R&A Motorsports' Jeff Yergovich remembers the moment when he realized he was about to embark on the restoration of two '67 Mustang fastbacks, both Nightmist Blue with the solid-lifter, 271hp 289 High Performance engine and Competition Suspension.
"We somehow luck into those kinds of flukes," Jeff comments. "We've also restored a pair of '68 GT500KR convertibles with consecutive VINs."
After their four-year restorations,...
After their four-year restorations, the freshly restored ’67 K-code fastbacks debuted at ShelbyFest last April in Hermann, Missouri.
The fact that R&A ended up with two Hi-Po fastbacks at the same time is remarkable due to the rarity of the K-code 289 option for '67. With the introduction of the 390 big-block that year, sales for non-Shelby K-code Mustangs dropped to just 489, according to Kevin Marti's MustangàBy the Numbers book. That's way less than the 12,742 Hi-Po Mustangs built during the '65-'66 model years (7,273 for '65 and 5,469 for '66, as stated in Tony Gregory's The 289 High Performance Mustang book). Also possibly hurting sales was the fact that, unlike '65-'66, the 289 High Performance engine (also called the 289 Cobra V-8 in '67 sales literature) was only available when ordered in conjunction with the $205 GT Equipment Group option. As you can imagine, Hi-Po '67 Mustangs are seldom seen today--unless you've recently visited R&A Motorsports.
Over the past two years, R&A, located in Lees Summit, Missouri, near Kansas City, has been working to restore the pair of K-code fastbacks, one a nicely-optioned GTA (automatic) owned by Mike Poston and the other a GT (four-speed) owned by Bob Befort. The cars were completed just in time to make their double debut at ShelbyFest in April.
Both Hi-Po fastbacks are also equipped with the Competition Suspension Package, which was available to replace the Special Handling Package that was standard with the GT Equipment Group for '67. According to Kevin Marti's Ford production database, only 195 Mustangs (non-Shelby) were sold with the Competition Suspension in '67--141 fastbacks, 33 hardtops, and 21 convertibles.
Jeff has determined that the '67 Competition Suspension was the same package used on '67 Shelbys with Ford (early) or Autolite (late) adjustable shocks, heavier-duty springs, larger front sway bar, and 15-inch wheels. Thankfully, Befort's GT still had its original wheels and wheel covers, which are different from all other Mustangs with their 14-inch wheels. Jeff eventually realized that the rims were the same 15x6-inch versions found on '67 Shelbys with wheel covers. Because no other non-Shelby Mustang came with 15-inch wheels, Ford robbed the parts bin to use 15-inch Galaxie wheel covers for the Competition Suspension '67 Mustangs.
The Marti Reports for both cars list 6.70x15 blackwall tires rated at 170 mph. Jeff feels that Competition Suspension '67s came with 15-inch Firestone police tires, which were rated at 170 mph. However, finding eight 44-year-old police tires in N.O.S. condition has proven elusive, so the pair of Hi-Po Mustangs are currently equipped with blackwall Goodyears.
Interestingly, owners Mike Poston and Bob Befort have known Jeff Yergovich for many years. Mike met Jeff nearly 35 years ago through their mutual interest in Mustangs in and around the Kansas City area. As a self-proclaimed "parts hustler," Mike helps R&A Motorsports with "unique parts needs," often pulling pieces out of his own treasure trove of rare Ford performance parts to help with a Yergovich restoration.
Bob recalls meeting Jeff in 1977 when the two were out driving their Shelby Mustangs, Bob in a '67 GT350 and Jeff in a '68 GT350 convertible. They stopped to chat and have been friends ever since, even though Bob moved to the San Francisco area in 1980 after completing pharmacy school. In fact, Jeff's sister-in-law helped Bob land his first job in California at a hospital pharmacy.
R&A Motorsports completed the double restoration last spring. Jeff planned to display the K-code fastbacks together at Oklahoma's Mid America Ford and Team Shelby Nationals in June before delivering the cars to their respective owners. It'll be the first time these rare Hi-Po Mustangs have been apart in four years.
Preferring the “race car”...
Preferring the “race car” look of the black 15-inch wheels, restorer Jeff Yergovich postponed the installation of the Galaxie wheel covers until right before our photo shoot.