Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
February 1, 2013

"My dad has always had street rods since I was a kid, so I've always liked old cars," said Cambridge, Ohio's Greg Hoffman. "I always restored cars and bought this one to do just that." Upon further investigation, Greg told us that he had purchased a '66 Mustang coupe many years ago after graduating high school, but eventually sold it to put a down payment on a home. Greg still lives in that house today, and over the years, he's always been behind the wheel of a Mustang. However, most of those were Fox-body– or SN-95–based. Eventually, Greg came across a great deal on the '66 Mustang you see here, and completing its restoration would bring him back to his roots.

"I purchased the car from a Mustang shop with a plan of doing a concours type of restoration," Greg commented. "The car was in decent driver shape, so I drove it for the first summer. It had a great VIN; it was a 289/four-barrel/four-speed car, Candy Apple Red with black interior." Greg began collecting date-coded parts for the Mustang's restoration that would eventually take place, but it would be a call regarding an engine that would change his mind.

"A buddy I worked with was at Ricart Ford buying stuff for his car all of the time," Greg recalled. "He called and told me they were unloading a bunch of parts. Among them was a new '94-'95 Mustang motor that was cheap. I drove up after work and purchased it. That's when the project changed to a Restomod."

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Up to this point, Greg had started repairing the small amounts of rust by replacing entire panels. He wanted the car to look like it did when it came off the assembly line, as he was going the restoration route at the time. The bodywork was completed and the car was in primer when he came upon the engine deal, but the project was sidelined shortly thereafter.

With the Mustang tore apart and wanting to get a car on the road rather quickly, Greg tinkered with a Buick Gran Sport that he had picked up. And once he was through with that, his twin daughters, Tiffany and Megan, became active in sports. That, combined with summers spent boating, put the Mustang on the back burner for several years. In fact, it wasn't until the twins went off to college in 2008 that Greg finally got back up to full speed on the Mustang that Fall.

The bodywork and primer on the Mustang held up great over the years, and Greg told us it only required blocking and spraying on the paint to complete the exterior. While Greg did consider painting the Mustang red, his father told him to paint it a color that sparkled. Having seen the Legend Lime hue on the '05 Mustangs, Greg opted for the vintage-inspired, late-model color for his classic colt.

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"My dad sprayed the body, since he has more experience than I do at that. I sprayed everything else, including base/clearing the entire chassis. It's as clean underneath as it is on top," said Greg. Greg's father, Gary, is a street rod enthusiast and so are his friends. Their influence on Greg is evident, most notably in the engine compartment, but also on the flanks where '94-'98 Mustang door handles were grafted to the car.

Glenn Hatcher ran the stainless brake lines, and machined a number of brackets that were needed to complete the build as well. Any time Greg wanted to place something out of sight, or simply reroute it, he usually relied on Glen to machine something to accomplish that.

The interior was given a refresh, with Bob Evans Upholstery in Lancaster, Ohio, re-skinning the seats with a TMI upholstery kit. Though the upholstery looks stock, custom touches abound inside, including a unique center console, Auto Meter instruments, a tilt column, and billet pedal covers to name a few.

The aforementioned EFI 5.0L engine was also modified prior to being dropped between the fenders. Greg picked up the tubular GT-40 intake manifold brand new when you could still buy them over the counter. He painstakingly hand-polished the manifold, as well as a number of other engine bay items.

"I wanted to run the tall valve covers from Ford Racing, which led to a 1-inch phenolic intake spacer, which led to the cowl hood," Greg noted. Regarding the fiberglass hood from K.A.R., Greg told us the quality and fitment was great out of the box. It certainly helps to solidify the Restomod nature of the Mustang from an appearance standpoint.

All of Greg's Mustangs over the years have all been V-8-powered, and all have been equipped with manual transmissions. This Mustang was no different, having a four-speed transmission from the factory. However, Greg looked to his experience with late-model Mustangs and installed a rebuilt T-5 five-speed gearbox.

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Greg's Mustang was on the road for the summer of 2010, and together with his wife, Cindy, who Greg told us is a car nut herself, have driven the Pony to a number of shows since its completion. In addition to the show circuit, the Mustang has also seen the dragstrip.

"My dad kept bugging me about going to the track so we lined up, him with his '57 Ford two-door Ranch Wagon, and me with the Mustang." Part way into the run, Greg noticed that the car was making some ugly noises out back.

"I could hear the spider gears chewing themselves up, but I wasn't going to let him win or I'd never hear the end of it." Greg crossed the line, ahead of his dad, running a 14.00 at 105 mph. the Ranch Wagon came through at a leisurely 15-second pace according to Greg. Having torn up the spider gears, Greg had to put the Mustang on a rollback to get it home from Norwalk Raceway Park. It's the only time the Mustang has not gone somewhere under its own power, Greg informed us.

Believe it or not, Greg's Mustang might be one of the few projects that one could call finished, as he doesn't have any further mods planned for it. Currently he's working on a '54 F-100 street rod, another Ford model he's always wanted. It's a bit far from his Mustang roots, but he said he's going the modified route with it, just like he did with his Mustang.

The Details
Greg Hoffman's 1966 Ford Mustang fastback

Engine

  • '95 Ford 302HO
  • Stock 302 block, crankshaft, pistons, and connecting rods
  • Stock cast iron cylinder heads, 1.78-inch intake/1.50-inch exhaust valves
  • Ford Racing Performance Parts E303 hydraulic roller camshaft
  • Ford Racing Performance Parts GT-40 tubular intake manifold, polished
  • Holley 70mm throttle body
  • Pro-M 75mm mass airflow sensor
  • Stock 19-lb/hr fuel injectors
  • Ford Racing Performance Parts stand-alone wiring harness and ECM
  • MSD billet distributor and Blaster coil

Transmission

  • T-5 five-speed manual
  • Ford Motorsport HD clutch assembly
  • Stock T-5 shifter

Rearend

  • Ford 8-inch rearend
  • Detroit Locker differential
  • 28-spline axles
  • 4.10 gears

Exhaust

  • JBA shorty-style tubular headers
  • 2½-inch exhaust tubing
  • Flowmaster Super 44 mufflers

Suspension

  • Front: Mustangs Plus Grab-A-Trac 620-pound coil springs, 1-inch antisway bar, KYB shocks, Flaming River rack-and-pinion conversion
  • Rear: Grab-A-Trac mid-eye leaf springs, KYB shocks

Brakes

  • Front: Stainless Steel Brakes Corp disc, 10.5-inch slotted rotors, hand-polished four-piston calipers
  • Rear: Stainless Steel Brakes Corp disc, 10.5-inch slotted rotors, hand-polished single-piston calipers
  • Stainless steel brake lines throughout

Wheels

  • Front: Foose Legend, 17x7
  • Rear: Foose Legend, 17x8

Tires

  • Front: Nitto NT555, P235/45ZR17
  • Rear: Nitto NT555, P245/45ZR17

Interior
TMI Sport Seat upgrade with Pony-spec seat covers and door panels, custom-fabricated center console painted body color, power door locks and trunk release, three-point safety belts, Billet Specialties window cranks, door handles, AC vents and locks, Lokar billet pedal pads and accelerator pedal, Auto Meter Carbon Fiber instruments, Sony CD/MP3 player, Boyd billet steering wheel, Old Air Products HVAC system

Exterior
Entire chassis sprayed with PPG basecoat/clearcoat in Ford Legend Lime, K.A.R. Fiberglass hood, Shelby-style quarter-windows, shaved trunk lid key hole, '94-'98 Mustang door handles, filled cowl panel vents, paint and bodywork done by Greg and Gary Hoffman