Wayne Walker of Irving, Texas, bought this ’65 Mustang convertible in May 1976 at a used car lot in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. It had been converted from a six cylinder to a V-8, but it was in pretty rough shape. Over the next eight years it was upgraded considerably.
It wasn’t until 2005 that serious changes were affected. That was when Wayne took the car to TAJ Motorsports in Union, Mississippi for a frame off restoration and some major performance upgrades. Tim Chesney and his son, A.J., turned the once mediocre Mustang into the Pearl Pony you see here.
The body retains its classic Mustang styling, but with lots of well-integrated improvements such as the custom front valence and spoiler, ’67 Shelby style hood, California Special deck spoiler and ’68 Shelby/California Special style sequential taillights. The cowl was filled and smoothed. All emblems were removed. Robert E. Lee of Meridian, Mississippi, applied the House of Kolor white sealer with BC26 base and prism pink pearl. The stripes are HOK Blood Red and everything was covered with UC35 clear. Joey Graham smoothed and prepped the body for paint.
The interior was stitched by Russell Wood to match the exterior. Danny Russell built the custom center console and trunk panels. The six-gauge dash panel and glove box door are billet aluminum.
Wayne wanted performance to match the car’s good looks, so Lance Flake of Quick Time Performance in Union, Mississippi, stroked a 351 Windsor to 427 cubic inches by fitting it with a forged steel crankshaft and Probe pistons. Edelbrock supplied the cylinder heads, intake manifold and 750 cfm carburetor. Billet accessories are driven by a serpentine belt system. The engine produced 486 hp and 518 lb-ft of torque on the dyno.
The exhaust system features custom built Spin Tec mufflers, a Dr. Gas X-pipe and electronic exhaust cut outs. The transmission is a Tremec T-56 six-speed with a B&M “Ripper” shifter and a McLeod flywheel and bellhousing.
The exotic suspension system is comprised largely of Heidt’s components. A Heidt’s Mustang II independent front setup uses a power rack and chromed control arms. Out back there’s a Heidt’s SuperRide independent rear suspension with inboard disc brakes. Carrera QA1 coil over shocks are used on all four corners as are Wilwood 4-piston calipers and cross-drilled rotors. The wheels are size 17x8 fronts and 18x9 rears by American Racing. They’re mated to B.F. Goodrich tires.
The Pearl Pony has done very well at car shows, but what Wayne enjoys most is driving it and humiliating Corvettes and Porsches. He’s so pleased with the car that he has commissioned TAJ Motorsports to build a Tangelo Pearl (with black stripes) ’65 Mustang fastback powered by a supercharged 4.6-liter Cobra engine.
The 351 Windsor has been stroked to 427 cubic inches. It produced 486 horsepower and 518 lb-ft of torque on the dyno.
The red and white theme runs throughout the interior. Russell Wood handled the custom upholstery work.
The wild rear suspension consists of a custom built Heidt’s SuperRide Independent unit with a Currie 9-inch center section. The inboard disc brakes use Wilwood four-piston calipers.
The red stripes continue through the trunk. A custom made enclosure houses amps for the sound system.
The TAJ logo in the seat cushions stands for TAJ Motorsports.
The ten-spoke wheels are by American Racing, size 17x8 in front and 18x9 in back.
The custom center console holds switches for the power windows and power door locks. The B&M shifter controls the T-56 6-speed.
Details abound as evidenced by the billet emergency brake handle and leather boot.
The taillights are ’68 Shelby style sequential units with bright LED bulbs.
The smooth firewall is home to a polished Wilwood master cylinder. The hood hinges are custom billet units.
Billet grille inserts highlight the custom front valence and spoiler. The hood is a ’67 Shelby style unit.
Carrera QA1 billet coil over shock absorbers with chrome springs contribute to the Mustang’s excellent handling characteristics.