Re-creat­ing a Clas­sic

Don Emas’ 1966 Shelby GT350CR Pro-Tour­ing Edi­tion is a clas­sic twist with mod­ern per­for­mance

Mustang Monthly - - CONTENTS - Amie Lynne Wil­liams TEXT• Peter Lin­ney PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Don Emas’ 1966 Shelby GT350CR Pro-Tour­ing Edi­tion is a clas­sic twist with mod­ern per­for­mance

Whether you dig old-school iron or fancy mod­ern-Amer­i­can mus­cle, chances are you have heard of Clas­sic Recre­ations. The com­pany, a house­hold name in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try at this point, is owned by Ja­son En­gle out of Yukon, Ok­la­homa, and it turns sleek, vin­tage Mus­tang bod­ies into full-blown mod­ern pow­er­houses. Each car is built to ex­cep­tional stan­dards and is a piece of his­tory trans­formed.

Clas­sic Recre­ations starts the process with an orig­i­nal Mus­tang body and then per­forms a to­tal restora­tion from the ground up. It’s the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to rock those sleek, clas­sic body lines packed with mod­ern punch and, of course, re­li­a­bil­ity. An orig­i­nal Mus­tang body could be a bit of a rust bucket to start off with, but Clas­sic Recre­ations will per­form panel re­place­ments and what­ever needs to be done to turn its resto­mods into brand-new cars. In part­ner­ship with Shelby, each car that is hand­crafted by Clas­sic Recre­ations is eter­nally com­mem­o­rated into the Shelby Amer­i­can World­wide Registry, con­firm­ing its au­then­tic­ity.

These cre­ations most likely leave clas­sic Mus­tang purists with clenched fists and sweaty palms. Don Emas puts it best say­ing, “I love the re­ac­tion I get when peo­ple think they see just a nice Shelby from 30 feet away, and then when they get up on top of it, they’re like ‘Oh God, what did this guy do?’”

The Guasti, Cal­i­for­nia, res­i­dent is talk­ing about his 1966 Shelby GT350CR Pro-Tour­ing edi­tion built by Clas­sic Recre­ations.

The en­tire body of Don’s

’66 Shelby is orig­i­nal, but pop­ping the hood ex­poses its mod­ern Gen2 Coy­ote 5.0L crate en­gine from Ford. “I went with the Coy­ote and the fivespeed Tre­mec T-5 man­ual trans­mis­sion,” Don ex­plains.

It’s safe to say that Don prefers fuel in­jec­tion and is a big fan of the 5.0L Coy­ote. “One of my goals in life is to never not own an air-cooled car and to never own a pushrod car,” Don laughs. “It’s one of my goals to not have an old-style mo­tor and to not have a car­bu­re­tor.”

The GT350CR ProTour­ing pack­age comes stan­dard with BBK long-tube head­ers and a Mag­naFlow 2.5-inch man­drel-bent dual ex­haust. Don tweaked the ex­haust to his lik­ing by adding

Borla res­onators and an X-pipe. He also lifted the ex­haust up a lit­tle higher, so he could eas­ily get over those pesky speed bumps in his neigh­bor­hood.

Liv­ing where the Cal­i­for­nia sun blazes down, hav­ing crea­ture com­forts such as air con­di­tion­ing is some­what of a ne­ces­sity. With orig­i­nal clas­sic cars, keep­ing the cabin cool can be a chal­lenge. A Be Cool alu­minum cross­flow ra­di­a­tor with dual 13-inch elec­tric cool­ing fans keep the en­gine at a com­fort­able tem­per­a­ture, even in the dog days of sum­mer. “It’s got an over­sized ra­di­a­tor and good air con­di­tion­ing in 100-de­gree heat in traf­fic,” Don says about the Clas­sic Recre­ations build. “It’s a great drive, like a brand-new Mus­tang GT if you want to com­pare it.”

The car fea­tures a Detroit Speed En­gi­neer­ing (DSE) sus­pen­sion front and rear, with the Aluma-Frame setup with coilovers and an over­sized sway bar in front and QuadraLink setup with

mini-tubs in back; Wil­wood brakes are all around (six-pis­ton calipers in front, four-pis­ton in back) and uti­lize drilled/slot­ted ro­tors that help bring all those horses to a halt. The DSE mini-tubs al­low far more tire clear­ance, and the car is out­fit­ted with 18-inch Amer­i­can Rac­ing wheels. Fuel needs are pro­vided by a Va­porWorx elec­tric fuel pump and a stealth 18-gal­lon fuel cell.

Don felt that the stock in­te­rior Shelby Mus­tang was a bit lack­ing and needed an over­haul. He sought out Mark Lopez of El­e­gance Auto In­te­rior out of Up­land, Cal­i­for­nia, to help cre­ate the dream in­te­rior for his car. Lopez is known for de­sign­ing award­win­ning in­te­ri­ors, and he left no stone un­turned on Don’s Shelby. “I went with dou­ble-stitched leather and Al­can­tara and wanted it to be ev­ery bit as nice as a Porsche, a new 911, or some­thing,” he ex­plains. “I’ve got Sparco seats with cus­tom cov­ers made and a Momo steer­ing wheel.

I’ve been re­ally happy, es­pe­cially since I did the in­te­rior.” Car­roll Shelby sig­na­ture gauges were added, and a Pi­o­neer ra­dio pumps out much­needed tunes.

If you visit clas­si­crecre­ations.com, Don’s Shelby GT350CR is the poster child in the photo un­der the Pro-Tour­ing pack­age. The pic­tures on the web­site show the car be­fore­hand with the stock in­te­rior. “I spon­sored his SEMA car, I be­lieve, two years ago,” Don ex­plains. “We built it with the idea that we would use it for SEMA, which we did, and it was in the Amer­i­can Rac­ing booth at that point in time.”

Don has quite the col­lec­tion of cars, and most of them are of Blue Oval blood­line. “I’m a col­lec­tor. My wife just counted them—10 cars,” Don says about his car col­lec­tion.

“At this point in time I’m pretty heavy on Ford.” Don ad­mits that he rarely sells cars, but he just let go of a clas­sic Ca­maro. It seems as if his love for the Coy­ote is over­pow­er­ing ev­ery­thing else. He is also a big fan of white cars and is cur­rently in the process of build­ing a white big-fender Pan­tera with none other than a Coy­ote en­gine stuffed in­side. These cars aren’t just garage queens, though. Don likes to drive. “I drive them to work and just drive them around. I just like to drive them.”

Many peo­ple build cars to take them to shows or to race them, but not Don. “I just build the cars for me. I don’t build them to show off or to show them. I just love driv­ing, and I just love build­ing cars,” Don tells us. Fu­ture plans in­volve adding a su­per­charger to add some ex­tra oomph to his ’66 Shelby GT350CR.

Clas­sic Recre­ations didn’t start with a real Shelby G.T. 350 to build Don Emas’ Mus­tang, but rather an orig­i­nal fast­back body that they added authen­tic Car­roll Shelby fiber­glass en­hance­ments to. Check out the frenched rear bumper.

Adding a lit­tle more flair to the body: 1990s-era SVT-style side-exit ex­haust.

The en­gine is a 2016 Coy­ote crate from Ford and is stock with a Voodoo in­take man­i­fold and BBK long-tube head­ers; it’s fed by a Va­porWorx fuel pump in an 18-gal­lon stealth fuel cell. With a tune, it puts 470 hp to the rear wheels. The ra­di­a­tor that keeps it from over­heat­ing is a cross­flow type from Be Cool.

Don Emas and his clas­si­cally re-cre­ated Shelby.

This car has CR’s op­tional elec­tri­cally con­trolled ABS power brakes.

The Amer­i­can Rac­ing wheels are 18x11 rear and 18x8 front, with P315/30R18 and P275/35R18 BF­Goodrich g-Force Ri­val tires.

El­e­gance Auto In­te­rior in Up­land, Cal­i­for­nia, fin­ished the in­te­rior with Sparco seats cov­ered in leather and Al­can­tara, Shelby Sig­na­ture gauges, a Momo tiller, and Pi­o­neer tunes. They are also known for their cus­tom door pan­els, and that shifter con­trols a Tre­mec five-speed.

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