One could say that this Mustang came about through the combination of good business sense and a keen eye for emerging markets and trends, and it would all be true. Of course, it would also only be a half-truth, as there’s so much more going on with this deceptively vintage-looking ’69. After all, you don’t have to build an award winner just to showcase a few parts.
About two years back, Anvil Auto’s Matt Lazich decided it was time to expand his company’s catalog of carbon-fiber parts for vintage GM muscle into other brand camps. But what to do next? Tooling up for high-end carbon components is an expensive endeavor that’s a bit of a gamble by definition, especially in a slow economy. The answer seems so obvious now, but at the time Matt was torn.
You see, that’s because Matt was trying to balance good business sense to create products that would sell strongly, and build a car he wanted as well. There’s no better way to promote new products than build an eye-catching car to show off how bitchin your products are, but there has to be a buying market. His first inclination was toward Mopars, perhaps even a Charger. Who doesn’t like those, right?
Not quite sold on the idea, Matt touched base with Steve Strope at Pure Vision Design to discuss his ideas and goals. Strope had a mint Charger sitting in the shop ready for an assignment, so Matt made the trip to Simi Valley, California, to see it in person.
The blood-red interior by...
The blood-red interior by Eric Thorsen balances stripped-down purpose with style. The steering wheel is from MOMO, the pedals are Wilwood billet, and the gauges are from Redline Gauge Works. YearOne provided all the restoration parts.
The Charger was everything Strope made it out to be—a real score of a car. But another potential project sitting off to the side of the shop caught Matt’s eye: a ’66 Mustang fastback that Strope had been prepping to be a lightweight track car for another customer. That was it; Matt saw where he needed to go. There was a Mustang in his future, just not that generation.
The early ’64-66 Mustangs are perennially popular, but their style just didn’t speak to Matt as either the showcase for his company or his personal play toy. The glut of ’67-68 cars on the scene in the past few years made Matt leery that one of those would just be clumped in with the others and quickly forgotten. But the ’69-70 style cars, those seemed ripe to explode. Strope completely agreed that those Mustangs were bound to be the next big thing. Little did they know at the time just how big.
With the target identified, the search was on to find the right car, preferably a ’69. Nevertheless, every car they ran across just wasn’t right or was too expensive. They even traveled to Nevada to see a couple possible projects. No luck there either. Ironically, after looking all over the Southwest Matt happened to locate a car practically in Pure Vision’s backyard in Simi Valley. Strope drove over and took a look at it. Despite a large dent on the driver’s quarter, the ’69 was superclean and rust free. It even ran and drove well.
Back at Pure Vision, Matt and Strope laid out their ideas; Strope wanted to pull together several divergent race-inspired cues from vintage Ford NASCAR, Indy, Trans-Am, and Le Mans racers, with a sprinkling of high-end Euro exotics—all while keeping everything subdued. Strope isn’t known for his mild aspirations. Matt had a few reachers of his own too; he wanted to add a mild flare to the carbon-fiber front fenders for better wheel clearance then flare the quarters to match, and swap the ’69’s tailpanel to the ’67-68 tail style. Good ideas all around, but it could go way wrong if executed improperly, so Matt began experimenting with scale models to better visualize the proposed mods and how to build the Mustang’s new panels.