Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
January 23, 2014

Typically you will find someone who is—shall we say—a seasoned driver behind the wheel of a classic Mustang or Ford. If we had to guess, we'd say the typical first generation Mustang owner is in their late 40s to early 50s—and that's on the low end of the scale. So when we see someone much younger enjoying time behind the wheel of a classic, or even showing enough interest to go to a car show and peruse these "relics," it makes us feel good that the hobby will not wither and die when us older folks do the same someday. A perfect example can be found within Escondido, California's Ramon Gonzalez.

Ramon enjoys wheeling around in his small-block-powered '66 Mustang coupe that he restored himself with the help of his father. It was Ramon's father who purchased the car several years prior to fix up, yet the car languished in the Gonzalez garage. Moving with the family from house to house, "It was always the last thing I saw when I left my house and the first thing I saw when I arrived," Ramon tells us.

Ramon's father owns a paint and body shop, ACM Auto Body & Paint, and when Ramon turned 16 in 2008, his father passed the rough coupe down to his son and gave him a corner in the shop to work on it.

"I worked on it on my spare time, usually on Saturdays or after school," Ramon states. The work took the better part of two years, with Ramon wrapping the modified coupe's build in late 2010. Help came from his father when needed, such as teaching Ramon how to tackle dent removal using a stud welder to pull the dents out.

"It had so much Bondo that magnets wouldn't stick to it. After a lot of persistence, I sanded it all down to the metal. When I got there, I was surprised by how many dents it had," Ramon added. After Ramon completed the metal repairs, the coupe received a coat of etching primer before final basecoat paint and clear, which was shot by his father.

The car became a real father-son project, which is better than having it rot away while holding down a garage floor any day of the week. Ramon learned valuable automotive hobby skills from his father and put his own labor into building the Mustang of his dreams.

"For me, this is much more than a car, it's my pride. It's what my dad and I built with time and sweat and it's something I hope to pass down to my children one day," Ramon explains. "I think the fact that I am young is what led me not to restore this Mustang back to how it was originally built, but into something modified," Ramon added. Whether stock, modified, or in the middle, it doesn't matter. What matters is that our hobby certainly appears to be in capable hands for the future with owners like Ramon behind the wheel.

Quick Specs
302 small-block
C4 automatic transmission
Chrome shock tower braces and Monte Carlo bar by Sanchez plating
Chrome engine fasteners
Hooker headers
Cherry Bomb mufflers
Billet grille
Fiberglass hoodscoop, trunk lid, and front valance
Tinted tail lamps
Tinted glass
Front disc brakes
17-inch American Racing wheels with Falken Ziex ZE912 tires
Two-tone interior
Seats moved back 2 inches
Custom upholstery work in the trunk
Pioneer touchscreen stereo
Fiberglass rear panel for audio with JT 500W amp, JT 200W amp, 5-inch Alpine speakers and two Alpine tweeters
5-inch Alpine speakers with tweeters in kick panels
Fiberglass box in trunk for two 12-inch JT subwoofers
Fat Mat used throughout the interior and the trunk

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