New plan aims to upgrade old Mustangs

Allan Fearnley at Wild Horses with the recent '65 Fastback conversion. Picture: Robert Ormerod
Allan Fearnley at Wild Horses with the recent '65 Fastback conversion. Picture: Robert Ormerod
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IT IS the vision of every boy’s dream – a vintage Ford Mustang brought into the 21st century by combining one of the world’s most iconic muscle cars with cutting-edge gadgetry.

Businessman Allan Fearnley is the man behind a new venture at a Canonmills workshop where classic Mustangs are upgraded to fit the modern needs of car lovers.

The 28-year-old has just completed a conversion of a 1965 Mustang Fastback and is now hoping to attract financial investment on the back of growing demand for the re-engineered vehicles.

Each car is given modern suspension, brakes, leather interior and an iPod port hidden under the radio.

Other features include a button on the key allowing the driver to start the car from outside the vehicle.

Mr Fearnley has spent the past year working on the eye-catching silver-and-black
car, worth about £80,000.

He intends for every bespoke Mustang put out by his company, Wild Horses, to be fitted with a plaque detailing the car’s name and serial number.

Each name will be based on Greek words for old war horses in another quirky touch.

The car has regularly graced the silver screen in a sign of its iconic status, most notably with Steve McQueen behind the wheel in Bullitt’s thrilling car chase sequence.

Mr Fearnley, who started the company in April 2011, said: “We’re taking the original car and trying to improve it for today’s roads. We’re making it more reliable, with better handling, easier to drive, easier to live with.

“With the old ’60s technology, unless you’re a car enthusiast [you wouldn’t want one]. I actually love the old classic Mustangs, but I don’t mind fixing them and fiddling with them in the morning to get them to start. People just aren’t used to that anymore.”

The company intends to sell the bespoke Mustangs for between £80,000 and £100,000 and compete with marques such as Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini.

Mr Fearnley said Wild Horses would only be retrofitting run-of-the-mill Mustangs, not rare models where an upgrade would be likely to horrify classic car enthusiasts.
He said the cars held a special place in many people’s hearts, adding: “They’ve been in so many films they’re in people’s subconscious anyway.”

New owner Paul McKay said he was thrilled his converted Mustang was now complete. He said: “I’m really looking forward to collecting the keys from Allan, so I can take her for a spin.”

Top five films

Bullitt (1968): The definitive movie Mustang in the definitive car chase, starring Steve McQueen.

Gone In 60 Seconds (2000): Car thief Nicholas Cage gets caught in the act trying to steal 1967 Mustang.

Goldfinger (1964): The first movie to star Ford’s new sporty car, a white 1964 convertible driven by a female assassin.

Bull Durham (1988]: Kevin Costner’s fading ballplayer drives a 1968 Shelby Mustang.

War of the Worlds (2005): Tom Cruise flees from Martians in a 1966 Shelby Mustang.