skin… Personally I really like the Coupe styling, but I had considered doing the Fastback Conversion… I decided to put that 40 hours of work into custom and practical mods instead. All of the rear (heavy) shock reinforcements that normally live overtop of the axel are now gone…. And the wheel wells are tubbed to accept stupid-wide rubber.
Since the nose is now removable ( unlike the unibody car, where the frame is the body) I fabricated lightweight aprons that are symmetrical and nicer than the stamped parts that came from Ford. The full frame chassis now considerably beefs up the integrity of the once flimsy unibody.
So now that all the mock up and designing and fabricating is nearly done, we’re deep into surface prep, and happy to try out Eastwood’s new line of fillers, primers, and eventually paint. We started out with a media blasted body, ( aluminum oxide to remove pitted rust in the only original exterior panel… the roof.) and coated it with Eastwood Epoxy primer to eliminate the possibility of flash surface rust, and set up the metal for fillers and primers.
Brian Finch ( Hot Rod Transformations) has been working the rough spots out of the bodywork, and doing a fantastic job of it! Carefully gapping the doors and fitting panels is only part of what he’s been doing; Im using the Hydroboost braking system from the 2004 Donor Cobra, and it’s a tight fit between the cam covers and the hood hinges…. Brian built a ’67 Coupe with the same engine combo a couple of years ago, and created a solution to that problem by clocking the pressure reservoir to make it fit…. Structural bracing is also one of Brian’s specialties, as he’s responsible for some of the baddest Pro-Touring Musclecars around… and there is now internal bracing in the cowl area that will link to the frame rails and replace ( as well as enhance) any lost stiffness and integrity caused by carving up a uni-body car.
Brian knows, as do most of us, that prep work is the key to any successful paintjob, after fillers ( Eastwood Contour premium filler) were applied and blocked, we went to super-high build Polyester surfacer.
The light color makes it easy to guide coat and block, and the composition of poly-filler means that it does NOT shrink back… EVER! So it can be used as the last stage of your bodywork…. Final spray-filler.
Once the panels are guide coated and blocked to 220 grit, I’ll go back with (Eastwood) 2K urethane filler for final sanding with 600 grit and then… finally!!!!! We’ll get it into the booth to shoot the custom two tone paint scheme that REEKS of classic Musclecar mixed with modern pro-touring influences. I worked with Eastwood’s John Robinson ( JR) on the color… it’s a throwback deep (Jade) green with modern micas and pearls to give it depth that mid 60’s cars just didn’t have. The color will be included in the new Eastwood color library, so if you like it on the car, you can use it for your own! The fact that Eastwood also has a flat clear gives me the option to coat the chassis, engine compartment, and hood stripes with “Tunnel Ram” grey base coat and semi gloss clear for extra detail and a cool two tone. The same color is used on the chassis and suspension details…. Combined with the flat clear we’re getting a very nice high quality and contemporary appearance.
Performance was never in question with a 600 Horsepower Supercharged 4.6, race car suspension and steering, 14 inch 6 piston brakes on all four corners, adjustable coil over shocks, and Nascar style splined sway bars front and rear… but I wanted the looks and “feel” of the car, as well as the fit and finish to match the performance…. I’m thinking that with the help of Eastwood’s new line of coatings this will all fall right into place!!! Wish me luck! Come and help! Visit us at SEMA where the car will debut…. If you can’t make SEMA…. There’ll be more pictures to follow as I continue to make progress…. Check for more video at Eastwood.com as well…. Maybe a “loss of traction” shot? Grin!