DIY Rides: Kyle Crispo’s Propane Mustang


Welcome to a new series, where we highlight the rides of our dedicated readers. Kyle reached out to us after we stumbled across his car for sale on craigslist, and here in his own words is the story of how he came to own this unique alt-fuel pony car.

My dream car is a 1971 mustang mach 1. I searched all over Craigslist, but the cars I went to see were pretty much a swing and a miss. I looked for months. I bought cars here and there a, 1990 Mark VII, a 1990 Corvette, and a 2002 Mercedes to try and fill my “Mustang” void since it came up fruitless.

Having all those cars, I realized how much money a week I was spending on gas and it really ticked me off. I fought in the Iraq War, and gas prices were doing nothing but rising! I then moved to Garden Grove, California and across the street was a used car dealership, One day I decided to just walk over and see what they had. They had a nice 1950s Nash and some very nice Corvettes. It was a very good selection for being a used dealerships.

After walking around I was about to leave when a red glint caught my eye. It was this beautiful red 1969 Mustang! I quickly asked about it, and it was explained to me that this Mustang in fact ran off propane. I was really unsure about the fuel type, but was shown that the gas tank is still there and all I would have to do is buy the connections and it can quickly be converted back to gas, or I could even dual rig it to operate on both.

propane-mustang-1I walked away that day but it was still on my mind. Two days later I went back, and within 30 minutes I paid for it in cash and drove it off the lot. I took it to a friend of mine who told me it was turbo charged (so I really didn’t make this car), but it wasn’t functioning properly. The shocks were shot, all wiring was stock and not working, the ABS pump was ghetto rigged to the pedal, and master cylinder might as well have been taped in. In addition to all of that, the tires were worn down and the exhaust and piping looked like Swiss cheese.

I started with the exhaust pipes and muffler, where there is 3″ piping now connected to a magnaflow turbo muffler. Then came shocks. I put KYB front and rear to give it better control, even though there is no power steering. A radio was mounted under the glove box so I could keep the stock one. I had the wiring all redone with four new speakers, two front and two back. The engine and transmission were gone through, and gaskets and seals were replaced.

Finally I got to the turbo. After pulling it we found that it is custom cut and welded specifically to fit the car. $1200 later it was rebuilt, painted and installed back in. Finally was the bitch part, the ABS pump. The pump was rebuilt, and I was given a new master cylinder. After those were installed, I had to get a new brake pedal because the stock pedal was welded to a rod in order to use the power brakes. I went through at least a dozen places trying to find this pedal, and finally my friend got lucky, found one and installed it. Last came tires, I’m not sure of the brand at the moment but they are semi staggered because I wanted to keep the era rims on the car.

The car is a beast. I loved driving it. One night while pulling on the freeway, a green 67 Mustang pulled next to me sporting the 289 logo. A few revs later the race was on. Flying down the freeway going 120+ mph, the 289 Mustang was left in my dust. After that day I realized what I have is unique and should not be driven. I put it on Craigslist not to sell it, but to see what people would pay for it. I know I didn’t build this unique Mustang, but I feel that I brought it back to life for the better.

What to see your alt-fuel ride featured on our pages? Send an email to [email protected] with your name, your ride, and its modifications.

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.