What can you do to a classic Mustang that hasn’t already been done? It seems like every aftermarket parts company has a slew of options that can be bolted on a Mustang. The problem is; everyone uses the same bolt-ons. How can a classic Mustang owner make their car stand out? Easy. Make the modifications simple and sleek, almost going un-noticed. Take the factory Ford styling, then bend, cut, trim, and tweak it in such a way that it still pays tribute to the intent of the original. Make improvements cleaner, more precise, and more deliberate while retaining the best aspects of the original.
Perhaps there is no finer example of this mantra than this Mustang built by OCD Customs in Spokane, Washington.
To clean up the engine compartment, custom 1/8” steel shock towers were created to replace the chunky originals. The motor mounts and front suspension mounting areas were custom built with ¼” plate, along with the strut rod area. A modified firewall will also compliment the custom touches under the hood. Rectangular tubing was used to create custom aprons in the engine compartment that match the natural arch of the fender. Custom tubing was also used to frame the core support, tying it to the fame, so that the car would be much more stout and rigid up front.
A 1970 challenger front bumper was cut, flipped, and chopped, and now lives on the Mustang as a chin spoiler. The front valance is a fusion of the original valance and rock guard, now becoming one piece. The front bumper itself was split and shrunk, removing the ends so it fits tight to car and valance. The original protruding turn signal bezels were deleted and replaced by the more modern look of modified ‘67 Mustang reverse light bezels, which will be trimmed and frenched into the valance. The grill opening will use pieces of the ’67 and ‘68 Mustang. This will tighten up the look of the front considerably.
All the gaps on the car were tightened up.Metal was added to ensure the gaps are more consistent than they ever were from the factory. The drip rails were “minified”, becoming ¼” closer to the car and ¼” shorter. This subtle change will likely go unnoticed by most, but when compared side by side to an original the more streamlined look of the modified rails is obvious. The best part; they are still functional! Door handles are being made to sit flush with the plane of the door by smoothing the original chunky plateau mounting points that detract from the otherwise sleek lines on the side. The mounting arms on the side mirrors will also get the “minified” treatment to live closer to the door.
Out back, the trunk lock cylinder will be eliminated and an OEM latch mechanism from a late model junk yard car will be modified and used as a smooth cable-pull trunk release hidden conveniently under the gas cap, borrowed from a ‘70 Mustang. The taillights will be frenched about ¼”, which is subtle enough to leave most Mustang fans scratching their heads when trying to determine what was done. The result makes the rear look much more refined. The rear lower valance will borrow styling cues from the ‘68 Mustang GT with similar exhaust cutouts, which will be modified to assist in an overall clean and tight feel. The trunk has custom floor pans and will be sporting mini tubs to accommodate the insanely wide tires that will find their home out back. The gas tank location has been modified to accommodate the other changes in the trunk area.
The back seats are out of a late model Ford Focus, trimmed down, utilizing the light weight skinny feel of a modern vehicle. The front seats are modern low back buckets that won’t sacrifice comfort or support of a modern seat while allowing an unobstructed view of the rest of the interior.
The console was created using a spare set of ‘65 Mustang door and quarter panels, borrowing the factory lines to serve as the contour lines on the sides of the console. This modification ties the exterior flow of the car to the interior to create a unique consistency. The interior will also be vinyl wrapped with only the column being painted, giving a modern feel while incorporating the “Pony” interior door panels and seat stitching.
Underneath the Mustang is sporting a 3 link suspension and has custom provisions for frenched trailing arm mounting points that extend out of sight into the frame. Instead of using sub frame connectors, the frame rail was frenched into the car, teasing the floor pan by having an exposed backbone that is visible from above. There is a custom cross member that will support the Keisler Transmission. The pinch weld from under the car was slimmed down to make the visual more pleasing to the eye.The chassis mods will support the Roush 347 engine, with an 8 stack and fuel injection, while disc brakes and coil overs will ensure this car holds the corners.
Ford got a lot of things right with the original Mustang, and with a few visual and functional modifications, a custom Mustang doesn’t have to lose its classic heritage. This car incorporates many subtle changes that most casual observers won’t be able to detect. The result is a unique custom with a tough yet modern feel.