FORD MUSTANG 1967 FASTBACK
THE AMERICAN DREAMText and Photos: Reinis Babrovskis
Oh God, please bring us back to the 1960s when cars were more than just a means of transport. They weren't ran by computers, instead the engine bay was reserved for some real petrol-thirsty engines, they were driven by real men with hands covered in motor oil; they were not just a tool for commuting or a way to showcase your society status; they were a way to celebrate our human engineering skills, our talent to create something beautiful. And there was no greater place on Earth back then than the almighty Detroit in USA.
There is no doubt that the Ford Mustang is one of the world’s most iconic and well known sports cars. Since it was brought to market in the States in 1964 the Mustang has gone from strength to strength with six generations introduced to date. Over 50 years later for the first time in history the new shape Mustang has recently been introduced in a right hand drive model and available for sale in the UK. It really is a car USA can be proud of.
As cool as this is I don’t think anyone can compare the newer shape cars to the classics, especially the 67 Fastback! The 67 / 68 Mustang shape, in my humble opinion, is the coolest and the most aggressive looking Mustang on the road. It’s a happy medium between the earlier slightly smaller 64/65 Pony model and the later, slightly beefier, 69 /70 cars.
The 67/68 shape cars have been featured in many classic car chase movies such as Steve McQueen’s ‘Bullitt’, Gone in Sixty Seconds (Nicholas Cage) and even The Fast and Furious. It’s no wonder why they have such a huge following.
The 1967 Mustang in this shoot belongs to Mike Barr from Star Car Hire who occasionally hires it out for weddings and events.“The 67 Fastback is a car I’ve wanted since I was a kid and it’s a car I will hopefully never part with. I was (and still am) a massive fan of 1960s and 70s car chase movies especially ‘Bullitt’ where the Ford Mustang can be seen chasing a black 68 Dodge Charger through the streets of San Francisco. The car looked incredible in this movie and sounded even better so I knew one day I had to try and own one”
Mike imported this Mustang back in 2009 from Texas, USA. He adds, “my initial plan was to turn the car into a ‘Bullitt’ GT390 replica and paint it dark green to match the movie car but when it arrived in silver I loved the colour scheme and decided to keep it the way it was. The bright silver with two dark stripes made the car look more like the Eleanor Mustang from Gone in 60 Seconds so I figured that was even better!”
Ford Mustang is probably one of the most beautiful cars in the world, anybody could recognise it from miles away thanks to it's sharp body lines, beautiful taillights and that wild pony badge in the front.
Whilst so many are obsessed with the "Eleanor" version of the stunning GT500, people forget how beautiful this car was in its standard shape. Can you name many modern affordable daily cars that you would love to drive in a standard form and be capable of saying "it looks amazing as it is?" Well, I can't. Yet when you walk around this masterpiece and realise it used to be an affordable daily for so many Americans back in the day, you really want to scream at some auto manufacturers and ask - when will we realise we F&^(ED up?
Mike did a few small touches though, but very tasty ones I must admit. He changed the front bonnet to the GT design with indicator inserts and upgraded the front grille to the GT spotlights.
Mike admits: “I was tempted at one stage to do the full Eleanor conversion on the car but I just love it the way it is."
The rear end of the car is one of the best designs around with the three lights at each side and centralised rear fuel cap. A lot of people convert their cars to look like Shelby Mustangs or Eleanor cars but I say if it aint broke don’t fix it!”
Interior has been refurbished to retro black and looks amazing.
The rear seats were customized to match the front.
The only modern upgrade in the vehicle in the interior was the audio system, as Mike likes to enjoy some proper American rock tunes whilst cruising down the roads.
One thing I will always emphasise in classic cars is the attention to details, the engineering and design back in the 1960-70s was phenomenal. Every dial, switch, seatbelt buckle is a work of art. Whilst now we concentrate on enormous Ipad screeds, electic dials and self adjusting seats, back then it was all about the smell of wooden wheel, leather seats, metal dials and extra scent of petrol/oil in the saloon.
We all know that American cars were never the fastest cars in the universe, but we never cared about that. On the other hand though they certainly knew how to built a great engine that had more torque than a train and an engine noise that would make the devil proud. Mikes Mustang has a 289 Cubic Inch V8 engine (4.7litre) with a four barrel carb which helps puts put approx. 275 – 300 bhp. Mike replaced the radiator with a new aluminum one as well as the uprated power steering system. It’s a great cruiser and can go rightly when you put the foot down.
The engine is attached to an automatic 3-speed transmission that is as smooth as it should be. And the long gear ration means it will keep on going at wheel-spin for as long as you may want.
WHEELS AND TIRES
The Mustang sits on a set of American Racing Torque Thrust 2 wheels, 17x8.5 on the rear and 16x7 on the front that are wrapped in Hankook rubber. It also has air shocks on the rear to make it sit up and beg when it needs to. To help stop the heavy beast Mike upgraded the Mustang to all new break discs.
IN A SENTENCE
Even though the American classics were never the best handling cars nor great driving cars to begin with (ask Mike and he will confirm this) there is nothing that can come close to the experience of starting up a beautiful American V8, rolling down the windows and taking it for a spin on a sunny day. There is something very magical about these cars and let's just hope we all get to fulfill our dreams some day and have the chance to drive our dream cars into the sunset.