Was a Pony Now a Stallion

1966 Ford Mustang
Article by Larry Crain
Build photos by Dustin Foust
Show photos by Larry Crain

This awesome 1966 Ford Mustang, owned by Terry Minor of Columbus, Indiana, might look like just another pony car convertible and it was once just that, but now it is so much more. The so much more part happened when Terry made the decision to turn the car over to Classic Restorations of Floyds Knobs, Indiana. When the shop got the car, it was a running, driving complete car, but it was an older, very poorly done restoration, which had already began rusting out a second time. This car was truly in sad shape with the original frame rails rotted and the floors patched several times. The car was an original 289 automatic car to begin with and it had already been converted to a 5-speed by the time it got in their shop. A lot of changes were in the works for this Mustang that would eventually turn it into a stallion.

All of the body work on this Mustang was performed by Classic Restorations, and there was a lot of it to be done. The factory frame rails, along with the floor pans, have been removed and replaced with a custom chassis that was welded in place along with custom-made floors. The exterior of the body appears completely factory with all of the gaps tightened and everything fitted as it should have been. The entire bottom of the car was coated in Raptor truck bed liner for durability and appearance. Classic Restorations painted the car with the PPG base coat clear coat system with the color being a custom mix called "Classic Cabernet". Completing the factory appearance of the car is new tinted glass and a whole lot of new chrome plated by Advanced Plating, with stainless and aluminum brightened up Jeff Smith Polishing.

Underneath all of the beautiful paint and chrome lies a custom chassis that makes this Mustang handle like a whole herd of quarter horses. This Mustang has been given a complete Roadster Shop Fast Track Chassis that features a Fast Track power rack and pinion IFS front end equipped with Afco coilovers and a splined sway bar. The rear suspension is a triangulated 4-link rear, with a splined sway bar, Afco coliovers and a Strange Engineering Fab9 Ford 9-in rear end with a 3.90:1 ratio with Tru-TracPosi. Stopping power for this pony car comes in the form of a Wilwood tandem master cylinder and proportioning valve, 4-wheel disc brakes with 13 inch 6-piston on the front and 12 inch 4-piston on the rear. The Mustang rides on a set of Forgeline CA3P polished modular wheels mounted with Falken Azenis tires, fronts 18x7 with 215/35ZR18 and the rear are 1x10 with 275/35ZR18.

When you open the hood of this car you will automatically think it’s equipped with a 1966 Ford factory motor. Wrong! This little Mustang has a kick thanks to a Ford 347 cubic inch motor pumping out 450 horsepower! That’s right! It’s equipped with a SCAT stroker kit. This Ford powerplant features an Edelbrock Ford power package, top-end kit that comes with aluminum heads, aluminum intake, cam kit and so on. This awesome factory appearing blue motor was built by Bell Motor Service of Louisville, Kentucky. Looks can really be deceiving, just look underneath the factory blue 347 CID decaled air cleaner and there sits a Holley Terminator throttle body EFI system. An Aeromotive stealth electronic fuel system makes sure the EFI system doesn’t a beat when the Mustang is ready to run. The custom Ford blue motor looks to be factory correct from the custom decals, hose markings all the way through even to the hose clamps. Backing up this custom motor is a Tremec T5 5-speed manual transmission with a 1966 factory style shift lever.

When it came time to give the Mustang a new interior, along with a new convertible top, the car was turned over to Cutter’s Hot Rod Interiors. The interior features aftermarket front seats, a custom built rear seat, custom made carpet, door panels, and all of this made to appear as factory equipped. The factory appearance theme is carried over throughout the interior from the Classic Instruments gauges in a factory cluster to Nu-Relic power windows that use the factory cranks to operate the switches for front and rear windows. A Factory heat and defrost system handles the cold weather while the new Haartz Stayfast cloth top with a tinted rear glass takes care of the warmer days. The custom sound system in this car features a RetroSound Long Beach head unit that is XM ready, Bluetooth and iPhone compatible. Sound is carried throughout the interior thanks to JL Audio speakers in the front and rear. Finishing out the factory look of the interior is a factory shift boot and bezel that somewhat hides the fact that this car is now a 5 speed manual instead of a 3 or 4 as in days gone by.

As Dustin Foust of Classic Restorations said “The car was built to maintain a factory look and feel but with modern handling, braking, and drivetrain. As we like to say it is a "Stallion in Pony Clothing". Terry and Classic Restorations had the Mustang’s debut at the 2017 Carl Casper's Custom Auto Show in Louisville where it picked up a First in Class, Outstanding Street Machine and a Top 20 of the entire show. Following this the Mustang was at the Spring Pigeon Forge Rod Run as part of the ScottieD Dirty Dozen where it picked up an Ultimate 5 Award. Then at the Nashville, Tennessee Good Guys, the car picked up a Best Ford in a Ford Award. I do believe you will be seeing a lot more of this car that was once just a Pony but now is a Stallion.

Manufacturers and shops used in the building of this car.

  • Advanced Plating
  • Aeromotive
  • Afco
  • Bell Motor Service
  • Classic Instruments
  • Classic Restorations
  • Cutter’s Hot Rod Interiors
  • Edelbrock
  • Falken Azenis
  • Forgeline
  • Haartz Stayfast
  • Holley
  • Jeff Smith Polishing
  • JL Audio
  • Nu-Relic
  • PPG Paint
  • RetroSound
  • Roadster Shop
  • SCAT
  • Strange Engineering
  • Tremec
  • Wilwood
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