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A 2000hp steel-body 1967 Mustang Fastback Built for Grudge Racing

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 1/10/2019 Hot Rod Network Staff
a car parked on the side of a road: 034-1967-mustang-fastback-2000hp© Hot Rod Network Staff 034-1967-mustang-fastback-2000hp

Southern eighth-mile grudge-match staging lanes are often filled with LX Mustangs, G-bodies, second-generation Novas, and fourth-generation Camaros. They're inexpensive and feature tons of room for performance upgrades. Buried in those lanes, you may discover this gem: an original 1967 Mustang Fastback. It's a steel-bodied car with immaculate paint and stellar craftsmanship designed to turn heads and blow the tires off the competition—and it doesn't have a LS under the hood.

Powered by a 600ci big-block Ford, it made 1,800 hp at 7,900 rpm to the 275 tires, on what the owner calls the mild tune. It only took nine months to complete and has a best eighth-mile pass of 4.70 e.t. at 150 mph. Owned by Chris Cantrell of Anderson, South Carolina, it's currently maintained by Stallion Autosports in Greenville, South Carolina.

To build a street-driven 1,800hp Mustang, you don't need just money, you need a team. It's important to have friends who share your dream and passion. For the large group of friends that make up All Business Racing, they had enough of the formula to make it happen.

It all began—as any good project does—with the group of friends bench-racing. Member Jeremy Pearson purchased a mint 1969 Camaro, and the guys talked about building an equally nice Ford. But the "body-shopjail," as it was coined by the crew, usually slows down a project so much that it kills the fun. Fellow member and fabricator Craig Owens had the bright idea to buy a finished car and rebuild it. They decided to buy Jeremy's brother's beautiful pro-touring Fastback Mustang. The car featured a custom-built 408ci stroker, a five-speed, nine-inch rear axle, and a complete Total Control Product suspension package. But more importantly, it had finished paint.

a close up of a car: 016-1967-mustang-fastback-2000hp.jpg

"Within 24 hours, we had the car stripped down to nothing more than a roof and two quarter-panels," said Jonathan Bridwell, friend and owner of Stallion Autosport. "Everyone thought we lost our minds when we told them we were cutting it up."

Craig and Jeremy, of JP Automotive, built the double framerail chassis and SFI 25.5–certified rollcage. Allen Pittman of AP Race Cars in Greenville, South Carolina, did the custom carbon-fiber floorboards, and Got-U-Covered built the headliner and dashpad. 

In order to keep this freshly-painted car in good condition, the team covered everything with 3M Welding and Spark Deflection Paper. "We built the entire chrome-moly chassis between the factory rockers and never put a scratch on the car," said Jonathan. "It was a lot faster than we could have sent the body out for bodywork and paint."

Chris owns a few different race cars, including a four-speed, straight-axle gasser, but this one was intended to be different. We were able to achieve it without manipulating the body," he said. All the glass is factory, the bumpers original, and even the stainless-steel trim remains. "We emphasized on keeping the body as correct as possible. "

The jewel of the build is the monster big-block Ford built by C&R Machine Shop with a C&C Motorsports Boss 429/427 aluminum, six-bolt-main block that's been punched out to 600 ci. It features Oliver Racing Parts rods and Diamond Racing pistons. Topping off the short-block are Kaase Boss 9 heads that were ported by C&R Machine Shop. A custom-built COMP solid–roller camshaft and T&D rocker arms round out the valvetrain.

The engine alone makes more than 1,100 hp, but that doubles when you add the nitrous. The system consists of two custom-built nitrous fogger systems. Hogan's Racing Manifolds in Mooresville, North Carolina, built a custom aluminum intake, and the team assisted in developing the two foggers with Dave Basher of Nitrous Outlet. Dave then flowtested the intake to calibrate a true 550 shot from each system. The magical 1,800hp dyno run featured two shots of nitrous pulled back to around a 300 shot each.

A MagnaFuel 750 fuel pump supplies fuel to Holley injectors and an Accufab 105mm throttle-body. Despite the over-the-top nitrous system, there's no separate nitrous controllereverything is run on a single Holley Dominator ECU. The big-block is backed by a TH400 two-speedcustom-built by TCS Products. It features a transbrake and B&M Pro Bandit shifter.

Chris's days of driving his four-speed gasser have spoiled him. What's it like to drive the Mustang? "To be honest, it's awfully boring to drive," he said, with a laugh. "It's such a smooth-driving and fun car, but once you get used to racing a low-5-second, four-speed, straight-axle gasser, you have to go really fast in an automatic car to get exciting. "

You may have already guessedthe team's biggest problem with the combination of big power and small tires on eighth-mile tracks: traction, or lack thereof. Blowing the tires off the car is common, but "if we can get the car to 200 feet, it'll go straight every time," said Chris. "We can show up at any track and can get consistent within a few hits, but getting it to go down every surface consistentlythat's the real challenge." The huge amounts of nitrous allows the team plenty of room to dial in the car on any given run.

As the crew dials in the car for consistency, they're still scheming about the future, making plans to attend HOT ROD Drag Week, competing in the Unlimited Class. The plan is to drop the compression and cubes to 10:1 and 500 ci and compensate with turbos. They're also considering the construction of two separate injector systems: one for pump gas and the other methanol. Craig, the lead fabricator who had the idea for the build, lost his life in a severe drag-racing accident in 2016 and never saw the Mustang race. "Craig was extremely talented, and we miss him very much. Anytime we have the car out, we are always racing in his honor," said Jonathan. We hope, they are able to attend Drag Week, honoring their friend on every pass.

This build started with a completely restored, show-quality Mustang that was then built into this monstrous drag racer. "We cut that car up," said Chris. "From rocker to rocker, bumper to bumper. It was [a] tedious and nerve-racking process."


Purchase Price: $32,000

Invested so Far: $180,000

Engine Size: 600 ci

Compression: 15.5:1

Nitrous Wheel Horsepower: 1,800-plus at 7,900 rpm

Engine-Only Wheel Horsepower: 1,100-plus

Best Eighth-Mile Pass: 4.70 at 156 mph

Best Quarter-Mile Pass: Ain't Tellin'

Build Time: Nine Months

Mustang Vs. Sports Car

2016 McLaren 570S

Suggested MSRP: $184,900

Eighth-Mile Lap Times: Low-7s

Engine: Twin-Turbo 231ci V8

Seats: 2

1967 Mustang Fastback

Cost Invested: $180,000

Eighth-Mile Lap Times: Mid-4s

Engine: Nitrous-fed 600ci V8

Seats: 1

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