1967 Ford Mustang Fastback “Redback” Fitting Tribute to CJ Hotchkiss!

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There are many famous highways in the US. Route 66 is certainly one of them. At least in the USA. As it rumbles around Albuquerque, along with I-40. On the above mentioned “Mother Road,”  lays the famous Route 66 Pony Works, and it  stands as the early Albuquerque `s Mustang mentor.

Hotchkiss Chris and Bob, his father, decided to leave John Mackie`s shop placed in Connecticut and in 1987 to finally  start the Route 66 Pony Works, since they headed west to pursuit their dream of making Mustangs for a living. Chris`s wife Jane and he, himself, now own the shop and enjoy the full support the local New Mexico`s street rod scene.

When Chris and Bob started Pony Works, CJ, their son, was only 5 years of age. CJ inherited his love for Mustangs from his father and grandfather and was natural in mechanical work. When a local body shop in Albuquerque closed down, Bob had his hands full with parts collection and a car and that valued as much as total number of almost seventy vintage Mustangs. He made a promise to his grandson that day-that they`ll built a car for him as soon as he was on age to drive it.


CJ got his builder a neat 1966 coupe, and started working all the time at a burgers place and at the shop in order to enhance his car and to keep it rumbling on the streets. CJ and Chris fitted a  four-speed transmission, an 8-inch along with a Traction-Lok diff built and a 0.30-over 302 boosting over 300 horsepower. One day as CJ was driving his baby on his way down to the shop he was noticed an 18-wheeler with faulty brakes. Unfortunately, the outcome was disastrous. You can imagine this family`s loss. The pain never faded away. Chris and Jane`s heats are still filled with pain for their los child. After some time they built this Mustang to honor their most loved child.

When Chris was 15 years old he had his very first Mustang. The relationship he had with the 1966 fastback was so strong that he ended up owning around eight diverse Mustangs before he was finished with high school. Before the opening of their shop on Route 66, Chris and Bob built at least 10 more Mustangs. One morning as Chris was gawking the local Albuquerque Journal newspaper he stumbled upon two `67 fastbacks that went on sale. The cars weren`t very rusty and Chris immediately knew that he just discovered the 1967 that would be honorable enough to pay the respect to his los son and to fulfill the dream about his `Stang. So he decided that this work of art would need 400 horsepower more in order to fulfill his dream and the drivetrain must be tough enough in order to well handle the road. He wanted the car to be simple and to perform amazingly.

We assumethat when you read the Redback title many questions popped on your minds. The Redback spider is a lethal part of the family Widow and it is spread like a virus through Australia. However, in the U.S., we`re more acquainted with other member of the family, the Black Widow. The Redback`s light red stripe along the black back was what caught Chris` attention at first. Having the same colors as Chris` Mustang, the project was named after the spider. Chris decided that Redback is the right name/theme for his raging beast. We agree. It`s exquisite!

The Redback doesn`t lack performance at every aspect. Albuquerque`s Automotive Machine Service  member Doug Anderson from, was in charge of all the work on the machine and he assembled Redback`s engine as well. As the owner says, the 396-cubic-inch engine pulls out 450 horses. The power is placed very smoothly through a Ford 9-inch rear end with a 3.70 gears Detroit Locker diff and  T-5 close-ratio Ford Racing transmission.


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