On the Rare Side
The debut of the 390 big-block took its toll on sales of the 289 High Performance engine in 1967. No doubt influenced by automotive press coverage of the Mustang's first big-block, buyers looking for performance chose the FE's torque over the Hi-Po's high-winding 271 horsepower. According to Kevin Marti's book, Mustang--By the Numbers, Ford sold only 489 '67 Mustangs with the K-code 289 Hi-Po, not counting the 1,174 fastbacks built for Shelby's conversion into GT350s. By contrast, 11,383 were sold with 390 engines.
'67 K-Code 289 High Performance Production
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Mike Poston has owned his '67 K-GTA fastback for over 15 years, having purchased it in the late 1990s from Wayne Curry, who was well-known among Midwestern Mustang and Shelby enthusiasts.
"I went to Wayne's to buy a Sunbeam Tiger," Mike explains. "But I didn't have enough cash so I bought his Hi-Po Mustang instead. It was the car that he took out on Saturday nights to run against the boys."
Although the odometer showed only 56,000 miles, Mike describes the fastback as a "20-footer," presentable from a distance but rough around the edges. At the time, he didn't comprehend the rarity of '67 Hi-Po Mustangs. He continued driving his purchase for another 21,000 miles, eventually replacing Curry's mag wheels with styled steels and adding Tri-Y headers and Shelby aluminum intake. When Marti Reports became available for '67-'73 Mustangs, Mike quickly ordered one and learned that his '67 Mustang was one of only 489 with the 289 Hi-Po engine and one of just 141 fastbacks with the Competition Suspension. When he viewed the list of options, he realized just how well-equipped his GTA was. For a car optioned with the Hi-Po and racing suspension, it sure seemed strange that the original purchaser also checked off the Exterior and Interior D-cor Groups, console, eight-track stereo, and Deluxe seatbelts, among other options. At that point, Mike began collecting parts for a restoration in the future.
The future came sooner than planned when a drunk driver plowed into the rear of the Mustang in 2007 and Mike's K-GTA took its place alongside Bob Befort's K-GT in the R&A Motorsports shop. Although not as rough as Bob's K-GT when the cars arrived at R&A, Yergovich says Mike's GTA posed its own restoration headaches, mainly caused by the number of options with their additional wiring for the overhead console, underhood lighting, and Convenience Group warning lights.
Poston K-GTA Equipment
- K-code 289 High Performance engine
- C-4 Cruise-O-Matic Transmission
- GT Equipment Group
- Extra Cooling Package
- Convenience Control Panel
- 6.70x15 4-ply 170-mph tires, black sidewall
- Sport Deck rear seat
- AM/8-track stereo radio
- Exterior D-cor Group
- Interior D-cor Group
- Tinted glass
- Deluxe seat belts
- Shoulder harness
- Heavy-duty battery
- Competition Suspension
- Tachometer and trip odometer
Over the years, Bob Befort has purchased (and still owns) a number of '67 Mustangs, including the '67 Shelby GT350 that led to his highway meeting with R&A's Jeff Yergovich in 1977. With a couple of '67 hardtops needing parts, Bob was surfing eBay from his home in northern California in 2004 when he discovered a K-code GT fastback for sale in nearby Hayward. "I drove down the next morning to look at it," Bob recalls. "It looked like just another old junk car in the corner of the lot. I put down a $1,000 deposit on the spot."
The car was rough. The drivetrain was out and parts were stuffed in the trunk. Bob learned that posters on the Hi-Po forum knew about the car. "They said it was too rough to restore," Bob says. But Bob had an ace in the holeùhe knew Jeff Yergovich.
"I knew the restoration was going to be a major deal and Jeff was the obvious choice," Bob says. "In the summer of 2007, I finally made arrangements to deliver the car to R&A Motorsports."