If you're a baby boomer at mid-life, you understand patience. Chances are good that you've been to college, jumped on the career wagon, gotten married, bought that first home, and had kids, all while putting your dreams aside. Danny Truitt understands waiting, patience, and perseverance better than anyone we've ever met. Early in the '80s, Danny attended college, became a Maryland State Trooper, got married, had children, and raised a family. And he bought a classic Mustang.
In 1981, Danny snapped up this Raven Black '68 GT fastback, an original S-code car, for $1,995. At the time, the Mustang had a hot-rodded 289 and 4.56 gears. Because the powertrain was temperamental and not very good for the street, it wasn't long before Danny became committed to returning the car to factory original condition. He wanted the car to be 390 powered just like it was from the factory. He also wanted it to look like those Ford ads from 1968. None of it would come easily-or quickly.
Danny tore the car apart in 1983 and began to amass a treasure trove of new-old-stock Ford parts. Gathering parts would take the better part of two decades because Danny wasn't going to have it any other way. As Danny puts it, "life happened." He did as much as he could on the car in the years to follow, patiently pursuing the right parts while living a busy lifestyle.
In 2004, Danny finally hauled the Mustang to Nelson's Auto Restorations for bodywork and paint. The car was put on a homemade rotisserie and 11 months worth of work began in earnest. When the body was finished, Danny had a fundamental problem-no garage. So he had to build one. Again, more waiting.
Originally built at Ford's Milpitas, (San Jose) California, assembly plant in March 1968, the fastback was driven off the line in Raven Black with the 390 High Performance V-8 sporting 320 hp, a Top Loader four-speed, a 3.25:1 limited-slip differential, the GT Equipment Group, 14x6-inch Styled Steel wheels with Firestone Wide Oval Super Sports F70x14 tires, dual exhaust, a standard black vinyl interior, AM radio, full instrumentation with 8,000 rpm tachometer, a clock, and the full complement of restraint devices (lap and shoulder belts) that first appeared in 1968. Ford delivered the car to McCoy & Mills Ford in Fullerton, California, just outside Los Angeles. Danny doesn't know how the car ended up in Maryland.
When you're doing a full-scale restoration like this one, not a single detail can be missed. Danny had a very significant detail to address-the engine. Remember, when he bought the '68 fastback, it had a wild 289 and 4.56:1 racing cogs. He had to find the correct 390 High Performance V-8 to fill that all-important area between the shock towers. Advanced Automotive built Danny a fresh 390 bored 0.030 inch over along with a warm cam for added kick. Danny rebuilt the Top Loader himself with help from Top Loader Heaven. Advanced Automotive rebuilt the 9-inch Ford rearend using more manageable 3.25:1 gears and new clutches.
When Danny wrapped up his 390 GT, it became a lesson in knowing good things come to those who wait. Danny had done more than his share of waiting for what has turned out to be a very good thing.