As the Mustang languished in his garage, Colby was busy boosting several Powerstroke diesel rigs into oblivion. Next came an ’02 Lightning pickup, but despite its blown and squeezed goodness, the Mustang beckoned for attention. Consequently, Colby put the truck phase behind him in 2006 by selling the Lightning, and shifted his focus to the Mustang once again. His goal was to resurrect his car in the g-Machine tradition with driveability as a top priority. Likewise, he was more interested in passing away the miles in comfort rather than wiping it down incessantly. “I wanted to build a car that I could hop in, turn the key, and drive anywhere in comfort. The last thing I wanted was a car I had to work on or clean all the time,” he says.
Like the rest of the car,...
Like the rest of the car, black, gray, and silver hues create an understated feel under the hood. With a 4150-style throttle body, it takes a keen eye to spot the FAST EFI system in the first place. Colby wanted to keep the original hood, so he adapted a blow-through carb hat to fit the throttle body in lieu of a traditional air cleaner.
There are certainly different degrees of how much each Pro Touring build swings the pendulum toward modern trends and technology, and Colby didn’t want to go over the top. As such, he opted for Windsor power instead of the more fashionable mod motor option. The venerable 351W architecture lends itself to lots of easy cubic inches, so Colby started out with a production block, bored it 0.030 over, then dropped in a 4.170-inch steel crankshaft. Matched with 6.200-inch connecting rods and forged 10.0:1 pistons, the result is a cool 425 cubes. The air supply comes from ported 225cc Trick Flow aluminum cylinder heads, and an Edelbrock Victor single-plane intake manifold. A Crower 234/246-at-.050 hydraulic roller camshaft actuates the valves, and exhaust exits through custom 1.75-inch headers and dual Pypes 2.5-inch mufflers.
The simple-yet-effective combo is good for 409 hp and 439 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. Backing up the stout 425 mill is a Tremec TKO five-speed manual trans. “I have fond memories of how this car used to sound with a cammed-up 302, and I thought that going with a mod motor would take away from that. Small-block Windsor motors have a unique sound to them that the newer motors don’t have,” Colby says. “I also liked the idea that 351Ws were available from the factory in these cars. Even though I wanted an old-school motor for the sake of nostalgia and sound, I decided to go with a FAST XFI fuel-injection system for driveability and reliability. The sound and feel of an old-school motor and the reliability of EFI is the best of both worlds.”
The foundation of any Pro Touring build is the chassis, and unlike in the engine bay, none of the wobbly factory bits were spared in the name of nostalgia. Up front, the stock underpinnings were replaced with a Heidts crossmember assembly, control arms, and spindles. Out back is a Chassisworks four-link that swings a fabricated 9-inch rearend. Providing an excellent balance of handling and ride quality are RideTech air springs and shocks at each corner. The stick comes from BFGoodrich KDWs wrapped around 18-inch Billet Specialties Patriot wheels, and four-piston Wilwood calipers bite down on 12-inch rotors at each corner. To say that the modern hardware has paid dividends would be a massive understatement. “Everything I’ve done to this car has been to improve driveability. Between the fuel-injected motor and the suspension upgrades, the difference in handling and streetability compared to the stock setup is night and day,” Colby says. “The car has tons of power, drives much more smoothly, and I can go anywhere in it. There’s nothing like cruising in it with the exhaust rumbling, A/C blowing, and radio jamming.”