Faster Fastback

A Valenti Classics Creation

Larry Jewett - June 25, 2014 12:03 PM

ImageCourtesy of Valenti Classics
ImageCourtesy of Valenti Classics

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     Every year, Steve and Don Valenti and their team at Milwaukee’s Valenti Classics help dozens of customers realize their custom car dreams, from painstaking restorations of Prohibition-era jalopies to mind-blowing modifications of classic muscle cars. For the last 12 months, however, the father-son team has strived to perfect the vision of one of the most demanding customers they’ve ever had: themselves.
     For the second year in a row, the Valentis have built a collector car for a local radio and TV station promotion.  While last year’s project (1961 Ford Thunderbird restoration) was a hit, this year they decided to up the ante. In honor of the Ford Mustang’s 50th anniversary, they chose a 1969 Mustang Fastback as the platform for showcasing their skills. This project went well beyond restoration, however; the modifications to the body, interior and engine/drive train make the Valenti Mustang a ‘Stang like no other.
     “This Mustang still has that classic look, but the extensive body work we did gives it much sleeker, more contemporary lines,” said Steve Valenti.
     Those lines start with the bumper line, which has been moved closer to the car’s grille and body, creating the illusion of a floating bumper by concealing the attaching hardware through extensive customization. The Valentis also shaved the rain gutters to make the car more aerodynamic, and roof rail extensions complete the fresh window frame appearance. The car’s facelift also included modifications to the rear quarter panels making for a smoother, more streamlined appearance and integrated unique exhaust bezels that flow perfectly with the body lines that really set it apart.
     The bodywork was finished off with several coats of gleaming San Marino blue metallic pearl paint and shadow charcoal metallic accents. Classic knock-off style wheels complete the retro-chic look.
     The Mustang’s interior is equally impressive – and modern. The seats are covered in a Napa leather and suede interior with contrasting stitching and a padded dash. The dashboard features a modern instrument system with analog style gauges, CD receiver with USB interface, Bluetooth and Sirius XM Radio. The Valentis also installed sequential LED tail lights and tri-bar halogen headlights.
     “When you’re cruising in this Mustang, you forget that you’re driving a classic car,” said Steve Valenti.
     Working with their machine shop, they modified Ford’s venerable 302 “Triple X” small-block V-8 into a custom fuel-injected 347ci stroker powerplant producing better than 450 horsepower. The Mustang’s fully custom set-up features an Eagle rotating assembly that’s capable of handling up to 900hp (if needed), a Bullet full roller custom ground cam, diamond-forged aluminum pistons, Edelbrock RPM aluminum performance heads and an Edelbrock RPM air-gap intake manifold, as well as MSD high-energy ignition. This harmonically balanced engine offers nary a vibration for the driver or passenger.
     Other state-of-the-art modifications include Ridetech modern-engineered tubular “A” arm suspension with fully adjustable coil over shocks on all four corners, hydro assist power steering, Wilwood four-piston caliper brakes with 12-inch drilled and slotted rotors and a Tremec TKO500 manual five-speed with a hydraulic clutch. Custom designed, fitted and fabricated structural modifications were carried throughout the entire car to accommodate the modern suspension and performance upgrades by the Valentis, creating an incredible driving experience.
     “This project defines the term ‘restomod,’” said Valenti. “While there is no mistaking that it is a classic 1969 Mustang, the handling, power, interior and electronics represent the best of 2014.”