Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
October 31, 2012
Photos By: Cesar Andre

Though the Mustang was still under construction, Raymond took it to the annual Mustang show held at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Even in black primer the Mustang got plenty of looks and the kids loved it; especially when Raymond flipped the switch for the QuickTime Performance electric exhaust cutouts and fired the stroker up. Between revving the engine for the crowd and playing with his Air Ride controls, he was having loads of fun, but later found out that he had been disqualified from the show competition for starting his car! The next year, Raymond returned to the Queen Mary show with a Midnight Blue paintjob and took a 2nd Place trophy in the modified class. The day was nothing more than a blur of cleaning and polishing because, even though it looks like a show car, Raymond drives his Mustang almost daily and doesn't usually keep it in "show ready" condition. "Cars are meant to be driven, and I take mine everywhere," Raymond, who routinely takes his car to NorCal and Vegas on trips, explained.

Not being able to leave well enough alone (and wanting to take the car to the next level), he decided to repaint the Mustang and add airbrush work to it. Raymond felt with the money he would spend on someone else's custom airbrush work, he could buy the equipment himself and do it. He had some previous airbrush skill, and learned more techniques locally--with the help of Coast Airbrush in Anaheim--and used his car as practice. He now does custom airbrush and striping on the side for a local motorcycle paint house, D3 Designs. With the Queen Mary show rolling around again, Raymond decided to pull out all the stops and airbrush his Mustang with flames, simulated wood screws, murals, and the kicker was the airbrushed skeleton on the passenger door.

"Originally, the plan was to keep the passenger side somewhat normal, but the normal side was just plain and dull. It was almost Halloween, and anyone that knows me knows I get into Halloween. Whenever I give someone a ride, they inevitably reach for the dash when I take off, so I had fun with the idea and painted the skeleton on the side reaching for something to hold onto," Raymond explained of his wild paint scheme. After years of taking ribbings from some of the guys at the shops he worked on his Mustang at, as well as from a few ex-girlfriends, the car has become something that Raymond is really proud to own and drive. He knows it is not for everybody, but he's cool with that. Why? Because he built the car for himself to enjoy to drive, because a Mustang like this was meant to be driven.

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The Details

Raymond Drake's '66 Mustang coupe


  • 418ci stroker (351 Windsor based)
  • 4.030-inch bore
  • 4.10-inch stroke
  • Steel H-beam rods
  • Forged pistons
  • Steel crankshaft
  • 10:1 compression ratio
  • Edelbrock Victor Jr aluminum cylinder heads
  • 2.15-inch intake, 1.56-inch exhaust valves
  • 1.72:1 roller rocker arms
  • Clay Smith hydraulic roller cam, 0.636-inch lift, 256 degrees duration at 0.050-inch
  • Edelbrock Air Gap aluminum intake
  • Holley/SMI 750-cfm Double Pumper four-barrel carburetor
  • MSD billet distributor
  • MSD 6AL ignition
  • 502 hp, 522 lb-ft torque
  • Built by Total Car Care, Huntington Beach, CA
  • Transmission
  • Tremec TKO-II five-speed manual


  • Currie Enterprises 9+ housing
  • Traction-Lok differential
  • 3.89 gears


  • JBA mid-length headers, 2-inch primaries, 3-inch collectors
  • MagnaFlow mufflers
  • 2-1/2-inch dual exhaust by QuickTime Performance, Huntington Beach, CA


  • Front: Classic Performance Products tubular control arms/subframe, Air Ride Technologies Shockwave air shocks
  • Rear: Mustangs Plus Grab-a-Track leaf springs, traction bars, coilover shocks
  • Mustangs Plus Ronster frame reinforcement kit, Mustangs Plus rollbar


  • Front: Disc, 13-inch rotors, four-piston calipers
  • Rear: Disc, 12-inch rotors, single-piston calipers


  • Front: Budnik Gasser, full polished, 16x8
  • Rear: Budnik Gasser, full polished, 17x12


  • Front: Riken Raptor, P205/50R16
  • Rear: Michelin Pilot Sport, P335/35R17


  • Custom black leather with aluminum trim, M-Detail Recaro seats with Pony interior style upholstery, Dakota Digital gauges behind tinted glass fascia running the length of the dash, JVC CD/MP3/DVD head unit, eight Momo component speakers, one 13-inch JL Audio carbon-fiber subwoofer, dashpad supports removed and dash smoothed, switches removed from dash and relocated to trans tunnel, Mustangs Unlimited power window conversion, three-point seatbelts, handmade aluminum door panel inserts, owner-created fiberglass headliner


  • Owner painted/airbrushed with help from Harbor Radiator, Costa Mesa, CA, and Total Car Care, Huntington Beach, CA; owner-widened body 8-1/2-inches, starting mid-door and tapering rearward; shaved door handles, trunk lock, fuel filler, and emblems; fiberglass wheel flares; fiberglass front fenders, fiberglass front valance, fiberglass trunk spoiler; gas filler moved to trunk; glass taillight panel with 300 LEDs for tail/brake lights; owner built steel rear valance and bumper molded to body