68 Fastback Mustang

This is dedicated to all involved in building the car I always wanted. I am who I am and I’m not sorry, but thank you for helping me to achieve my dream car. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted a fastback Mustang…watching Steve McQueen in the movie Bullitt, Nicolas Cage in the remake of Gone in 60 seconds and thinking wow that is beautiful lethal car.

My friend Jessie loved the corvettes, his brother, Frankie, always had one, he was known as the cool guy in my neighborhood. Corvettes are always cool; however, for me, it was always 67-68 Fastback Mustang. I was looking for a long time for the right car to buy, then it happened, the owner of the Boston Celtics had his car up for sale. I made the call and within hours I and my friend Pete from R&D Racing (who I will refer to as Pete #1) were on our way to take a look at her. Pete jumped in the car for a ride and after looking her over, gave me a thumbs up. I turned to the seller and gave him the address to Atlantic Auto Body in Freeport, from there the delivery was all set.

My first call was to Colin from S&K Racing Equipment. When he asked me how can I help you? I told him I want it all…he laughed than got right on it. My next call was to Susie at Mustangs to Fear, she was very helpful with the build from bullet aluminum hood hinges to the Go Baby Go stick shift knob. My friend, Chris Gebbia, from Atlantic Auto Body said this is going to be a massive undertaking. We started ripping down the car and by the time we were done, we had changed the floor and basically changed every bolt, nut and spring in the car.

Everything that could go wrong did, from arguments, wrong parts ordered or not fitting correctly and sometimes disappearing, to parts breaking. Body work was done by many, some we fired fast and some lasted longer… all said they were great, but we were the judge and Jury. There was Joe, than Pete #2, these two guys I wanted to punch half the time. Jessie also was in and out of the build.

The car wiring and audio was done by David Lopez. He would always tell me the truth when it came to how much time things would take. A good guy, and great wiring and audio man, as you can see he did a great job.

Craig Melville AKA (Mell) and Pete (#2), I don’t know his last name, he never told me, but I knew where he lived…just in case, would put the car back together. Mell would cringe when I walked in. I would always say, “You’re not done with that yet!” The brake lines are made of stainless steel and take a long time to shape, and if they kink, he would have to start all over.
I went through different tires that didn’t fit on the car rubbing the wheel well, suspension changes, shocks, springs to get the right height and look that I wanted. I did not care what they said, this car had to be the way I wanted it.

I would go to the shop with friends and introduce them to Mell, David and Pete (#2) and others working on my car just so they knew not to F**k around and get the car done. They met Big Pat, Big Ant, Big Joe, Pete (#1) and others. Yes, they are all BIG and all stopped by to see the car…the guys in the shop got the point. On Friday mornings when I had to drop off money for the build, I would have coffee with Joe Mauro at the bakery and talk to the crew for therapy. There were times when I would contemplate how I would explain this to a judge, if I went ballistic in the shop.

The build had so many hick ups and mishaps, arguments and fights. The passion that went into building this car was like no other… it took on a life of its own; however, in the end, and after more than 2 years it was worth it. There are many Mustangs, but this one is mine.
Like I said at the beginning, “I am who I am and I am not sorry, but thank you for helping me with the car I have always wanted.

Joe Panz

68 Fastback Mustang

Owner: Joe Panzarella
Hometown: Howard Beach, NY

Small Block Ford 408cuin Stroker 600+hp
Scat Forged Rotator
AFR 205cc Cylinder Heads
Built by SK Speed Race Engine Shop

Tremec TKO600 5 Speed

Full Total Control Products Suspension
Rear G-Link with Coil Overs

Full MSD Ignition SK EZ Kit
MSD Atomic Fuel Injection

Autometer Phanthom II Series

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