So what’s your flavour when it comes to Mustangs; coupe or fastback, classic or wild, red, white, black…….or how about yellow? The list of options is endless and when you buy one that has no identifying colours at all and is the equivalent of a blank canvas, your list of options is completely up to you! Wow! Too much to think about! This is exactly what 19 year old Danny Sammut faced when he gazed over the newly acquired project parked before him in his garage!
Let’s step back a moment and see how this all came about. We all remember when we were 19, newly licensed and a head full of ambition and drive with our desire for that elusive piece of automotive art seemingly just out of reach! Well Danny was in the same predicament, not 100 percent sure what he wanted yet was ready to get his teeth into something! All he knew was that it had to be a Mustang. An annual trip to the Queenscliff Rod Run cemented in his mind the desire to own a 1966 Mustang fastback and within a week of the seed being planted, he had located one, checked it out and laid down the folding stuff! The overall condition of the Pony ride was questionable to say the least but Danny, with the help from his Dad, Nick knew what they were getting into. So dedicated was Danny that he even turned up late to his own 19th birthday party to buy it! “All the family were at my house waiting for me to attend my party and I was out with Dad picking up the car.” Upon seeing the classic fastback arrive home on a trailer, his Mum just cried thinking what have they done!
Purchased in Templestow, the classic muscle originally came from California where its final days in America were spent as a chicken coop (no pun intended) housing the flightless birds for a local Mexican farmer. The years of neglect and chicken manure weren’t kind on the metal leaving the floor corroded out beyond repair. The rest of the car seemed to be a mismatch of different panels and parts, perfect for a complete ground up rebuild. The bonus about taking on a dilapidated vehicle like this with your own ideas for its finish is you don’t feel guilty about destroying a piece of preserved history. Danny would actually be breathing new life into the old girl while customising it to his own personal taste.
As in all builds, Danny started with the strip-down to see what needed to be done and Danny’s Dad, handy with the welder, built a rotisserie to mount the body onto for ease of work. The majority of the body work was done in house by Danny and thanks to Nick’s skills in metal work while Danny was learning fast along the way. The whole floor was relaced while the rest of the body and panels weren’t too bad and cleaned up nicely. With the body work completed, it was now time to choose a colour. “Colour was the hardest choice” say Danny and I’ve got to say, it’s a bold choice too especially when combining the silver stripes. I asked him where he got the colour idea from and he informs me he saw another Stang on the Net in the USA with a similar colour while Photoshop helped decide the colour choice for the stripes. He wasn’t going in blind on this decision!
Paul from Chase Customs and Restorations was given the job of spraying on the bright yellow with silver stripes. To really go that extra step, a custom pearl mix was added complimenting the classic lines to perfection.
Once back home again, a new black Deluxe Pony interior was installed paying tribute to the Ford designers of the era who designed the popular muscle car while a custom billet dash and B&M shifter tells the viewer it’s no stocker.
The mechanicals of this 60’s beast have been treated to the full show quality detail, again allowing Danny to decide what he wanted to do. A highly detailed stroked 302 Windsor with alloy heads boasting 480 HP on the dyno resides under the hood followed by a C10 auto with stage 2 shift kit. Down the back is a True Track nine inch while a twin three inch stainless exhaust system lets other road users know he’s coming. With so much power under foot, common sense says this ride needs decent brakes and Danny fitted 300mm twin piston callipers and slotted rotors all round. Ride is courtesy of King coils and KYB shockers. As Danny is an electrician by trade, it was only natural that he would also handle the electrical duties. The whole car was rewired using a Classic Auto Wire update kit giving him piece of mind while on the road.
With a standout colour scheme, no ordinary wheels are going to cut it so Danny opted for 18 inch Intros all round fitted with Falken tyres. If you don’t hear it coming, you’ll definitely see it coming!
Taking approximately two and a half to three years to complete, this immaculately presented ride is no trailer queen and spends many a weekend at car shows receiving the deserved accolades along the way. While a car like this may have a dollar value on it, you can’t put a price on the father and son bonding time spent together working long hours consumed by their love of all things automotive. Danny also gives a big thank you to other family members including his partner Jess who, like most dedicated partners, tolerated the life of a garage widow while Danny burned the midnight oil to complete his dream.
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