Modified Mustangs & FordsFeatured Vehicles
1966 Ford Mustang Hardtop - Lucky Charm
Diane Eiden's '66 Hardtop Has Brought Her A Little Frustration With A Healthy Side Order Of Luck
When we first met Diane Eiden and Conrad Jordan, they hadn't had an easy time getting to the show. But luck came their way when they needed it.
It all started one sunny day in July 2003 as they were getting ready for the Mustangs Northwest Round-up in Bellevue, Washington. Diane told us, "The Friday before the car show, the car quit running and left us stranded three blocks from my house. We found that the ignition module had gone bad in the distributor. A new one was installed, but it still didn't run correctly. We fought a low-vacuum situation until Sunday when the car quit running again-this time five blocks from my house. After bringing the car home, we traced the problem to lack of movement in the distributor. After a quick teardown of the front end of the engine, we found the alignment pin in the cam sprocket had backed out, allowing the gear to spin. We J-B welded the pin in and crossed our fingers hoping that we hadn't bent any valves. Luckily, we hadn't, and the car was ready to go to the show."
Diane and Conrad showed up at the Pony Trails and drove the car on the 200-plus-mile trip. The Ford did well until they went to clean it for the next day. The hardtop would not start. Diane said, "After repeated attempts to start the car, the starter gave out, leaving us with no option except to pull it out at 1:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a local business. The next morning, we called the local Schuck's auto parts store. By 8:30 a.m., the starter was installed and ready to go. The engine turned over, but still would not start. Two hours of ignition trouble shooting left us with no clear answer to our problem. I suggested we try to find a points distributor. Our $500 ignition system was replaced with a $49 system."
By noon the car was ready to go, but they had missed check-in for the judged portion of the car show. So in good Ford spirit, they went to look at the beautiful display and enjoy the rest of their day.
Diane relates, "We stayed late into the evening until we were kicked out. Just before we were about to leave, one of the show's coordinators approached us and asked if we would stay and watch the cars because the security guard had failed to show up for work. We were thrilled!" They had sweet dreams that night surrounded by great cars and were right in the middle of things for the Sunday opening of the people's choice event. That is where we came across this eye-catching Grabber Blue '66 hardtop Mustang.
The Grabber Blue paint is set off by old style, 14-inch torq-thrust D's. The standard black interior has had a few upgrades: Procar seats, a homemade console, and a Grant steering wheel.
This Mustang is powered by a 289 4V that has been bored .060 over and stuffed with flat-top pistons, then the whole thing was balanced. Up top Edelbrock Performer RPM heads with 1.90 intake, 1.60 exhaust helps pull air in from the RPM intake and Holley 600-cfm carb. Timing duties are handled by a Comp Cams flat-tappet hydraulic cam with 218/224 .493/.500 lift. Spark is motivated via a Mallory Unilite distributor, ignition box and coil, and cooling is done with an electric fan. Back of all that is a C-4 automatic transmission with a B&M Shift Kit and 2,400 stall converter. The car sounds great with the addition of Hedman shorty headers and a mandrel-bent Flowmaster exhaust with stainless tips for a little added attitude.
Diane said she owes thanks to many people, but mostly to her boyfriend Conrad for all his help with the '66. He owns a '65 Falcon 2-door hardtop and is attending Wyoming Tech, studying chassis fabrication and high-perfomance engines.
Diane told us she is not interested in getting rid of her Mustang anytime soon. We think she is making a great decision-the car is definitely her lucky charm.