Members Rides: Mister 4×4
Here’s the first of our Member Car Showcase: Mister 4×4 (A.K.A. Eric) He is so named as he used to frequent a local chain of 4 Wheel Drive shops in Salt Lake City, Utah where he grew up and bought various things for his 4x4s.
Mister 4×4 has brought back from the boneyard a lovely example. We asked him a bunch of questions to figure out how it all came about.
What are the basic specs of your car?
It came from the factory as a 1971 H-Code Mach 1: 351C-2V, FMX, 3.00 rear axle, no A/C, rear window defroster, Light Pewter Metallic, deluxe interior, no stripes or spoilers, and 14” wheels with hub caps (probably Corporate “dog dish & rings,” but I always preferred the Sport Caps, so I like to think it came with those since the Marti Report doesn’t specify).
What got you into this specific era of Mustangs?
I was 14 and one of my Mom’s friends had a ’71 302 Mach 1 in Grabber Yellow w/Ginger interior which I fell in love with. I was fortunate enough to actually drive that car, so it was ‘Game Over’ at that point – I would have one of my own someday (just took 30 years to make it happen).
How did you find it?
July 2010 Craigslist ad – my pal Jim had just bought a 1963 ½ Galaxie 500 XL, and I wanted a hot rod project of my own.
What was special that made you get this over another?
It was local and I didn’t realize how bad it was until after I’d bought it. I probably would’ve gone with a better car to start with if there were any available locally. It’s 90 miles to the next mid-size city in any direction, after all. Pickin’s are slim.
How long have you had it?
Purchased in July 2010. First 4 years was all about restoring it to actual ‘car’ status again, now it’s all about enjoying it.
What special upgrades have you done since buying?
Tons – it’s a “Day Two Restomod,” meaning that I’ve built-in lots of modern performance and convenience upgrades, but everything I’ve done cosmetically would appear as I would’ve done if I’d had one of my own back in the ‘80s when I first fell in love with ’71-’73 Mach 1s. I’m not a big fan of the latest trends. Here’s a run-down of all the mods I’ve done along the way:
– Rebuilt the 351C-2V with:
— .060″ bores w/9.5:1 Keith Black hypereutectic flat-top pistons
— CompCams Roller cam 274/274 w.566″ lift (.218/.218 @.050″ on 110 lobes)
— CompCams Hi-Energy Roller “Everything” (1.73 Rockers, lifters, rods, rod guides)
— Crane Cams screw-in 7/16″ rocker studs
— Edelbrock Performer intake
— Edelbrock Performer 600CFM carb
— magnafluxed, balanced & blueprinted by machine shop
— 3-angle valve job & hardened seats (rebuilt the stock 2V heads w/mild port & polish)
— Chrome ‘stock’ oil pan
— Edelbrock valve covers
— Holley “Black” electric fuel pump
— Duraspark ignition w/Accel Super Coil & 8mm wires
— Hooker Competition Ceramic-coated Long-Tube Headers
— Pypes 2.5″ stainless exhaust w/X-pipe
— Pypes Street Pro mufflers with 2.5″ polished slash tips
– AOD transmission
– 1.5″ 5-leaf rear springs w/Scott Drake 1″ shackles
– 1″ front drop coils
– Lakewood traction bars
– Global West sub-frame connectors
– KYB shocks
– Grab-a-track front & rear sway bars
– Cragar S/S (15×8 front – 15×10 rear)
– Cooper Cobra Radial GT (245/60-R15 front – 295/50-R15 rear)
– Upgrades to the interior include:
— Classic Auto Air HVAC system
— Scott Drake intermittent wipers
— Retrosound complete sound system w/USB, iPod, & Bluetooth, 4×7 & 6×9 speakers
— MTX Terminator 200w amp w/2 10″ Terminator subs
— Autoloc SPAL power windows, locks (keyless entry) & security
— Raamat thermal & sound insulation
— Pyle Audio rear-view camera & flip-down monitor
— ACC cut-pile Mach 1 carpet
— TMI Sport Seat upholstery
— Complete trunk carpet kit
— Quarter window roll-up conversion
— Carbon Fiber 3M Di-Noc interior trim
– Rear window louvers
Is there anything you wish it had beyond the options list?
Nothing I can think of. If it were a better optioned or rare car, I wouldn’t have had the heart to restomod it to the level I’ve done. They’re only new once, so the rare and collectible cars should be preserved, but at the end of the day these are just cars and people should build them the way they like.
Any amusing story about it?
Jim was a Master Mechanic and a great mentor, so I always sought his advice when working on my stuff. He was not a fan of my buying this car, but stuck with me anyway. That’s not to say he didn’t have his fun with me or give me crap when he had the chance. After I got the car into the shop, I asked him what I should start with first, and without missing a beat he said, “A tetanus shot.”
What are you working on right now?
I have a few loose ends to finish up in the way of Edelbrock E-Street fuel injection, A/C brackets to complete the Classic Auto Air installation, SPAL universal electric window motors, a new back-up camera/mirror monitor, power remote mirrors, factory Ram Air air cleaner, radiator-to-grille cover, and a custom box for some 10” MTX Terminator subs w/200w amp. West Texas weather is ridiculous – cold one day, sweltering the next – makes it tough to work in ‘nice to have’ projects with the regular chores.
What do you get asked most at shows?
Not ‘asked,’ as much as ‘told.’ Everybody I run into… well, 19 out of 20 I would say, always say the same thing: “I had a buddy that had one of these in high school.” The next most common thing is: “Is that a Cleveland engine?”
What gets you most irritated and angry?
Hypocrites and ‘Gas Monkey Garage wannabe car flippers.’ They bloat the price and do shoddy work, which only over-inflates the hobby, making it hard for people who just want a cool car to afford something other than a complete pile. Not everybody can afford to do full-on restorations, and pricing these cars out of sight for low-end, non-collectible models only hurts the hobby. The high-end restorations deserve their hefty price tags, but the more people overlook the ’71-‘73s, the more the available viable cars are just going to sit and rot, then they will all become rare and overpriced. I’d rather see more people enjoying them, than just the rich guys who can afford the prices going through the roof.
What would you say about new cars in comparison to classics?
The newer models will never hold their value like the ‘classics.’ They’re also a lot more complicated to work on and restore, which is a big part of it. Not to mention they’re almost the size of minivans in comparison. But, my wife has a 2015 Camaro which is a lot of fun to drive and is very cool, and my daily driver is a 2012 Ram 1500. I know I probably wouldn’t feel good driving the Mach 1 on a daily basis – I’d be afraid for it to suffer the normal daily driver damage after putting in so much work.
What’s your favorite drink
Colorado Bulldogs (Vodka, Kaluha, Coke & milk over crushed ice – Adult Chocolate Milk!). Aside from those, I’ve discovered the taste for Scotch, Canadian Whiskey, and Spiced Rum on the rocks. Turkish Raki is also an old favorite from my time spent in Izmir, Turkey.
5. Favorite food
Most Italian pasta dishes, specifically lasagna and tortellini alfredo – pizza is always a good choice, just like a quality sandwich.