There's no radio, and A/C switches are nowhere to be found. In lieu of extravagant gauges is a bevy of unassuming Sun Pro instrumentation housed in the stock cluster. In line with the original Shelbys, the steering wheel is a repop wood-and-aluminum piece. The most noticeable upgrades are the Procar seats that, along with Jaz five-point harnesses, cinch the driver into place during Corvette-hunting sessions at Willow Springs Raceway.
A purpose-built package like this needs to back its implied intentions with some numbers, and the Mustang definitely impressed through our battery of tests at California Speedway. Keith estimated 12.70s in the quarter-mile, and the car came pretty close by running a best of 12.81 at 114.4 mph. Not too shabby for a car that's neither set up for drag racing, nor has ever been down a dragstrip.Likewise, the Mustang clung to the skidpad with .94g of lateral grip, and blazed through our 420-foot slalom at 47.5 mph--one of the fastest speeds we've ever recorded. This news was no surprise to Keith. "The suspension works extremely well, and it's an incredibly well-sorted package," he says. "Compared to my previous suspension setup, it's helped me shave a good six to 10 seconds off of my lap times." The only test the Mustang didn't tear up was in 60-0 mph braking, where it posted a total distance of 144.4 feet--not shabby for a late-model Mustang or Camaro, but not the retina-detaching performance the hardware would indicate. However, Keith already has a remedy planned and 13-inch Cobra brakes are in the pipeline. Considering Keith intends on tacking on even more straightaway speed with a new 331ci stroker motor, that idea seems even better.
Ultimately, there are just so many reasons to be enamored by Keith's Mustang. It's not a car that has a little bit of everything that does nothing well, but rather a car appropriately trained for its mission's objectives and set on kill. It excels in instrumented testing, and dominates at the track. Its fastback lines flow so seductively that Ford engineers copied its shape decades later, and struck gold yet again. Unfortunately, summarizing this car's merits brings up the jealousy thing again, and we're still aghast that Keith managed to buy it for $500. We must apologize in advance, but to hell with being responsible. We still want to sock the guy.