1969 Ford Mustang
In literary terminology, referring to something as a harbinger carries considerable weight. In a simple lexicon, it’s defined as “one that indicates or foreshadows what is to come; a forerunner.” That sounds like hype or hyperbole when slapped on a matte black Mustang, but, in fact, there truly is much more than meets the eye with this particular 1969 Ford Mustang.
To begin, this isn’t a one-off toy for a rich boy; it’s actually the prototype for a new line of extreme Mustang roller chassis. Like an OEM body-in-white program where bare bodies are prepped for racers to complete to their own spec, competition-ready Harbingers are created from scratch by Agent 47 with Dynacorn ’69 Mustang bodies. That’s not an embellishment; packages can be configured to be legal for just about any racing class, ranging from the loose rules on regular weekend warrior open-track cars, to the more exacting regulations placed on competitors racing in American V-8 Supercar Series, and pretty much everything in between. So right away, this car represents something muscle lovers have never had access to.
Now the concept of a track car roller isn’t new to the hobby in itself, and even with configurable specs, it’s not exactly revolutionary. What makes this car different is in the level of execution and sophistication of the parts and company behind them.
So who are these Agent 47 guys, anyway? Gamers might recognize the label as the same applied to the stealthy assassin-for-hire with a flawless record in the popular game series titled Hitman. That character is actually a genetically enhanced clone created by criminal masterminds who donated their own DNA. In much the same way, this company arose through the mixture of the latest in rapid prototyping and manufacturing available at Forecast3D, Agent 47’s parent company, and the decades of racing experience of Bill Osborne, who is likely best known to PHR readers as the chassis designer and fabricator for the legendary Big Red Camaro.
Corey Weber of Forecast3D and Osborne became friends while Osborne was building a ’64 Corvette for Weber. Through bench racing, the two eventually formulated a plan to create what would be the ultimate near turnkey muscle car. Originally, they would have basically been clones of Big Red. But the platform eventually migrated to Mustangs, with the ’69-70 being a nod to classic Trans-Am racing, and the ability to squeeze more aggressive suspension and tire packages under stock sheetmetal. Osborne started from scratch using Forecast3D’s incredible in-house fabrication and prototyping capabilities to design something NASCAR-inspired, but with a thoroughly unique V-link rear suspension package and SLA-style front suspension.
Before moving forward with what would become the Harbinger, the suspension was initially applied to Fox and SN-95 chassis Mustangs for on-track testing and development in various racing series. The suspension worked well in competition, gathering many wins and a couple of championships, so Weber and Osborne knew they were ready to move on to their ultimate goal. But considering what was at their disposal, they weren’t going to just slap a bunch of parts on a Mustang to make it sound cool for the guys down at the local cruise-in.
Beyond the distinctive suspension, what really makes Harbinger stand out is not the vintage Trans-Am mixed with new-technology style of the car. That’s what makes it positively sinister looking, but it’s the technology that went into creating many of the parts that marks a watershed moment in hot rodding. Rather than hand-fabrication by artisan metalshapers that we’re accustomed to, most of the parts created for Harbinger were designed using systems and processes rarely used in our corner of the industry. These include stereolithography (SLA), direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), selective laser sintering (SLS), and RTV Short Run Tooling. (See more about these processes in “The Future Is Now,” elsewhere in this issue.)