Contributed by Ed Sindoni
Steve Garai wanted another toy (he already owned a fully customized 1938 Ford coupe), something he could perhaps use almost as a daily driver. Finally, he settled on finding a 1970 Mustang Fastback to be restored to original condition, but the best made plans…….
Project Genesis, as this build became known was originally born in Dearborn, Michigan on October 29, 1969. It was equipped with a 351 – 2V Windsor engine attached to a three speed manual transmission. Grabber green was applied to the exterior sports roof model with black vinyl seats inside.
Steve’s phase of this project began in 2016 with the purchase of this “work in progress” from a shop in Georgia. It was just in its infancy, and brought to a shop in Spring Hill, Florida. A quick review found that the engine was too costly to rebuild and along with the ancient transmission, not a reliable combo. Moving from old technology to the current, a new
5.0 Coyote coupled with a new Tremec T56 6 speed transmission would be the power choice. So much for being original.
Passing through six different specialized restoration shops, finally in 2019, Steve chose to show the almost completed car at the Shades of the Past car show in Gatlinburg, TN. In 2019, he traveled to Hiawassee, GA, for the Moonshine Cruise, where it received a top ten award. Next was Syracuse (NY) for the Nationals where it earned a Select 10, and finally Panama Beach where another top 10 was awarded. We all know what happened to car shows the middle part of last year.
Not willing nor wanting to inflict a similar scenario on herself as did her husband, Dale Garai took a much easier and practical route to acquire her own Mustang. While on vacation in Daytona Beach, she and Steve wondered into a classic car dealership, and meandered around the offerings. Dale found herself literally between two 1966 red fastbacks, and spent much time assessing the virtues of each car. Her choice being made, this is what they learned about the vehicle.
This 1965 fastback 2 + 2 model had begun life in Dearborn, equipped with the 200 six-cylinder engine. Sometime later this was replaced with a 302 and automatic transmission. Front brakes were updated to discs, and in this upcoming year, all brakes will be converted to Wilwood four piston units. The original front bucket seats have been updated to more comfortable ones and a center console added. Finally, the steel wheels and hubcaps have been replaced with magnum style wheels.
How many of us would find room in our garage for either, given the choice? It should also be mentioned that these two Mustangs share their storage area with step-siblings, a 1938 customized Ford coupe, and a 1955 Ford F-100. Life is very good both in the house and garage at the Garai residence.
See more of Ed’s photos HERE.