A Header Scrapin’ Good Time!

It has to be said that Houston produces a ton of truly epic and beautiful cars.  There are car meets and car shows all over the city each month where these cars may just pop up.  It really doesn’t matter what or where since Houston builds just as many gorgeous imports as it does domestics.  Hell, I’ve seen some model cars that will blow your mind (lol).  As I was wandering around a local meet called Coffee and Cars one morning I ran across this beautiful 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback that is owned by a gentleman named Rodney.  It was parked facing me so what immediately grabbed my attention was how low the front end sat.  Good lord I love a nice slammed muscle car.  What drew me in closer was the custom brushed aluminum grille and the small glimpse I could see of that motor while the hood was up.  Being a die-hard Ford Mustang fan I immediately found myself standing right in front of it.  It kind of felt like I teleported to the car (lol).

What I found was FAR more than I had bargained for initially.  Upon closer inspection (deez are loafers…NOT NOW MCBAIN!) I found that the brushed aluminum went much farther than just the front grille.  The inner fenders, core support, firewall, back seat delete, and rear bezel were all graced by this glorious creation.  The way it meshes with the black paint and adds a bit of aggressive appeal to the car was all I needed to see if Rodney was interested in shooting a feature for the website.  He agreed and high fives were shared among everyone standing close to me.  No one can resist a high five…no one.

PPG black paint adorns any metal surface that isn’t brushed aluminum.  A set of 17×9 and 18×10 Bullitt replica wheels with custom back spacing keep the Nitto NT555 Extreme tires glued to the car.  Under the rear you will find a Ford 8.8 differential, 31 spline axles, Crown Vic rear disc brakes, subframe connectors, and Richmond gears mated to a Richmond Locrite locker.  The suspension itself is a custom triangulated 4-bar and coil-overs.  Keeping the front close to Mother Earth is a custom Mustang II cross-member, tubular unequal a-arms, and 2″ drop spindles.  The main part of the braking duties is held by Wilwood hubs, disc brakes, and calipers.  This Mustang isn’t playing around and we haven’t even gotten to the motor yet.

After taking the pins out of the hood and lifting it up you will find a 4-bolt main 351C that is bored .030 over.  Rodney kept the stock crankshaft and added a set of ARP studs to help keep everything together.  The connecting rods are stock but have been shot peened and adorned with more ARP hardware.  TRW provided the forged pistons and then the whole thing was balanced and put together.  The heads are iron 4-valve monsters that have been custom ported and flowed.  A Comp Cams camshaft, Lunati Hydraulic roller lifters, and 1.73 roller rockers provide the attitude problem that this motor seems to have when you rev it up.  The intake is custom sheet-metal that has been modified for fuel injection and topped with a 1250cfm throttle body.  The fuel injectors inject gasoline at 60lbs/hr and inject E85 at 95lbs/hr.  That’s right, this beauty can run on corn juice!  All of this is mated to a C4 transmission with a 4000rpm stall converter and cooler.

Shut the hood and open the door and you will find a set of custom front seats from a 1991 Mustang, AutoMeter carbon fiber gauges, a Lilliput 7″ in-dash monitor, and a Carputer that is run off of Windows XP.  All of this helps keep the Megasquirt II ECM in line.

Rodney himself is no stranger to the Mustang world.  He built a 390 big block engine for a friend back in the 1970’s that made its way into a 1967 Mustang Fastback.  Through all of the other Mustang project cars he had this one 1967 stuck out in his mind.  In 2004 a co-worker told him he was selling a ’67 Fastback so Rodney pulled the trigger and picked it up.  The car had no drive train, no quarter panels, no wheels, no floor pans, and didn’t even have a bucket of bolts.  The roof was there but it looked like it fought a hard battle in a hail storm.  Rodney was not deterred and figured this was his “clean slate” that he always wanted.  After borrowing his favorite features from other Mustangs like the ’69 quad headlights, the ’66 rear quarter scoop, ’68 Shelby lower front fascia, and ’66 Shelby quarter windows he finally had a car that he could call his own.  Using his background in high-tech automation he built this car all on his own.  It ultimately took him 7 years, a lot of patience, and a LOT of support from his friends and family.

Rodney’s desire to build cars is partly due to a great mechanical aptitude and partly due to wanting to build something to quiet the naysayers.  Through the years he has owned 25 cars and 14 of these were modified in some form or fashion.  What he enjoys the most about his Mustang is the fact that it is exactly what he envisioned 7 years earlier.

During the day Rodney manages the operations of a department that designs, installs, and services control systems for HVAC systems in commercial and industrial buildings.  And even though he built this absolute beauty his dream car is a 1975 DeTomaso Pantera.  A car that probably haunts the dreams of many (lol).  In the future Rodney plans to add cut-outs to the Mustang so it can be MUCH louder.  I can’t say I disagree with that.

I would like to thank Rodney for meeting up with us a few times.  Once to take the pictures and one more time to shoot the video.  I know we will be seeing AND hearing much more of Rodney at the local meets and shows in the future.

-AM Gabe

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