Rare filly

BY Larry Dargis. Jun 10 04:00 am

For 1967, the Ford Mustang saw many significant upgrades. While the styling theme remained true to the original, everything grew larger and some of the old Falcon underpinnings began to disappear. The additional room in the passenger compartment was certainly welcome as was the larger engine bay to accommodate the 390 cubic-inch big-block V-8.

Mustang sales remained strong with 356,271 units produced in ’67, including 44,808 convertibles. These drop-top models were the least produced model in ’67, and remain very strong as collectable models today. The problem is that today they are just about unobtainium. Mustang convertibles are difficult to find and very costly to restore. Those that are in good condition command a premium price over the common two-door coupe model.

For Louis Grimard of Winnipeg, his history with the ’67 Mustang convertible he owns, goes back to April of 1975.

“I saw the car sitting at a service station with a for sale sign on it,” says Grimard. An original black car with a red interior and the C-code, 200 horsepower, 289 cubic-inch V-8, and only having 40,000 original miles on the odometer, it was an interesting find. It turns out many were interested in acquiring the car, but few could come up with the necessary funds without a bank loan. At the time, securing the cash without collateral for an eight-year-old car meant Grimard with the necessary cash won the seller over.

For a ’67 model it was quite well equipped with nearly $1,000 in optional equipment including power steering, styled steel wheels, remote outside mirror, windshield washers, safety glass rear window, push-button AM radio, centre console, deluxe steering wheel, exterior decor group, including hood-mounted signal lamps, interior decor group, Wide-Oval Sports tires and rocker-panel moldings.

After a couple of years on the road Grimard had the car repainted to erase the few scratches and superficial dents it had acquired, and had re-chromed bumpers and wheel-well trim installed. That was followed in 1978 with the installation of a new black convertible top and glass rear window. Inside a new carpet was added to the (still mint) factory deluxe bucket seat interior and Grimard decided to spice it up a little by adding a few GT options, such as the rear lower valance, chrome exhaust tips, Shelby front sway bar, urethane bushings, KYB gas shock absorbers, big-block coil springs and a new old-stock big-block radiator for added cooling capacity.

Over the years Grimard has been collecting parts and the car has seen limited use and constant upgrades. The engine was rebuilt and bored 0.030” with high-performance “K-Code” cylinder heads added, along with a Manley solid-lifter performance camshaft, four-tube Headman exhaust headers, leading to a two-inch exhaust system with crossover and custom dual-exhaust system.

There’s also an Edelbrock high-rise aluminum intake manifold with 650 cfm Holley four-barrel carburetor, high-volume fuel pump and Edelbrock electronic distributor. The C-4 three-speed automatic transmission was rebuilt with a performance-enhancing shift kit and the eight-inch rear axle rebuilt with a Traction-Lok 3.80:1 ratio gear set to complete the powertrain.

In the continued effort to make the car more driveable, Grimard sourced the factory parts to convert the manual drum brakes, to power-assisted disc brakes. An original factory option priced at a reasonable $64.77, it cost Grimard $1,200 to do the conversion with original Ford parts. Grimard says, “I could only wish they had ordered it from the factory.” Another item that missed the option box was the power top option. As well as this car was equipped, it came with the standard manual fold-up convertible top.

“In all the years I’ve owned it, it hasn’t seen rain or snow and has been in climate-controlled storage,” says Grimard. “With the modifications it’s now a lot more fun to drive than in its early years and is so much fun to drop the top and drive on a summer day. It now stops, cools and handles better, along with being that much quicker as well.”

The car sees use as a fair-weather cruiser every second year and has now amassed only 58,000 original miles.

Originally listed at $2,698.14 plus $960.49 in options, the car came out of the dealership in 1967 with a total cost of $3,658.53. A far cry from what it would sell for in today’s dollars, it’s a rare early production ’67 model and one of the few convertibles to wear the factory Raven Black paint colour. Couple that with the deluxe interior option and the performance upgrades Grimard has added over the years, and you have one rare ragtop.

57ford@mymts.net

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