Doug Hawken’s fuel-injected, big-block Chev-powered 1969 Mustang

Is Doug Hawken’s Ford a Chevstang or a Mustrolet?

Photographers: Warwick Kent

Radical. That is the only word to describe Doug Hawken’s ’69 Mustang. After that you can use words and phrases like excellent, well engineered, different and mind-blowing. But they just don’t have the same effect.

First published in the Oct/Nov 1983 issue of Street Machine

Doug’s attitude towards his car and quality machinery in general is much the same. He loves the Mustang but recalls with glee his encounters in Europe with AMG Mercedes, Alpina BMWs, Porsches and Alfas. “No one,” says Doug, “but the Europeans can make small engines make so much horsepower.”

I must say it’s refreshing to talk to the 38 year old father of two. Here’s a man who enjoys top-class machinery no matter what country it originates from. Forget the bias others display towards Detroit iron or homegrown stuff; Doug loves it all.

The Mustang is but one of his cars, try these on for size. A 351 nitrous-equipped F100 that runs 15.6 with a canopy, a ‘26 Chev, a Model T roadster and a GS XY ute that one day will be refitted with a 351 as per the day it left the factory. Did we mention the Falcon GT is currently undergoing a rebuild? That too will be a knockout.

Doug bought the Mustang about three years ago in a very sad state from a Sydney car dealer. Fitted with a factory 428 Cobra Jet the engine was blown, the body was sad but the price was more than right so Doug towed it home with the intention of restoring it.

The 428 was rebuilt, the terrible green paint was exchanged for blue ‘flake (but the painter didn’t use the shade Doug requested) and the car generally tidied up. Apart from the stuff up with the paint Doug was happy. Then the 428 blew after having heaps of cash spent on it so the whole car was subject for a rebuild to what it is today.

Doug says the reason he elected to go as radical as he did was to have something different. Well, he sure has that. A 468 Chevy rat in one of the prettiest bodies ever to come out of Dearborn. It’s a case of Henry meet Louis — Louis meet Henry.

The main thing that concerned Doug with the installation of the big block was the extra weight over the front end. The answer? Set the engine back to compensate. Doug cut the firewall out and moved it back a full five inches, the rat motor came back four inches. Problem solved.

The 454 with 60 thou’ over didn’t remain stock either. The most obvious modification is the Crower ‘Staggered Ram!’ injection and this little feature took Doug and former drag racer, injection expert and general nice guy Bruce Phillips untold hours of modifying and sorting. The effort was worth it though as Doug has completed hundreds of trouble free miles including a trip to Melbourne that netted him 15 mpg at a steady 100 mph, the diff ratio was a 2.78.1.

The major problem Doug and Bruce had with the injection was after a period of time the engine heat would distort the butterflies in the injection. If they were set with a hot motor they would be locked in when it cooled and if set with a cool motor would be sloppy when hot.

The solution, although seemingly simple here, was to make an alloy ‘belly pan’ and place it under the
entire injection unit — sort of like a heat shield across the valley.

The internals of the Chev include TRW pistons, Cloyes True Roller timing chain, Crower cam and kit, BRC roller rockers, big port open chamber heads, Corvette headers and a free flowing two and a half inch exhaust system fabricated by Parramatta Exhaust.

If you have visions of Doug’s passenger armed with a squirt bottle to prime the injection you are wrong. An owner-made surge tank together with a high volume Holley electric fuel pump ensure that enough fuel is loaded into the injection before hitting the ‘contact’ button, a Crower dial-a-jet mounted under the dash enables the owner to enrichen or lean out the mixture, depending on conditions. When the motor is running it relies on a mechanical fuel pump to keep the feed going.

The rest of the drivetrain consists of a close-ratio Top Loader, Zoom pressure plate, McLeod clutch, Jeff Dellow bell housing and a custom made steel billet fiywheel balanced by Graham Oliver. We think it would be fair to say the drivetrain is bullet-proof.

During the second rebuild Doug spared no expense in replacing broken or worn items thus new rubbers,
surrounds, and a multitude of fittings were used. The interior remains fairly original except for the SAAS steering wheel, the custom console that houses various VDO instruments and switches, and a superb Alpine sound system that probably makes as much power as the big block.

The suspension of the Mustang has received a lot of work. Aside from the heavy duty K-Mac sway bars front and rear, Red Max dampers were used at the front and air shocks at the rear.

Doug recalls how the car in its early days would dart about the road at speed or when de-celerating “Bloody frightening” he said. The solution was to tie the front sub-frame together

(horizontally) with a two inch box section frame, “The difference this made was unbelievable”, he said.

“When we went to Melbourne my wife could cruise comfortably with just one hand on the wheel (not a regular habit) talk casually and the car was as sweet as a nut.”

The blue paint was stripped off by Doug while Tony Holden prepared the body before a Spartan staff painter applied the Yellow Glow paint.

With a car as complex as this there is a multitude of things that need to be mentioned but invariably are
overlooked when discussing the car with its owner. Things like a large capacity Corvette oil pan, modified
Falcon GT radiator, twin electric fans, a shortened XD steering column with stalk controls are just some of the many details that emerge every time | speak to Doug.

As we said earlier Doug respects fine machinery no matter what ‘hat’ it may wear and with his ‘ChevroStang’ he reckons he has the best of both worlds, who can argue?

Goodrich T/As are 295 15s at rear on Fenton mags. Interior is stock apart from console, XD steering column and out of sight under the dash, a Crower dial-a-jet mixture control

Mean, or what? Beautiful paint, the front end job and huge rear wing… and then when you lift the bonnet there’s a full-house 468 Chevy rat.