Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
July 30, 2014
Photos By: Jim Smart

In December 1976, Larry Woody gave his college roommate, David Locke, a ride home for Christmas break. Larry confesses "amazement" at what he saw as he walked into the Locke family home through the garage.

"There sat a '68 Mustang hardtop covered with blankets," recalls Larry, who was already a Mustang fan. "It showed only 40,000 miles and had always been garaged, kept clean, and meticulously maintained. I quickly told Mrs. Locke that I would be interested in buying it if she ever decided to sell!"

Ed and Virginia Locke had purchased the Royal Maroon 1968 Mustang brand new in July 1968 from Damerow Ford in Beaverton, Oregon. In addition to the 289 two-barrel engine, C4 automatic, and power steering, the hardtop was also equipped with the Sprint "Package B" option, which added GT-style appearance items, like grille-mounted foglamps, white C-stripes, and chrome Styled Steel wheels (but with plain center caps without the "GT"). A black vinyl roof rounded out the options for the 65C (standard bench-seat interior) hardtop.

Virginia drove the Mustang sparingly, using it for trips to the grocery store and as a "school bus" for her three young sons. In 1978, a couple of years after Larry first saw the Mustang, the Lockes gave it to son David as a college graduation present. David drove the Sprint hardtop until December 1980, rolling the odometer over to 77,000 miles before deciding that he needed a newer vehicle. He promptly contacted his old college buddy Larry Woody.

"David called to ask if he could bring the Mustang to California so I could sell it for him," Larry says. "At the time, I owned a black '67 Mustang hardtop, which I proceeded to sell immediately so I could purchase the Sprint that I had coveted since first seeing it in the Locke garage four years earlier."

Thanks to Larry Woody’s meticulous detailing and maintenance, the Sprint’s original 289 two-barrel engine belies its nearly 100,000 miles of use.
It seems odd that a car equipped with the sporty Sprint option would also be fitted with the bench seat, but that’s exactly how this body code 65C ’68 hardtop was ordered. According to Mustang … By the Numbers, only 167 Royal Maroon hardtops were equipped with the red bench-seat standard interior for 1968.

During his first year of ownership, Larry used the hardtop as his daily driver, then caught the rising popularity of vintage Mustang shows during the early '80s and "retired" the Mustang from active driver duty to start a cleanup process. Larry cleaned and detailed the engine compartment, undercarriage, and trunk while leaving the paint, vinyl top, and interior in their well-preserved survivor state. And that's the way the Mustang remains today. The odometer currently reads just under 100,000 miles.

For the past 34 years, Larry and his wife, Leslie, have maintained their Sprint while participating as longtime members of the Vintage Mustang Owner's Association based in San Jose, California. They have collected numerous awards and trophies from shows in California and Nevada, but Larry notes that the satisfaction of ownership comes from interaction with other Mustang owners: "The most rewarding aspect of owning this car has been all the friends and acquaintances we have made over the years due to our common interest in Mustangs."

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Sprint for 1968

By 1968, the Sprint option was already a springtime tradition for the Mustang, having first appeared as a six-cylinder Sprint 200 model during Ford's mid-year 1966 "Millionth Mustang Success Sales" promotion. For the following spring, the Sports Sprint arrived with special pastel colors for '67 hardtops and convertibles, selling nearly 110,000.

With minor changes to the '68 Mustang, Ford upped the ante for the '68 Sprint by offering two packages for its "See the Light Sale" in the spring of 1968. Sprint Package A was available for six-cylinder and V-8 models, adding C-shaped side stripes, wheel lip moldings, full wheel covers, and a pop-open gas cap. Package B was for V-8s only, utilizing the components from Package A but replacing the wheel covers with Styled Steels and adding foglights, essentially creating a GT without the added cost of the four-barrel engine and heavy-duty suspension.

Even with two packages, the '68 Sprint program wasn't nearly as successful as the previous '67 promotion. Kevin Marti's Mustang ... By the Numbers book shows that 40,118 '68 Sprints were produced—25,012 with Package A and 15,106 with Package B.