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Ride Of The Week 08/21/2023: THE KING COYOTE


One of the Great 8 contenders at this year’s Detroit Autorama also made the trip to Cleveland for the Piston Powered Show. That’s where I caught up with Kelly Sengpiel, the painter of this magnificent Mustang II Restomod dubbed, the KING COYOTE. Rowe’s Rod & Custom of Akron, OH built it over the course of three years. Kelly gave me the scoop on the entire build while pointing out some of the intricacies of his awesome paint work.

In 1974 when the Mustang II debuted, it was built on the Pinto platform and had some of those design cues in it. The way I would describe what Joe Rowe’s team did is that they removed much of the Pinto and injected more Mustang muscle!

What started out as a 1978 King Cobra edition Mustang now rides on an Art Morrison Chassis/Suspension. Wilwood discs reside behind the one-off, Kelsey-Hayes inspired wheels. Power comes from a Gen 3 Coyote V8 topped with a 2.0L Whipple Supercharger. The driveline continues through a Tremec T-56 back to a Dana 60 rear axle with independent rear suspension.

Kelly points out the ghosted cobra on the hood and striping in the black finish with Carrizma Silver Accents. He also told me that the car includes a mix of glossa and matte clear to complete the ghosted look. In addition to the paint work, the body features quarter glass-delete and the use of Kindigit Design door handles that were modified from the way Dave Kindig and his team designed them.

The overall design was a “what-if”, Kelly explains, “What if Caroll Shelby was still involved with Ford and Mustang and there was no gas crisis in the 1970s.” I’d like to think that ol’ Shel would approve!

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