Back in the early '60s, Ford stylists Joseph Oros, Dave Ash, and Gail Halderman had no idea the sensation they were creating, nor the effect it would have on people for generations to come. At the seasoned age of 40, the '65-'66 Mustang hardtop remains timeless.
Glenn Edwards' '66 GT hardtop is a prime example of the Oros/Ash/Halderman concept, except Glenn has made it even better. At a glance, the red hardtop says "Mustang" with the long hood/short deck, sculptured lines, Ferrari mouth, pony and corral, GT stripes, pocketed headlamps, simulated side scoops, and three-element taillamps. But, it is surely more. Glenn took on a classic Mustang GT project and infused a number of terrific restomod ideas. Restomod is when we take a classic Mustang and make tasteful improvements to make it a better, safer automobile.
Let's begin with the color. For many years, it was sacrilegious to change a Mustang's factory color. But Glenn's '66 is painted 2000 Ford Performance Red, obviously unavailable in 1966. And, for years, it went against the grain to install aftermarket parts and accessories. There's lots of that going on here. For starters, Glenn is utilizing 16x7-inch American Racing Torq-Thrust II wheels with 225/60x16 BFGoodrich Comp T/A radials. At the end of the seemingly stock shifter is a Tremec T5 five-speed transmission. Out back is an 8-inch Ford rearend with 3.80:1 gears. Call this a system designed for both sport and practicality-the 3.80:1 gears give Glenn's Mustang plenty of spirit during upshifts, yet overdrive keeps the revs down on the open road. Back in high school, where the upshifts stopped at gears Three or Four, we could only dream of driving a Mustang like this.
The dream doesn't end at the five-speed, hot gears, and sizzling paint. The hardtop is also equipped with Total Control rack-and-pinion steering, a modified suspension system, and a Custom Autosound stereo system with a trunk-mounted CD changer. When Glenn bought this car from his brother-in-law, Brian Rusher, in 1995, all he intended to do was build a nice driver. Granted, we can give him credit there-he did succeed with a nice driver. But, credit for a job well done stretches out for miles ahead.
The powerplant is a nicely modified 302ci small-block bored .060-inch oversize, stuffed with TRW forged pistons, topped with an Edelbrock induction system, and fitted with larger 1.94/1.60-inch valves, aluminum rocker arms, and ceramic-coated long-tube headers. An MSD ignition fires the mixture more reliably, while a SPAL electric fan keeps the engine cool and happy.
Nice modifications like these don't adversely affect the "classic" demeanor of a vintage Mustang. They make it better, not only by improving appearance, but by equipping us with a safer, more reliable ride we can live with under almost any driving conditions. Glenn and his family will tell you: It works.