Demon on Wheels is a new documentary feature film, available on iTunes on Oct. 13, that tells the story of The Demon, a 1968 Mustang.
Filmed over seven years by producer and director Christina Eliopoulos, the documentary follows Mike Ondish, a former backroads racer and moonshiner living in a sleepy Catskill Mountains town as he risks his health and security-even the love of his life-to restore and race the prized 1968 Mustang he owned from new.
The Mustang came off the assembly line as a Highland Green GT with a 390, but it didn’t stay that way for long. Ondish modified the V8 engine for more power with a Shelby dual quad intake, warmed-over 428 Police Interceptor cylinder heads, a wild solid lifter cam, and 14:1 compression pistons. He also brewed his own fuel-a mixture of Sunoco 260 gas, alcohol, and naphthalene-to feed the high-strung engine.
Ondish and his buddies tempted heaven and raised hell on the back roads in the 1960s and early 1970s. But sensing that his luck was about to run out, Ondish put The Demon away in 1975 and settled down to a quiet life in Margaretville, New York as the owner of a car repair and restoration shop.
Over three decades later, Mike decided to bring the Mustang back to life. The engine didn’t run, the body had seen better days and the interior was a wreck. Enlisting the help of his longtime gearhead friends and some advice from Summit Racing’s tech experts, Ondish transformed the car using modern parts, like a stroker engine kit, aluminum cylinder heads, and a race-prepped five-speed transmission. The Demon now puts 600-plus horsepower to the rear tires.