66 Ford Mustang 289 Stroked 5 Speed
Californian born and bred aptly describes this quite outstanding Muscle Car. Built at Ford’s Plant in San Jose in 1966, this was one of the last Generation 1 to be built, born exactly on the 27th December 1966. Maybe it was a Christmas present, certainly not a bad way to start the new year! When we purchased the Mustang it still had its original Black Plate registration plate proving that it had never been registered out of California in its life. It remained in the dry warm climate of Southern California in its original V8 C Code form until the late 1980s. At this time the Classic Mustang very, fortunately, fell into the hands of an aircraft design engineer by the name of Milton Gabaldon.
Milton lived in the beautiful sun-drenched City of Camarillo in Southern California just north of Los Angeles. The main route through the town is the “Ventura Highway” the 70’s band America named one of their most famous hits after this sunny laid back area of the states. The city’s growth was slow until after the second war when the airbase brought in large numbers of specialist workers and the old hospital complex became the site of a California State University Campus. The perfect place for a young extremely talented engineer with a passion for cars to exercise his considerable skills and build a very special Muscle Car.
Milton knew exactly what he wanted to achieve and set about the task with his usual attention to detail. In the large history file is an in-depth analysis of the total restoration.
First was the construction of a rotisserie stand to accept the now entirely stripped down body shell which was subjected to the most rigorous inspection. Milton wanted to strengthen the structure to improve the handling characteristics of the car and he knew this had to be done correctly for the upgraded suspension and braking systems to perform at their optimum and cope with the much higher power output of the highly modified 289 V8 with the 351 heads.
Accordingly, the front suspension shock towers were reinforced with welded gussets and additional welding to the frame was carried out to stiffen the chassis including front to back links connecting the original short front chassis legs to the rear sectors.
Once this work was completed the shell was stripped completely of paint and prepared from bare metal, all the seams were sealed correctly, etch and 2 pack primers were applied before the body and panels were professionally painted in a low bake oven. Bills on file for over 20,000 dollars just for the bodywork.
The engine has been completely rebuilt with all new components including Keith Black Pistons, Isky Camshaft ported and polished 351 Windsor cylinder heads, new inlet and carburettor. Every component of this Classic Mustang has been restored or replaced, the original transmission is long gone and a new World Class T5 Five Speed is now in its place. The power is put down by a new Limited Slip Differential and the 3.55:1 ratio using Auburn Gear Sets give this Muscle Car the ability to cruise at high speed effortlessly on the highways making this Pony a joy to drive.
Matching the performance with wonderful braking feedback gives the driver a feeling of great confidence, the massive 13” Wilwood Slotted Front Discs with Billet Aluminium Multi Pot Calipers and 10” SSBC rear discs allow for safe stable efficient braking.
Milton’s rigorous work in stiffening the body shell is immediately obvious when you take the wheel, this Mustang feels like a modern high-performance vehicle, tight and responsive with much less roll through corners, corners that can be taken sure-footed and precisely. This precision comes from the Global West Tubular front suspension which is so much stiffer than the original pressed steel control arms and gives accurate suspension geometry under all types of demands.
The quality of this restoration is quite outstanding, the underside and under bonnet areas are finished in Gloss Black which is as impressive as the beautiful Springtime Yellow Bodywork that rests above it, Milton used all original Ford parts when replacing the brightwork except for the mirrors and exterior door handles.
The interior has been entirely renewed and a pair of modern “ comfortable” Sparco Racing Seats giving the front seat occupants the support that this fast, loud and fabulous Coupe demands. Special features like the “Engine Turned” dashboard and additional modern instruments further enhance the appeal of the car and when inspecting the boot area nothing disappoints, the finish is outstanding and the installation of an aluminium safety panel over the large 20-gallon fuel tank and behind the rear seat is attractive and sensible upgrades. Open the alloy case that is strapped next to the boot-mounted battery and a very impressive array of tools can be found. The file is full of bills and invoices adding up to 35,000 dollars which doesn’t include Milton’s labour or the original purchase price of the car ! If this rotisserie restoration had been done today to this degree we would envisage a bill in the region of 50k plus not including the purchase price of the original car.
Having spent a very enjoyable couple of hours with Milton we concluded the purchase and it was clear that parting with the Mustang was a very emotional event for Milton he genuinely loved the car and we decided to take the Muscle Car out for a final farewell drive. Milton knew the Mustang literally inside out and made it perform on the open road with such ease and precision that as a passenger two things happen, a feeling of confident excitement builds rapidly and this is almost immediately followed by an overwhelming desire to take the wheel. This pleasure awaited us after Milton revealed he had a fully documented record of the entire restoration including spreadsheets of costs and receipts for parts and specifications adding up 35,000 dollars + which doesn’t include Milton’s labour charge to build the car or the original purchase price of the Mustang! If this rotisserie restoration had been performed today to this degree we would envisage a bill in the region of 50k plus not including the purchase price of the original car.
So we said goodbye to an emotional Milton and took the coastal route to Long Beach, a drive that cemented the fact that this Classic Muscle Car had been built by a man with an acute understanding of engineering whose ability to combine modern upgrades with an improved chassis in a balanced and calculated manner. The result of which is a superb fast road car which gives the driver pleasure in every department in copious quantities.
This statement was further confirmed by our general manager Martin, a hugely experienced engineer himself who has driven every type of Classic Mustang including those costing hundreds of thousands of pounds, who when having driven this car stated that it is by far the best driving Classic Mustang he has ever driven.
Now that is saying something!
Springtime Yellow, Black Deluxe Pony Interior.
Original 289 V8 with 351 Windsor Heads, Ported & Polished with increased Valve Size. Isky Racing Camshaft, 650cfm Double Pumper Carburettor, Electronic Ignition with Jacobs Electronics, Hipo Cast Iron Headers, Keith Black Pistons 9.8:1 Compression, High Volume Oil Pump with Oversize Milodon Sump, 5 Speed World Class Transmission with Hurst Shifter, Poly Engine Mounts, 9” Limited Slip Differential with Auburn Gear Set, Complete Suspension by Global West Suspension, Upgraded Front & Additional Rear Sway Bars, 13” Wilwood Discs to Front & 10” SSBC Discs to Rear, 17” Mustang Alloy Rims with 235’s Front & 245’s Rear, Sparco Racing Front Seats, OEM Six Guage Cluster & Dash Pad, “Engine Turned” Dash Board, Wood Grain Style Original Spec Steering Wheel, Full Front Frame Stiffening With Additional Welded Gussets to Shock Towers, Frame Rails Extended To Rear, 20 Gallon Fuel Tank protected by Aluminium Trunk Floor & Rear Seat Divider, Comprehensive Tool Box, Fully Documented History.
- Power 300 bhp
- Body typeCoupe
Reference #10332336 | Trade advert