“The last straw was when I took my 1967 Shelby out to a nice place in town with a date,” said Michael Golinder, a Mustang enthusiast with a background in restoration, resto-mods and pro-touring cars. “After the dinner, we came out to a puddle of radiator fluid from a steaming motor.”
The Shelby had many upgrades and aftermarket parts to make it comfortable and drivable, but nothing was able to take away the old-car temperament, the old-car feel, or the old-car smell. Michael had seen many of his clients come into his shop, MAG Motors, with the realization that classic cars were great to look at, but not always the “most fun” or most reliable to drive. “The car was towed home, my date and I took a taxi, and I decided that this is not what owning an iconic classic should be.”
Michael sold the car shortly after his date night and it was replaced with a 2014 Shelby GT500 Mustang.
“I was disappointed with the plastic-look of the interior, the body still wasn’t quite cutting it,” he said, adding that like all other “new cars,” it became old and outdated after the next model year.
“That is partly the appeal of the iconic classic designs,” Michael said. “They are simply timeless. I wanted my old Shelby back, but I was not going to accept the old part of it.”
As a result, Michael used his 2014 S197 Shelby as the base for his new project; his goal was to create a car that brought together the best of both old and new.
“It’s not a factory restored classic, it’s not a resto-mod or an original frame and chassis with upgraded components,” Michael said. The final product is 50-years of technological advances underneath a custom, widened, carbon fiber body that involves over 300 custom made parts, 3D printed components, and dry carbon fiber autoclave.
He calls it the “Magstang.”
“I like the play on Mustang,” Michael said, adding “it’s a MAG Motors car, and I figured Magstang makes sense, it also shows the car is different than a pro-touring Mustang.”
According to Michael , every modern feature and component from the S197 Shelby is retained while the iconic exterior design of the 1967 Fastback Mustang has been adapted to the platform with a slightly modern and more aggressive feel.
Because the S197 is a larger car than the 1967 model, the fenders, hood, and various body panels needed to be created from scratch. Michael and his team worked with CAD software and 3D modeled the parts that were then made at a carbon fiber composite company. However, the car still utilizes the 1967 fastback shell and retains the 1967 doors.
“The tail is just plain sexy,” Michael said of his favorite part of the car. “Countless hours were spent developing a custom rear diffuser to blend with the 1967 body and work with the quad exhaust. If you look at most 1965 to 1968 cars they are simply naked under the rear bumper and the valance did not extend nearly far enough.”
Michael added that he feels the diffuser adds to the design to achieve a slightly modern look that cleans up the lines of the car nicely.
The Magstang goes further than a mere body swap by integrating the 1967 dashboard and adapted the center console with luxury components to compliment the overall vintage look.
Alcantara and Italian leather adorn the interior along with features such as Bluetooth, navigation, power doors, power windows, power mirrors, automatic headlights, push-to-start ignition, keyless entry, a power trunk, front and rear-facing cameras, a dimming rear view mirror, and LED lighting.
“Including luxury features in the interior design was always a priority,” Michael said, adding it was also the most difficult and time-consuming process of the build. “I felt that clients expect the best and they shouldn’t have to sacrifice that when they are purchasing a classic-style vehicle. Making a modern electrical system work with 1967 windows, door locks, and mirrors, was difficult. I also had custom headlights and taillights made to connect and work with the system.”
The best part, of course, was when all the electrical components came together and worked better than Michael’s expectations.
Under the hood of the Magstang is a supercharged aluminum-block 5.8-liter Ford V8. The 2014 GT500 powertrain received updated heads for better cooling, changed the camshaft profiles, added piston squirters and higher-flow fuel injectors, swapped the old supercharger for a larger and more efficient TVS unit that ups boost from nine to 15 psi, and got a larger intercooler. The result is an extra 100 horsepower and 90-foot pounds of torque compared to the 2012 model.
Additionally, the cooling system was upgraded to dissipate the excess heat and a carbon-fiber driveshaft, upgraded clutch, strengthened transmission with revised gearing, and a sturdier rear axle was necessary to cope with the extra power.
Safety was always a priority for Michael while developing the car. The design features “crumple” zones in the S197 chassis, airbags in the front and rear, as well as inertial seat-belts. The car also has an OBDII connection with Mobileye, a system only available to modern vehicles that can warn drivers of a lane departure, a forward collision, or a warm them of a pedestrian near the vehicle.
The OBDII connection can also be utilized by a mechanic in the event the check engine light appears.
Michael said the car also retains all of its modern suspension geometry in the chassis and that it has been strengthened with welded chassis braces and Steeda coilovers on all four corners, complimented by 15-inch rotors, and six-piston Brembo brakes. Drivers can still utilize ABS, traction and launch control systems that come with the modern Shelby.
Research and development took approximately three years to complete the prototype, Michael’s personal vehicle, Shelby 0. He now produces the cars for purchase and says production takes about seven months plus delivery time.
“I have clients that go for test drives and are blown away by the feel of the car,” Michael said. “You are truly driving a modern car that looks like an iconic classic.”
Michael added that clients are able to customize and personalize their builds to make them unique to fit their own personal style. Options include variations of the hood, side scoop choices to match a 1967 or 1968 Shelby Mustang, in addition to any color combination of powder coated moldings, car color, and stripes. Additionally, among the options offered are classic Shelby-style wheels or a Shelby wheel that’s been given a modern twist. Clients can select from a number of Interior options such as classic door panel inserts, leather choices, audio components, and rear-seat delete.
The Magstang can also be ordered as a “convertible.” The option features a removable fastback top, the designs are done in CAD software, but Michael says he hasn’t had a client order one yet.
To date, “the S197 2014 Shelby GT500 was the last available year of the GT500 so far, so if the client wants a genuine GT500 then that’s the only option” Michael said. “We can and will do the builds on the S550 chassis, but so far only the GT350 is available.”
Additionally, Michael offers he can create the car on a 5.0 GT platform but notes it won’t be a Shelby, it will remain GT. “The S550 is an excellent platform and with currently available performance upgrade options it’s a formidable build,” he said, “especially considering the fact that our carbon fiber body reduces the weight by 400-pounds.”
To see specs and order options, please visit the Magstang site.