I have always admired the Rat Rod car culture and often wished that more Mustang owners would embrace the hobby like those enthusiasts do. One of my favorite events is Rats at the Beaver during Run to the Sun in Myrtle Beach, held in March. When I first spotted this Mustang pictured here, I was immediately drawn to it. I remember thinking, "Please be Ford powered," and it was. I came across the car during Mustang Week on display at the CJ Pony Parts exhibit.
After the crowd cleared away, I asked a few questions about the car and found out the Mustang belonged to Aaron Longley. It had once been his brother, Kristopher, also known as Topher to his friends. Aaron lost his brother on September 20, 2020.
Aaron informed us that his brother was inspired by shows like Roadkill and wanted a high-performance driver. In December 2020, Aaron, along with his parents Scott and Pambi Longley, cousin Travis Strohl, uncle Darryl Neidlinger, brother-in-law Mike Stofflet, and friends Sid Huntoon, Travis Shoemaker, Emily Usher, Bill Tumas, and all of his brother's friends, undertook this project to build Topher's dream car.
Aaron and his crew aimed to honor his brother by building the car as close to his vision as possible. The car boasts an impressive build list, as you will read below. Aaron was proud that no professional shops were involved in the build.
While the Mustang is still in the tuning stages and getting the bugs worked out, Aaron tells us that this car is a blast to drive. I asked Aaron if he would be painting the car, and he said yes, mentioning that his brother wanted it Kona Blue with silver stripes.
Aaron wanted everyone to know that this dream couldn't have happened without the help and generosity of everyone surrounding Topher.
If you are attending the Carlisle Ford Nationals this year, be sure to look for this amazing coupe or follow TeamTopher on Instagram.
Here's just some of the impressive details:
289 SBF block over bored .040", Eagle forged 302 Crankshaft, Scat Forged 302 Connecting Rods, DSS Forged Pistons (308ci)
GT40P Cylinder Heads
Canton Road Race Oil Pan
Professional Products Typhoon Intake
67mm Turbocharger with custom built by Travis Shoemaker Turbo kit and custom built exhaust.
Tuned by Ryan Wilson
Custom Built Charge Pipe kit with Mishimoto Intercooler
Holley Terminator X Engine Management System with Holley EFI fuel tank and system.
Tremec T56 Magnum 6 speed Transmission with T56 swap kit from American Powertrain.
Modern Driveline Cable Clutch Conversion
Wilwood 4 wheel disc brakes
Ridetech coilover suspension with rear 4 link
CJ Pony Parts Subframe connectors
Quick Performance 9 inch rear axle with 3.70 gearset
American Racing Torq-Thrust 2 wheels, 17x8 with 245/40/17 fronts and 275/40/17 rears
Mustangs To Fear Mini Tub kit
Electric Power Steering swap using Electric Steering from a Toyota Prius.
Octane Lighting Composite Headlights with Halo Ring
CJ Pony Parts LED Sequential Taillight Kit
CJ Pony Parts Shelby-R Front Lower Valance
Maier Racing 3 inch Cowl Induction Hood with Quik-Latch Hood pins
TMI Products Sport 2 Front Bucket Seats
Retrosound Hermosa Bluetooth Radio
Custom Painted Rear Seat memorial panel