Story: Evan “Evo” Yates
Photography: William Stern
When a customer arrives with a ’67 Mustang Fastback, regardless of how deep his pockets are, the hope is that he aspires to do something besides another Eleanor re-creation. Not that the Eleanor clones aren’t appealing, but ever since 2000, anybody with some Blue Oval pride and a heap of cash has chosen the charcoal-and-black path, with an overwhelming number of companies dedicated to producing these clones. Bowtie South, however, is not one of these establishments.
“Originally, he wanted the typical gray with black stripes like Eleanor, and I was just so over that scheme,” recalls Bowtie South owner Freddy Pena. “And then he wanted to do yellow, but I thought that’d be a little too loud, so I convinced him to do the white. I’ve always wanted to do a white old-school, and he gave me the go-ahead with that.”
And the customer is not just your average Joe, either: He’s Ernest Wilford of the Jacksonville Jaguars, so the stakes were high. Also upping the ante was the fact that it was Bowtie South’s first attempt at a classic Ford. Admittedly, in switching from the Bowtie to the Oval, there was a bit of a learning curve. “It was definitely our guinea pig,” says Freddy. “But in the end we learned a bunch of stuff from this car, and now they’re pretty easy for us.”
Another upside to building a classic Mustang is that there were millions produced, so finding parts is relatively simple compared with other old-schools. “You’d have the normal stuff that would be on back order or something, but there are 30,000 places that sell parts for these cars. If one place didn’t have it, we’d just call somebody else,” says Freddy.
The objective for the build was pro-touring spec with a street influence. The frosty fastback had a decent power train upon arrival, but it handled like an LTD station wagon. “The car had good power when we got it,” says Freddy, “but it rode like shit; it couldn’t steer, the suspension was super rough, and the car would sway all over the place.” The Bowtie South boys revamped the entire suspension with a four-link system in the rear and a rack in pinion front with tubular control arms, among other necessary handling goodies. They also installed a Currie rear end, and behind the staggered Forgiatos are upgraded Wilwood rotors and calipers. “Mustangs don’t have frames, but what we did is equivalent to a frame-off restoration,” explains Freddy. “We completely redid everything under the car, the interior, wiring, you name it.”
After almost a year, the project is complete, and Freddy has a new appreciation for the ’Stang. “Every car you finish is like your favorite car, so this is my favorite right now,” he says. “We’re not into the performance side as much, so this was totally different than anything we’ve ever driven before—not like a Donk, that’s for sure. It was a fun build.”
Spec The Technique:
Performance: 351 small block installed and tuned by Bowtie South; Lemons ceramic-coated headers; Mattson’s Inc. Custom aluminum radiator; MagnaFlow Performance Dual Rear Exhaust Kit; March Pulley Kit powder-coated black
Interior: Custom black leather by Edelsio Espin from Edelsio’s Upholstery in Miami
Exterior: Eleanor Body Kit; PPG white Base Coat with black rally stripes and red pinstripe by EZ Paint and Body in Miami
Ice: Fabrication by Maddog in Miami; Kenwood KDC-X794 head unit; two Arc Audio 6.5 mids, two 10-inch subwoofers, one 300×4 and one 1000×1 amp; four Stinger batteries
Wheels/Tires: Forgiato Itos, 19-inch front, 20-inch rear; Pirelli tires, 235/35/19 front, 275/30/20 rear