1967 Mustang Shelby GT350 Clone Project

This 1967 Mustang Fastback was my very first project car.  I purchased this Mustang in the fall of 1980, when I was 17 years old.  The purchase price was $750.  This Mustang was originally Acapulco Blue with a black standard interior, and equipped with a 289 cu. in. engine, a C-4 automatic transmission, and a 2.79:1 open rear axle.  This project Mustang was built in my driveway (no garage) and during my auto body class at high school during my senior year.  No this certainly wasn't a "concours" restoration, but it was a whole lot of fun for a teen!!  Sorry about the picture quality, but you have to remember, these pictures were taken in 1980-81 with a 110 instamatic camera.

I had already sprayed the body in gray primer, shot the red oxide Lemans stripes, and added a 1969 Mach 1 hood scoop by the time I took these pictures. Check out those nasty rear spring shackles!!  I eventually removed those things and put the correct spring shackles on it.
Here's the dirty engine and bent up grille.  I tried to spray paint the engine in the car and that was a waste of time... so out came the engine and transmission.  I was fortunate enough to locate a 1967 Mustang coupe (sitting on the back lot of a used car lot) with a complete 4-speed transmission, bellhousing, pedals, rear axle, etc.  The owner said for $150 I could take off whatever I wanted... so with help from my friends, we removed the complete toploader 4-speed transmission, shifter, pedals, drive shaft, rear axle,... and deluxe interior roof console, door panels, etc.!!  What a deal!!  The only problem we had was when it came time to remove the rear axle.  We couldn't get the bolts out of the springs or the rear axle... so we walked down the street and borrowed a oxy-acetylene torch from the local garage and gas station.  Yes, we did have a small fire... no we didn't have a fire extinguisher or a water source, but we did put it out... and all I'm gonna say is that it involved body fluids and it STUNK!! While the engine was out, I located a set of Cobra valve covers, an aluminum intake, a Holley carburetor, and a set of headers in our local trade paper, the Trading Post Classifieds.  Part of the fun is tracking down parts.  We went to look at the used headers for sale... and when we looked at the junk engine they were still bolted to, there were the very dirty Cobra valve covers!!  Yes, I had to drive the Mustang at least once with open headers before putting some "Orange Peeler" mufflers on it... don't you see the sticker on the right shock tower??  Even better, you can't help but notice the Accel yellow plug wires... but did you notice the CLEAR distributor cap courtesy of J.C. Whitney??  While I had the engine torn down to install these parts, I found out it was a Mexican block 302 which was a BIG plus!!
I would later discover that the front fenders were FULL of bondo... I'm talking 1/2" to 3/4" thick bondo... so off they came!!  I bought the front fenders, grille, and front bumper off of a 1968 Mustang. Well, it's beginning to look like a Mustang again!!  Here you can see the high tech tools I had as a teen, a small toolbox and a piece of Masonite!!
Well, it was back to the field for another picture.  I later found that my driver's door was also full of bondo so I found a 1967 fastback door w/glass in a local junkyard.  You can also see the J.C. Whitney front spoiler that I would later mold to the front valance using fiberglass and bondo... yes I had to be cheap... no big bucks here. Here you see me taking a J.C. Whitney one-piece universal rear spoiler and cutting it into one large piece and two small pieces.  The large piece was bolted to the trunk lid and the two small pieces were bonded to each quarter panel extension with fiberglass.  All of it would be molded in using fiberglass and bondo.  No, I couldn't afford an original Shelby trunk lid and quarter extensions.
Here's a finished quarter panel extension... pretty cool huh?  The spoiler is in progress.  I also used 1967 Cougar taillights and made my own rear tail panel from fiberglass. Yes, that's a velocity stack sittin' on top of the carburetor.  I had to take my hood off for a few days so I could ride around with that big 'ol aluminum bowl sticking up.
Here's a picture when it was ALMOST done... fresh out of the paint booth from high school.  Yes I painted it and it was FUN!  My shop teacher said only single-color paint jobs... so we asked for forgiveness instead of permission.  The chrome styled steel wheels came from a burnt 1967 Cougar and only needed a good cleaning and polishing.  No, I still hadn't removed those awful shackles... but I did get them off by the 1981 MCA Grand National Show. Here it sits at the 1981 MCA Grand National Show in Kingsport, TN.  The only real high class parts on this Mustang were the correct Shelby brake scoops, air extractors, side stripes, and pop-open gas cap Shelby emblem that I ordered from Tony Branda.  I had to use 1966 GT-350H stripes to get gold side stripes.  I did spring for a new set of tires too.  Can you believe that the total cost of this project (including the purchase price of the Mustang) was $2000!!

I finished this Shelby Clone just before I graduated high school in 1981.  It was a blast to drive and drew plenty of attention.  I enjoyed it all summer.  I sold this Mustang before leaving to go to college.  Here's one good story...

During the summer of 1981, my girlfriend and I were driving down the interstate in the 1967 Mustang Shelby Clone.  I had a big For Sale sign in the rear window.  I was almost ready to exit the interstate when I looked up and saw blue lights in the rear view mirror.  It was a state trooper.  I pulled over, got out, and went back to his car.  He told me the only reason he pulled me over was that he liked my car and saw it was for sale!  We talked about the Mustang for a few minutes and he said he might come by to look at it some more.  Since he wasn’t going to give me a ticket, I asked him if I could have a little fun with this.  He agreed to go along.  He wanted to see what it would do anyway.  I got out of his cruiser and stomped back to the Mustang.  My girlfriend asked what happened.  I told her that state trooper gave me a ticket and I was really ticked off.  I started up the Mustang and looked over at her and said that I was going to teach this guy a lesson.  I revved up the engine, dumped the clutch, smoked the tires, and left a long black strip of rubber as I got back onto the interstate.  My girlfriend was in full tilt panic!  I speed shifted into second gear and just kept laying rubber all over the interstate.  Once I got close to 55 MPH, I eased up on it and started driving normal.  The state trooper passed me laughing his head off and gave me a “thumbs up” sign!  I then told my girlfriend what happened and she didn’t think it was too funny at the time.