In early 2003, Mike Audet began searching for a steed with "a little more get-up-and-go" than the 120 horsepower put forth by the 200 cubic-inch six in his '65 Mustang coupe. That coupe is (aside from color and year) very reminiscent of the brand-new Springtime Yellow model that his dad brought home one Saturday in 1966, and that got Mike thoroughly hooked on this whole pony car phenomenon at a very young age. Let's be clear: Mike still intended to keep his Wimbledon White notchback-which he had acquired five years earlier for his 40th birthday-but simply wanted to add a more potent V-8 stablemate. Though keeping an open mind, he was really hoping to find a '67 fastback.
For Canadians like Mike (who lives near Toronto, Ontario), the search for a solid early Mustang often leads south of the border, where the relatively rust-free herd is much larger. Yet the thought of importation paperwork can be daunting, so Mike was relieved to hear, through a friend, of a suitable candidate for sale in Canada's most western province of British Columbia. Not only was it a '67 fastback, but this was a one-year-only GTA powered by a 390 big-block and finished in seldom-seen Burnt Amber with a Saddle interior. Flying out to see the car, Mike was "captivated," especially after hearing that this particular Mustang had originally been a San Diego, California, delivery that was subsequently moved to snow-and-salt-free Vancouver B.C. in 1972 and then parked for 20 years, beginning in 1975. It had rolled only 21,000 miles in 36 years and Mike would soon be only its third owner.
What rolled off the enclosed transport at Mike's house about six weeks later was not a whole lot different than what you see here on these pages-and pretty close to the way it was built at San Jose on the last day of September 1966. Years prior, however, it seems the original owner had tired of the GTA's factory golden hues and had torn the fastback completely apart to repaint it white and install a mostly black interior. This apparently proved a much larger and more time-consuming task than anticipated, so after a few years, the one-owner fastback was unceremoniously traded off in partially re-assembled form for a classic Ford pickup truck.
Thankfully, the second owner then set about returning the automatic GT to its correct factory color combo and getting the 320hp 390 FE back in proper torque-dispensing form. By the way, that S-code V-8, its downstream C6 automatic, and the sturdy 9-inch rear end with 3.00:1 gears and open differential are all original.
That didn't leave Mike a whole lot to do after his purchase but, as he puts it, the GTA still "needed some TLC." So he set about re-doing its interior and suspension within the first few months of ownership, then tackled the task of acquiring and fitting an air conditioning system to replicate the one the factory had originally installed. At that point, he settled in to thoroughly enjoy his purchase for the next few years, taking it to local shows and exercising the 390 regularly during the all-too-brief Ontario summers. Last year, however, he finally got "the itch," swapping out the original 390 heads for some 427 castings and substituting a Comp Cams Xtreme Energy hydraulic bumpstick that gives the GTA some attitude at idle. At the same time, he completed the transformation by bolting on Hooker long-tube headers and a 2 1/2-inch Flowmaster stainless exhaust. Bolt-ons like these are visually subtle, and of course leave the option of easily returning to stock form at any time. After all, Mike wanted a V-8 in his stable for its extra thrust, so why not?
Just the Facts
Mike's Marti Report tells us his GTA was originally built with the following options:
- Closed Crankcase Emissions
- Exhaust Emission Control
- GT Equipment Group
- C-6 Select Shift Cruise-O-Matic
- F70x14 Wide Oval Tires
- White Sidewall Nylon Tires
- Deluxe Steering Wheel
- Sport Deck Rear Seat
- Power Steering
- Air Conditioner-Selectaire
- AM Radio
- Exterior Decor Group
- Interior Decor Group
- Tinted glass
- Styled Steel Wheels
It was one of 2,767 fastbacks built for '67 with the V (Burnt Amber) paint code, and one of only 264 that combined that paint code with the 6F Saddle Décor Bucket Seat trim code.