How to Tastefully Modernize a 1970 Ford Mustang

1970 Ford Mustang | POWERNATION

You might have had a car purist turn their nose up when mentioning you want to modernize your classic car. Their argument was that you’ll destroy a piece of history by altering the past. In some cases, these are the same people who have upgraded their classic cars with air conditioning, disc brakes, or an assortment of other goodies that aren’t, well, classic. It begs the question – is modernizing a 1970 Mustang blasphemous? No.

First and foremost, when you purchase a vehicle, it’s your choice to do with it as you so please, even if that means putting a spoiler or oversized rims on a muscle car. Please, don’t actually do that, but the point remains – do what makes you happy. If you aren’t trying to sell an original at auction to yield big bucks, have fun! Be creative. Build something that adheres to your standards, not everyone else’s.

If that means upgrading a classic Mustang with modern parts, don’t let someone make you feel bad for it, especially if your plan is tastefully done and pays homage to the history of the car. If you own a classic Mustang, you know the issues the models from 1965 to 1973 faced, and that it’s in dire need of some upgrades, which is what Detroit Muscle did with a 1970 Mustang Fastback project of their own.

Issues With ’65-’73 Mustangs

It’s hard to deny the allure of a classic Mustang. However, it’s also hard to deny how much technology has advanced over the past four decades, with increased access to high-quality parts. For example, the 1970 Mustang is notorious for its poor handling, sloppy steering, leaking cowl vents, overheating issues, drum brakes, broken seatbacks, old technology engines, leaky power steering, and loud cabin noise, to name a few.

Wanting more out of your ’70 Mustang isn’t asking too much, especially if you’ve been spoiled by the technological advances from the automotive industry today. Although nothing compares to how an older car feels when you’re behind the wheel, you’re limited by what you can do performance-wise, which was the case with our Mustang. Enough power to do a one-wheel burnout might have been acceptable then, but that’s not what we wanted.

Comfort, handling, braking, and performance were the objective when these cars were first engineered, which isn’t all that much different from what we look for in our muscle cars today. However, in the past, aftermarket support didn’t exist like it does now. The support for aftermarket parts today is robust, leading to some of the best iterations of these classics the industry has seen and helped us decide what to do with our restomod project.

What are The Best Upgrades For A 1970 Mustang?

1970 Ford Mustang | POWERNATION

The most common issues plaguing classic Mustangs have simple solutions, albeit time-consuming. There are many options available in a variety of cost points. While it won’t come cheap, you can tastefully modernize your classic Mustang without anyone knowing. So, what are some of the best upgrades for a 1970 Mustang?

Disc Brakes

One of the first questions asked when it came to rebuilding a 1970 Mustang was how to improve braking? While the options on the market seem limitless, Detroit Muscle decided to choose a set of state-of-the-art EBC brakes for their project, which enhanced their build and allows it to achieve unprecedented stopping power. Upgraded brakes will stop any amount of power with ease. A nice set of brakes will set your car apart from the competition, literally.

While upgrading to disc brakes isn’t a modern modification, it’s a significant and simple upgrade over stock. It’s made these classic Mustangs safer and improved stopping dramatically, especially if you do something crazy and add a supercharged Coyote into the mix like Detroit Muscle.


1970 Ford Mustang Supercharged Coyote | POWERNATION

The V8’s that came with these classic Mustangs are nothing to balk at – if we’re in the 1970s. You can’t compare them to the engines of today, and this is one of those rare situations where classic isn’t better, subjectively speaking, of course. By upgrading the powerhouse and dropping in a modern modular Coyote engine like we did, you’re paying homage to Ford’s history and giving your upgraded brakes the chance to prove their worth.

Modular engines from Ford have a 30-year track record of success. The 5.0L Coyote offers more power, improved fuel economy, and solves all of the problems you’ll encounter with the stock motor. It’s not the only option available to you, it’s just the most fun.


It’s no secret these classic beauties don’t handle any better than your grandma’s Buick you took without her permission. However, we never said they weren’t capable of handling better. With a bit of work and elbow grease, installing a new suspension will wake up the car. For our project, Detroit Muscle went with a Detroit Speed front and rear suspension to modernize and correct the infamous handling issues plaguing the 1970 Mustang.

The front suspension we installed is made up of a unique cast aluminum cradle and mounting components, tubular upper and lower control arms, and Detroit Tuned rack and pinion steering. If you’re planning to upgrade it with all that power and giving it a new set of brakes, don’t proceed with any half measures and go all the way with it- you won’t regret it.


Face it – the objective may have been comfort for these classic Stangs, but they fall short when it comes to that today. However, you can tastefully replace the interior without sacrificing that classic look we all know and love. You can keep all of the gauges intact and leave most of it alone while making it more stylish and functional.

If you’ve upgraded the brakes, suspension, and engine, you’re going to be hitting the corners hard and want to be comfortable and look good while you’re doing it, which is why updating the seats, door panels, dash, and carpet with products from TMI will help you achieve that look and comfort Ford set out for in 1970.

Updated Parts In Classics Can Breathe New Life

We know that some wouldn’t dare upgrade factory components and want to keep their classic car intact. There’s nothing wrong with that, but combining the technology of modern cars with the style of a classic. What’s better than that? When it comes to how much or how little you should add, that comes down to personal preference and what you’re trying to achieve.

One thing we wouldn’t want to alter is the exterior. Wanting your vehicle to drive better isn’t blasphemy, but trying to change the exterior appearance where you’ll be hovering on that line. Again, your car, your choice, but you shouldn’t feel discouraged and do what you want with your car, even if it’s doing something crazy.

If you’re looking to breathe new life in your Mustang and build it tastefully, these upgrades might be exactly what your car needs.

1970 Ford Mustang | POWERNATION

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