Childress 1971 Pro-Touring Mustang Fastback

Of all the classic Mustangs that still exist from the car’s first decade, perhaps the 1971-72 models receive the least amount of love. The last of the “big” Mustangs these models were referred to names such as Grande. While the Mach 1 package was continued in 1971, it was a mere shadow of its former self.

With that said, the ’70-’73 Mustangs have always fascinated us. We have often thought this model was under appreciated with untapped potential as a project car. So, when Gateway Classic Mustang contacted us about a 1971 Mustang that would be on display in its booth at the SEMA Show, we were excited to check the car out.

Gateway Classic Mustang specializes in Mustang restoration and restoration parts. This particular car belongs to a family member of Gateway’s owners, Dave Childress. Childress said during our interview “I’ve always wanted a ’71 Mustang, and I was looking for a project when this one turned up just around the corner from my house.”

Childress says the car was in rough condition when he acquired it. “We decided to start completely over with the car, having it chemically dipped to strip it down to bare metal.” After spotting Dynacorn producing parts for this particular body style Mustang at SEMA a few years ago, Childress and the Gateway Classic crew took the pieces home when the show ended. “Last year, Dynacorn had the doors available at the SEMA Show and we brought back a pair of those. The hood, cowl, fenders, doors, and quarter panels are all Dynacorn parts,” Childress said.

The body remains mostly stock-finished in Axalta paint in Ford’s Blue Flame Metallic Hue with JRD International smoked glass used to darken the exterior. The car was mini-tubbed to allow more modern and wider rubber to fit in the rear, and Curtis Speed wheels are wrapped in 18-inch rubber.

Under the hood is a Ford 5.0-liter Coyote V8 which sends its power through a ACE racing clutch and a Tremec T-56 Magnum transmission. Torque and horsepower make way to the rear wheels via a QA1 carbon fiber driveshaft and 9-inch rearend. A Magnaflow exhaust provides the sounds of horsepower out the tailpipes, and Gateway Performance suspension helps with the handling and brakes from Baer take care of stopping. The entire car was rewired using an American Autowire harness. Inside there are components from Kicker Audio, Recaro seats, and gauges from Classic Instruments.

The build was finished the Tuesday before SEMA, and then loaded up for its trek from the Midwest to Sin City for the SEMA show. The only miles on the odometer so far are from testing done right before the show in Las Vegas.

“The car was built to be a restomod, to have all the comfort and power of a modern car, but look like an older car,” says Childress. Gateway Classic Mustang provides restoration service, parts sales, and technical support to its customers. Everything on this ’71 is available through Gateway Classic Mustang.

We always appreciate unique takes on the Mustang, especially on those vehicles that are less appreciated, or less popular within the Mustang world.

Article by: Don Creason from StangTV.com
November 4th, 2015

Schmidt 1967 GT Fastback Mustang

Lonny Childress pulled over, set the parking brake, and announced, “Now you drive.”

I was visiting Gateway Mustang to check out their new vintage Mustang suspension system (see “Gateway to Modern Handling” in the August 2010 issue) and got more than I bargained for when Lonny and his brother, Jason, pointed out Ed Schmidt’s ’67 GT fastback on a corner lift. Gateway had recently completed the restoration of Ed’s original-owner Mustang, complete with the installation of Gateway’s new suspension, so the car offered a perfect opportunity for a test on the streets around the Gateway shop.

Interestingly, Ed’s fastback doesn’t look like the high-profile restomods that have come out of Gateway in recent years, cars like Sammy Hagar’s “Red Rocker” and an updated version of the ’68 Bullitt Mustang for Steve McQueen’s son, Chad. No, the black GT with parchment interior appears totally stock, which is just the way Ed wanted it-both in 1967 and for the Gateway restoration.

“It was my first new car after graduating from college in 1967,” Ed told us, noting that he purchased the fastback from Diehl Montgomery Ford in Rolla, Missouri. “I worked a couple of months as an engineer and saved enough money to buy the Mustang before going to into the service. My dad kept it for me while I was in Vietnam.”

After completing his military duties, Ed returned home to his Mustang, driving it until 1978 when, instead of selling it, he put the fastback in storage. Over the past few years, Ed admits “getting old and sentimental” about his Mustang. That’s when he ran into Dale Childress, co-owner of Gateway and father to Lonny and Jason, at a restaurant.

“We started talking,” Ed recalls. “He learned that I owned a ’67 GT fastback in need of work and I learned that Dale was involved in a Mustang restoration business. The car didn’t track well on the highway, so they came to pick it up.”

Initially, Ed wanted to improve his Mustang’s handling and drivability with Gateway’s front suspension and rack-and-pinion. But, as these things typically go, one thing led to another, as Ed explains, “I decided to add air conditioning because I want to drive it, and I always wanted a Hi-Po instead of the original 289 two-barrel, so before I knew it I was involved in a full restoration with a nod toward modern modifications to make the car more fun to drive.”

With the body ravaged by over four decades worth of midwestern winters and subsequent storage, the Gateway gang completely disassembled the fastback in preparation for extensive sheetmetal replacement and fresh Raven Black paint. From there, the Mustang was built with one eye on original appearance and the other on modern improvements. “I wanted it to drive like a modern car but look like an original,” Ed says.

To meet that goal, Gateway installed their Gateway Performance Suspension coilover front suspension with rack-and-pinion steering and 11-inch disc brakes. The rear suspension remains factory with leaf springs and drum brakes, although Gateway upgraded the rear end to a 9-inch from The Nine-Inch Factory. Tires are modern BFGoodrich T/A radials mounted on reproduction ’67 Styled Steel wheels instead of the original steel wheels with hub caps.

For the rebuild of the 289, Rolla Competition Engines in Rolla, Missouri started with the original block and added EdelbrockSchmidt 67 Fastback 004 aluminum heads and intake, Holley 600-cfm carb, and a Comp Cams’ hydraulic camshaft. Exhaust manifolds for the 289 High Performance maintain the factory appearance but flow better than the stock manifolds. To get the Hi-Po look that Ed always wanted, the small-block is dressed out with chrome valve covers and open-element air cleaner. A Sanden A/C compressor provides the efficiency of modern refrigerant for the Classic Auto Air Perfect Fit air-conditioning.

The engine dyno’ed at over 300 horsepower, which reaches the 3.50 gears through a Tremec TKO five-speed.

Inside, the restored Parchment interior appears original until you spot the ididit tilt steering column, TMI Sport Seat kit (over the original bucket frames), Custom Auto Sound stereo with JVC speakers in the kick panels, a Retrogage mini-tachometer, and three-point seat belts. A vintage-style shifter handle belies the five-speed in the tunnel. Dynamat sound deadener reduces the road rumble.

On my short drive with Lonny Childress, I discovered that Ed’s fastback is delightful on the street. The Gateway rack-and-pinion steering is quick and precise, and the ride beats any vintage Mustang with original-style A-arms. Although I refrained from throwing someone else’s Mustang into hard cornering situations, I was able to determine that Ed’s GT is fully capable of taking on more than average street driving. In fact, Ed drove his Mustang on the track at the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit during the Mid America Ford and Team Shelby Nationals, where his instructor was surprised by the handling of an “old” Mustang.

After over 40 years of ownership, Ed is thrilled with his renewed relationship with his renewed Mustang. “I guess now I can say it’s a ‘clean one-owner’ car,” Ed laughs. “I never expected to keep it 10 years, much less 40!”

Engine
-289, built by Rolla Competition Engines on original block
-Edelbrock Performance RPM aluminum heads Edelbrock Torker aluminum intake with Holley 600-cfm four-barrel
-Comp Cams’ hydraulic cam
-Hi-Po exhaust manifolds with Magnaflow mufflers
-PerTronix Ignitor electronic ignition

Drivetrain
-Tremec TKO five-speed
-Modern Driveline hydraulic throw- out bearing system
-Nine-Inch Factory 9-inch rearend with 3.50 Tru-Track differential

Suspension/Brakes
-Front: Gateway Performance Suspension Street Stock struts with 11 inch disc brakes
-Rear: Leaf springs with 3/4-inch rear sway bar and stock drum brakes

Steering: Gateway Performance Suspension rack-and-pinion

Wheels: Styled Steel-15×7 front, 15×8 rear

Tires: BFGoodrich Radial T/A – 225/60/15 front, 245/60/15 rear

Interior
-Stock seat frames with TMI Sport Seat kit
-Custom Auto Sound USA-630 stereo and dash speaker JVC 6-1/2-inch speakers in custom kick panel
-Ididit tilt steering column
-Retrogage mini-tach in factory clock location
-Dynamat sound and heat protection
-Classic Auto Air Perfect Fit air-conditioning with Sanden compressor
-Three-point seat belts
-American Auto Wire Classic wiring system

Exterior
-Raven Black Dupont basecoat/ clearcoat paint with white G stripes
-Xenon Hi-Po headlights

Article by: Donald Farr, Formerly Mustang Monthly

McCombs 1966 Pro-Touring Coupe

In show business, some seek the spotlight while others have celebrity thrust upon them. This is a story about the latter. In fact, it starts off a lot like those clichéd tales of the small-town girl working as a waitress when a big Hollywood producer whisks her off to be a star. In this case, it’s a 1966 Mustang coupe and instead of Tinsel Town, the setting is Bourbon, Missouri—about an hour southwest of St. Louis. It all started about five years ago.

It was there and then that one of the enthusiast employees at the recently minted Gateway Mustang (gatewaymustang.com) was driving the clean, yet plain ‘Stang. It was a six-cylinder/three-speed car serving daily driving duty when shop founders Lonny and Jason Childress—who cut their performance teeth in the world of monster trucks, including Lonny’s stint behind the wheel of Bigfoot—needed a car to demonstrate their modern suspension technology. They took the car to the Mid-America Mustang Meet, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and let J. Bittle himself run the Hallett 1.8-mile, 10-turn road course with the car in stock condition and after a complete suspension, steering, and brakes transformation—but not before the car received a quick 289-cubic-inch heart transplant and four-speed upgrade.

“The idea was to demonstrate the relative ease of which our front strut conversion, three-link rear suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, and brake conversion kits could be swapped over,” says Lonny Childress. “J. Bittle drove the unmodified car around the track a few times and then we swapped everything over in a few hours in front of anyone who wanted to watch. The next day—after it had rained hard and the temperature dropped about 15 degrees— J. Bittle drove it again and whacked a full 10 seconds off of the lap time with the stock suspension. It was a perfect demonstration of effectiveness of our then-new products.”

The Gateway crew returned to Missouri encouraged, and with a bona fide buzz building about its bolt-on suspension components. That’s when folks from Dearborn called. They were looking for some buzz themselves about the viability of swapping modular engines into vintage Mustangs, so they sent over an ’04 Mustang Cobra engine and essentially told the guys to have at it.

Without a doubt, they absolutely, totally intended to have at it, but customer projects took precedence and the swap project simmered on the back burner. That’s when Ross McCombs entered the picture. The man behind QuickTime bellhousings offered to take the Mustang and mod motor back to his Iowa shop, rub some butter on the shock towers, and slide the wide engine into place. A Tremec TKO five-speed was also on the docket, and later upgraded to the company’s stronger Magnum T-56 six-speed.

“I told them I’d do it, but I wanted the car when it was all done—and they could still use it for testing new products,” says McCombs. “It worked out well that way, because we all got what we needed from the car.”

McCombs, who admits to being a mechanical guy, but not really strong on the wiring end of things, indeed installed the engine and sent it back to Gateway to make it run.

“At the time, nobody had stand-alone harnesses for these swaps and I knew I wouldn’t be any good at trying it, but Lonny and Jason would,” he says. “I’m more like the rough-in carpenter and they’re the finish guys. Works out well that way.”

With its modern powertrain in place, the Terminator-powered ’66 continued to serve as a rolling testbed and demonstrator for Gateway’s suspension products and other innovations, such as notched shock-tower inserts that make the swap easier and ultimately safer than using the common Mustang II conversion.

“Unless you’re running a tube chassis or something like that, doing the Mustang II suspension conversion isn’t a great idea,” says Childress. “The structure of these cars isn’t designed for it, especially when you remove the tower braces that tie into the firewall. It compromises safety. Our notch kit and front strut conversion makes room for the mod motors—even the big 5.4-liter—without sacrificing structural integrity.”

So, with a suitably robust structure and a supercharged modular engine under the hood—wearing a Kenne Bell screw-type compressor in place of the original Eaton blower—McCombs took the car to driving events: track days, Goodguys events, Optima Challenge-type stuff and the other events that make Pro Touring-style cars much more fun than simply staring at them while they hold down the pavement at a car show. The higher-output supercharger, along with some internal engine reinforcements, helped the engine put out about 800 horsepower in a car that weighed only about 3,200 pounds. It made for a helluva power-to-weight ratio.

“It was a handful, to say the least,” says McCombs, who has countless dirt-track wins and a couple of championships under his belt. “The power came on so hard and fast that it was hard to modulate.” Turns out the Kenne Bell supercharger was running a smaller pulley than it should have, spiking the boost much higher than necessary for the track, along with helping to spike the engine.

“We popped a couple of head gaskets before figuring out the boost was around 20 pounds or more,” says McCombs. “It was way too much and we weren’t tuned for it. It was an expensive lesson to learn, but a fun one when you were along for the ride.”

The current combination is the same, basic ’03-’04 Cobra engine with beefed-up rotating parts, stock camshafts and valvetrain, and a Kenne Bell blower, but with a more reasonable 8 psi of boost, for an output of around 550 horsepower. It’s still a potent combination.

“The car still makes all kinds of power and it’s a blast,” says McCombs. “It’s better-suited to the track, because the power is easier to apply.”

Note that McCombs said “easier,” not “easy.”

“When the boost hits, it hits hard,” he says. “It’s probably not ideal for road racing or autocross-type racing, but it’s the combination we’ve got and with the Gateway suspension, the car bites hard and has been very competitive.”

Indeed, the Mustang has been competitive enough to draw the interest of the producers of the new hit SPEED show “R U Faster Than a Redneck?” It pits modified American muscle against highfalutin’ imports and with Jason Childress behind the wheel, the Mustang has already outgunned a Lamborghini. It’s also taken a few runner-up places, which McCombs aims to change.

“We hadn’t run the car for a few months when the call came about the show,” says McCombs. “We only had about a week to get it ready. All things considered, we’ve done well, but I tell you, running Second time and again gets annoying.”

And in true Hollywood fashion, the Mustang’s knockout good looks reinforced its performance to land the part. The simple yet effective aesthetics—rooted in the black hood, R-type lower apron that shows off the enormous heat exchanger for the supercharger system and big, 18-inch Torq-Thrust–style wheels—give it a devastatingly serious appearance. It’s clean and contemporary looking, with an unmistakable all-business stance.

McCombs and the Childress brothers are working to refine the Mustang’s balance and trim a few pounds from the admittedly nose-heavy combination. Removing the power-assisted steering rack will help shed weight and they’ve already pushed the engine back a few inches in the chassis to improve the front-to-rear balance. Then again, the car is holding its own against modern sports cars and Pro Touring cars built expressly for competition.

“We’ve been very competitive in a car that was never envisioned in the first place to be a race car,” says McCombs. “It’s like a slot car and goes wherever you point it, as long as you can modulate the power.”

It’s also eminently streetable—a claim some of the more purpose-built Pro Tourers can’t make. McCombs often drives to track events, competes and drives home again. And with the high power-to-weight ratio and the low cruising rpm delivered by the Tremec Magnum six-speed, this all-around performer has knocked down about 28 mpg on the highway.

“It’s not a trailer queen. You can drive it every day. It’s comfortable, streetable and, in fact, it’s the most efficient vehicle I own right now,” he says. “We’ve done the best on the track with what we have and it’s been fun to be on the leading edge of a trend with these cars.”

It’s been a long journey from a six-cylinder secretary’s car to a race-winning television star, but McCombs and the crew from Gateway have nurtured the career of this pioneering pro-tourer and are working hard to ensure it stays vibrant for the long haul, in the cut-throat world where racing meets entertainment.

To put it another way, think of this Mustang as the Meg Ryan of modified Mustangs, not a crash-and-burn Lindsay Lohan—that is, if they can keep it out of the late-night clubs and off the nitrous.

Engine
-’03 Ford 4.6-liter (281 cid) DOHC V-8
-3.55-inch bore
-3.54-inch stroke
-Kellogg forged crankshaft
-Ford forged H-beam connected rods
-Mahle forged aluminum pistons
-Ford ’03 Cobra piston rings
-8.5:1 compression ratio
-Ford ’03 Cobra aluminum cylinder heads, stock ports and stock valves
-Ford ’03 Cobra camshafts, 0.390/0.392 lift (intake/exhaust); 186/194-deg. duration (intake/exhaust)
-Ford ’03 Cobra valvetrain, stock
-Kenne Bell 2.1-liter twin-screw supercharger pushing 8 pounds of boost
-Kenne Bell/Accufab monoblade 90mm throttle body
-60-lb/hr fuel injectors with Ford Cobra fuel pump
-Horsepower: 550 at 6,500 rpm
-Torque: 520 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm

Transmission
-Tremec Magnum T-56 six-speed manual
-Power Force twin-disc clutch (Ace Manufacturing, Sullivan, MO)

Rearend
-G Force NASCAR “Qualifying” rear axle housing
-3.55 ring-and-pinion ratio
-Ford Traction-Lok differential
-28-spline axles

Exhaust
-BBK long-tube headers, 15⁄8-inch primary tubes with 21⁄2-inch collectors
-21⁄2-inch custom exhaust system
-MagnaFlow mufflers

Suspension
-Front: Gateway Performance Suspension Street Performer strut conversion kit; height-adjustable, with JRI struts, Eibach springs and custom spindles
-Rear: Gateway Performance Suspension three-link (replaced stock leaf springs); long torque arm and two trailing arms, coilover shocks (JRI shocks)

Steering
-Gateway Performance Suspension power-assisted rack-and-pinion conversion with KRC steering pump
-Stock steering column

Brakes
-Front: Baer disc, 13-inch rotors with six-piston calipers
-Rear: Baer disc, 13-inch rotors with four-piston calipers

Wheels
-Front: Vintage Wheel Works V45, 18×9-inch
-Rear: Vintage Wheel Works V45, 18×12-inch

Tires
-Front: BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW, P275/30ZR18
-Rear: BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW, P335/30ZR18

Interior
-Original-style with Pro Car leather-trimmed front seats; JME gauge panel with Auto Meter instruments; no console; black carpet and trim over body-color lower dashboard and door pillars; trunk is mini-tubbed, with fuel cell and relocated battery

Exterior
-Mostly stock with unknown lower exterior color (it was purchased that way), Gateway Mustang-applied upper semi-gloss black accent, fiberglass lower R-style valance, GT-style hood, stock trim and lighting

Barry Kluczyk
August 29, 2013
Photos By: Jerry Heasley

Gateway Mustang 1968 Coupe Track Car

The ’68 coupe you see on these pages is a project that Gateway Mustang has been dreaming of building for years, yet took a scant four months to become reality. The principals of Gateway Mustang, Jason and Lonnie Childress, have built numerous high-profile Mustangs over the years, including a “new” ’68 Mustang for Sammy Hagar (see “The New Red Rocker,” Nov. ’07 issue); a Bullitt replica Mustang fastback for Chad McQueen, Steve McQueen’s son; and more.

From helping out on episodes of Overhaulin’ to being profiled on Hot Rod TV, the Gateway Mustang crew has certainly earned a name for itself as a shop that turns out awesome street cars. While these cars have all seen spirited street driving and even the rare lap at a track day, Gateway Mustang really wanted to put its efforts into just the opposite-a Mustang that excelled at track duty, but could easily be driven on the street. This means track-prepped suspension, brakes, safety equipment, and more, but full lighting, DOT tires, and other street bits to ensure the car’s legal status and safety on the street. With the goal of debuting a new car at the annual Mid America Ford and Shelby Team Nationals last year the Gateway Mustang crew had but four months to screw together the race-prepped coupe.

Starting with a rough coupe shell that Gateway Mustang had on hand (from what the company tells us, it was most likely a parts car!) the crew sent it off to Redi-Kleen in Evansville, Indiana, for chemical stripping. What it got back could hardly be called a Mustang, but a call to Larry Brogdin at Dynacorn netted all of the repair panels the Gateway Mustang crew needed to put Humpty Dumpty back together, including quarters, door shells, fenders, a full floor, a hood, and a taillight panel. Gateway Mustang’s relationship with Dynacorn (it used a reproduction body shell to build McQueen’s Bullitt clone) meant it could rely on the quality metal it needed to rebuild the rough coupe. Due to the constrained build time Gateway Mustang called in a few favors and put friends Bill Bufka, Mike White, Mike Hatcher, and David Childress to work on installing the new Dynacorn panels. While the sparks were flying from the Miller MIG welders, a second crew of friends, Ross Combs, Mike Miller, Mark Vandermeiden, and Grant Rimback spent three days welding up the custom rollcage and tying it into the fresh body metal.

When the dust settled, the race-ready body was passed on to Nick Branson and Lonnie Childress for several hours of block sanding and body prep to ensure the Screaming Yellow DuPont Chromabase basecoat by Colormaster would look smooth as glass once the clear was laid on and wet-sanded. Hotrod Black was used on the hood and taillight panel for a Trans-Am heritage look, while “NASCAR” gray was applied to the interior and chassis. A light gray or white is often used as an interior or chassis color. The light color allows for fast visual inspection of any chassis fatigue/cracks before each track session or in the case of an off track excursion or accident. A dark interior or chassis may hide structural issues, causing more damage or an ill-handling car.

Of course, one of the reasons Gateway Mustang wanted to build an all-out track monster that could handle street use when called upon was to test its own line of suspension pieces.

Gateway  launched its suspension line with this coupe as its test vehicle and the Mid America track day as its proving grounds. Up front, the coupe was fitted with Gateway Performance Suspension’s Street Performer strut suspension, which utilizes Eibach double-adjustable strut cartridges, and a power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering setup utilizing a KRC pump. Out back, a three-link setup with QA1 double adjustable shocks surrounds a built 9-inch with 4.30 gears and 31-spline axles from the 9-inch Factory. Stopping power is provided by Baer brakes-14-inch slotted and drilled rotors up front, 13-inch slotted and drilled rotors out back, and all four corners clamped by six-piston monoblock calipers. Vintage Wheel Works 17-inch V45s wrapped in BFGoodrich R1 tires round out the handling duties.

The ’68 coupe you see on these pages is a project that Gateway Mustang has been dreaming of building for years, yet took a scant four months to become reality. The principals of Gateway Mustang, Jason and Lonnie Childress, have built numerous high-profile Mustangs over the years, including a “new” ’68 Mustang for Sammy Hagar (see “The New Red Rocker,” Nov. ’07 issue); a Bullitt replica Mustang fastback for Chad McQueen, Steve McQueen’s son; and more.

From helping out on episodes of Overhaulin’ to being profiled on Hot Rod TV, the Gateway Mustang crew has certainly earned a name for itself as a shop that turns out awesome street cars. While these cars have all seen spirited street driving and even the rare lap at a track day, Gateway Mustang really wanted to put its efforts into just the opposite-a Mustang that excelled at track duty, but could easily be driven on the street. This means track-prepped suspension, brakes, safety equipment, and more, but full lighting, DOT tires, and other street bits to ensure the car’s legal status and safety on the street. With the goal of debuting a new car at the annual Mid America Ford and Shelby Team Nationals last year the Gateway Mustang crew had but four months to screw together the race-prepped coupe.

Starting with a rough coupe shell that Gateway Mustang had on hand (from what the company tells us, it was most likely a parts car!) the crew sent it off to Redi-Kleen in Evansville, Indiana, for chemical stripping. What it got back could hardly be called a Mustang, but a call to Larry Brogdin at Dynacorn netted all of the repair panels the Gateway Mustang crew needed to put Humpty Dumpty back together, including quarters, door shells, fenders, a full floor, a hood, and a taillight panel. Gateway Mustang’s relationship with Dynacorn (it used a reproduction body shell to build McQueen’s Bullitt clone) meant it could rely on the quality metal it needed to rebuild the rough coupe. Due to the constrained build time Gateway Mustang called in a few favors and put friends Bill Bufka, Mike White, Mike Hatcher, and David Childress to work on installing the new Dynacorn panels. While the sparks were flying from the Miller MIG welders, a second crew of friends, Ross Combs, Mike Miller, Mark Vandermeiden, and Grant Rimback spent three days welding up the custom rollcage and tying it into the fresh body metal.

When the dust settled, the race-ready body was passed on to Nick Branson and Lonnie Childress for several hours of block sanding and body prep to ensure the Screaming Yellow DuPont Chromabase basecoat by Colormaster would look smooth as glass once the clear was laid on and wet-sanded. Hotrod Black was used on the hood and taillight panel for a Trans-Am heritage look, while “NASCAR” gray was applied to the interior and chassis. A light gray or white is often used as an interior or chassis color. The light color allows for fast visual inspection of any chassis fatigue/cracks before each track session or in the case of an off track excursion or accident. A dark interior or chassis may hide structural issues, causing more damage or an ill-handling car.

Of course, one of the reasons Gateway Mustang wanted to build an all-out track monster that could handle street use when called upon was to test its own line of suspension pieces. Gateway  launched its suspension line with this coupe as its test vehicle and the Mid America track day as its proving grounds. Up front, the coupe was fitted with Gateway Performance Suspension’s Street Performer strut suspension, which utilizes Eibach double-adjustable strut cartridges, and a power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering setup utilizing a KRC pump. Out back, a three-link setup with QA1 double adjustable shocks surrounds a built 9-inch with 4.30 gears and 31-spline axles from the 9-inch Factory. Stopping power is provided by Baer brakes-14-inch slotted and drilled rotors up front, 13-inch slotted and drilled rotors out back, and all four corners clamped by six-piston monoblock calipers. Vintage Wheel Works 17-inch V45s wrapped in BFGoodrich R1 tires round out the handling duties.

With chassis, handling, and braking duties checked off the build list it was time for Jason and Lonnie to tackle the drivetrain. Knowing their track-based coupe needed to haul the mail as well as look show-car ready, they called upon Roush Competition Engines to build Gateway Mustang a 368ci small-block with enough horsepower to do stupid things with your right foot. The 548hp engine is based off of a Dart block and stuffed with billet hardware from Eagle swinging Wiseco coated pistons and topped with CNC-ported AFR 205 cylinder heads, which is cooled by an aluminum Be Cool radiator. A road-race-prepped TKO-600 from American Powertrain backs the Roush mill with a Quicktime SFI bellhousing and a Modern Driveline hydraulic-release bearing situated between the two. A chrome-moly driveshaft from Fast Shafts connects the engine’s output to the aforementioned 9-inch out back. Finally, a set of Ford Powertrain Applications long-tube headers route the exhaust fumes rearward.

Inside, Gateway Mustang wired the car with American Autowire’s updated Mustang chassis harness, filled the dash with Auto Meter gauges, and hooked up the MSD 6AL-2 and MSD ignition coil to the Roush powerplant. An Optima yellow top absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery provides the starting power. Davis Technologies digital traction control was also utilized to maximize traction both on the track and during street use. While race car spartan, the interior does feature a pair of Scat Procar Xtreme bucket seats and Team Tech five-point restraints to hold the driver and passenger in place during track use and spirited street driving.

Leading up to the reveal in Tulsa last year, many a late night was spent getting the coupe “just right” for its debut. Burning the midnight oil right up until the Mustang was pushed into the Gateway Mustang hauler was the only way the coupe would make it to Tulsa on time, but we’ve been guilty of the same problem with our projects as well and understand those last-minute thrashes are part of the build process. Once unloaded, the coupe was sorted out and track tested by Vince LaViolette, who is the R&D “hot shoe” for Shelby American. The Screaming Yellow coupe proved its mettle that day, running track session after track session with nary a hiccup. Even more recently the coupe performed admirably in Optima’s Ultimate Street Car Challenge, which happened right after last year’s SEMA show, where it placed Seventh overall in a field of 57 cars. Truly, Gateway Mustang has built a car to dominate the track or handle any street use it may see between track days.

Engine
-Roush Competition Engines 368ci small-block
-Dart iron block
-4.155-inch bore
-3.400-inch stroke
-11:1 compression ratio
-Eagle 4340 billet steel crankshaft
-Eagle 4340 billet H-beam connecting rods
-Wiseco coated pistons
-Airflow Research 205cc CNC-ported aluminum heads
-2.08-inch intake/1.60-inch exhaust valves
-Comp Cams solid roller cam, 0.621/0.627 lift, 254/260 duration at 0.050-inch
-Jesel Sportsman 1.6:1 roller rockers
-Holley HP 830cfm race carburetor
-Edelbrock Victor intake
-MSD Pro Billet distributor
-MSD 6AL-2 ignition
-Be Cool aluminum radiator
-Royal Purple synthetic oil
-548 hp at 6,900 rpm
-461 lb-ft torque at 5,600 rpm

Transmission
-Tremec TKO-600
-Road-race-prepped by American Powertrain
-Quicktime SFI bellhousing
-Modern Driveline hydraulic release bearing

 

Rearend
-9-inch Factory 9-inch rear
-Aluminum center section
-4.30 gears
-31-spline axles
-Fast Shaft chrome-moly driveshaft

Exhaust
Ford Powertrain Applications long-tube headers

Suspension
Front: Gateway Performance Suspension strut kit, Eibach double-adjustable struts, power rack-and-pinion steering
Rear: Gateway Performance Suspension 3-Link, Watt’s link, QA1 double-adjustable shocks, Eibach coilover springs

Brakes
Front: Baer Brakes disc, 14-inch cross-drilled and slotted rotor, six-piston caliper
Rear: Baer Brakes disc, 13-inch cross-drilled and slotted rotor, six-piston caliper

Wheels
Front: Vintage Wheel Works V45, gray center, 17×8
Rear: Vintage Wheel Works V45, gray center, 17×9.5

Tires
Front: BFGoodrich R1 competition radial, P275/45R17
Rear: BFGoodrich R1 competition radial, P335/40R17

Interior
Painted light gray, Scat Procar Xtreme bucket seats, Team Tech five-point harnesses, Auto Meter Pro-Comp gauges, 1 5/8-inch DOM steel tube custom rollcage

Exterior
DuPont Chromabase basecoat/clearcoat in Ford Screaming Yellow, Hotrod satin black painted hood and taillight panel, Gateway Classic Mustangs quarter scoops, Dynacorn fiberglass hood and front valance, Dynacorn replacement sheetmetal

 

Mark Houlahan

Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly

Photos By: Jerry Heasley

AutoTrader Classic 1969 Pro Touring Fastback Mustang

You knew it was going to happen sooner or later. With the Mustang’s new 412hp Coyote 5.0L engine now available as a crate engine from Ford Racing, it’s only natural that the hot-rodders among us would seize the opportunity to drop the best Mustang engine ever into classic Mustangs. And we’re not surprised that our friends at Gateway Classic Mustang, where Mustang hot-rodding is a way of life, are taking the concept to the next level by creating a kit to make it easier for anyone to update older Mustangs to Ford’s latest high-tech powerplant.

“We want to be the place for 5.0L conversions,” admits Gateway’s Jason Childress. “GM Performance Parts makes it easy for vintage Camaro owners to install a modern LS small-block, so we want to make it simple to drop a new 5.0L into ‘65-’70 Mustangs.” 

Ford Racing’s 5.0L crate engine, offered as part number M-6007-M50, is the same 412hp powerplant found in the ’11-’12 Mustang GT. With 32 valves and variable camshaft timing, the all-aluminum powerplant packs Ford’s latest performance technology into a lightweight package that’s perfect for vintage engine swaps, offering high-revving power and sexy looks under the hood. Ford Racing also offers a wiring, PCM, and installation kit, part number M-6017-A504V, to streamline the installation into earlier vehicles, whether it’s a street rod, Cobra kit car, or 1960s muscle car like the Mustang. Thanks to the computer’s integration into the ’11-’12 Mustang, you can’t just pluck a 5.0L and its computer out of a wrecked Mustang GT and plop it into another vehicle. Well, you can, but the engine won’t run. So Ford Racing’s PCM eliminates the vehicle integration features, like ABS and key recognition, to allow the Coyote 5.0L to operate in vehicles other than a new Mustang GT.

Even with the Ford Racing installation kit, there’s still plenty of adaptation required to fit the modern powerplant and its accessories into a vintage Mustang. That’s where Gateway Classic Mustang enters the picture. Their 5.0L swap kit, which includes the Ford Racing crate engine and PCM installation kit, adds notched shock towers, Gateway Performance Suspension (GPS) strut kit, engine mounting system, power steering pump, A/C lines, custom front sump Canton oil pan, radiator, and custom Dynatech headers. Gateway also includes its own cold-air intake because the ’11-’12 Mustang induction system, as supplied with the crate engine, does not fit in the vintage Mustang engine compartment. Gateway worked with Shelby American to create an optimum engine tune for the cold-air.

But we’re getting ahead of the story. The saga of this ’69 SportsRoof began when AutoTraderClassic.com approached Hot Rod TV about putting together a video to document the restoration and build of a vintage restomod, then offer it for sale on the AutoTraderClassic.com website. Producer Bud Brutsman contacted Gateway’s Jason and Lonny Childress, who related their idea about putting a modern Coyote 5.0L engine into an older Mustang.

Gateway purchased the ’69 SportsRoof from a customer, then stripped it down to the bare body for a complete sheetmetal restoration before beginning the transformation into a Mustang restomod with a modern powerplant. In the engine compartment, the factory shock towers were replaced by Dynacorn’s notched shock towers, which provide clearance for the wide 5.0L Coyote engine while also maintaining the factory structural integrity. At the rear, the wheelwell housings were “mini-tubbed” by adding 1-inch to each side to accommodate the planned meaty P335/30R18 rear tires.

With the notched shock towers providing clearance, the Coyote 5.0L drops right into the vintage Mustang engine compartment using Gateway’s frame mounting system that adapts the 5.0L’s engine mounts to the Mustang chassis. A Quicktime bellhousing connects the Keisler RS500 5-speed manual transmission to the engine, while a stout 9-inch rearend from The 9-Inch Factory transfers the 412hp to the ground through 3.50 gears in a Tru-Trac limited-slip differential.

For the suspension, Gateway showcased its own Gateway Performance Suspension system, which includes adjustable coil-over front struts with Baer 13-inch rotors and 4-piston calipers (upgraded to Shelby versions for the Coyote-powered ’69), in combination with Gateway’s 3-link rear suspension with AFCO coil-over shocks. The power rack-and-pinion steering is also Gateway’s own design

Visually, the ’69 remains true to its vintage roots with Boss 302 graphics and factory spoilers on the “Blue By You” paint from DuPont’s Hot Hues color chart. Of course, the rear quarter scoops on the original ’69 Boss 302s were eliminated because they weren’t functional; in this case, Gateway’s Bill Bufka opened up the scoops and created ducting to cool the rear brakes. The 18-inch wheels from Curtis Speed give the Mustang a more modern appearance while also recalling the Magnum 500s from the ’69-’70 era.

The stock ’69 theme carries over into the interior, where the seats are TMI’s supportive Sport versions with Mach 1 upholstery. The blue inserts match the exterior color and carry-over to the custom door panels, also from TMI. Classic Instruments built the custom gray-face gauge cluster with matching clock in the factory passenger side dash panel.

The Coyote ’69 build has served a number of purposes, including the Hot Rod TV segment (you can view it on YouTube from the www.gatewaymustang.com website) and competing as the Gateway Classic Mustang entry in last November’s Optima Invitational Challenge (see sidebar). Even better, at press time, the Mustang was listed for sale on AutoTraderClassic.com with the proceeds going to the Alliance of Auto Artisans (see sidebar), a program that mentors young people who want to learn about restoring, repairing, and building vintage cars.

Of course, the installation of the Coyote 5.0L into the vintage Mustang has provided Gateway Mustang with the knowledge needed to provide customers with everything required for the modern-to-vintage swap. Granted, Gateway’s all-inclusive kit will not be cheap. The 5.0L engine alone retails for $6,000 from Ford Racing, with the engine control package adding another $1,500. Jason Childress says Gateway hopes to retail their swap kit for under $20,000. Pricey, yes, but actually quite a bargain when you consider it allows you to inject Ford’s latest and greatest performance technology into a classic Mustang.

Drivetrain

-Ford Racing ’11 5.0L Coyote engine
-Canton front-sump oil pan
-Spectre cold-air kit with Shelby American tune
-Dynatech headers
-Magnaflow exhaust
-Performance Rod & Custom radiator with electric fans
-Optima battery
-Keisler RS500 5-speed with hydraulic clutch kit
-Hays clutch and pres- sure plate
-Quicktime bellhousing
-Rearend by The 9-Inch Factory with 31-spline axles and 3.50:1 gears in Tru-Trac limited-slip differential

Fuel System

-ACCEL fuel regulator
-Phenix Fittings AN fuel line and hose
-Tanks Inc. in-tank fuel pump conversion kit

Suspension & Brakes

-Gateway Performance Suspension Shelby- licensed GT500 strut kit, 3-link rear suspension
-AFCO coilover shocks with nitrogen canister at rear
-Gateway Performance Suspension power rack-and-pinion steering
-ididit steering column
-Baer Brakes T-4 4-piston calipers with Shelby logo; 13-inch drilled and slot ted rotors
-Curtis Speed wheels: 18×9 front, 18×12 rear
-BFG g-force T/A KDW tires: P275/35R18 front, P335/30R18 rear

Body

-Dynacorn notched shock towers
-Ring Brothers outside door handles
-DuPont Hot Hues “Blue by You” paint
-JRD International door glass

Interior

-Dynamat sound deadening insulation
-Vintage Air A/C
-American Auto Wire Clas- sic Update wiring harness
-TMI Sport seat kit, headlin- er, sun visors, custom door panel inserts
-Classic Instruments custom gauge cluster and clock

Other

-Dynacorn sheetmetal, weatherstrip, trim moldings
-Scott Drake reproduction Mustang parts
-Dupli-Color spray paints, pre-paint cleaners, and guide coat
-Build team: Lonny Childress, Jason Childress, Erric Smith, Bill Bufka, Mike White, Greg Moreland, Darrell Bloomner, Marty –Veltrop, Dave Childress, Trevor Hughes, Cody Benham, Dawn Weber

Article By Donald Farr, former Mustang Monthly

Chad McQueen’s 1968 Bullitt Mustang

Gateway Classic Mustang And Yearone Teamed Up To Build An Updated Version Of The ’68 Bullitt Mustang Fastback For Chad Mcqueen, Son Of Bullitt Star Steve Mcqueen

Chad McQueen was only 7 years old when his father, actor Steve McQueen, piloted a Highland Green ’68 Mustang fastback over the hilly streets of San Francisco during the filming of the ’68 movie classic, Bullitt. Forty years later, Chad recalls being on location in San Francisco with his father. The green Mustang made a lasting impression.

“It was such a heavy impact for a kid,” Chad told us. “It was loud and I even remember the smells. That’s why I’ve done nothing but mess with cars my whole life.”

With his McQueen automotive genes fueled by the vision of a hot ’68 Mustang being chased by an equally hot Dodge Charger, Chad grew up to be like his father, describing himself as either an actor who races or a racer who acts. Chad has starred in and produced over two dozen movies, both big-screen and TV. He’s best known for his role as Dutch in The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid II. On the track, he’s raced Baja, won an SCCA national championship, and competed professionally in the Grand American Road Race Series in GT and Daytona prototype classes. He is still recovering from an accident that occurred while practicing for the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona.

As the protector of his father’s legacy, Chad worked with Ford on the ’01 Bullitt GT program. As part of the deal, Chad received the first production ’01 Bullitt Mustang. Last year, he also took delivery of the first ’08 Bullitt Mustang. The only Bullitt Mustang he didn’t own was a replica of the ’68-until now.

Bud Brutsman, a Los Angeles TV producer who is best known for creating the popular Overhaulin’ series, came up with the idea of building a modern rendition of the Bullitt Mustang for Chad for an episode of Celebrity Rides on The Learning Channel. Bud had worked with both YearOne and Gateway Classic Mustang on previous TV projects, so he pulled the two companies together to create Chad’s ’68 Bullitt, with YearOne providing parts and Gateway handling the buildup expertise at their St. Louis shop. The goal was simple: Stick with the classic visuals of the original Bullitt Mustang but update the powertrain and suspension to modern specifications. “It’s built to be driven,” says Gateway’s Jason Childress. “We wanted to build a car that Chad would want to jump in and drive.”

Externally, Chad wanted an accurate replica of his dad’s movie Mustang. He asked close friend Matt Stone, Motor Trend executive editor and author of the book, McQueen’s Machines, to oversee the Bullitt details. Matt brought photo stills from the 1968 movie so the group could duplicate the modifications to the original Mustang, such as the painted rocker moldings, GT rear valance with exhaust cutouts, black rear panel, and fenders with no emblems.

To ensure accuracy, Matt Stone brought stills from the movie and pointed out the many nuances on the original Bullitt Mustang, such as the blackout taillight panel and side mirror.

“Chad wanted a car that looked right,” Matt said. “I had discovered a lot of movie stills during my research for the book and studied them to determine how the movie car was equipped-what’s black, what’s taken off, and that sort of thing.” Matt points out that two Mustangs were used for filming and they differed in some areas. For example, one car had an exterior mirror and the other didn’t.

With cameras rolling, the Gateway crew, with additional YearOne staff brought in, built the Mustang from start to finish in only four months. “We couldn’t have done it that quick without Dynacorn’s reproduction ’67 Mustang fastback body shell,” explained Gateway’s Jason Childress. “It gave us a great starting point without having to disassemble and repair an original body.”

Gateway’s Lonny Childress agrees: “With the Dynacorn body, we can start building a car as soon as we open the crate. If you’re building a restomod, it’s the way to go. The steel is better than it was in ’67 and Dynacorn has added some updates, like the shock tower braces and improved door hinges.”

Chad refers to the Gateway gang as “artisans,” and we can see why based on the Mustang’s bodywork and paint. Lonny prepared the body for paint, applying plenty of seam sealer, perfecting body panel gaps, and prepping the sheetmetal. For accuracy, he also added the ’68 sheetmetal “indentations,” robbed from a parts car in Gateway’s back-lot graveyard, for the early-’68 rear quarter-panel reflectors.

With the body painted in DuPont Hot Hues’ Highland Green, it was ready for reassembly. Lonny points out that most of the parts needed to complete the assembly of a Dynacorn body are available brand new from Mustang mail-order companies. For Chad’s Bullitt, he only used a handful of vintage parts, such as the glovebox door, cowl-to-dash brace, and tachometer instrument cluster. YearOne supplied the bulk of the new replacement components, while Dynacorn provided the fold-down rear seat assembly, headlight buckets, and other sheetmetal parts.

The project started in earnest when the crew ripped open the crate from Dynacorn. The reproduction ’67 fastback body provided a clean starting point without the need for time-consuming rust and sheetmetal repairs.

To bring handling and braking up to par with a new Mustang, the buildup incorporated Gateway Performance Suspension front and rear suspensions. At the front is a coilover strut system with dual-piston calipers, as supplied by Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation. Power rack-and-pinion, also from Gateway Performance Suspension, beats the vintage steering gear every time for precise control. At the rear is Gateway Performance Suspension’s bolt-in three-link suspension system, which securely locates the 9-inch rear axle with a Watt’s link and an extra-long torque arm. The three-link offers a number of improvements over the factory rear suspension, including improved traction and better handling via adjustable ride height, tubular arms, and urethane bushings. Disc brakes are part of the package.

For power, Chad gets to put his foot into a Ford Racing Boss 347 crate engine, rated at 450hp and 400 lb. ft. of torque. On top of the 4-bolt block and between the aluminum “Z” cylinder heads is a Victor Jr. aluminum intake topped by a 770-cfm Holley Street Avenger four-barrel carburetor. Headers are from JBA, followed by a complete JBA exhaust system with straight tips like those of the movie Mustang.

In the quest for accuracy, Gateway’s Lonny Childress transferred the rear quarter reflector indentations from a boneyard ’68 Mustang to the ’67 Dynacorn body, which didn’t have provisions for the reflectors that became standard equipment for ’68. Jason Childress notes that the original Bullitt Mustang was an early production car, so it had the indents for the reflectors. Later production ’68s (after February 15, 1968) had bolt-on reflectors without the indentation in the sheetmetal.

Steve McQueen shifted a four-speed in the movie, but this modern rendition is equipped with a late-model T-45 five-speed, adapted for the vintage Mustang with a conversion from Keisler Engineering, complete with a stealthy ’68-style shifter handle. Out back is a beefy 9-inch rearend with 3.50:1 gears.

Like the movie Mustang, the interior is black, but it’s upgraded to Deluxe with woodgrain trim and molded door panels from YearOne. The bucket seats are from TMI’s Sport line. Hidden behind panels are Boston Acoustic speakers, subwoofers, and amp.

The buildup crew debated over the wheels. There was no doubt that iconic five-spoke American Racing Torque Thrusts would be used. However, some thought 18-inch versions would look better on the restomod replica, while others, including creative advisor Matt Stone, wanted to stick with the original 15-inch wheels. In the end, they compromised, going with slightly larger 16-inch Torque Thrusts with BFGoodrich G-force Sport tires.

Chad’s modern Bullitt was slated to debut during November’s SEMA Show. However, before heading to Las Vegas, the just-completed ’68 Mustang detoured to Malibu, California, so Chad could get an up-close look at the latest addition to his Bullitt stable. With the Celebrity Rides cameras rolling, Chad watched as the Mustang was unloaded from Gateway’s Haulmark trailer, grinning broadly as he pointed out the Bullitt details and restomod upgrades. Then he did exactly what the guys at Gateway and YearOne wanted-he took it for a spin.

Only minor prepping was required to get the Dynacorn body ready for paint. According to Lonny, the bodywork was completed and the car was in primer within two weeks.

“I put about 60 miles on it,” Chad said after returning the car in one piece. “The car is great. It’s got so many adjustments. It doesn’t feel like a 40-year-old car. I mean, everything is tight. In the two hours I had it, we started messing with the suspension adjustments. I think there’s a lot more to be had out of it. It’s a phenomenal piece of work, built by artisans.”

Forty years after his father vaulted a Highland Green ’68 fastback over the hills of San Francisco and into American movie icon status, Chad noted that locals immediately recognized this modern-day replica. “When I was going up and down the Pacific Coast Highway, it was surprising how many people knew what it was,” Chad said. “We got thumbs up from a bunch of people.” That’s saying something in car-happy southern California.

Editor’s Note: The buildup of Chad McQueen’s ’68 Bullitt Mustang is scheduled to appear as a Celebrity Rides episode in early 2009. Go to www.gatewaymustang.com for links to footage.

Chad McQueen’68 Bullitt Specifications

Exterior
Body:Dynacorn reproduction ’67 Mustang fastback body shell
Paint:Highland Green by DuPont Hot Hues; Mothers wax
Bullitt cues:Torque Thrust wheels, blackout taillight panels and bezels, no backup lights, grille and body emblems removed, body color rocker moldings, black sidemirror, antenna mounted on rearquarter-panel, straight exhaust tips
Engine & Drivetrain
Engine:{{{Ford}}} Racing Boss 347
Carb:Holley 770 Street {{{Avenger}}}
Exhaust:JBA
Bellhousing:QuickTime
Clutch:Ace Manufacturing
Transmission:T-45 five-speed with completeKeisler conversion kit
Rearend:9-inch with 3.50:1 gears
Suspension
Front:Gateway Performance Suspension Strut Kit
Rear:Gateway Performance Suspension three-link
Steering:Gateway Performance Suspension power rack-and-pinion
Steering column:ididit
Brakes, front:GPS disc, from Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation
Brakes, rear:GPS disc
Wheels:American Racing Torque Thrust-16×7 front, 16×8 rear
Tires:BFGoodrich G-Force Sport
Interior
Interior:’68 Mustang Deluxe, black
Sound deadener:Dynamat
Wiring:American Autowire
Seats:TMI Sport
Gauges:Factory tachometer instrument cluster
A/C:Classic Auto Air
Sound system:Boston Acoustics

Article by Donald Farr former Mustang Monthly

Sammy Hagar’s 1967 Red Rocker GCM-R Mustang

There’s probably no more popular rock ‘n’ roll star in the St. Louis area than Sammy Hagar. In the late ’70s he wrote a song called “Red,” in which he sang about how he liked the color. This led many of his fans to wear all red to his concerts. So when the folks at Gateway Classic Mustang looked for a celebrity to help publicize the car they were building, it made perfect sense to consider Sammy-the Red Rocker.

Lonny Childress of Gateway says, “This is Sammy’s biggest town. I don’t know what it is about fans here, but they just click with him. St. Louis has the oldest rock ‘n’ roll station in the world, KSHE 95. Basically, they always supported him and played his music. He sells out every time he comes to town. A lot of the albums and DVDs he has done over the years, he has done live here.”

Sammy is a car enthusiast. We chatted with him at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in January 2006 when he was selling his ’67 Shelby GT500 fastback-red, of course-through the world’s most prestigious classic-car auction. Sammy couldn’t have been friendlier, signing autographs and talking to everybody. When we asked him why he was selling, Sammy waited for us to get our tape recorder positioned. He said, “OK, you ready? The reason I’m selling it is because I’ve kind of outgrown it. I’ve had it a long time. My wife and I have a couple of girls-she won’t let them ride in it. She won’t ride in it. Nobody in my family will ride in it. After one or two trips, they’ve had it with me; I scare everybody to death. It needs to be driven really hard all the time, so you can’t take it out for a Sunday cruise. You have to take it out and beat the hell out of it, and every time I do, I get pulled over. The cops just want to look at it. They want to give you some love for it- say, ‘Gee I wish I was off duty today,’ and I’m going, ‘Me too, you wouldn’t have pulled me over.’ Ruined my day, but I never have had a ticket in [this car], and I’ve never, ever been beat on the street.”

Sammy even gave us the location of his 14-car collection and his phone number in case we ever want to visit Northern California to do a feature. In other words, he was as friendly and enthusiastic as any other collector who isn’t a celebrity.

Meanwhile, Gateway Classic Mustang’s Lonny and Jason Childress were looking to sell a new series of Mustangs. They knew about Hagar’s collection and his interest in Shelbys and Mustangs. In their first six years in business, Gateway focused on classic restorations. For the last three years, they have, in Lonny’s words, “really started getting into the restomods.”

Probably the most popular Mustang to build into a restomod these days is the ’67 fastback. This model worked great for Gateway’s series build because the company wouldn’t have to worry about finding classic Mustangs to repair. “One of the reasons we chose the ’67 fastback is we knew Dynacorn was releasing a new reproduction body. We wanted to build a 100-percent new car, not a restored body.” As with other restomods, the lines had to remain classic.

Gateway took styling cues from the ’05 Roush Stage 3 Mustang. “We wanted to see if we could blend that new technology into an older car. We also knew we were going to go with Roush crate engines,” says Jason, Lonny’s brother. In fact, Gateway first went to Roush with the idea of creating a classic Roush-looking Mustang, starting with a custom-built Gateway body kit.

Up front, Gateway installed PIAA foglights at the outer edges of the wide-mouth opening, set against their own custom-built honeycomb grille. The hoodscoop is also a Gateway original. Jason and Lonny demanded their custom scoop be functional, the same as the sidescoops on the B-pillars and in front of the rear tires.

With its many years of restoration and building experience, Gateway wanted to make sure the components of the body kit were easy to install. “Upper and lower scoops take about an hour to get ready for paint; the same with the hoodscoop,” Jason says.

The body kit, which Gateway will sell separately, also consists of a set of fiberglass rocker panels, wheel flares, front fascia, and a rear fiberglass valance panel. Astute Mustang enthusiasts will recognize the black back panel grille-a stock accessory in 1967-that matches the black rear spoiler, both part of the body kit. “We’ve had some people say they would rather see it [the rear spoiler] body color, but I think it makes it snap,” Jason says. Maybe the final opinion comes from the Red Rocker himself. Sammy says he digs the rear spoiler, along with the rest of the car. Gateway plans to build and sell 100 of these ’67 Mustangs, coded GCM-R.

The good news is a steady flow of ’67 Mustangs from Dynacorn. Gateway won’t have to go to the used Mustang classic-car market. It’s not a good place to be these days, what with rusty fastbacks fetching $5,000-$10,000 and cherry ’67s easily going for double.

Apparently, this ’67, which is an early build, is the first Dynacorn-built Mustang completed and on the road. Gateway is delighted with the car, calling it a “direct replacement for an original body but with some beefier metal.” Basically, the team could apply the skills they learned over the years restoring and building restomods to the Dynacorn ’67 Mustang fastback.

“Suspension-wise, we used Gateway Performance Suspension components,” Lonny says. “It has a Phase 3 front brake and strut suspension system; an Gateway Performance Suspension power rack-and-pinion system; Gateway Performance Suspension rear brakes with discs; and an Gateway Performance Suspension coilover, three-link rear suspension.”

The Gateway crew wanted to bring the

interior up to date but give the semblance of a ’67 deluxe interior. In place of the brushed aluminum, they chose a silver carbon fiber, extremely popular on high-dollar sportscars today. They opted to delete the rear seat, while the front buckets don’t play up the Pony theme. They are Procar by Scat, fitted with five-point harnesses. Sammy’s fans will get it when they look at the white-faced gauges from Classic Instruments. The 200-mph speedometer shows no digits until 55, in reference to his big hit “I Can’t Drive 55.” Gateway customized the face with a slash line through 55.

With a 560hp Roush-built, fuel-injected 427-IR motor, the GCM-R doesn’t drive like a ’67 Mustang. The car just might live up to its speedometer readings. Sammy is elated with the vehicle and plans to take it on tour with him. On October 13, 2007, he’ll turn 60 years old and will announce a 60-date tour.

“We’re going on the majority of these tour dates,” Lonny says, “and we’ll have the car there.” Displaying his rocking ride was Sammy’s idea. Concert attendees will be able look at his car close-up and place an order for one of the 100 cars. There will be a range of different engine options (see chart), with prices starting at $120,000.

The rock ‘n’ rollers’ orders may be different from this exact car. Lonny says, “We already had this car designed and were going to produce it whether or not we built one for Sammy, but we’ve laid groundwork for him to help us design a car with his name with his influences.” Sammy’s fans were upset he sold the old Red Rocker, his ’67 Shelby GT500. This red ’67 fastback is the new Red Rocker. No matter the name, Sammy’s car won’t be built to drive only 55.

GCM-R Base Equipment
Base GCM-R cars come equipped with:

-Dynacorn Classic Bodies ’67 reproduction body
-Roush 342 SR 8.2-inch-deck, 375 hp/375 lb-ft with Billet Specialties Trutrac Serpentine system
-Keisler TKO-500 five-speed transmission
-GCM-R body kit
-Gateway Performance Suspension power rack-and-pinion steering
– Gateway Performance Suspension Phase 2 front strut suspension system, 11.7-inch rotors, two-piston calipers
-Rear leaf springs with sway bar
-Gateway Performance Suspension Phase 1 rear disc-brake kit, 11-inch rotors, single-piston-caliper “drum-in-disc”-style park   brake
-Billet Specialties Roulette 17×8 wheels, P245/40ZR17 BFGoodrich KDW tires, front
-Billet Specialties Roulette 18×10 wheels, P295/35ZR18 BFGoodrich KDW tires, rear
-Be Cool aluminum radiator, dual electric fans
-Classic Auto Air
-ProCar Rally by Scat Vinyl Seats
-AM/FM CD stereo, four speakers
-Classic Instruments white-face fauges, 200-mph speedometer
-Subframe connectors
-Gateway Classic Mustang shock-tower brace kit
-Rollbar
-Center console with storage compartment
-PIAA driving lights
-Billet Specialties leather half-wrap steering wheel
-Ididit tilt steering column
-GCM-R Options
-ROUSH ENGINE OPTIONS
-8.2-inch deck 342 RE Throttle-Body EFI 450 hp/420 lb-ft
-8.2-inch deck 353 IR 8-stack EFI 480 hp/460 lb-ft
-9.5-inch deck 402 SR Carbureted 425 hp/480 lb-ft
-9.5-inch deck 402 IR 8-stack EFI 500 hp/500 lb-ft
-9.5-inch deck 427 SR Carbureted 525 hp/535 lb-ft
-9.5-inch deck 427 IR 8-stack EF 560 hp/540 lb-ft
-10.150-inch deck 511 SR aluminum FE Carbureted 540 hp/{{{600}}} lb-ft
-10.150-inch deck 511 IR aluminum FE 8-stack EFI 600 hp/625 lb-ft
-Drivetrain, Suspension, and Interior/Exterior Options
-Keisler TKO-600 five-speed transmission
-Gateway Performance Suspension Phase 3 or 4 strut and brake kit
-Gateway Performance Suspension Phase 2 or 3 rear-disc brake kit
-Gateway Performance Suspension three-link coilover rear suspension
-Procar by Scat leather seats
-Fold-down rear seat
-Power windows and locks
-18-inch front and 20-inch rear wheel package
-Any DuPont Hot Hues color
-Satellite radio-XM or Sirius
-CD changer

Article by: Jerry Heasley in Mustang Monthly