When Ford redesigned the wildly successful Mustang for the first time in 1967, two changes stood out. First, there was no way to miss the new exterior styling that, in more ways than one, expanded on the original '65-'66 Mustang's popular long-hood, short-deck styling. And two, the larger '67 Mustang provided space for an optional big-block engine, the venerable 390, so the Mustang could attempt to keep up with the growing musclecar movement, which by 1967, also included Chevrolet's new Camaro with 396 power.
Race car driver Mario Andretti was asked to test a pair of 390 Mustangs for the Nov. '66 issue of Popular Science. After flogging the Mustangs on a road course and noting the lack of accessibility for changing spark plugs, something that big-block Mustang owners have also noted with skinned knuckles over the years, he summed up the '67 Mustang: "I think Ford has a winner here. It's definitely more than the old Mustang, and I think it's more than the Camaro, too."
While the majority of '67 Mustangs were ordered as basic six-cylinder and 289 coupes, the combination of 320hp big-block and a mile-long option list created the potential for true grand-touring Mustangs. The Air Force sergeant who originally ordered this Clearwater Aqua '67 fastback was obviously looking for a powerful yet luxurious and comfortable Mustang ride.
Oddly, the fastback, currently owned by Nicky Black from Bogota, New Jersey, was ordered with both the 390 big-block and the GT's Special Handling Package but not the GT Equipment Group, which would have added foglights in the grille, GT stripes, and chrome exhaust tips. Apparently, the sergeant wanted the go but not the show. He also wanted comfort and convenience with options like automatic transmission, power steering, air conditioning, upper and lower consoles, and both the Interior and Exterior Dcor Groups. The Interior Dcor option provided the plushest Mustang interior to date with brushed aluminum panels and molded seat backs, while the Exterior Dcor Group added chrome wheel-lip moldings, a louvered hood with turn signal indicators, and a pop-open gas cap. Also specified were Styled Steel wheels and the ribbed rear panel, available only on cars with the Exterior Dcor Group and rarely seen today.
According to Black, the Mustang followed its owner on military transfers to Texas, Arizona, Kansas, California, and Texas again before finally making its way to New Jersey, where it was eventually sold.
After sitting for a number of years, Black rescued the car with a total restoration, right down to the Firestone F70 Wide Oval tires. "It's a real gem with its luscious jewel-tone exterior color and monochromatic theme inside," Nicky says. "Nothing beats hitting the road in this great American musclecar."
There are currently two online registries devoted to 390 Mustangs. Russell Baker's 1967 Mustang S-Code Registry, www.1967-mustang.com, focuses only on '67 models, while the S-Code Mustang Registry, www.scodemustang.com, covers all 390 Mustangs from '67-'69. The S-Code Registry includes a members' forum.
Creaming the Competition
Mario Andretti's opinion about the new, larger Mustang was right on. The '67 was a winner, beating the Camaro in the showroom by well over two to one. In fact, the '67 Mustang outsold all other ponycars-Camaro, Firebird, Barracuda, and cousin Cougar-combined.
|Mustang ||472,121 |
|Camaro ||220,906 |
|Cougar ||150,983 |
|Firebird ||82,560 |
|Barracuda ||62,534 |