Car Craft Q&A
Car Craft: Steve, your Mustang looks very contemporary, but we can't help noticing that it also has a certain custom vibe-what's the deal?
Steve Frediani: I grew up reading the car magazines of the '60s and building model cars, so when it came time to do the Mustang, I wanted to make it the way I would have done it back then if I could have. Tom Daniels had done some drawings for Rod & Custom of custom touches to the then-new Mustang. I really liked his ideas, so I incorporated some of them along with my own
CC: But obviously you didn't want a full-on retro car either, right?
SF: Right. Even though the custom trends of that time were cool, I wanted the car to drive well. After the shock towers were gone, we had a lot more engine-bay space, and that's when we started looking at the 4.6 engine to update the drivetrain while keeping it all Ford.
CC: What was it like working with a custom car icon like Gene Winfield?
SF: That was the best part of the project. He was my custom car hero as a kid and was great to work with. I'd go to his shop after work and we'd hang out until nearly midnight working on the car. I really wanted one of his signature custom candy-blend paint jobs, and he created exactly what I asked for. He's like a mad scientist with paint-it's unbelievable.
CC: Now that the car your dad bought new is fully transformed, what does he think of it?
SF: He loves it. I learned everything from him; I was helping with his '29 Model A when I was 2, and we still go to car events together when we can.
Car: '66 Mustang
Owner: Steve Frediani
Engine: '96 Ford Lincoln Mark VII engine, 4.6L (281ci) DOHC, four-bolt main cylinder block, custom-fabricated 7-quart oil pan, polished Kenny Bell supercharger, '96 Mustang four-valve Cobra cylinder heads, Cobra throttle-body, stock valve covers machined, smoothed, and chromed, EDIS coil packs, EEC-IV ECM Ford computer, matching '96 Lincoln wiring harness
Drivetrain: '96 AODE automatic overdrive transmission and converter, Lokar shifter, aluminum driveshaft, Currie 9-inch rearend, limited slip, 3.71:1 gears, complete housing smoothed and chromed, entire undercarriage filled and smoothed
Chassis: Global West Stage III rear suspension kit including tuned leaf springs, shackle kit, gas shocks, subframe connectors, aluminum bushings, 9-inch rear disc brakes, custom transmission mount, Chisholm custom front suspension, custom front crossmember, tubular chrome A-arms, Aldan coilover chrome shocks, '96 Lincoln 4.6L power steering pump, '84 Dodge Omni rack-and-pinion, polished power steering reservoir, 11-inch front disc brakes, Baer four-wheel disc brake master cylinder
Wheels: Budnik Mercury 17x7 with P215/50R17 Toyo Proxes tires front; Budnik Mercury 17x8 with P245/50R17 Toyo Proxes tires rear
Body: '66 Mustang Coupe, custom mix of several PPG Orange, Gold Pearl, and Pearl White paint, bodywork, graphics, and paint by Gene Winfield, side moldings and emblems removed, filled antenna, custom grille opening in cowl, shaved driprails, frenched license plate opening and bumpers, custom six-bar grille fabricated from 11/42x2-inch steel bar, custom 900-LED rear taillight, '61 Ford parking lights, and California Mustang weatherstripping
Interior: Custom design by Mike Ambrose, Glide engineering front bucket seats, custom rear seat design and center console, creamy ivory leather, matching door panels, headliner beige wool, Mercedes beige wool carpet, Dakota Digital gauges, power windows, Lokar emergency brake handle, all dash, shifter, door, and glovebox accessories plates are custom-machined, ididit tilt steering column, Budnik "Mercury" steering wheel