Chuck and Bonnie Kolder, of Freedom, Pennsylvania, have an appreciation for short-deck, long-nose classic Mustangs because they get to relive memories every time they saddle up with their '67 hardtop. It thrusts them back to their respective youths, to a time when life stretched out infinitely ahead. The Kolders are authentic baby boomers who lived the '60s and '70s, doing all the things boomers did in those days.
Chuck's passion for automobiles dates back to before the Mustang was introduced in 1964. At first, he built model cars. Then came his first car: a '65 289 High Performance Fairlane Sports Coupe with four on the floor. In time, Chuck met and married Bonnie, started a family, and the Fairlane faded into memory, as did two Mustangs the Kolders had at the time.
As sons Bill and Casey came of age, they, too, cultivated an interest in cars. This made it easier for Dad to again pursue what he loved. In 1983, Chuck purchased this '67 Mustang hardtop, an original North Carolina car. His greatest challenge was to get it running. Next thing he knew, he was in the middle of a full-scale restoration. Sound familiar?
The Mustang was taken down to the shell and mounted on a rotisserie. Friends and family were convinced he would never finish the project. Nine years later, he did. "It was a long time," Chuck told us, "but worth the wait."
He and Bonnie enjoy the Mustang whenever the Pennsylvania climate permits. It's a thrill to open the garage door and see the glistening red paint and chrome. Hartmann's Auto Shoppe in Russelton, Pennsylvania, applied the Porsche Red Glasurit finish, while Hitch in Youngstown, Ohio, added the custom pinstriping.
Inside, the Mustang's interior is exactly the way the Kolders wanted-just like it was during the '60s with modest bucket seats, a stick shift, and a bolt-on tachometer. Chuck opted for a '67 deluxe steering wheel with woodgrain.
The greatest thrill, of course, is the balanced and blueprinted 289 small-block, punched .030-inch oversize and sporting Speed-Pro forged pistons, a Comp Cams mechanical camshaft, roller rocker arms, a 7-quart Cobra T-pan, Hooker Competition ceramic-coated headers, and Flowmaster mufflers. Chuck filled the 9-inch rearend with 3.70:1 gears. The Mustang is a rocket ship out of the hole. A Lakewood scattershield is a terrific safety feature, wrapped around a Hayes Borg & Beck three-finger clutch. The original factory drum brakes hide inside the American Racing 14-inch wheels and BFGoodrich P215/70SR14 Radial T/As.
Mustangs have always been about being young and making memories. If you're young in 2005, you're likely making some of your own memories in a Mustang. If you're among the baby-boomer set, you're not only reliving your youth, you're making new memories every time the garage door goes up-just like the Kolders do every time they drive their notchback flashback.