At first glance, Bob and Tim Wallace's '71 Ford Mustang may appear to be just another clean street machine, however it's the attention to details, the creativity, and endless hours of custom-fabrication that really makes this pony distinctive. Oh, and the big-block Chevy power raises a few eyebrows as well.
It all started two years ago when the Wallace family was in search of a running '67-'68 Mustang Fastback. Unfortunately, they came up empty-handed, settling instead on this '71 Mustang. Originally outfitted with a 351ci Cleveland and a four-speed, the younger Wallace drove the car for two weeks before it literally began to fall apart. Shortly thereafter the car was relinquished to Ron's Restoration in Glade, Kansas, and thus began its 15-month transformation.
David Ratzlaff of Ron's Restoration headed the project and put in well over 2,600 hours of fabrication work, which included eliminating the factory driprails, extending the top of the bodyline that sweeps down the rear quarter-panel by 8 inches, molded both the front and rear bumpers. David also hand-fabricated all the body mods in steel, including the side skirts, front billet grille, rear spoiler, and the hood cowl. But he didn't stop there-the floorpan, the center console, and the firewall were also handbuilt. In fact, the only remaining factory sheetmetal pieces are the driver and passenger doors. He also installed the Art Morrison Mustang II front suspension and the Art Morrison rear four-link system.
You'll also notice that the car has an uncanny resemblance to Eleanor from the blockbuster hit movie Gone in 60 Seconds. We have to say that if Eleanor had a younger brother, you're looking at it. The paint codes are the same as the one used in the movie, only this Mustang has its stripes running underneath the entire length of the body. And while the Wallaces admit that it's more a show car than a cruiser, they're also quick to point out that it has the bite to back up its aggressive demeanor. Best of all, the Wallaces are a family spending quality time together doing what they enjoy most.
Car Craft Q&A
Car Craft: What do you like best about the car?
Bob Wallace: The body and interior, but especially the body. David Ratzlaff at Ron's Restoration did and outstanding job, and the car really stands out like nothing else I've ever seen.
CC: Any particular reason for the Ram Jet conversion?
BW: We originally wanted to use all Ford components, but after pricing the fuel injection system and a blower, we realized that it would be cheaper for us to do with the Ram Jet 502.
CC: What kind of reactions do you get when people first notice the 502?
BW: We show the car a lot and there are a few Ford diehards who can't appreciate it. Don't get me wrong, I respect what they have to say, but they still don't seem to understand why we did it even after we emphasize the cost factor. Still, we run into more people who like the car so much, that they really don't care what kind of motor is in it.