Red found that a Fatman Fabrication Power Suspension Module (PSM) would accommodate a 4.6-liter, so he reasoned that the 5.4 should fit as well. Red had several people tell him that the 4.6 and 5.4 are pretty much the same. After this project, Red says that's true, until you get them out of the box. There are hundreds of slight differences that keep the 5.4 from being a direct fit for anything designed for a 4.6. The Fatman PSM is designed to better control high-torque engines. It also lowers the car about 3 inches. It converts the car to front-steer rack-and-pinion (the rack mounts in front of the axle center line instead of behind it). This helps makes room for just about any Windsor or Modular engine. The system also uses a coilover suspension for excellent road control, and adjustable ride height. Red capped the new front suspension with Wilwood brakes and grafted the whole suspension module to the car.
A 5.4L V-8 doesn't fit in...
A 5.4L V-8 doesn't fit in an early Mustang, but that didn't stop Red Humphries from doing it. And the execution with factory hose clamps, wiring looms, and reservoirs makes it look as if Ford put it there.
Since the concept of this car was to make it look the way that Shelby would build one today, Red passed on all the billet accessories. Underhood, the car has the appearance of a stock late-model. Cast-aluminum valve covers, factory hoses and hose clamps, Ford fluid reservoirs, and so on. If you've never tried to create this look, you can't imagine the effort it takes to pull it off so thoroughly. The only thing that doesn't look like it came that way from the factory are the shock-tower braces that tie the Fatman system to the cowl for additional support. The bottom line is that the visual execution of Red's Mustang is spot-on, and forsakes anything that will look outdated in a few years.
To finish the drivetrain, Red reworked a 9-inch. He stuffed a third-member with a Ford limited-slip and a set of 3.50 gears for some serious highway speed. For suspension in the rear, he mounted a pair of QA1 coilovers to a Ridetech AirBAR. We're pretty sure that neither QA1 nor Ridetech had that combination in mind, but it works for Red. The combination provides a strong mounting location for the coilovers with appropriate suspension travel and shock angle. With coilovers at all four corners, Red said he can tune the suspension so you can drive the car and drink a cup of coffee without a lid, and then dial it up to lay down some serious lap times on a road course.
When it came to the exterior, the windshield frame is about all that's left of the donor car that Red started with. Repop parts, along with a whole lot of sheetmetal replacement and fabrication, recreate the classic lines of a '68 Shelby. Only subtle differences set it apart from the others. At the rear, Red made sequential turn signals function in the vintage tail lamps. The snake on the gas cap is vintage, while the fender emblems are from a late-model. Instead of a tubular rollbar, he grafted in a late-model winged bar that better fits with the style of the car. The biggest difference from the side is the wheels. American Racing Shelby 17-inch wheels front and rear match the style of the car so perfectly that original Shelby GT500 wheels just look wrong in comparison. The front of the car relies heavily on reproduction components, but hidden among them are modern touches like the late-model GT500 hoodpin plates.
Red relocated the ignition...
Red relocated the ignition key switch to the cigarette lighter hole inside the ashtray and installed a late-model push-button start where the key was supposed to reside.
The interior posed an additional challenge. Red wanted some modern conveniences in addition to classic styling, and everything needed to be functional. The style and form of the original dashboard was retained, and the factory gauges were replaced with new meters from Classic Instruments. The white faces provide a modern performance look while the internals deliver the precision that's required with a blown motor underhood. A tilt column was added and topped with a wood-rimmed, three-spoke steering wheel to maintain the classic styling. Even though there is a thoroughly modern transmission under the carpet, the shifter retains the style of the original four-speed's shifter, complete with the reverse-lockout mechanism.