The Black Death: 800hp In A ’68 Fastback
No Brostang

Yes, this ’68 ‘Stang does look like a ride fit for Death himself.

While Mustangs have been known to aim for crowds lately, this badass machine instead murders tyres, fuel and common sense. But who needs common sense when you have something like this in your garage?


The story of Laurent Decalion’s 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback starts a few years back, when he first spoke to Chad from Sportech, a custom car shop in South Africa, about it. Over a few drinks, he discussed his desire to build a proper Mustang.

It took nearly a year of planning and discussion before they settled on just how they would build the Mustang of his dreams, which specifically had to be a circa ’68 Fastback. With Chad being performance orientated, he pushed for a car that would stop, turn and handle exceptionally well, while also making an abundance of horsepower.


The search then started for a car and eventually one was located in Cape Town. It was supposedly a completely rebuilt car, but to pretty low standards. It looked decent, but drove average with underwhelming power. Under the skin, lots of shortcuts had been taken.

The car was shipped up to Sportech in Johannesburg, where they started a complete strip down of the car. The parts that could be sold were let go – like the motor and gearbox – and the entire body and chassis was stripped to bare metal, which is where they encountered some major issues.


The car was in pretty dismal condition underneath the paint, with body filler everywhere, uneven gaps and also some rust. To remedy this, they had to replace certain panels, as well as welding in fresh metal to fill up holes and gaps. The entire car was also seam and strength welded. When all that work was completed, it received its new paint with spectacular results.


This first part of the process took around six months to complete. While this was taking place, they searched for what they felt was the best suspension for the car; a full Heidts setup. It now runs fully adjustable coilovers in the front and rear of the car, along with sway bars. They used polyurethane bushes wherever they could, as well as custom lower control arms and uprights.


The front suspension is a weld-in setup, which enabled them to cut out the shock towers, making more space for the massive motor that would be slotted in eventually. Between the rear suspension sits a hefty 9-inch limited slip differential, another hint of the power this car produces.


To help the car stay away from any potential crowds, it was fitted with a 6-piston Wilwood brake setup, along with braided hoses, Wilwood master cylinder and special compound brake pads, so that the brakes could are immediately effective from cold. The Wilwood master cylinder was used with an integrated electronic brake booster, so that the pedal feel is like that of a modern car.


Now, we get to the juicy part. I believe that ‘juicy’ is maybe best description of this motor, as it gets a dismal 1-2 kilometres per litre (2.3 to 4.7 US miles per gallon). What’s fuel consumption anyway? This ain’t no Prius.


A specially built 408 cubic inch (6.7 litres) crate motor was commissioned from Proformance in the States, but instead of it running an old school carb setup, it runs a fuel-injection system with a huge Procharger resulting in around 800hp and 1000Nm (737ft-lbs).

The engine was built specifically for the requirements of the higher South African altitude, as well as the quality of fuel. When the engine arrived from America, it was supposed to be a bolt-in setup, but Sportech found that the supercharger exceeded the height, so the bonnet couldn’t close.


They then had to drop the motor lower into the chassis, taking into consideration that the oil sump would also be lower now, so it was quite a mission to get right, but they got it done. The car also runs a massive MRP Motorsport radiator, with a huge fan, oil cooler and gearbox cooler, to make sure all the temperatures are kept under control.

The car even has air conditioning now, can you believe that? On the ignition front, the car runs two ignition systems; an MSD system as well as a Mallory, while Aeromotive products keep the fuel supply and pressure sorted.


To keep everything running as it should, a local engine management system was chosen and the car was tuned in Cape Town, as that’s where it lives. Custom boost pipes were built in-house and actually run through the fenders on the left and right of the car, while the exhaust is also a custom built piece, which exits at the bottom of the car.


The whole motor setup was then connected to a manual 5-speed Tremec gearbox, with a special clutch to hold all that torque, because trust me, this thing really pulls.


On the outside, the all black paint was complemented by matte black stripes with red accents. Every piece of chrome on the car was also blacked out, with HID lights fitted up front.


When it came to wheels, Laurent had seen a design that he liked and Sportech then had the wheels custom made in the USA, as they needed a very specific offset. The wheels needed to be pushed out as far as possible, without tubbing the body, as they still wanted to keep the rear seats inside the car. The wheels, finished in matt black with red wheel protectors, are shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sports, in 285/38R18 and 255/45R18 respectively.


Finally, we move to the inside, which is a nice place to be. The entire carpeting was redone, while a new dash was also ordered and then trimmed before being installed. White Velocity gauges replaced the originals, helping with the more modern feel of the car, while a centre console was custom built, housing a few more gauges and switches.


The gear lever is an item from American Powertrain, while acquiring the steering wheel became a whole mission on its own. It took almost four months to find the manufacturer of the wheel, but it was the perfect fit, so it was well worth the effort. The seats in the car are Sparco items, which were completely recovered with leather and Alcantara, along with the door cards and rear seats.

Lastly in a car with this much power under the hood, extra safety for the passengers is always of importance. So, a custom rollcage was built, but was kept as close to the roof as possible in order to take up as little headroom and space in the car as possible.


So in a nutshell, what is this car all about?

Well it certainly looks like an old-school muscle car, but it drives like a modern day powerhouse and I can guarantee you, driving this car anywhere, especially on the scenic Cape Town roads, it gets more attention than any supercar ever could.

A Black Death might be a good death after all, then.

Stefan Kotzé
Instagram: stefankotzephoto


How To join the IATS program: We have always welcomed readers to contact us with examples of their work and believe that the best Speedhunter is always the person closest to the culture itself, right there on the street or local parking lot. If you think you have what it takes and would like to share your work with us then you should apply to become part of the IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER program. Read how to get involved here.

Cutting Room Floor


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Thank you, Stefan, for this amazing contribution to IATS.

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

It's an absolute pleasure and honour to be able to contribute to my favourite car culture platform Paddy. Thanks for the opportunity!


Sorry if this is a beginner question or dumb. Is there a way to load a map to the ECU which reduces fuel consumption for highway driving and flick between that and having fun mode? Or this something that would not be possible and obtain minimum results?


It shouldn't be an issue because highway cruising will be at part throttle where you can have a slightly leaner mixture. Even a supercharger isn't necessarily that bad because boost is related to rpm especially with a centrifugal blower, and a small amount of boost is actually helpful in reducing the restriction created by the throttle plate (no vacuum for the engine to draw against).


It's very common to be able to switch maps on the fly, with modified stock ECUs, standalone/aftermarket ECUs, as well as some external tuning modules that can add that function to stock ECUs. It is not always possible with modified stock ECUs because of firmware or hardware constraints, and some aftermarket ECUs didn't have that feature as part of the design intent.
So the answer is yes, it is possible and quite common if you have an ECU capable of that.


I know on quite a few motorbikes now there is the option to change maps. They're given mode names like Rain, Sport, etc.


You can do a little of this with a turbo setup by opening the waste gate earlier. Less boost, less power, less fuel. It's harder with a supercharger mostly because a supercharger is allways on and, unlike a turbo, tethered to the crank creating parasitic losses. However the mpg killer in this situation I would assume is the 6.7 liters of displacement and a tune that accommodates both bad (low octane) fuel and boost, this means running rich, real rich.


Super excited seeing a south African writer on Speedhunters. Thanks Stefan for sharing this. I'm a proud capetonian after this article

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Hello Riaan, glad you like what you see! Man I must say, everytime I shoot in Cape Town, I get so damn jealous of the natural beauty. The absolute best place to shoot EVERYTHING


If you need more cape Town cars to feature I know of a few ke70's that would make awesome features


It's pretty much perfect. I'd have widened it a little, esp. when I see the straight rear angle. Which arguably would be less perfect.

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Yeah I think the usual thing would've been to go wider, but the owner purposely wanted to keep the car the same original dimensions as much as possible


Stefan, this is awesome work.

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Thanks dude, appreciate it lots!


AMAZING Mustang it looks so timeless and super clean. I'll hope for the owner that this beast will hunt him for his hole life XD Thanks for sharing Stafan !

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Yeah I really think it's been executed well. Knowing him, he'll keep it for his lifetime. He's got quite an obsession with Mustangs! Glad you liked it!


I don't like it I love it. The Engine the parts around and the cooling systems. It shows that this car wasn't build for other it was build for longlife fun for the owner ! The Mona Lisa under the Fastbacks

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Yeah the engine bay is so rad. How insane is the piping running through the fenders! Pretty much my favourite Fastback as well!


i think the original gauges look way better than those aftermarket ones..anyways, nice to see someone doing something different from those dime a dozen elanor clones

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Yeah the original gauges are nice, but I think because the car is really a blend of old and new, the gauges work really great in this build. But yeah definitely different from many Mustangs all being built in a similar style.


Love how the red lines make it pop!
Overall an amazing build front to back.

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Yeah those small little accents really add a nice finishing touch. Lots of attention to detail was put into this build


Wow! I can really dig all the modern bits.

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Yeah it blends super well with the old and new


Why bothering readjusting the engine position while they could have a typical muscle car look with the supercharger intake popping out of the hood?
800HP and 1000Nm using bad fuel, the owner should consider importing some racing fuel for himself since the current consumption rate is very high and sure not cheap at all.
I can imagine the big smile of Mr.Decalion while driving.


This is a centrifugal supercharger, essentially a belt-driven turbo - the style you see "sticking out of the hood" (which, not-for-nothing, is quite passe in the US nowadays) is a derivative of a Roots-style (positive displacement) blower.

I'm happy the owner didn't cut up his turn-signal hood for a blower.

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Well I guess if you gonna do something, then do it proper. Like you said, the typical way to do it is have the SC stick out the hood, but they deliberately didn't want it that way. We do get better fuel here as well, and lots of racing fuel locally, but then the car would make even more power, which is definitely not needed. When he is here in South Africa, the car is also his daily, so having it run on pump fuel makes it much easier to fill up wherever he goes.


Well for the SC, sure it's easier to just cut the hood and make it pop up instead of keeping the outer original look stock, the work done to "hide" it is not an easy job and in this case is executed in a perfect way. But i love the show off attitude of a muscle car with big SC inlet.
Since you have access to a good quality fuel so i guess the car has another map for extra "non-needed" hps.


Nice build but the wheels are hideous. They don't work well with this body. I would have gone with a set of 901S or Magnum 500.

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

I usually also would prefer different wheels, but after spending some time with the car in person, I've grown to like it quite a bit. Also 901S and Magnums are used a lot in these builds, hence them going for something else.


Yes, those are quite common with this type of build, but, just like Watanabe, they have become a "classic" among classic builds. An old Stang with these modern racing rims..just looks odd.


This, people. This is how you "murder" a car and still have a bit of class. Damned fine vehicle!

Now to demonstrate my own lack of class:
A roll cage has A-pillar bars. This car has a roll bar.
As this is in South Africa, I have to ask - Is the donor vehicle stolen? How long until it IS stolen? ESPECIALLY in Cape Town.
I have to agree with another poster about the gauges here. To have such a subtle build and then BAM! IN YOUR FACE white gauges seems odd.

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Usually murdering a car also doesn't tickle my fancy, but this was definitely done the right way. Haha you had to stir there. The roll bar then, if you want to be technical. it is at least bolted into the body of the car.

Haha maybe if it was JHB it could've been stolen, but c'mon, Cape Town is really not bad. The car stays in Camps Bay, so definitely stays in a safe place.

Dark gauges would've been nice, but I guess the white ones seem more sporty? I also would've fitted darker though


When I started reading this and realized it was in South Africa (and me being from South Africa) and the part came about selling the motor I was waiting for the dreaded local phrase "Lexus V8" to appear in some way, nothing wrong with the 1UZ but it has been done to death on every car imaginable here. It's good to see a local build where there were no shortcuts taken like what happens all to often in the local car culture

Congrats on the feature Stefan its epic to see some local content making its way to Speedhunters.

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Hahaha you killed me there. Lexus V8 is such a local phrase. It can be a good setup, especially when forced induction is added, but hell no in a Mustang. That's like some guys building sick cars, then sticking in an Autostyle steering wheel.

Appreciate the comments, glad I could share it with everyone!


Lots of subtle changes done to the car. The '69 Cobra Jet-style scoop grafted onto the '68 turn-signal vented hood, or the recessed secondary lamps, reminiscent of a Mach 1. I like to see wheels with a bit more lip on vintage muscle, but I see nothing wrong with his choice there.

Always like seeing fastbacks on SH, and especially ones from overseas. Nice work. Maybe this will motivate me to get out in my shop and return to working on mine.

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Glad you could spot the small changes. The owner particularly always like the secondary lamps on the Mach 1, so he was really happy with the outcome of those.

Glad you like it so much, hopefully one day we can see yours on here


Great car! I have extra admiration for people who build these cars without the benefit of next day shipments from summit or JEGS.

I'm always a little sad to hear negativity about the previous owner's work. I'd like to think that the PO did the work as best as his/her skills and budget allowed.

...then again, maybe it was a quick flip and they laughed all the way to the bank.

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

It is really quite a headache getting some parts over here, and our weak currency doesn't help either especially with things like shipping costs and import taxes.

The thing with lots of custom cars over here, is they will look great on the surface, but underneath lots of shortcuts will be taken, as was the case here. The previous guys that "restored" the car, did try and do a bit of quick job to sell the car as far as I know. But at least now it's all proper


That opening line is too good! Great photos and article!

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Haha glad you can appreciate that! Glad I could share it with you!


is it tires or tyres?


In South Africa, it's 'tyres'.


Awesome car, this is maybe a stupid question but why is it running 2 different ignition systems? What’s the benefit? Is it to do with boost pressure from the sc? And is it 2 complete systems? Plugs etc and couldn’t any benefits that 2 ignition systems could give be replicated with 1 ignition system and a modern aftermarket ecu?

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

Glad you like it. It's not a stupid question at all. I was and I'm still a bit confused with this myself. With the car running an old school motor setup, but more modern fuel injection and a whole bunch of other things, they had lots of teething problems at first. All I know is the one system is more like a secondary system. Basically Dual ignition provides two advantages: redundancy in the event of failure of one ignition system; and more efficient burning of the fuel-air mixture within the combustion chamber. So most likely something to do with the SC as well. The car is running a modern ECU, locally developed and used in lots of modified and race cars. Very tunable system.


Thanks for the reply. Really interesting. Definitely a head scratcher, but if it’s putting out that power it certainly works!

Stefan Daniël Kotzé

It's a pleasure. Yeah it is quite confusing, but once you drive the car, you just enjoy it and it's so proper to drive


Yes, yes, yes, with an extra side order of yes. This is absolute Mustang perfection. If I was being super picky, I would have those wheel protectors in black instead of red, but that is such a minor detail on what is, in my eyes, an absolutely spot on build.

Great article and pictures as well!


Thought it was a Celica till I clicked on it. Celica would have been better...


Celica slavishly copied the Mustang's lines. I'd rather have the original


This car is like, 90% of my childhood dreams.
I have no words.
I n c r e d i b l e

Chris Kreschollek

Some epic driving there.