1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 given 986bhp twin-turbocharged V8

A pair of turbochargers and a modern Coyote V8 turn this ’69 Ford Mustang into a near four-figure quarter-mile hero 

Shoehorning a pair of turbochargers under the bonnet of a muscle car isn’t an awfully rare sight, with the likes of Fathouse Performance tuning even the track-oriented, flat-plane crank GT350 to levels usually reserved for small-scale hypercar makers. What’s less common, though, is doing the same to a model from over half a century ago.

Assembled by Oklahoma-based Classic Recreations, the ‘Hitman’ build began with an original 1969 Mustang Mach 1 body, which was painstakingly restored to factory condition by the coachbuilder. Normality ends there, as the powertrain was next on the agenda.

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Out went the original 286bhp, 290lb ft small block V8, and in went the 5-litre Coyote V8, a modern unit first seen in the 2011 Mustang, various other Ford products, and the one destined for the new TVR Griffith. Though respectable power can be extracted without forced induction, no custom-built muscle car would be complete without snails.

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A pair of liquid-cooled Garrett turbochargers push the Coyote to just shy of 1000bhp, and to help turn that power into speed is the very latest ECU technology, for optimum traction and efficiency. Sending power to the 315-section rear Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres is a six-speed Tremec manual gearbox.

Though a twin-turbocharged, 986bhp Mustang is never going to handle like a Caterham, power steering, modern coilover suspension and Total Control anti-roll bars have been implemented front and rear, aiming to provide more desirable handling characteristics. To help bring the Mach 1 back down to sane speeds are six-piston Wilwood brakes, sitting behind 18-inch lightweight wheels on all four corners.

Custom turbo manifolds, uprated MagnaFlow mufflers and the unmistakable sound of turbochargers might give the game away, but aside from the sound, this Mustang could be mistaken for almost any other restored classic. Its two-tone grey and black paint job, OEM-style front and rear spoilers and Mach 1 badging all pay homage to the original. 

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Straying a little further from standard is the (cosmetic) roll bar, pair of five-point harnesses, upgraded gauges and new speaker system, though a period-correct wooden steering wheel and gearlever keep things in check. 

No pricing information has been provided, but given the apparent polish of the build, and ability to specify almost anything one could think of, we can’t imagine Classic Recreations’ offerings come cheap.

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