Editor’s note: This story appeared previously at SummitRacing.com.
Restorers keep their Ford Mustangs just like the factory made them—hose clamps, chalk marks and all. Rodders don’t give a hoot about how the factory did things. They build their Mustangs how they want them, chalk marks be damned.
But then there are guys who don’t quite fit in—guys like Reggie Triggs. He built this 1968 GT fastback like a Concours restoration, right down to the hardware and inspection codes. But he also jazzed things up with an 8-71-huffed, 514-cubic-inch big block, a Tremec five-speed, and big honkin’ Mickey Thompsons.
Triggs built the GT as a more radical version of the ’68 fastback he had when he was a teenager. “I wanted to recreate that car, but to the extreme,” Triggs said. “Back then I could not afford to build one like I always dreamed about.”
As a grownup, Triggs could now afford that dream. His search turned up a GT that was built as a drag racer back in 1971. And built right too. The car was welded to a jig and fitted with a rectangular tube backhalf, a 10-point roll cage, frame connectors, and wheel tubs.
The GT came from the factory with a 390-cubic-inch FE engine. Triggs stuck with Blue Oval power—a Ford Racing 514 crate short block topped with a pair of Ford Racing C429 Cobra Jet aluminum cylinder heads. He upgraded the engine with 9.8:1 compression forged aluminum pistons and a COMP Cams .671/.678-inch lift solid roller cam. Perched on top is a BDS 8-71 supercharger and twin 775 cfm Race Demon carburetors. The Tremec TKO II five-gear keeps the 514’s 850 horsepower and 730 foot-pounds of torque controllable on the street, even with the 4.56-geared nine-inch rear axle.
Triggs had the car painted Candy Apple Red (an option in 1968) and refurbished the factory trim and GT-specific black C-stripes. The only concessions to the Mustang’s race orientation are stretched rear fenderwells to accommodate the 32 x 17.5-15 Mickey Thompson ET Street tires. Triggs even went a little nuts and duplicated the inspection marks and the original finishes for the mounting hardware.
At first glance, the black deluxe interior appears factory fresh. Even the shifter looks stock (it’s actually a modified Steeda Tri-Ax). Then you notice the roll cage, the Auto Meter Monster tach and gauge panel, and the total lack of a rear seat—all most non-factory, yet strangely proper.
Trigg’s GT is the proverbial square peg in a round hole: not quite a resto, more Concours-correct than the typical street machine. In other words, the Mustang is like a one-car culture clash. And we like it just fine that way.
Frame: two-inch x three-inch tubing backhalf with frame connectors, 10-point roll cage
Front Suspension: Rebuilt stock with Eibach springs, Competition Engineering shocks with travel limiters
Rear Suspension: Leaf spring with Competition Engineering ladder bars, Competition Engineering rear axle floater
Rear Axle: Ford nine-inch with nodular center section, 4.56 gears, and spool
Brakes: Stock front disc/rear drum
Wheels and Tires: Weld Racing Aluma Star wheels (15 x 3.5/15 x 14) and Mickey Thompson ET Street tires (27.5 x 4.5-15/32 x 17.5-15)
Chassis Work: Owner
Type: Ford Racing 514 Short Block
Reciprocating Assembly: Ford nodular iron crank, Eagle Specialties H-beam connecting rods, 9.8:1 forged dished pistons
Camshaft: Comp Cams solid roller cam, 292-degree intake 298-degree exhaust advertised duration, .671-inch/.678-inch lift
Cylinder Heads: Ford Racing Cobra Jet aluminum heads, 72cc chambers
Valvetrain: 1.73 ratio Ford Racing roller rocker arms
Induction: BDS 8-71 supercharger and Blue Thunder intake, dual 775 cfm carburetors
Ignition: Mallory Unilite distributor, MSD 7AL-2 ignition, MSD Pro Power HVC coil, Accel 300 ignition wire
Exhaust: Tubular Automotive headers with two-inch primaries, four-inch custom slip-joint dual exhaust with Flowmaster 1-chamber mufflers
Transmission: Tremec TKO II 5-speed, 11-inch Ram clutch, Ram billet steel flywheel, McLeod hydraulic release bearing, Lakewood bellhousing
Other Items: CSR electric water pump, 16-inch Derale Tornado electric fan, ARP fasteners, Earl’s plumbing, Holley 140 gph electric fuel pumps
Engine Work: Owner
Paint and Body
Body Modifications: Stretched rear fender wells and wheel tubs
Paint: PPG Candy Apple Red
Graphics: Factory C-stripe and hood graphics by owner
Bodywork and Paint: John Biaz and Shane at Panoz Auto Development
Seats: Deluxe buckets
Upholstery: Black vinyl
Carpet: Black loop
Gauges: Stock gauges, Auto Meter Monster tach
Shifter: Steeda Tri-Ax
Tony and Art Dominguez
Special Thanks To: My wife Jenny