Insane Coyote Swap: Matt Pfister’s Cobra Jet-Flavored 1969 Mustang

Our friends at Watson’s StreetWorks gave us the “heads-up” on this latest car feature. Working with one of their long-time builder/distributors, the crew at Watson’s let us know that this unique, and very interesting restomod would be making its debut at the Goodguys‘ event April 27 – April 30, 2017.

There are always unexpected surprises when building any car, but sometimes those surprises lead to a spectacular finished product. Matt Pfister purchased a ’69 Mustang on eBay, and wanted to have a little work done on his latest pony car. Performance was important to Matt, so he was leaning toward enhancing the existing 351 Cleveland engine with a stroker kit and some additional goodies.

Add The Coyote Twist

So far, this might look like your average project, but the planned engine upgrades were reconsidered, and this is where things took a detour from the original plans. Matt’s son Tyler suggested swapping a Coyote engine into the classic Mustang, because it would be more cost effective. “I was pushing for the Coyote swap. I laid it out on paper with the stroker plan versus the Coyote, and the Coyote was more cost effective,” added Tyler.

Matt Pfister's 1969 Mustang project originally called for a Coyote swap and front end conversion, but things went from mild to wild by the end of this build. Images Courtesy of

Thanks to Tyler’s spreadsheet, the Mustang was sent to GT Graphics and Customs, Inc., for what was supposed to be a simple engine swap. Initially, the ’69 Mustang started off as a six-cylinder car that had been modified into Cobra Jet inspired machine at some point. A previous owner had installed the 351 Cleveland engine and a few enhancements along the way. Upon arriving at GT Graphics and Customs, Inc., Gary and Teresa Paquette realized that this car was going to need a little bit more than just a simple engine swap and paint job.

As the team delved deeper into the layers of existing paint, it became apparent that this Mustang required some extensive body work. “All the metal was unusable, the roof skin and the trunk lid were the only original metal on it,” said Gary Paquette. Classic Mustangs are prone to rust, and since the car was picked up in Louisiana, it had some exposure to the elements over the years.

Like many classic Mustangs, Pfister's 1969 sustained some damage thanks to the elements. By the time the bodywork was completed, the only unmassaged metal left on the car was the roof skin and trunk lid.

With this information, Matt and Tyler Pfister had a lot to think about in regards to their seemingly simple restomod project. With the Pfister family living in another state, keeping up with the progress that GT Graphics and Customs, Inc. was making, was a challenge, so pictures were sent on a regular basis. The ’69 Mustang will be making its debut at the Goodguys 3rd North Carolina Nationals in Raleigh, North Carolina, on April 28th. It is an amazing feat for this level of build to be accomplished in under a year, but everyone at GT Graphics and Customs, Inc. is working hard to get the car ready for its first outing.

From mild to wild, is the best way to sum up this project. What started as a front suspension conversion and Coyote swap turned into a true custom build. Every body panel, from the insane custom hood to functional ducts and stretched quarter-panels has been modified, everything is far from stock.

Teresa Paquette added Cobra Jet logos and Cobra emblems via stencil work to enhance the aesthetic beauty of this Mustang.

List Of Upgrades

  • Ford Racing 2017 Coyote 5.0 engine
  • Lund Racing-tuned to 450 rwhp
  • Performance Automatic SuperComp 4R70W transmission
  • Powertrain Control Systems pushbutton transmission shifter
  • Heidts PRO-G Series four-link rear assembly
  • Currie 31-spline axles
  • Heidts positrac with 3.70 gears
  • QA1 billet double adjustable shocks and coilover suspension on all four corners
  • Wilwood six piston front and four piston rear brakes with 13-inch drilled and slotted rotors
  • Boze Alloys two piece billet forged wheels
  • Mickey Thompson SS 305/35-19 rear tires; Street Comp 245/40-18 front tires
  • Vintage Air air/heat with Coyote engine pulley system
  • PPG custom Candy Apple Red paint formulated by PaintHouse
  • Kindigit shaved door handles
  • Stainless Works exhaust system, with Quiktime electronic cutouts
  • JL audio system; 2 x 5.25 speakers, 2 x 6.5 speakers, 2 X 10 subwoofers powered by 2,000 watt, five-channel amp
  • Pioneer 7-inch head unit
  • Dakota Digital gauge package

The custom front valance is a blend of modern and classic lines.

Getting The Paint Right

Once the bodywork was complete, it came time to select a paint color for the car. Matt originally wanted a certain blue from the Lexus lineup, but Gary stated that he was having difficulties with getting the color to look just right.

According to Tyler, his father always loved Candy Apple Red, but the delicate nature of candy colors makes street driving very treacherous. The father and son spent countless hours going to dealerships to check out various crimson hues, but alas they did not have much luck. However, that luck would change while Matt was visiting with Tyler at his home near Houston, Texas. During the visit, Tyler managed to track down a company that manufactured some amazing paint in the nearby town of Cypress.

After speaking with the owner, the Pfister’s came out to Painthouse to check out the offerings on Saturday. Upon their arrival, Matt saw his dream color on a freshly painted early Corvette; thanks to the three-stage PPG paint, the Candy Apple color was possible and repeatable in case of rock chips or other hazards encountered on the street.

With the paint problem solved, the crew got back to work with the wiring, interior, and mechanical aspects of the project. When it came to the electrical and interior of this Mustang, Gary opted to use components from Watson’s StreetWorks due to the reliability and quality of their products. Watson’s StreetWorks was the source for the USB plugs, power windows, power door locks, push buttons, sequencers, relays, reverse modules, and more.

Image Courtesy of

All of the vents and duct work on this car are fully functional.

Under the custom hood lies the Coyote engine, which makes approximately 450-horsepower, thanks to the Lund tune. Like the rest of the car, the engine was treated to some visual enhancements as well. Teresa Paquette used her talents as a custom airbrush artist to add a few signature touches to the car. Drawing on her skills from when she used to do custom paint work on motorcycles, she added Cobra Jet stenciling to the valve covers to match her work on the hood and the rest of the car. Matt has always been a Mustang fan, and this car is the realization of a childhood dream.

About the author

Lauren Camille

Lauren is a graduate of California State University Fullerton, and has experience working for several enthusiast publications. She enjoys drag racing, classic Fords, and vintage Lincolns. She currently races a 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback, and has a soft spot for 1960’s Lincolns. Currently, her collection includes: ’04 Cobra Convertible, ’65 Mustang Fastback, ’04 F350 6.0 diesel, ’96 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a ’87 Jeep Wrangler. She provides insightful content as a freelance writer for Power Automedia.
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