Wayne Cook
September 20, 2010
Photos By: Jim Smart

When we first took a look at this car we were impressed by the completeness and obvious extra effort that went into its creation. The car is a '69 Mustang GT SportsRoof and it is owned by David Drabo of Gilbert, Arizona. We think that the great combination of factory GT excellence and exotic performance modification puts this car near the pinnacle of the hobby. The year 1969 was the last for the GT package. The historical moniker was as old as the Mustang itself but was soon to be supplanted by the popular and beautiful Mach 1 offering. While the Mach 1 is certainly an excellent choice, there's something about the GT version of the car that we really respect. Less flamboyant than the Mach 1 in terms of graphics and added embellishments, the GT package was a more understated performance package than the new Mach. However, they both shared the same 351ci minimum-displacement requirement. In Ford's view, the Mustang performance corral was getting pretty crowded with the availability of 10 engines and several special performance packages including the Boss 429, Boss 302, GT, and Mach 1. You could even get the 428 Cobra Jet option in a plain-Jane coupe if you wanted your performance packaged in that way, so clearly there was no shortage of performance options available to a new Mustang buyer in 1969. By 1970 the Mach 1 Mustang became so popular that Ford finally dropped GT package.

Drabo tells us that he was born in the front seat of a '69 Mustang on the way to the hospital in upstate New York and, because of this, the sound of a Ford V-8 engine was ingrained into him at an early age. He further says that as a consequence, the wait for him to get his own '69 Mustang seemed especially long. Finally in the spring of 2006, Drabo's search ended when he found this car. The '69 GT had been restored to original specs. It sounds to us like Drabo started with a sound example of the breed and from there, things only got better. Drabo enlisted the help of The Mustang Shop in Chandler, Arizona. There, the spectacular transformation you see here took place over a 20-month period.

From advanced suspension to super-sized rolling stock and exotic induction, the guiding principles were performance first and then the cool factor. In this effort, both Drabo and the Mustang Shop get very high marks. Clearly Drabo is more than pleased with the results, and he enthusiastically calls his car a "beauty that drives, turns, and stops as a real sports car should." We'd like to congratulate him on his project results. They make the car more than worthy of a feature in Modified Mustangs & Fords magazine.

David Drabo's '69 Mustang GT SportsRoof
The Details

David Drabo's
'69 Mustang GT SportsRoof

Engine

  • 392ci Windsor
  • 4.030-inch bore
  • 3.85-inch stroke
  • Cast crankshaft
  • Keith Black hypereutectic pistons
  • Sealed Power rings
  • World Products Windsor Jr. iron cylinder heads
  • 2.02-inch intake, 1.60-inch exhaust valves
  • Comp Cams valvesprings
  • Comp Cams 1.6:1 roller rockers
  • Comp Cams hydraulic roller camshaft, 0.488/0.472 lift, 204/214 duration, 110-degree lobe center
  • Edelbrock Performer 351W intake manifold
  • Inglese/Weber twin side-draft carburetors with 750-cfm induction capacity
  • Ford Racing valve covers
  • Mallory distributor
  • MSD ignition
  • 390 hp, 444 lb-ft tq

Transmission

  • Tremec TKO-500 five-speed manual
  • Ford heavy-duty clutch
  • Hurst five-speed shifter

Rearend

  • 9-inch axle housing
  • Traction-Lok differential
  • 28-spline axles
  • 3.50 gears

Exhaust

  • Hedman ceramic-coated headers, 1 5/8-inch primary, 3-inch collector
  • 2 1/2-inch dual exhaust with X-crossover
  • Flowmaster mufflers

Suspension

  • Front: Mustang Shop coilover, SN-95 front spindles, Tokico struts, QA1 275-lb/in springs, power rack-and-pinion steering, welded shock towers, heavy-duty antisway bar, shock tower brace, Monte Carlo bar
  • Rear: Mustang Shop four-link coilover, QA1 175-lb/in springs, custom subframe connectors, rear control arm support bar

Brakes

  • Front: Wilwood disc, 13-inch drilled and slotted rotor, six-piston caliper
  • Rear: Wilwood disc, 12-inch drilled and slotted rotor, four-piston caliper

Wheels

  • Front: American Racing Shelby Razor, charcoal center, 20x9
  • Rear: American Racing Shelby Razor, charcoal center, 20x9

Tires

  • Front: Toyo Proxes, P255/35R20
  • Rear: Toyo Proxes, P255/30R20

Interior

  • Custom-built Comfort Weave bucket seats by Sonny's Upholstery of Phoenix, Arizona; black carbon vinyl upholstery; LeCarra steering wheel; Flaming River steering column; Auto Meter instrumentation; Clarion audio system; Rockford Fosgate amplifiers; four 6x9 speakers; 12-inch sub

Exterior

  • PPG Mineral Grey paint, OE GT hood, GT ornamentation, billet fuel door, front and rear spoilers, factory rear window slats

Photo Gallery

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