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Weekly Motor Fix: 1970 Ford Mustang

10 March, 2015


In NZV8’s last Weekly Motor Fix, we took a peek at Maurice Shapley’s circuit-destroying Holden Monaro, with its serious re-engineering in pursuit of precious milliseconds. Well, this time around, we have an equally serious offering from the Ford camp.

Michael Dromgool has owned this tough 1970 Ford Mustang for 12 years, and it’s come a fair way to become the slick all-rounder you see here. When he purchased the car, it was essentially stock, and the first modification he made was some much-needed lowering, carried out on the day of purchase. Of course, there’s a bit more to it than a dose of low, as the pictures no doubt tell.

The Mustang is propelled along by a hot 302ci small block, stroked to 347ci, and comprising AFR heads, a solid camshaft with an aggressive grind, all backed by a rock-solid Tremec TKO600 five-speed manual gearbox. The healthy power figure this engine produces gave Michael no hesitation in entering Americarna’s Go–Stop event at Hawera, where he did rather well.

Inside, the car means business, but being a road car, Michael hasn’t gone overboard. Sparco race seats, a Sparco steering wheel, Autometer gauges, CMC-style long shifter, and fire extinguisher give everything needed to give her a hammering at the track, without detracting from the ever-important drivability on New Zealand roads.

The Mustang gets up and boogies alright, thanks to its generous helping of power, but Michael needed it to do more than just go in a straight line. RRS coilover suspension, with a three-link in the rear, keep it securely planted, and a big VTTR brake package rounds off the sturdy mechanical underpinnings.

The Simmons FR-series rims are a great look on the Mustang, especially with the 17×11-inch rears’ huge dish, and coupled with the matt-black vinyl wrap it looks almost like a road-going Hoonicorn — if Ken Block ever designed a street car. The grey-primer finish was a bit of a gamble, as the wheels were originally a polished finish, but Michael went with it and hasn’t looked back.

The sticky rubber on those Simmons wheels also helps to keep everything in check, and polish the Mustang off as a perfect all-rounder that can haul arse down a drag strip, pull serious lateral-G around corners, and cruise down to the shops for some milk. In fact, the ‘022’ decal down the side of the car is from the recent Waitara Street Sprint, and also signifies Michael’s son’s birthday. Michael plans to keep the Mustang for a whole lot longer, eventually passing it over to his son as a family heirloom.

It’s a seriously cool car with a great family history behind it, and by the sounds of it, a lot more still to come!

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?