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1969 Ford Mustang SportsRoof - The Next Level

Sriyantha Weerasuria's '69 Ford Mustang Fastback.

By Stephen Kim, Photography by Stephen Kim

With the means to enjoy so many exotics, S.W.'s penchant for Detroit iron may seem a bit peculiar. Ask him about it, however, and it all makes perfect sense. "No matter what you do to a musclecar it will never drive or handle like a new Z06, but late-models can't touch the experience of driving down the road in a musclecar," he opines. "The way these cars look and sound-there's just nothing like it. Anyone can go out and buy a new Z06 or a Viper, but it takes a lot more work and dedication to build a musclecar." That sure sounds like a genuine car guy to us.

Like most hot rodders, S.W.'s never quite done scheming up new plans. He's debating minitubbing the Mustang and adding a couple of hundred extra horsepower with a wicked 427 small-block. By now it should be pretty clear that S.W. isn't too different from the average car guy. He's just blessed with the resources to build cars we'd all love to build someday, to an exacting level of quality most people can only dream about. It shouldn't be news to anyone that building high-end cars requires high-end budgets. So don't hate the players; hate the game. In the meantime, enjoy their cars.

Tech Notes
What: '69 Ford Mustang SportsRoof
Owner: Sriyantha Weerasuria (aka S.W.)
Hometown: Austin, Texas, which has the fewest Bubbas of any city in the state

Engine: These days, it's just as easy to make lots of power with a 351W as it is with an SBC. The factory block was cleaned up and fitted with an Eagle 4.00-inch crank, Eagle 6.125-inch rods, and JE 10.8:1 pistons. A Canton 7-quart oil pan holds the lube, and an MSD distributor provides the spark. On the pump, the Windsor serves up 547 hp at 6,400 rpm and 470 lb-ft at 4,300 rpm. Harold Hallam at Port Pros (Austin, Texas) did the machine work and assembly.

Camshaft: A Comp 250/256-at-0.050 hydraulic roller cam actuates the valves.

Heads: Port Pros mildly massaged the Edelbrock Victor castings.

Induction: The hoodscoop supplies fresh air to a Barry Grant Demon 750-cfm carb, which mates to an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake manifold.

Exhaust: JBA 131/44-inch shorty headers coated by HPC dump into 3-inch collectors and a custom X-pipe. Dual Flowmaster mufflers dampen the exhaust pulses.

Transmission: Multiplying the torque is a Tremec TKO 600 five-speed gearbox. A QuickTime SFI-approved bellhousing houses a Spec clutch and flywheel, and a Hurst shifter actuates the shifts.

Rearend: DTS assembled the 9-inch rearend with 31-spline Mark Williams axles, 3.89:1 gears, and a Detroit Locker differential.

Suspension: Straight out of the Pro Touring playbook, the front suspension features tubular upper and lower control arms, 600 lb/in drop springs, a 171/48-inch sway bar, and urethane bushings, all from Global West. Out back there are CalTracs traction bars and a 1-inch Global West sway bar. De-arched factory rear leaf springs lower ride height by 4 inches, and KYB shocks tame the spring oscillations at each corner.

Brakes: Power-assisted Ford Motorsport two-piston calipers squeeze cross-drilled 13-inch rotors up front. Single-piston calipers and 12-inch rotors get the job done in the rear.

Wheels/Tires: The front Fikse FM5 wheels measure 18x8.5 inches and are paired with 245/40-18 BFGs. The rear inner wheelwells were massaged to provide clearance for the 295/35-18 tires, which wrap around 18x10-inch rollers.

Body: Starting with a rust-free car that had already been restored kept bodywork to a minimum. The doorskins were replaced, and the driprails, emblems, and antenna were shaved. Rodney Austin did the work and sprayed the car with Glasurit black.

Interior: While there are some modern upgrades, the interior retains its stock flavor. A Budnik steering wheel and in Alpine stereo add some modern flair but blend in nicely with the stock gauges and dash. Side bolsters were added to the stock seats, then covered in vinyl by Tico's Upholstery.

By Stephen Kim
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