Sunday, March 15, 2009

V8 with Duals Part - 2

OK, you asked for it so here goes. I will not forget the trip to get my first car. My real first one doesn't count as it was just a 59 Ford Fairlane and was handed down to me when my Dad got a new one. My first car, or at least the first one that I picked out, was a 65 Mustang. I remember my Dad and I going to the Ford garage in Hawley. (Had to be a Ford as my Dad used to work there and that was what he had.) My Dad wasn't real crazy about the Mustang as it was so small. They had a used 66 Galaxie there, two door hardtop-4 speed, that looked good and that was my Dad's choice. Well, while I really didn't have too much against this car it wasn't a Mustang which is what I had my heart set on, but we took it for a drive anyway. We left the garage and when I pulled on to highway 10 I let her rip in all 4 gears. I think my Dad's eyes were as big as silver dollars. (Dad hadn't noticed the 406 flags on the side of the front fenders. The 406 was Fords answer to the Chevy 409.) Dad also didn't know that this engine had been blown up and they had put in a 427 short block. Anyway, after this short but very fast trip in the Galaxie the little Mustang looked pretty good to Dad also. It was just a 6 cylinder and that made him feel better. I really don't know what I was thinking though because the Galaxie would run circles around the Mustang. Oh well it must have been love at first site. The Mustang also had only been out a couple of years so it was kind of a status symbol. You can see by the picture I added rims and tires, red walls even. Anyone remember them? While it was just a 6 by the time I added a split manifold so I could add dual exhaust, bigger jets for the carburetor, bigger clutch, it ran with most stock small block V8's. I know that I helped keep JC Whitney in business back then. They seemed to have everything that you could want when it came to aftermarket car parts.

The 65 started my love affair with the Mustang in general. In 1969 they came out with the Mach1. When I saw the brochure on this I knew I just had to have one. I had a part time job when I was going to school, and with my wife working we figured we could swing it, so off to the Ford garage I go. I started with the stock Mach1 and then added- 390 CU V8 E/W Shelby heads and cam, Ram Air Induction, Close Ratio 4 Speed, 8 Track Tape Deck, Positraction Differential with 3:91 gears, and the rest I can't remember. I know the base price was somewhere around $2800 and by the time I got done it was $4200. When I went to get the loan, the banker of course wanted to see the paper work on the car. When he saw all the extras he wanted to first of all know what they were. Somehow I don't think I explained the importance of the high performance equipment very well because he just shook his head and thought that I was crazy. Well makes no difference as he agreed to the loan so I ordered the car.

I then just had to wait, what seemed like forever, for the car to come in. When the big day finally came I was flying high. This was even bigger than the day I got my first motorcycle and that was a BIG day.

I think we drove around until there wasn't anyone left to show it to. I still to this day remember what the exhaust sounded like. It had a rumble like no other car I had heard. If they would have had cell phones back then I would have been the one that would have called his friend and then took the phone and placed it by the exhaust so he could here it. It was an amazing feeling to sit behind the wheel and feel all that power under your foot just waiting to be unleashed.

While it was a great car it had a couple of design flaws that I did have to correct. It had a real nasty case of the wheel hop when you broke the tires loose. Of course this was easily corrected by my good friend, you guessed it, JC Whitney. I installed a couple of traction bars and that not only corrected the problem but it now came off the line by almost doing a wheel stand. The second problem Ford corrected the following year by placing a spoiler under the front end. Without this spoiler, this little Mustang started to turn into a Bird at about 140 mph by lifting the front end and trying to fly. The first time it happened I about wet my pants. Imagine going down the highway at speed of machwaytofast and have the front end start coming off the ground. It was like driving on ice as you couldn't feel the front wheels on the asphalt. Another easy correction for this problem was not to drive that fast but somehow I never thought of that one.

Well this has gotten long enough so I had better close. I could also fill up a dozen blogs on some of my escapades in this car.

Life is good if you let it.


randymeiss said...

I just barely remember that Mach 1. It's probably one of the earliest memories I have. Funny thing. I don't remember any of these little tidbits when you were teaching me how to drive. How come you never let me drive 140mph?

Steve at Random said...

One of my neighbors had a Mustang...I fell in love with the car the moment I saw it. When I was in high school -- with no car -- my friend had a light blue mustang convertible. Now when I see an old Mustang, my thought is always...I can't afford them.

AZJim said...

I was thinking that I should have put a condition on that post just in case one of my grandchildren read it. The condition is this: While I may have done these things when I was young doesn't mean that I condone it. Instead just the oposite. The good Lord had other ideas for me and spared me from all these escapades. Others may not be as lucky. BTW - This goes for my children also.