Miles Cook
August 16, 2016
Photos By: Drew Phillips

No need to mince words here. Glen Martyn’s 1966 fastback is a truly unique custom build that we immediately knew was feature material the minute we saw it on display during the season-opening 2016 NHRA Winternationals at Pomona Raceway.

Glen brought the car to the race from his nearby home in LaVerne, California. We subsequently shot the undercarriage photos in an airport hanger that Glen rents at Brackett Field Airport, which is also right across the street from the legendary Pomona dragstrip. There, we also got a chance to chat with Glen about how the car came to be.

“I have owned the car for 23 years. Back then, I worked with a guy whose wife’s father bought the car new, and eventually, gave it to his daughter. She lost interest in it because the transmission had died, and it wasn’t economical for her to drive. I continued bugging them until they finally sold the car to me.”

Starting with the 1966’s solid body, it only needed a rear quarter panel replaced. The paint is a PPG waterborne two-stage finish in a 2003 Mercedes Pewter Gray color. The deep luster was achieved with six coats, and Gongora’s Auto Body in Pomona, California did all the work. The custom body mods include door handles from a 2000 Chevy Monte Carlo that were integrated in, and the metal hood has a bonded-on Shelby G.T. 350-style hood scoop that was riveted with exposed aircraft stainless bolts. The front fiberglass Shelby R-model-style fascia fits with an original-style bumper, while the rear bumper was split and the license plate was moved up. Custom exhaust tips were also integrated into the lower rear fascia.
The E-T, AC-III wheels (17- by 8-inch front and 17- by 9-inch rear) are fitted with Continental Extreme Contact tires, P225/45ZR17s in front and P245/45ZR17s out back. At each corner, Wilwood disc brakes and 12-inch rotors make it all stop.
Now a 401 cubic-inch stroker, the 351C came from a 1972 DeTomaso Pantera. It has a 4.060-inch bore and 3.875-inch-stroke Scat forged crank with 2-inch rod journals. Pro Comp H-beam, 6.2-inch connecting rods are joined to Arias forged pistons, netting a 10.8:1 compression ratio. The original closed-chamber 2V Pantera cylinder heads were treated to a full port-and-polish job and fitted with Rev stainless-steel 2.02/1.60-inch intake and exhaust valves. Other valvetrain pieces include an Isky hydraulic-roller cam and Crane 1.7:1 ratio roller rockers. Providing fuel, air, and spark are a Weiand aluminum intake, a Holley 850 carb and all MSD pieces, which include the ignition box, distributor, coil, and plug wires. The exhaust system includes Hooker Super Comp full-length headers, 3-inch pipes and DynoMax VT mufflers. When LTR Racing completed the engine, it went on the shop’s Onyx, California, dyno where it made 506 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 rpm.

“Two decades later, after my sons graduated from college, it was agreed among my family that it was my turn (hence the license plate MYTRN66) to start work on the Mustang. I bought the 351C from a guy who was going to put it in a 1971 Ranchero, but he ran out of money and sold it to me. It really is an original Cleveland from a 1972 Pantera. I was at the SEMA Show in 2012 when we met Lanny Trefz of LTR Racing Engines. Lanny said if we didn’t have a builder he would like to build the engine. He wanted to find out how much power a vintage Cleveland could make with today’s technology.”

“After a year and a half of fabrication, we were contracted by RPC Racing Power Company to show the car at the 2013 SEMA Show. At that point, it gave us 90 days to take the car from the rotisserie to completion. We met with everybody involved, and they all thought it would be great to have the car there. Gongora's Auto Body completed the body and paintwork in 32 days. Deluxe Interiors did most of the interior work while the car was being painted.”

“We were then 58 days to SEMA and worked seven days a week along with RRC Fabrication, who did all the body modifications like the door handles, the split rear bumper, installation of the TCI [Total Cost Involved] suspension and Wilwood brakes. When the car became a roller, it was all hands on deck. We finished the car the night before SEMA but were unable to start the engine due to some health issues with the engine builder. Luckily, he made a full recovery and the car was a hit at SEMA, even though it wasn’t yet running. After the show, I couldn’t wait to hear it run. When I did, it was truly a long-awaited dream to finally drive the car.”

Equally top-notch as the outside of Glen’s fastback is the interior, which features German-made Autolux leather upholstery in a color called Bourbon. That works for us. The tops of the Pontiac LeMans power seats were cut to give them the look of a low-back seat and the passenger seat tilts forward and reclines back. The reshaped seats are accented with custom door panels. The radio was also removed and air ducts were put in place of it and the car’s Alpine stereo head unit was relocated to the glovebox. The air-duct bezels are from 1957 Chevy gauges. Deluxe Interiors in San Dimas, California, did all the upholstery and interior work. The Lokar shifter controls a Ford AOD built by Chino Hills Transmission.
The front underpinnings feature a complete TCI upper and lower control-arm suspension, RideTech single-adjustable coilovers, TCI power rack-and-pinion steering, and a 1-inch anti-sway bar.
A Currie 9-inch with 3.70 gears is held in place with a TCI three-link rear torque-arm suspension that also has a panhard bar, subframe connectors, RideTech adjustable coilovers, and a 1-inch anti-sway bar. A driveshaft safety loop is also a part of the torque arm.
The Cleveland stroker has a custom 3 1/2-quart oil pan with a Stock Car Products external oil pump. Both are supplemented with this trunk-mounted Accusump 2 1/2-quart oil accumulator. Underneath the trunk floor hides a Hot Rod City Garage 21-gallon aluminum fuel tank.

After about two years with the completed project, Glen still loves driving and enjoying the car as much as he did in late 2013. “It handles beautifully,” he says. “It’s very impressive in the turns, the stroker Cleveland has great low-end torque, and pulls hard through the AOD transmission’s four gears. It’s also an ideal freeway cruiser where at 75 mph the engine is only turning 2,300 rpm.”

When Glen attends various car-oriented functions, he gets all sorts of interested questions about this unique fastback. “One thing many ask is what color it is. Many are amazed at the upholstery, and its rich leather look and smell, which is much unlike these cars were when new a half-century ago. They also often want to know if the engine is a real Cleveland, and they then want to hear it run.”

He sums it all up. “I love the car exactly like it is, and there isn’t anything on it that I would change.” Neither would we, Glen, neither would we.

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