Mysterious. Dark. Sinister. Full of attitude. We’re actually describing the car owner here, but since the Blackened Mach 1 is an extension of his personality, they fit the car as well. Bud Brutsman is a well-known (within the industry) television producer whose credits include the incredibly popular Rides and Overhaulin’ series, along with such standouts as Hot Rod TV, Payback, and lots of others. Considering the well-known car builders he’s worked with over the past few years, we consider it a big compliment that he asked us to build his Mustang.


And speaking of his Mustang, the car he brought to us had been in his family for a number of years, and obviously carried a strong sentimental attachment for him. This meant even more pressure for us to get it right! Fortunately for us the car was a pretty decent starting point, which meant we didn’t have to spend a ton of time and effort on the basic shell before anything else. The better the starting point, the better the build will go.


Bud had a pretty good idea of what he wanted in the finished product. He envisioned a build in the modern style, with updated suspension and drivetrain, a few mild body mods, and an updated interior. The car would see its share of use so we knew it had to work well, whether cruising L.A., running cross-country on the power tour, or getting beat on at the drag strip. In other words, it was going to be a typical YearOne type vehicle.


The drivetrain is very similar to our ’66 Mustang in that it uses a supercharged 4.6 liter engine from an ’03Cobra. We built a similar intake setup that allowed the use of the Mach 1 scoop, and a Metco Motorsports front pulley system was put on the front for simplicity, good looks, and most importantly, more boost! Bud wanted an automatic in his car, so a fortified Ford overdrive unit was bolted to the back of the mod motor. In the back, a Moser 9″ housing directs the power to the rear wheels.


For the suspension, we went with a Martz tubular front subframe, same as our ’66 and the subsequent ’67 we built for Rick Hudson. The Martz unit provides adjustability, strength and allows us to remove the OEM shock towers for some much needed engine clearance. The rear suspension is a Unique Performance setup that features a bolt- and weld-in cage that locates the rear axle through control arms and a Watts link. This system features trick cantilevered coil over shocks that are actuated through beefy rocker arms.


Outside, the body is primarily original Mach 1, with a couple of tweaks. The bumpers were sectioned and tucked into the body, and treated with a cool “black chrome” powdercoat finish. We modified the front valance a bit, and fabbed up a more modern front spoiler for a cleaner look. The trademark ’69 quarter panel scoops were redesigned (with input from some guy Bud knows, Chip Foose) for racier, more sleek look. The rocker panels were extended downward a few inches, which gives the car an overall lower appearance without sacrificing ground clearance for the mechanical bits underneath the car.


As for paint, anyone that knows Bud knows his favorite color – black. We did dress the black up a bit by adding a contrasting flat black stripe to the hood and along the rocker panel area. These flat black areas add some surface detail and contrast nicely with the ultra slick black gloss. All the trim was blacked out, and the aforementioned black chrome bumpers give the car a very sinister, agressive look.


SSBC provide the stopping hardware for the car, complete with black powdercoated calipers of course. The wheels are from Foose Design, and feature gloss black centers with polished rims. The polished aluminum outers are just about the only shiny bits on the entire exterior, and our designer, Phil Brewer, had to fight for those!


Inside is all modern. We fabricated a custom instrument panel and filled it with Auto Meter gauges. The
seats are very trick carbon-fiber and leather race style units from Cobra. Our guys built the console, and snagged a shifter from an ’05 Mustang to control the gears. The sound system features an Alpine DVD head unit running to a full complement of Boston Acoustic amps and speakers, and will blow you out of the car if you aren’t careful with the volume know. HVAC is from Vintage Air, and keeps the black car from scorching the occupants when the sun is beating down.


We’re proud of the finished product – both in how it looks and how it performs. Since completion, the car has made a number of cameo appearances in Bud’s productions, and was even featured performer in a recent Royal Purple television ad. Bud has a bit of a reputation for being a little hard on vehicles (must be his Baja racing hobby), and so far he’s only managed to break the Mustang a couple of times. Which really speaks volumes for the overall package!

Vehicle Specifications:


2003 Cobra supercharged 4.6L

8.5:1 compression ratio

Manley H-Beam rods (OEM)

Forged crank (OEM)

Kenne Bell supercharger

Metco Motorsports pulleys

Accufab 1700cfm throttle body

FAST engine management

Custom built Stainless Works headers

520 rwhp on pump gas

Fuel System:

Holley 255 lph in-tank pumps

Aeromotive fuel filters

Aeromotive regulator

Aeromotive ruel rails

Holley 50 lb/hr injectors


4R70W automatic by MV Performance

Precision Industries converter

Baumann Engineering trans controller

Modified 2005 Mustang shifter

Rear Axle:

Moser 9″ housing with 3.73 gearset
limited slip

Rear Suspension:

Unique Performance system
adjustable control arms

Watts link
coil-over shocks


Tucked front/rear bumpers

Modified front valance with custom front spoiler

Modified side scoops

Extended rocker panels

LED tail lights

Southern Polyurethane

Powdercoating by Georgia Powdercoat


Foose Design

19″x8″ front

20″x10″ rear


BFGoodrich g-Force KDW

245/35/19 front

285/30/20 rear


Vintage Air system


AutoMeter Sport Comp

Cooling System:

Be Cool aluminum radiator

Be Cool/SPAL electric fans

Front Suspension:

Martz tubular front subframe

Adjustable tubular control arms

QA1 coil-over shocks


SSBC Force 10 four piston calipers front/rear

SSBC 13″F/14″R rotors

2003 Mustang Hydroboost master cylinder/booster


Cobra Misano seats covered by Jeff Henderson

Custom center console

Custom instrument panel

Entertainment system:

Alpine DVD head unit with flip-out monitor

Alpine navigation system

Boston Acoustics amps, speakers, subwoofers