I am a person of diverse interests. My focus changes over time with some interests dropping to the background and others to the foreground.
I love the harmony and design of objects of all sorts. Asian ceramics having been perfected and used as a expression of art is one of the first to enter my life. Another is the unique and wonderful Japanese sword with their beautiful form, temper line, and grain. Yet another is textiles, including quilts, Chinese imperial robes, and Chinese rugs. A single specimen of a particular object sends my mind intensely seeking knowledge about what it is, who made it, and what it means. These questions often remain in amorphous form. You think the kiln master must be a certain person due to the form, glaze, and body of the piece, but you never know for sure.
The Mustang Herd:
(Flaming Dyno Cobra (c) by Tiffany Glass, www.itsatiff.com)
Seattle area mechanic and advisor, Brad Tibbets of Willows Automotive, Kirkland, Washington
Back in 1994, I saved up money in order to rebuild my kitchen. Driving by Cottage Lake Auto, I saw a nice looking '87 Mustang GT 5.0 convertible sitting in the lot. Well . . . The kitchen didn't get done and the Mustang wound up in my garage. After leaving Microsoft, it seemed natural doing more with these unique automobiles. Over time, I have upgraded the convertible and added many other vehicles to the stable.
Here is some of what I currently own:
The Great Resto-Beast!
1965 Fastback - The Resto Beast - Our first architectural statement realizing our goals of super power, drivability, fuel efficiency, and safety. Pictured above is how she looks in her original poppy red paint job.
1965 Fastback - "Fastback 3" This was an eBay purchase of a car started by a wonderful fellow that simply did not have the resources to finish it. The body is in excellent condition and is modified to accept either a big block or late model Ford "modular" engine. I reasoned that purchasing this project would be economically viable if she sold at a certain price. As the auction was ending while I would be sleeping, I set up a snipe and went to bed. When I woke up, I was surprised to learn about winning the project. She is similar enough to the Resto Beast to make finishing both together easier than doing them apart. Pictures to follow.
1966 White Fastback "GT" - 289, 4 barrel carb, 4 speed manual "toploader" transmission. Just an old classic I enjoy driving from time to time. For the time being, I plan on doing very little to her focusing on improving the braking system as the first step. The transmission she has is noted for its ability to handle high torque high performance engines. In the future, this vehicle could become another more radical project like the Texas fastback. But for now, it sure is a pleasure firing up that old 289 and letting her roar. Now upgraded with new front power disk brakes, restored fog lights, repaired horns and fixed windshield washers.
1966 Caspian Blue Convertible - A beautiful classic Mustang convertible. 289 V8 automatic with front disk brakes. Perfect to ride with your gal on a warm sunny summer day. 63,000 original miles. Exposed to the CA sun enough to craze the original paint. The wear and tear is consistent with a 40 year old car.
We have upgraded the brakes to front slotted rotors and a power brake booster. Now this civilized classic features power brakes, power steering, and an automatic transmission. Next step is welding in subframe connectors and jacking rails. This should add lots of stiffness to her.
1988 Black "Beast" GT supercharged 5.0 Hatchback - The Black Beast is powerful and dangerous. Her Kenne-Bell supercharger delivers 7.5+ pounds of boost when called on. I purchased this unmolested one owner car on eBay with less than 70,000 miles. Every body panel has the original VIN. No crashes. It is rare these days finding a 5.0 Mustang in this kind of condition. What makes the Beast dangerous is her ability to make huge amounts of torque at low RPMs. At 2500 RPM, the engine delivers its full 350 ft/lbs of head snapping torque.
She now proudly stands on '93 Cobra Wheels and has slotted front brake rotors, Auto Meter Phantom boost, fuel pressure, and fuel/air mix gauges. To further improve the breathing, we removed the air silencer, substituted a K&N low restriction air filter, added MAC ceramic coated headers, and a Flow Master exhaust system. The exterior modifications include a Cobra grill insert, carbon fiber altezza style tail lights, and smoked gray headlights.
|The Beast's engine compartment. Note Brad Tibbetts of Willows Automotive's fantastic work.|
12/31/2005 - The Beast Dyno'ed at Intec Racing at 322 RWHP and 350 ft/lbs of torque. The clutch is blown. You can still shift it, but at times it takes two hands. Alas, the unexpected 10 lb peak boost of the Kenne-Bell has the factory head gaskets sucking coolant. When we install the new transmission, we will replace the factory gaskets with Cometic head gaskets designed to take very high boost pressures.
When we do the head gaskets and clutch, we will upgrade the intake to a ported stock intake by Thomas Moss, Ford GT-Y303 aluminum heads, and 1.6 ratio Scorpion roller rockers. This modification should give somewhat more power but is primarily designed to aid in the dissipation of heat and improve the exhaust flow, and improve the intake evenness of the cylinders.
4/30/2006 - The Beast is now in Kemp Texas to get fixed and to serve as a prototype for the fuel injection sensors we will put in the Resto Beast. After we finish the convertible restoration project, David and Tom will fix her up. As this Beast is a cold weather car, I may keep her in Texas through the summer.
5/27/2006 - The Black Beast is alive once again! All planned engine upgrades are done. The problem turned out not to be a head gasket, but a head with an internal crack causing coolant getting sucked down an end cylinder. We discovered the intake manifold had a crack as well resulting in a minor oil leak. Metroplex machine prepared the new heads. We have installed a Ground Pounder coil-over kit, caster/camber plates, and bump steer kit to completely the upgrade of the front suspension. These modifications remove over 120 pounds from the front end of the car.
1993 Black SVT Cobra - The Black Cobra is our third project. She is a wonderful driver.