Trick Flow Specialties will have a special guest in its booth at this year's SEMA Show—a 1966 Mustang packing 557 cubic inches of big block Ford horsepower.
Built by Chris "Kiwi" Slee of Kiwi Classics in Franklin, Tennessee, the Mustang features some radical custom modifications. The car has been lowered six inches and widened six inches to accommodate 17 inch Bullet-style on 275 front/315 rear series rubber. The front suspension is from Heidts; Slee used Heidt's wide universal rear crossmember to mount a custom-built five-link rear suspension. Torque boxes and integrated subframe connectors fabricated by Kiwi Classics eliminate the flex that early Mustangs suffer from, making the car more responsive and safer to drive.
The KV9000 name comes from the big block Ford under the hood (557 C.I.D. is just over 9,000cc or nine liters). Built by John Bouchard of Bochard Engines in Hendersonville, Tennessee, the engine features many Trick Flow components:
Bouchard rates the engine at 750 horsepower and 750 pounds-feet of torque with a very streetable 6,000 rpm redline. The engine is mated to a Tremec T-56 six-speed transmission that sends power to a modified Ford 8.8 inch rear axle with Yukon Gear and Axle 3.55 gears, an Auburn positraction differential, and a Trick Flow differential cover.
According to Slee, virtually every body panel has been modified in some way; all of the work is in metal, with no fiberglass or other composite materials used. "I didn’t want to do another “cookie cutter” Mustang, so everything is one of kind," Slee explained. "That includes the rear valance with built in air diffusers, functional side air intakes, the three inch cowl hood, and the intricate front splitter."
Custom painter Kevin Tetz painted the car using Matrix paints in colors made specifically for the KSV9000. Get close enough and you'll see the "ghost" warrior graphics hiding deep in the paint.
The interior got the "Kiwi" treatment as well. Up front are late model Mustang eight-way power seats, and a wraparound bench seat from a late 1960s Ford Thunderbird has been squeezed into the back. Elite Upholstery of Nolansville, Tenessee did the interior upholstery, and TMI Products supplied the custom door panels and one piece headliner.
SEMA Show attendees can see the Kiwi Customs KV9000 Mustang in person at the Trick Flow Specialties display, booth #23025.
Enthusiasts can see the KV90000 engine build in a future issue of Mustang Monthly Magazine and a full feature story on the car in a future issue of Mustang Driver Magazine.
Originally from New Zealand, Chris "Kiwi" Slee has been in the United States for six years and opened Kiwi Classics and Customs in 2012. His work has been featured on RTM Productions' Search and Restore and Slee counts Mike Wolfe of History Channel's American Pickers as one of his clients. His down to earth approach and commitment to high quality work have helped Slee develop a very successful shop in a short period of time.
John Bouchard, former host of RTM Productions' Horsepower TV and Engine Power, is a veteran engine builder with 10 years of experience. Bouchard Engines specializes in custom high performance engines tailored to a customer's specific needs and budget. Bouchard Engines has built engines for drag racing, circle, track, road race, off-road, and marine use as well as street performance.
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