Muscle cars are a booming business despite the current economic doom and gloom. Just ask Steve Keefer, owner of this magnificent maroon Mustang. He recently left his 9-to-5 to take a stab at a longtime dream of his: to own a business building cool cars.
He should do quite well, too. Even a blind man could quickly figure out that Steve is no hack when it comes to putting a car together. An ex-BMW dealership technician with almost 20 years on the job, he built this Mustang to showcase his skills while promoting his new business, East Bay Muscle Cars in Brentwood, California-about one hour south of San Francisco. From a strictly business perspective, the Mustang is an effective marketing tool. If prospective customers start pressing him about the quality of his work, Steve need only point them to the Mustang.
He straightens sheetmetal, builds engines and transmissions, tackles suspension work, breezes through wiring, and even does upholstery, so the mechanical stuff is no problem. Judging from the overall look of the car, Steve's sense of aesthetics is also on par with his mechanical aptitude. Whether or not you are a fan of big wheels, it's fair to say he absolutely nailed the stance of the car, and yes, the Mustang sits on coil springs-no switches were hit dropping it down to weed whacker height before our cameras were unholstered.
You could walk around Steve's Mustang a dozen times and not see all the little details that really make it unique. Some are so easily missed, Steve would have to point them out. For example, did you notice the custom rear valance, exhaust cutouts, taillight lenses, or rocker panels that were extended 11/4 inches to hide the suspension mounting points?
There is even more to see underneath: Heim-jointed suspension pieces, a custom fuel system, and a Total Control four-link in place of the stock leaf springs. You'd need several hours on a creeper under the car to take it all in.
Amazingly, Steve accomplished the entire build in only one year. Even more impressive, the car was a pile when he started. He'd owned it for 10 years, keeping it in his side yard the whole time. Its previous owner had left it sitting derelict for eight years prior to that. It needed new floorpans, shock towers, quarter-, and rocker panels. Steve did all the work at home in his garage before opening his shop.
Still, we're Car Craft, not some restomod shop trade journal, so we are chiefly concerned with how the car runs. In a word: awesome. It stops and corners better than most new cars. The chassis is solid and squeak-free, the interior is comfortable and inviting, and it's as fast as it looks.
The Mustang has already won some trophies. Steve managed to nab Mighty Mustang at the Goodguys show in Pleasanton, California; Best of Show at the Diablo Valley show; and Best Workmanship at the Mustangs Plus show. We have high expectations for Steve. Look for more cool stuff rolling out his garage doors soon.