Balance and symmetry are an underlying theme with this car and while nothing is overdone, nothing has gone unnoticed. Underhood, the entire engine compartment, inner fenders, and firewall have been smoothed and all unnecessary holes, gaps, and spaces were eliminated. This includes the fabrication of custom towers and brackets for the Ridetech suspension system. The rear has also been tubbed to accommodate the extra rubber.
The 351 Windsor complements the car well, keeping with the overall performance tone of the car being understated, but capable. The block has been bored .030 and features a 9.503-inch deck, while the rotating assembly has been completely upgraded with forged rods and 9.65:1 flat-top pistons from TRW. Engine management for the fuel-injected powerplant comes courtesy of FAST and the Hogan intake manifold is mated to a D&D custom-fabricated intake and air filter system. Spent fumes are routed through D&D custom-fabricated stainless steel headers, before traveling down 2.5-inch pipes and into dual Stainless Specialties mufflers.
One of the more noticeable features inside the Fastback is the custom stereo tunnel that runs from the back of the passenger compartment, into the center console. "Everybody always asks about that, especially stereo guys," Dale says. "It's really nothing more than a place to mount the front speakers, which ties the console into an armrest." Among the stereo, GPS, and Vintage Air, the Mustang can draw significant amperage. D&D covered their bases by installing a pair of Optima YellowTops in the trunk and isolating one for the stereo system to make sure plenty of power is always on tap.
The Flaming River steering wheel fronts a dashboard that was totally fabricated by D&D and
The goal of this build was clearly to make a high-end, well-rounded vehicle. While looking good and sounding good are important elements in any successful build, any corners cut in the performance department will compromise the entire outcome. D&D left nothing to chance in the suspension and handling, assembling the very best components from Ridetech's catalog for corner carving, including upper and lower StrongArm tubular control arms and ShockWave components in the front, and Ridetech's proprietary AirBar four-link suspension in the rear. Ridetech's Street Challenge kit allowed Dale and the D&D crew to lower the Mustang approximately 4 inches to the stance they wanted, while preserving all functionality in high-performance applications.
Ride height and other suspension adjustments can be made at the touch of a button, but getting modern electronics to function properly in a classic car can prove to be a challenge in itself. D&D not only made it all happen, from the suspension controls to the engine management and power windows, but they made it look like it's all supposed to be there.
Nothing breaks the heart of a true hot rodder more than a hot muscle car with a beautiful paintjob, killer stance, and thumping engine, only to find out the owner decided not to upgrade their brakes. No disappointments were on the D&D Mustang, as we (and the Street Machine of the Year judges) were quick to spot 13-inch slotted rotors and four-piston Baer brakes on all four corners.
The Columbus show was only the second outing for the Mustang since being completed, and Dale had every intention of putting the car through its paces on the autocross course. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans, and the event was rained out. We do expect to see it perform in the autocross at the Goodguys show in Fort Worth, and after that, it's off to Scottsdale where it will meet its new owner. If Willie wants his old car back, he'd better have the money (honey), because D&D sure put in the time.