Improving Classic Mustang Road Manners With Upgraded Suspension Technology – Jim Smart @Hemmings

Improving Classic Mustang Road Manners With Upgraded Suspension Technology – Jim Smart @Hemmings


Updated Underpinnings

Words and Photography by Jim Smart

When you take a 1965-’73 Mustang or Cougar for a spin, it is immediately apparent that you’re driving a vehicle from another time. The ride quality and handling of these cars pales in comparison to newer vehicles.

The unit-body shock/spring towers and spring over upper-arm technology used on early Mustangs and their brethren like the Falcon, Comet, Fairlane, and others, was common back in the day. It was a simple, cost-effective system that helped make Ford and Mercury compacts and intermediates more affordable. Even first-generation Chevy IIs were designed this way, as were some American Motors compacts and intermediates. But this design certainly has its shortcomings, and these seem all the more apparent today, as new Mustangs are such capable road machines. But vintage Mustangs don’t have to remain just as they were back in the day. Currently the automotive aftermarket offers a wealth of high-performance suspension kits and parts for classic Mustangs and Cougars, not to mention other Ford and Mercury compacts and intermediates. Classic Performance Products’ (CPP) Pro Touring kits are complete turnkey packages offering effective handling upgrades for your classic Mustang as well as other Ford muscle cars.

These kits come in four different levels of performance, from suspension only (Stage I and II) to complete kits (Stage III and IV) including front and rear high-performance brake packages. All CPP kits include front and rear “Totally Tubular” tested-tough upper and lower control arms, front and rear Pro Touring anti-sway bars with the optional billet aluminum mount upgrade for strength, front and rear coil springs with nitrogen gas shocks in the Pro Touring Kit 1 or the dual-adjustable coilover package with two-way adjustable rear shocks (PTK2, PTK3, PTK4) and lowered rear leaf springs (for leaf spring applications). Mix in CPP’s chrome master cylinder/adjustable stop-block combo along with its upgraded front and rear 11-inch or 13-inch disc brake kits and you have a true Pro Touring package ready for both cruising and autocross.

To improve the handling ability of vintage Mustangs and Cougars, CPP takes an interesting approach to upgrading the front suspension technology. This reinforcement subframe plate stiffens and strengthens a Mustang’s front end by diminishing unit-body twist. Reinforced tubular lower control arms provide stability and strength. All components and mounting hardware needed to complete the installation are included in the kit.

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