While perusing the grounds of Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois during the NMRA/NMCA Superbowl of Drag Racing back in July, we stumbled upon this absolutely gorgeous 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback that we simply had to learn more about. Because not only does it have looks that could kill, but a rather unique and powerful engine combination resting between the fender wells, making this one inspiring ride that could grab the attention of any car guy.

The pride and joy of Milan, Illinois’ Tim Grillot, this Fastback has been a several year labor of love to arrive at the stunning final product that you see here, and despite setbacks along the way, Tim never wavered in his desire to complete what he states is the car that he always wanted. Prior to acquiring the car as a bare shell, Tim owned a two-seat Factory Five Cobra, but as a highly skilled fabricator by trade, grew restless at the notion of a vehicle that he didn’t play a role in the creation of. It was then that Grillot’s wife, then pregnant with their first child, suggested that he sell the Cobra and purchase a Mustang, thus gaining a back seat for the little one to join them in their travels while still maintaining the essence of a fast, high performance muscle car. The Cobra sold shortly there after, and for Tim, it was game on.

Five Years in the Making

Originally intended to receive motivation from a 5.0-liter engine with a Vortech supercharger in a blow-through configuration, a conversation with veteran NMRA racer Tim Matherly convinced Grillot to take the direction of a modern modular engine. Like so many of us that begin with humble plans that escalated out of control, a naturally aspirated combination drawn out on paper with plans to add boost later quickly turned into a forged bottom end and the fabrication of the turbo system seen under the hood today.

With the car on jackstands in his garage and work already moving along on its construction, Grillot ran into the little issue that keeps us all from having the cool cars we dream about. That, of course, is money. This is where his abilities as a custom fabricator came to the rescue, as he began doing side work to help fund the completion of the car.

“I started installing sub-frame connectors, making headers, fabricating turbo systems, sumping fuel tanks, and any other car related welding job you can think of to get the ball rolling on my car again.  Right when I have some cash again and ready to make some real progress on the car…wham – kid number two comes along.  At this point I’m about ready to throw in the towel, sell it off, and focus on the family. But, after much encouragement from my supporting wife telling me not to worry about how long it took, just get it done and done right, I pushed through and finished it.  The car was finished in December 2009, and by then my first son that really led to the idea for the car is now five, and actually helped a lot with it.”

Since it’s completion, the Grillot’s have made the most of all the time, effort, and money poured into their new ride, racking up nearly 4,000 miles over the course of the summer, cruising, visiting car shows, and even taking part in the Hot Rod Power Tour.

“The car has truly exceeded my expectations for ride quality and power.  We put a bunch of miles on it the week of Power Tour and it performed flawlessly.  It cruises down the interstate at 80mph at 2500 RPM and feels like a new car.”

Engine Inspiration – 4.6 liters and a turbo… did we mention a carburetor too?

One of the more unique features of the Grillots’ Fastback is the engine combination; a late model 4.6-liter DOHC Ford modular engine with a carburetor on top fed by a single T-70 Precision Turbo turbocharger in a blow-through configuration with a Holley 750 carburetor. The long block was built by a Matherly’s MV Performance shop, with the stock crank, heads, and camshaft, with aftermarket CP pistons, Mallory rods, and an MMR 7-quart oil pan. In addition to the turbo producing roughly 13 pounds of boost, the induction setup includes a Sullivan intake manifold with an all-stainless steel setup fabricated by Tim himself, Tial blow-off valve and wastegate, and an air-to-air intercooler. The unique carburetor setup utilizes MSD’s Mod 6 box to control the timing, with a Turbosmart E-Boost street boost controller. The horsepower all funnels out through a 3-inch single down pipe with Dynomax Bullet mufflers.

The drivetrain consists of a Tremec TKO transmission with a SPEC stage two clutch, transferring through an aluminum driveshaft to a 9-inch rear end housing with 3.50 gears and a Detroit Speed True Trac to a set of Strange 31-spline axles.

Built to Handle

Underneath this slick ride, you’ll find a complete aftermarket suspension system from Heidt’s, with a Mustang II front end featuring tubular A-arms and a custom sway bar that Tim fabricated. Out back is Heidt’s four-link suspension kit with coilover shocks, and a custom sway bar. Stopping power comes from a set of large rotors front and rear with Wilwood master cylinders.

The body is adorned in PPG Performance Red, which is the same color found on the ’93 Cobra, and has an all steel tear drop hood that Tim hammered on and welded to perfection himself.

With a turbocharged, modular engine under the hood, one of the first questions many people want to know is how much power it makes. Grillot’s simple response is “I honestly don’t know.” Prior to taking the car on the Power Tour, a trip the dyno came up inconclusive when Tim blew through the clutch, only registering 425 horsepower to the wheels.

I’m not really one to speculate power figures or make up numbers,  so that’s all I know. After changing to the Stage 2 SPEC clutch, I can say now that it’ll blow the tires off at the top of any gear – except overdrive of course.”

Tim has certainly come a long way from sweeping floors and cleaning bathrooms at the fabrication shop he now manages, and now he’s able to enjoy the fruits of his labor and his abilities with this gorgeous fastback Mustang that he can truly call his own. And the best part of it all is that he gets to enjoy his ride to the fullest with the family in tow.

“I’ve had many nice cars, but this one is by far the best I’ve built.  Each one gets better as I go…the problem now is deciding what to do next. I’ve mentioned selling this car to finance another one, but my wife has threatened to leave me if I sell it, so  I suppose I’ll will hold on to it for now.”

Car Specifications:

Engine/Transmission Details:

  • 4.6 liter DOHC
    • Long block built by Tim Matherly of MVPerformance (front cover ceramic coated)
      • Stock cobra crank
      • Stock 01 heads/cams
      • CP modmax pistons
      • Malory rods
      • MMR 7qt pan
  • Induction
    • CSU built blow-thru carb with boost referenced power valve (powder coated black)
    • Sullivan Intake (ceramic coated)
    • Custom all stainless steel turbo system built by Tim Grillot (hot side wraped)
    • T-70 precision turbo .84 a/r  p-trim (ceramic coated)
    • Tial blow-off valve and wastegate
    • 13psi
    • Extreme velocity carb hat (ceramic coated)
    • K &N filter
    • Air to air intercooler
  • Fuel System
    • Magna fuel pro-star 500 pump
    • Stock tank sumped by Tim Grillot
    • Aeromotive 13202 regulator
    • -12 line from tank to pump
    • -10 line supply and return from regulator
    • -8 line feeding bowls
  • Electronics
    • MSD Mod 6 box to control timing
    • Stock Coil on Plugs
    • 3-bar MAP sensor
    • Turbosmart e-boost street boost controller
    • Western motorsports wideband O2 sensor
    • Hurst line-lock
  • Exhaust
    • 3” single down pipe with dynomax bullet muffler
  • Transmission
    • Tremec TKO (custom shifter handle built by Tim Grillot)
    • Spec stage 2+ clutch

Chassis:

  • Front Suspension
    • Heidt’s Mustang II front with tubular a-arms (crossmember modified and engine mounts for 4.6 fabricated by Tim Grillot)
    • Custom 1” sway-bar fabricated by Tim Grillot
  • Rear suspension
    • Heidt’s 4 bar rear suspension with coilovers
    • 9” rear with Detroit true track and 3.5:1 gears
    • Custom ¾” sway bar fabricated by Tim Grillot
  • Brakes
    • Front: 13” disk (braided lines)
    • Rear: 11 5/8” cobra disk (braided lines)
    • Wilwood master cylinder
  • Frame
    • Custom sub-frame connectors fabricated by Tim Grillot
  • Wheels/Tires
    • Front: American Racing Cobra wheels with 225/45/17 Sumitomo HTR Z III tires
    • Rear:  American Racing Cobra wheels with 275/40/17 Sumitomo HTR Z III tires

Interior:

  • Seats:
    • Stock re-covered by Tim Grillot
    • Drivers seat lowered 1” for modern feel
  • Gauges:
    • Auotmeter in custom cluster fabricated by Tim Grillot
  • Steering
    • Flaming river stainless steel tilt column
    • LeCarra wheel
    • Rack and pinion
  • Shifter
    • Custom made by Tim Grillot
  • Pedals
    • Stock with Mustang Steve’s cable clutch conversion
  • Wiring
    • All new painless harness

Body:

  • Paint
    • PPG performance Red (1993 Cobra color)
    • PPG Clear
    • Paint/finish body work performed by Mike Kight of MK Autocraft from Moline, IL
  • Modifications
    • All steel tear drop hood, hand hammered out/English wheeled/TIG welded to stock steel hood by Tim Grillot (also built the English wheel to do this project)
  • Family
  • Adrianne Grillot (wife)
  • Andrew & Louis (kids)
  • Ed Grillot (dad) taught me the beginnings of my fabrication skills when I was a kid