Beyond Resto­mod

Chip Foose melds 1971 and 2011 to cre­ate a one-of-a-kind, fac­tory-ap­pear­ing 1971 Sport­sRoof for the ages

Mustang Monthly - - CONTENTS - Rob Kin­nan TEXT• Eric Geis­ert PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Chip Foose melds 1971 and 2011 to cre­ate a one-of-akind, fac­tory-ap­pear­ing 1971 Sport­sRoof for the ages

Com­bin­ing old and new to build a high­tech resto­mod Mus­tang is not new—this mag­a­zine has fea­tured many such builds over the years, in­clud­ing re­cently. But the car you see here goes above and beyond the typ­i­cal resto­mod project, which is no sur­prise con­sid­er­ing who built it.

Chip Foose is a house­hold name, thanks to the magic of tele­vi­sion. The star of Over­haulinÕ, and any num­ber of other au­to­mo­tive-cen­tric TV shows, Chip grew up un­der the tute­lage of his fa­mous cus­tomizer fa­ther, Sam Foose, known for his cus­toms and in­nate knack for chop­ping a top. Chip learned his amaz­ing met­al­craft­ing ways un­der Sam, but he had “the eye” for de­sign, which led him to the ArtCen­ter Col­lege of De­sign in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, the school that has cranked out many of the world’s lead­ing au­to­mo­tive de­sign­ers.

Thank­fully for us,

Chip is a red-blooded Amer­i­can hot rod­der, so upon grad­u­a­tion he veered into our lane in­stead of work­ing for an OE. He went to work for Boyd Cod­ding­ton (prob­a­bly the most fa­mous street rod builder of the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s), de­sign­ing many award-win­ning rods and also the iconic line of

Boyd Cod­ding­ton Wheels that were on top of ev­ery car guy’s wish list in the ’90s. What sep­a­rates Chip from other de­sign­ers is that not only can he en­vi­sion how to im­prove a car’s look, he also has the chops to pull it off all by him­self, us­ing tools as sim­ple as a ham­mer and dolly and so­phis­ti­cated ma­chines and tech­niques. The list of awards that Chip has won bog­gles the mind.

When we heard he was putting his touches on a Mus­tang, we knew it was go­ing to be over the top, but in a sub­tle way—and man, is it ever. The idea for this car came from its mys­te­ri­ous owner, known only as “Dr. Honda,” in Ja­pan. Honda had two Mus­tangs in his col­lec­tion/mu­seum in Ja­pan—a 1971 Mach 1 and a 2011 GT—and he loved them both, but he wanted to com­bine the two into a sin­gle car that looked like a pro­duc­tion car, not a hot rod. There was only one per­son that he could think of who could mas­ter­fully pull that off: Chip Foose. Honda trusted in Chip’s vi­sion enough to turn him loose on the de­sign and build of the car, with the only in­struc­tions be­ing to make it look cool and drive like the modern Mus­tang. From there, Chip shifted his fer­tile and cre­ative mind into over­drive, broke out his sketch­pad and pen­cils, and got to work.

Both cars were de­liv­ered to Foose’s Hunt­ing­ton Beach, Cal­i­for­nia, shop to be­gin their Franken­stein­like meld­ing on his big metal au­to­mo­tive op­er­at­ing ta­ble. Be­fore we go into all that was done to this car, take a good, long look at these pho­to­graphs and see if you can iden­tify parts and ideas from cars out­side of Ford…and out­side Amer­ica in some cases. You can prob­a­bly pick out the 1969 Ca­maro tail­lights, but did you no­tice that grille trim is also from a Ca­maro? How ’bout the quar­ter-pan­els?

Hint: they are Mus­tang, but not from the ’71-’73 gen­er­a­tion.

To be­gin the project, the Foose De­sign guys stripped the body off the 2011 GT and draped the ’71 body over it, which was not an easy feat. The late-model’s strut tow­ers had to be dropped

3.5 inches to keep them un­der the ’71 hood­line, and the wheels were moved for­ward a full 5 inches and are con­trolled by JRi struts. No­tice any­thing “off” about the wheel open­ings? Those are from a 1970 Mus­tang; they look bet­ter in Chip’s eyes. Who are we to ar­gue with him?

Still at the front of the car, the fend­ers and hood ex­ten­sions were welded to­gether and the grille was hand-fab­ri­cated, then the whole thing was ex­tended 1¼ inches to cre­ate the peaked front end. The lower valance di­viders were also hand-formed and added to fol­low the up­per grille trim (chrome ring). The grille mold­ing is from a ’69 Ca­maro, but it was nar­rowed, short­ened, and flipped up­side down. Those driv­ing lights—they are from a 1970 Ply­mouth ’Cuda. Mov­ing rear­ward, the quar­ter-pan­els are also from a ’70 Mus­tang to, in Chip’s words, “add the rear haunches.” The lower rocker pan­els are ta­pered and bolt in place, low­er­ing the car 1 inch in front and ½ inch in the rear, and the back of the car was widened 5½ inches. The tail­light panel is from a ’69 Ca­maro with a Mus­tang filler in the cen­ter. The A-pil­lars were widened ¾ inch on each side in the ef­fort of flush­fit­ting the Ed­die Kotto–cut wind­shield. The rear win­dow is from a Chrysler Sprinter van. The mir­rors have bil­let alu­minum bases with 3D -printed tops, de­signed and built by Foose.

The in­te­rior is all 2011 GT, but the dash had to be re­worked to fit the ’71 body; the door pan­els were mod­eled in clay and then

“To be­gin the project, the Foose De­sign guys stripped the body off the 2011 GT and draped the ’71 body over it, which was not an easy feat.”

made out of com­pos­ite ma­te­ri­als and wrapped in leather; and Foose De­sign spec’d the up­hol­stery and re­worked the cen­ter con­sole to ac­cept win­dow switches—then they had 714 Mo­tor­sports wrap it all. Alu­minum door in­serts were silk-screened to match the stock GT alu­minum dash in­serts, and the rear quar­ter win­dows (sta­tion­ary on a fac­tory 1971 Mus­tang) are from a hard­top and roll up and down. And check out the door pull han­dles. Can’t tell what they are? You have to go back six decades—they’re from a 356 Porsche.

The sub­tlety of a cre­ation such as this Mus­tang is that while it is im­me­di­ately rec­og­niz­able as a 1971 Mus­tang Sport­sRoof, even the most un­trained eye can tell that some­thing is dif­fer­ent; you just can’t pick out ex­actly what that dif­fer­ence is. And that is the cre­ative ge­nius be­hind the eye of a true de­signer like Chip Foose— you know he messed with some­thing, you just can’t tell what, but damn it if it doesn’t make the car look so much bet­ter.

The 1969 Ca­maro RS tail­lights are im­me­di­ately no­tice­able, but look at this photo closely. Go hold it up next to a stock ’71 Mus­tang if you have ac­cess. Only then will you start to ap­pre­ci­ate the amount of work that Foose De­sign put into Dr. Honda’s Mus­tang.

The 2011 GT gave up its in­te­rior for the project, which re­quired some se­ri­ous re­work to the dash in or­der to fit.

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