If there was an automotive Mount Rushmore, the 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback would demand a shot at the rock face. It might have to rub fenders with the Aston Martin DB-5, the Ferrari Daytona, Jaguar XKSS and other contenders, but this pure version of the great American pony car — the everyman’s sports car — would charge into pop culture in 1968 under the command of Steve McQueen and remain in gearhead hearts ever since.
In many ways, the Fastback Mustang was the model’s first step out into its full sports car identity. The first Mustang was a stylish coupe, but its initial incarnations leaned more toward style and class than broad power. The influence of speed-obsessed designers like Carroll Shelby pushed the Mustang toward its current muscle car identity, and the Fastback was the iron butterfly that hatched from its original V8-fed cocoon.
When you take an already classic car and pour countless hours of custom refinement into it, the result is a machine so striking and powerful that it demands its own name. Meet the 1967 Ford Mustang Custom Supercharged Fastback “Obsidian.” She’s now making the rounds on the auction circuit, and — while those with means make their bids — the rest of us can cower in her brooding presence.
The Obsidian is unique in creation. Built entirely by hand under the guidance of Matt Couper and the Mustang specialists at Autoworks International in El Cajon, Calif., the Obsidian is a higher evolved version of the 1967 Fastback. The original car was fast for its time with its famous 350 engine at its maxed out trim level. But, the Obsidian respectfully shed its original engine in favor of a fuel-injected, 392 cubic inch V8 with twin Rotrex Superchargers and two custom intercoolers. At last testing, that brutal pile of sinew produces a staggering, supercar-worthy 847 horsepower and a 0-60 time of four seconds flat.
Beyond its nuclear engine, the Obsidian upgraded to a Tremec TKO 600 5-speed manual transmission, full coilover suspension, an integrated tubular box frame, a four-point hidden roll cage and a full racing-style aluminum belly pan. The beautiful monster’s bulk is brought to a grumbling stop with new Brembo slotted 4-wheel disc brakes. They’re air cooled by ducts on the carved, flared quarter-panels.
With the heavier engine squatting under the hood, the evolved Mustang became understandably heavier in the nose, endangering ideal handling. So, Couper moved the engine and firewall back for better 50/50 weight distribution throughout the entire car. The Obsidian stays in touch with the lowly ground via its Couper-designed aluminum wheels and Bridgestone Potenza tires.
Would-be buyers should find the interior plenty spacious because the original seat space was expanded for the previous owner and the man who put the Obsidian on the market — former UCLA basketball star and Milwaukee Bucks draft pick, the 6’11” Dan Gadzuric (…That’s Gad-zur-REACH, and not Gad-ZUR-rick. Thank you very much.)
While the body frame is every bit reminiscent of the original Mustang Fastback, even a cursory look reveals the sculpted custom bodywork highlighting the car’s every line. Autoworks International added side skirts and flared fenders to the induction/extraction hood. The honeycomb mesh grille and taillight panel is all original, cut from billet aluminum in a water-jet machine. That induction/extraction hood is also entirely custom, fitted with the mandatory billet hinges.
The car’s comfort-minded interior, driver’s aids and entertainment features aren’t in keeping with the Mustang Fastback purist philosophy, but they’re all but essential for modern driving. To that end, the lucky winner who drives away from the auction house in this Grendel’s Mother of a car will enjoy custom-fitted Recaro heated seats, luxurious carpeting and a handcrafted color-match dashboard with two-piece door panels.
The gadgets include power everything, an Alpine Audio head unit with Kicker Amps, AM/FM/Sirius/XM radio, full navigation system, an MP3 player, iPod capacity, wireless Bluetooth connectivity and wireless internet potential as an option.
All assembled and polished to within an inch of its shadowy life, the Obsidian is a show car for the ages. Fully functional and track worthy, the car would be thrilling to drive. But, she’s pretty enough to stand still before its admirers. Her next owner will become somewhat of a celebrity on the national Mustang and custom car show scenes. For everyone else, you get to enjoy a close up look at the Obsidian Mustang in the gallery below.
Update: The Obsidian sold at a Barrett-Jackson automotive auction over the July 4th weekend for $143,000.