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1967 Ford Mustang Coupe - My Last Mustang, Maybe
Is Creating The Ultimate Mustang The Final Build?
Chuck Barriner's '67 Ford Mustang Coupe Chuck Barriner, from Jackson-ville, Florida, can trace his involvement with Mustangs back to 1978, when he joined the Navy and bought his first '65 Mustang coupe. Restoration parts weren't easy to find back then, so he learned to fabricate what he needed. That first Mustang connection created an indelible impression and as a result, he has owned and restored eight Mustangs over the years. Each one was better than the last and he smiles when he says that Mustangs have helped him maintain his sanity throughout 30 years of combined military and police service.
At age 50, Chuck wanted to try his hand one more time, dreaming about creating the ultimate Mustang. In order to do it, however, he had to sell his current ride, a '67 Mustang coupe that had been a consistent winner on the Southeastern show circuit. It was hard to give the car up, since the restoration had taken a long 4 1/2 years and it was only complete for a year and a half. The problem was compounded by the fact that he had received so much help from friends on the project. One of his best, John Faulkenbury, would come over to the house after undergoing radiation treatments to help Chuck install the engine, rebuild the transmission, or add his experience and knowledge to the project.
Chuck eventually sold the Mustang and about the same time, found another '67 coupe on eBay. It was a six-cylinder rust-free California car with no drivetrain, perfect for the new project. What turned out to be a 2 1/2-year restoration began by stripping the car down to the shell, only to discover that his dream car had turned into a nightmare. Gallons of body filler concealed severe damage to the entire left side and front end.
At that point, there was no turning back, so Chuck began purchasing high quality reproduction parts from suppliers like Laurel Mountain Mustangs, Mustangs Unlimited, National Parts Depot, and Mustangs Plus. A fiberglass Shelby-style hood, front valance, side scoops, decklid, and quarter-panel extensions gave the car the styling edge he was looking for. He refined the design with a '67 finned taillight trim panel, Corbin gas cap, new rocker panels, and a careful mix of stripes and emblems.
Once the body was back together, he took all the trim pieces to Atlantic Powder Coating in Atlantic Beach, Florida, to create the unique 'black chrome' look of the car. John's contribution to the Mustang was invaluable. He would often take a trip to his attic-a veritable Mustang parts warehouse-and come down with a GT grille, a complete set of disc and drum brake assemblies, or a Flowmaster exhaust. At one point, Chuck told John he was going to name the Mustang "John's Attic!" "John would always have a smile on his face when he saw the joy those Mustang parts gave me. I can't begin to remember all the parts that he dragged from his attic, but I was grateful," noted Chuck.
Suspension work began by upgrading the six-cylinder Mustang with V-8 parts, incorporating KYB gas shocks and rebuilt 11-inch, four-piston caliper disc brakes up front with 10-inch drum versions in the rear. Chuck and John installed a professionally rebuilt 351 Cleveland purchased from Titan Engines in Ocala, Florida. Bored 0.030-inches over, the engine was equipped with a 600-cfm Holley carburetor on an Edelbrock Performer manifold, Procomp ignition, and stock Ford exhaust manifolds flowing into Flowmaster mufflers. John rebuilt the C6 automatic transmission, adding a TCI torque converter and TransGo shift kit. Florida Power Train was responsible for rejuvenating the 9-inch Ford Traction-Lok differential. Power gets to the asphalt thanks to the 18x8.5 triple chromed Incubus Shylock rims and Nexen 3000 rubber, P235/40ZR18 up front, and P245/40ZR18 in the rear.
Once the car was rolling smoothly and with plenty of power on tap, Chuck turned his attention to the interior. Terry Brother's Custom Upholstery in Atlantic Beach, Florida, recovered the factory seats using TMI's upholstery kit. Subtle additions inside include a Grant Signature Series steering wheel, Hump Hugger center console, and a Classic Autosound AM/FM stereo with CD input. A pair of 5x7 speakers up front, and 6.5-inch versions in the rear, fill the car with sound. The mirror and sunvisor trim inside was powdercoated black, continuing the exterior theme.
During a family trip to Fritch, Texas, Chuck was able to find many needed parts at the Cherry Avenue Auto Salvage Yard in Amarillo, Texas, and he completed his list with the help of his good friend and sponsor, Freddie at Mustang Masters in Jacksonville, Florida. "Freddy has everything you need for a classic Mustang," Chuck told us, "and I refer to the place as Heaven on Earth!" The final step was paint, accomplished by the talented team at Ace Collision Experts in Jacksonville, spraying a basecoat/clearcoat, (you guessed it!) black. The perfect accent was an original '67-'68 black Florida license plate that he was able to use to register the car.
Looking back, Chuck says that to enjoy a hobby like this, you have to have a supportive spouse. "I give all the credit to my wife and best friend, Suzanne. She has supported me through all the good days and bad days of building Mustangs. She would know right away when something didn't fit or wouldn't work because of my attitude. Her solutions were always 'Don't cut corners. Get what you need, otherwise, you're just going to have to redo it.' That always made things better."
Chuck's latest modified Mustang has been a resounding success, winning three First Place trophies in its first four shows with no let up in sight. More importantly, it has underscored the value of the great friendships made during the build process. As for this latest modified Mustang being Chuck's last, well, his friends are betting against it and we have a few reservations, too.
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Chuck Barriner's '67 Ford Mustang Coupe
- 351ci Cleveland
- 4.030-inch bore
- 3.50-inch stroke
- Steel crankshaft, polished
- Stock Ford 2V iron cylinder heads, refurbished
- Stock replacement hydraulic flat tappet camshaft
- Edelbrock Performer intake
- Holley 600-cfm carburetor
- Procomp ignition
- Aluminum radiator
- C6 Automatic
- TransGo shift kit
- TCI 2,000-rpm stall converter
- Ford 9-inch
- 28-spline axles
- Traction-Lok differential
- 2 1/4-inch with Flowmaster mufflers and chrome trumpet tips
- Front: Factory V-8 springs with KYB Gas Shocks
- Rear: Factory V-8 springs with KYB Gas Shocks
- Front: Factory V-8 11-inch discs, four-piston calipers
- Rear: 10x2.5-inch drums
- Front: Incubus Shylock triple-chrome-plated, 18x8.5
- Rear: Incubus Shylock triple-chrome-plated, 18x8.5
- Front: Nexen 3000 P235/40ZR18
- Rear: Nexen 3000 P245/40ZR18
- TMI upholstery kit, Hump Hugger console, powdercoated mirror and sun visor hardware, vinyl-covered package tray, Classic Autosound AM/FM stereo, Grant steering wheel
- Shelby-style accents, rocker panel stripes, 351 and 5.8 emblems, Corbin gas cap, finned taillight panel, front valance, black chrome mirrors and door handles