Building a right-hand-drive version of the original Ford Mustang is a formidable task. Revology Cars has stepped up to the challenge with the world’s first licensed reproduction RHD 1966 Shelby GT engineered for mass production.
Revology Cars, the renowned Florida-based builder of reproduction original Ford Mustangs and Shelby GTs, plans to deliver this right-hand drive car, a 1966 Shelby GT350H, to its new owner in the UK this summer. The project involved an extensive and sophisticated development program, explains Revology Cars’ chief engineer, Aaron Wright. “This is not a conversion. This car was developed and built as a RHD model, starting with the unibody.” Indeed, the firewall, upper and lower cowl, right-hand inner fender apron, and dash are either new RHD stamped parts or expertly hand-fabricated parts created in-house.
One key challenge involved making room for the steering linkage on the right side of the engine. “To make it fit, we had to create a custom right-hand side exhaust header,” says Wright. The process involved removing the engine, installing the steering shaft in the desired position and scanning the engine bay with a special Faro 3D imaging tool to create a computer data model with the required clearances. This data was sent to a supplier who created the custom header. Inside the car, the two ends of the dashboard were swapped by cutting the sheet metal around the instrument cluster and the glovebox and rewelding the pieces on the opposite sides.
“This was an intricate process and required some building up of the material to create a refined, OEM appearance,” notes Wright. In the footwell, the pedal set-up had to be modified for RHD use, by creating new brake and clutch pedal arms. “None of these parts were available so we had to produce these in-house,” says Wright. “Also, the air conditioning unit needed to be repositioned under the dash and its lines rerouted.”
Detailed mechanical and legally required changes needed for driving in the UK included modified suspension alignment, altered wiper arms, turn signal amber lenses and the addition of an LED rear fog light, which is integrated into the right side reverse light. For many of the changes, Revology Cars’ engineering department created parts, such as mounting brackets, using SolidWorks 3D computer-aided design software and a CNC plasma cutting tool.
“We purchased parts where it made sense, but much of what we needed was not available so we had to custom manufacture the components,” says Wright. “This is the first right-hand drive car we have done and I think it is one of our most unique products,” adds Wright. “Now that we’ve finished it, we are ready to make more.” “I think this car demonstrates the thoughtful, engineering-driven approach we take at Revology,” says Tom Scarpello, the company’s founder and CEO.
“This approach is the origin of the name, ‘Revology’. The suffix, ‘-ology’ is used to denote a field of study. Our approach is scientific and studious. We are not a reality TV show, we are an automobile manufacturer.”