Featured: East Bay Muscle Cars 1970 Mustang Fastback
The business card. For most people it’s a simple 3.5 x 2 inch piece of card stock that lets people know what you do and how to contact you. For some people it is so much more. Take Steve Keefer, for instance. His business card looks a little bit different than most. In fact, you’re looking at it right here. You see, Keefer has been professionally turning wrenches for more than two decades, working mostly on hotrods and muscle cars. When he made the leap to start his own shop last year, he wanted to build a vehicle that would represent his capabilities and show potential customers what he could do. This 1970 Mustang does just that and plenty more. “The car got the name ‘The Business Card’ because it was built to showcase the workmanship and ideas we represent at East Bay Muscle Cars,” Keefer told us. “The ideas incorporated on this car can be applied to any of our customer cars whether it’s a street rod or muscle car, so it represents our business very well.”
The story of this Mustang goes way back to when Keefer was in high school. He would constantly spot the owner driving it around, so much so that he recognized it several years later in 1998. “He still had the car. It had been sitting in his driveway for eight years,” Keefer remembered. He bought the car for $1,000, safely storing it away for another ten years. Then in 2008 when Keefer started thinking about opening up his own shop, he retrieved the Mustang from storage and brought it back to life. There is almost nothing on the car that didn’t receive a complete makeover, and Keefer utilized all of his skills from the one-off bodywork to the custom suspension system.
Like any pony car, the heart of Steve’s Mustang is the engine. Starting with a Mexican 302 Windsor block, Keefer bored it 0.020 over (for a total displacement of 304ci) and added a set of Boss forged connecting rods and crankshaft and 11.0:1 Venolia forged pistons. Breathing is made easy via fully ported and polished 1969 351W heads fitted with Manley 1.94/1.60 valves and Crane valve springs and rocker arms. For induction, Steve installed a Barry Grant Mighty Demon 750-cfm carburetor and a Roush air cleaner mounted on an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake. On the other end a set of JBA 1 5/8 shorty headers ushers out the exhaust through custom mandrel bent tubing and Supertrapp 3-inch mufflers. In total the V8 produces 500 horsepower at the crank, although a NOS fogger system can kick in an extra 150 ponies when needed.
Delivering all that power to the rear wheels is big block Top Loader 4-speed transmission mated to a Hurst shifter and a Centerforce clutch and flywheel. To fit within the 10-inch wide wheels, Keefer used his talents to narrow a 9-inch rear end by four inches and then stuffed it with Richmond 3.89 gears and a Traction-Lok differential hooked up to Moser 31 spline axles.
To ensure that his Mustang could take on a road course just as well as a drag strip, Keefer installed a suspension system befitting a true modern musclecar. The front end received a Total Control adjustable coilover system modified by EBMC, while the rear was fitted with the g-Bar canted-4bar coilover system. Keefer also fitted a Maier Racing front sway bar and Global West subframe connectors. Steering is provided by a Steeroids rack and pinion steering system and an ididit tilt steering column, and stopping power comes from drilled and slotted Wilwood brakes, 13-inch discs up front and 12-inchers at the rear. Keefer’s Mustang rides on Budnik Cannon wheels, 18-inches up front and 19-inches at the rear, wrapped with BFGoodrich KDWZ tires.
While the custom built motor and suspension make his Mustang a blast to drive, Keefer’s favorite part of the car is actually the exterior. “I love the subtle modifications that most people don’t notice until they are pointed out,” he told us. The custom details in the bodywork are everywhere, from the custom rear valence and taillight bezels to the extended rocker panels. If you look closely you can also see a carbon fiber taillight panel and smoothed bumpers. The paint is eye-catching as well, although its source is rather unexpected. The Red Salsa Pearl comes from (drum roll, please)…a Toyota Prius. While we probably never would have thought twice about the color on the Japanese hybrid, it looks stellar on Keefer’s pony car.
As you might expect, the interior of Steve’s Mustang is just as clean as the outside. A mix of components combines for a look that is modern, classic, and functional all at the same time. A set of Corbeau black microsuede and leather seats with four-point harnesses keep the driver and passenger securely in place, while matching rear seats can fold down if needed. Keefer also added a Flaming River steering wheel, Wilwood pedal assembly, and a custom painted Year One gauge panel that houses Auto Meter silver face gauges. For the audio system Steve knew that anything but custom wouldn’t do, and built unique enclosures for the Image Dynamics 10-inch subwoofer and Alpine amp in the trunk as well as the Pioneer components speakers just behind the front seats. All of that is controlled via a Pioneer touchscreen DVD system provides quite a bit more convenience than the standard am/fm radio that originally came stock. The interior is finished off with a set of sill plates custom built by Keefer.
As you can imagine, this Mustang took both quite a bit of Steve’s time to build. He told us it took nearly a full year of full time work from start to finish, and that paying for it wasn’t easy either! Still, he will be sure to tell you that every minute and dollar spent has been completely worth it. Keefer has taken his Mustang to both local and nationally recognized car shows and rarely failed to bring home some hardware. In fact, we’re told he has yet to not win an award at every single show he’s entered. Are we surprised? Not at all. After all, when someone endowed with such an incredible aptitude for building cars as Keefer sets out to create something, you know it’s going to be good. We can’t think of a better way for him to show off his abilities, and we’re glad he expressed his talent on a Mustang.
Photos © 2011 MustangsDaily.com