Larry Hanna, a lawyer in Hobbs, New Mexico, told us "I'm a guy who believes in driving. The way I look at it, I could have an entirely new car for the same price as a truck and a trailer, so I'd just as soon find something I could drive."
Larry has a driver in his Gulfstream Aqua '67 hardtop, but we're sure the big dogs at the national shows would like a closer look at his big-block muscle Mustang because this car is rare. A ton of originality makes the 390 4V four-speed GT quite interesting.
Larry was in search of a '67 hardtop, and his find came out of a barn in Nebraska via a Southwest Airlines employee in Amarillo, Texas.
"I've always liked the hardtop best," he told us. "Obviously, they're more reasonable than the convertibles and the fastbacks. I just don't care for the '67-'68 fastbacks as much as the earlier ones."
Larry looked at 'a bunch of cars' in his area. He even found the exact car he wanted right there in Hobbs-a '67 with the 390 4V.
"I realized it didn't have the original engine," Larry shrugged. So he passed and went on to the next deal, a real nice '66 GT fastback in El Paso, Texas.
"I sat on it too long and it got away from me," said Larry. After a couple of Kruse auctions and one trip to Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona, he found this 390 hardtop on eBay.com. The car was in Amarillo, Texas, less than a day's drive away.
"The auction went off on a Friday evening and had no bids," Larry remembers. "So I sent the guy an e-mail that night and got up early the next morning, hoping to find a response on my computer."
After losing the deal on the '66 GT, Larry jumped on this Mustang like a dog on a bone. By Saturday afternoon, he was in Amarillo. By Monday, he was exchanging a check for the '67. The car's low mileage (68,000) and its excellent original condition were most appealing to Larry.
The GT you see here is pretty much what Larry got for his hard-earned greenbacks. After he cleaned and detailed the "Thunderbird Special" 390 4V, he went over the rest of the car, giving it a good scrubbing. Still, for all of that, this 34-year-old Mustang is virtually unrestored.
After seeing the car, we're sure it'd qualify for the Mustang Club of America (MCA) Unrestored class, except the original owner repainted the body in 1974-the same year he stored it in his barn. In fact, Larry talked to the original owner's widow and learned that he put 68,000 miles on the car before storing it on blocks in his barn. He hadn't ordered A/C because he liked to work on his cars and didn't want the compressor in the way. Power steering gave a dead feel and wasn't really necessary for the car's main use: highway driving. He had, however, ordered a plethora of other options, such as a tachometer, an AM radio, a console, and a Deluxe wheel. He also selected the Interior Decor Group. This option, arguably the most popular for the '67 with enthusiasts today, gave the owner nifty features, such as lower door grilles with courtesy lights, an upper console, a clock, and molded seatbacks and side panels as well as molded door panels with sexy aluminum inserts. Another option that's not often seen today is the Convenience control panel, which has a parking-brake warning light, a door ajar light, a seatbelt reminder light, and a low-fuel warning light, all to keep the owner informed of these issues.
With his purchase from the second owner in Amarillo, Larry has pictures of the hardtop exiting the barn in 1998. Amazingly from these photos, the seats, the dashpad, the carpet, and the rest of the car-save for the paint and the vinyl top-appear to be original.
Larry looked at the MCA rule book and explained, "To compete in the unrestored class, you can get away with only one-third repainted."
Too bad, because as we said before, this car would wow the big dogs.