What is it?
Autocar will test hundreds of cars this year but few will turn heads – or pummel eardrums – as reliably as this one.
Outwardly, it’s a 1968 Ford Mustang, in the Highland Green hue seen in the film Bullitt. At a glance, you’d mistake it for just another restoration project, albeit one that’s stunningly well realised. Ford made almost 320,000 Mustangs that year alone so there are still plenty of old duffers around and one imagines business is good for restorers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Only when you get close is the deception laid bare. The wheels look convincing from afar but at 17in are larger than period spec and the 45-profile of the Michelin tyres is modern. You’ll spot powerful six-pot Wilwood brakes: no drums here. Round the back lurk chunky outlets for the Borla exhaust, along with the car’s reversing camera and the reversing lights. And while you’re back there, squat down for the biggest giveaway of all: coil-over spring and damper units from Ridetech, jutting down from the suspension with the anachronistic impact of stalactites hanging off the ceiling of the Tate. Authentic first-generation Mustangs use leaf springs, and at this point, the game really is up.
In truth, there’s not much original about this Mustang other than the way it looks. Built in Orlando by a company called Revology, it uses a reconditioned body with an in-house, re-engineered chassis slid beneath it. The bigger news is that the powertrain is contemporary Mustang. In this case, we’re talking an aluminium 5.0-litre Coyote V8 and six-speed automatic gearbox (manual is also offered), whereas an original 1968 car carries a 6.4-litre big-block V8 and four-speed manual.
The idea is that modern brakes, double-wishbone front suspension, hydraulically assisted rack and pinion steering and a limited-slip differential make the driving experience sweeter and neater while the new gearbox and engine uplift reliability and performance but keep the car’s character. This example is also done up to resemble McQueen’s legendary whip, but anything’s possible if you have the imagination. And the cash.