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The real life Frankenstein's monster of Mustangs

Few Ford Mustangs likely ever matched this one in terms of the diversity of sources for its myriad of high performance concepts and equipment parts.

This page last updated on or about 10-28-11
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Large picture of the real life Frankenstein's monster of Mustangs
Above is my 2005 artistic rendition of Shadowfast in his 1970s prime.


In Mary Shelley's classic novel Frankenstein, a scientist assembles a patchwork body from pieces of multiple human corpses, then brings it to life.

In various later derivative media works, Frankenstein's monster also possesses greater strength and powers of endurance than the original component owners. Or, in other words, 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts'. Or a gestalt-- or synergy-- if you will.

Frankenstein's Mustang

In its ultimate form, the Shadowfast supercar of the 1970s described in The Shadowfast supercar driver logs had much in common with the Frankenstein's monster of fiction. For the heart of Shadowfast was a wrecked 1969 Ford Mustang Mach One. Over time, this Mach One would become 'monsterized' or mutated with the integration of parts and ideas from a wide variety of other sources (like those below):

Black 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 with white stripe

The biggest reason for Shadow's eventual 'Frankenstein'-like composition was my lack of money. I had no choice but to pursue my performance goals with whatever I could scrounge up from my environment. But it all turned out amazingly well!

BMW's early seventies 'Frankenstein's monster'

It seems my dad and I did an awful lot of things right in our transformation of Shadowfast. Like maybe in some ways making it as good as (or better!) than Ford's own Boss Trans Am racing Mustangs and street Shelbys of the period.

But European car maker BMW seems to have had its own Shadowfast moment.

In 2006 I ran across a Businessweek collector cars article about how BMW made their own 'Frankenstein's monster' in the early seventies, much like I did Shadowfast. BMW's performance results were likewise impressive, allowing them to win the 1973 European Touring Car Championship.

BMW reduced their car's weight by virtually the same amount I did Shadowfast's, by dispensing with unnecessary items like sound deadening insulation and various interior components.

Front view of 1973 BMW 3.0CSL Batmobile

But weight reduction alone wasn't enough to beat their toughest competitors. So BMW also added a front air dam and large rear spoiler-- again, just as I did with Shadowfast. Heck, they even applied fin-type elements ("air guides") to their front end which resembled the top edges of a 1969 Mustang's front fenders from the factory!

Thirty plus years later(!), Businessweek's collector car editor's main gripe with this BMW was it being underpowered compared to many other vehicles (this particular BMW seems to have possessed only 72% of what a purely factory-stock 1969 Mach One 351-4V did). He also thought the aerodynamic elements a bit too outrageous and juvenile-looking for a street car (but the article says those elements were vital to the car actually winning races thirty years ago).

-- BMW Batmobile The 1973 BMW 3.0CSL looked funky but its improved aerodynamics made it a winner on the track By Rob Sass; SEPTEMBER 11, 2006

Rear three-quarter view of 1973 BMW 3.0CSL Batmobile

Yeah, that collectible BMW sounds quite a bit like Shadowfast: it didn't boast the biggest, most powerful motor of its time; it was fairly outrageous-looking for many street circumstances; and it definitely wasn't the prettiest car around.

But it outperformed its peers in all the ways that really mattered.

To see how Shadowfast did likewise, you can check out The Shadowfast supercar driver logs.

Dark Horse: The Official Shadowfast Supercar Technical Reference is now available for any Amazon Kindle or free Kindle app, and offers all of Shadowfast's technical details in the form of a single ebook.

Front overhead view of a one-of-a-kind custom 1970s Mustang supercar

BACK to Me and my Shadow supercar 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 supercar site map

All text but for quotes and third party references copyright © 2006-2011 by J.R. Mooneyham. All rights reserved.