The odyssey began. Andy and Mike hauled the stripped hulk and loose sheetmetal from their home in Butler to Multi Media Stripping in Pulaski, Pennsylvania. They contracted Pete Kasula and Jerry Dobrozradvic for the reconstruction (including a special blasting process and rust inhibitor applied before the new sheetmetal was hung). Yikes! They were in it up to their jowls for a year, merrily replacing just about every metal piece in or on the thing: frame, all the floors, braces, rear taillight panel, windshield cowl, core support, filler panel between deck lid and backlight, and a door. When aftermarket sections were unavailable, the pair picked through donors at Sundell's Salvage Yard in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, and Shelby, North Carolina. Finally, Lee Stuchell at North Coast Rods in Ashtabula, Ohio, applied the PPG clearcoat Arrival Blue metallic and striped it out with House of Kolor white pearl.
Andy and Mike are men after our own heart. The interior is pleasingly stock and still sports the factory Delco AM/FM mono unit. TNT Interiors in Youngstown, Ohio, laid in the repro stock vinyl. Other than Auto Meter oil pressure and water temperature gauges, the car is as it was when Andy first put eyes to it many long years ago. And that is what he remembers.
Ed Steffey's Transfer Performance Machine in Transfer, Pennsylvania, built the engine for Andy. TPM's Ted Miller began with a '69 454 cylinder case, did the requisite machine work, and cleaned the holes up with a 0.030-inch overbore. He used the stock LS5 crankshaft and connecting rods but posed them with Wiseco 36cc pistons and Speed Pro stainless ring packs. So the motor would always be safe on pump gas, the compression ratio is a sane 10.5:1. Crank and cam are connected by a Cloyes timing gear. Cam specs (mum's da woid, of course) came from Ed Curtis at Flowtech Engineering in Coventry, Rhode Island, and Comp Cams applied them to a solid roller core. Ted followed up with Comp pushrods, valve springs, and Pro Magnum rocker arms. Nothing like modern cylinder heads to wake this baby up! AFR 305s (ported, polished, CNC-machined) have solid bronze valve guides and 2.25-/1.88-inch valves, just about right for that 468. The heads are straddled by an Edelbrock Air Gap manifold humping a Holley 830-cfm double-pumper carburetor and a Billet Specialties air lid. A Stealth stainless steel fuel tank from Rick's Hot Rod Shop in El Paso, Texas, includes a submerged Aeromotive A1000 pump and is connected to the motor via AN-10 lines. The ol' sparkaroo snaps 36 degrees violent through an MSD box and Pro Billet distributor. Spent combustion exits through custom Stainless Works headers featuring 2-inch primary pipes and 3-inch collectors, and thence to a Pypes X-pipe and on to a Stainless Works 3-inch exhaust. When put to the test on the Auto Service and Performance (Allison Park, Pennsylvania) Mustang Dyno, Andy's new powerplant laid down a healthy 530 hp and 450 lb-ft at the rear wheels. On the opposition, not the mythical heavy-duty four-speed ("the matching numbers M22 was too valuable to sit in harm's way"), but a real-life Tremec TKO 600 five-speed (2.87, 1.89, 1.28, 1.00, 0.64:1) taking torque through a McLeod Dual Performance 12-inch pressure plate and disc. Andy contends with a Pro 5 shifter and grunt ropes down a 4-inch Denny's Driveshaft T6 aluminum propeller. The original 3.73 Posi-Traction 12-bolt axle was thoroughly massaged (Eaton carrier, Richmond gears) by Hoss's Gear Shop in Norvelt, Pennsylvania.