The autocross epiphany led Richard to make some modest power improvements to the 302 (cam, valvesprings, carb mods, intake manifold), but the new emphasis was on handling and braking. With help from his friends Tom Kamman, Mark Lander, and Scott Siska, Richard made some modest yet effective improvements with a set of Global West subframe connectors, KYB shocks, lower rear leaf springs, cut front coil springs, a Shelby UCA drop mod for a better camber curve, Power Stop front rotors, bigger sway bars, and EBC Yellow brake pads. A B&M shift improver kit also found its way inside the stock C4 automatic trans. (“This thing handles great, it corners flat, and feels good. The subframe connectors made a huge difference. I could tell the moment we drove it off the lift.”)

You’d think that spending a ton would be a prerequisite for getting in a car mag, but that is clearly not the case with this ’69 Mustang. In fact, after buying the car, Richard’s spend rate works out to $138 per month. This pony’s path to notoriety is purely based on enthusiasm, creativity, solid DIY skills, an eye for style, and the boldness to run it hard. Very few among us in the hot rodding hobby can honestly say we’ve achieved as much or had as much fun with so little outlay as Richard with his first car. Hey, if he did it, so can you. As Richard would say, “You are cleared for takeoff.”

Richard Trujillo raises the junkyard crawl to a new level of performance art with the creation of his ’69 Mustang coupe.

Salvage Yard Scores!

• Cold air induction made from two air cleaners

• Dual electric fan unit from SVT Ford Contour

• Horns from ’94 Mustang

• Valve covers from ’89 Lincoln 5.0

• Electric junction block from mid-’80s GMC truck

• Alternator from ’84 Chevy Camaro

• Power rearview mirrors from ’87 Mazda RX-7

• Rear seat delete fabricated from ’94 Cadillac Sedan De Ville roof

• Rear axle and rear brakes from ’97 Ford Explorer

• Driveshaft from ’89 Thunderbird

• Rear bumper filler section from ’84 Dodge van

• Sound deadener from various Lincolns and Cadillacs

• Grant steering wheel from old Chevy truck

• Sunvisors from ’71 Ranchero

This pony’s path to notoriety is purely based on enthusiasm, creativity, solid DIY skills, an eye for style, and the boldness to ...

By The Numbers

’69 Mustang Coupe

Richard Trujillo, 49 • Oceanside, CA


Type: 302ci Ford Windsor

Block: ’69 vintage small-block Ford

Bore x stroke: 4.00 x 3.00

Rotating assembly: stock, ’69 vintage, cast-iron crank, cast-aluminum pistons

Compression ratio: 9.5:1

Cylinder heads: stock, ’69 vintage

Camshaft: COMP Cams hydraulic, .456-inch lift, 218 degrees duration

Valvetrain: stock 302, 1.875-/1.60-inch valves, PRW roller-tip rocker arms, Trick Flow Specialties valvesprings, Lincoln Mark VII valve covers

Induction: Edelbrock Performer intake

Carburetor: Holley 600 cfm (4160 converted to 4150)

Fuel system: stock, mechanical fuel pump

Oiling: stock

Exhaust: Patriot 1⅝-inch headers, 2.5-inch dual exhaust, Flowmaster Series 40 mufflers

Ignition: stock, PerTronix coil, ACCEL wires

Cooling: stock, Ford SVT Contour fans and relays

Output: approx. 210 hp at the rear wheels

Engine built by: owner


Transmission: Ford C4 automatic three-speed, 2,600-stall converter, B&M shift kit, Moroso adjustable vacuum modulator

Driveshaft: ’89 Ford Thunderbird

Rearend: ’97 Ford Explorer 8.8-inch, 3.73 gears


Frame: stock Ford unibody, Global West subframe connectors

Front suspension: stock, Shelby UCA “drop” mod, stock coil springs cut (⅔ coil), Global West LCA eccentric eliminators, 1⅛-inch diameter sway bar, KYB Gas-A-Just shocks

Rear suspension: stock, 1-inch lower reverse-eye leaf springs, KYB Gas-A-Just shocks, ⅞-inch diameter sway bar

Brakes: stock front disc brakes with Power Stop rotors and EBC Yellow pads, ’97 Explorer rear disc brakes with EBC Yellow pads

Wheels & Tires

Wheels: 17x8 Coys C-67

Tires: Federal; 225/50R17 (front), 255/50R17 (rear)

…there is a lot of cool stuff in this car, and practically none of it came off a UPS truck…