Jeff Ford
October 1, 2004
Photos By: Jim Smart

Jim Werbner of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has had a passion for Mustangs since he was of an age to consider what his ultimate ride would be; like most of us with motor oil in our veins, that was probably about the age of three. Jim tells us, "For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted a classic Mustang. Even before I had a driver's license." Sadly, mom and pop didn't share his enthusiasm for the breed. so in his teen years, Jim shelved his idea for a '66. In his early '20s, Jim dipped his Mustang feet in the waters of the hobby via a '93 GT hatchback. Mods were added; he found shows and clubs, and so it went. Still that itch for early iron was there, always nagging him like an itchy spot between the shoulder blades that you just can't get at. That itch was satisfied with the steed you see here. But like most of our stories, this is a rags-to-riches tale of scary ponies and die-hard owners.

"One of the people I work with said they had a '66 Mustang for sale, and (most importantly at the time) it was only $500," Jim related to us. The body was shot, not so much from rust, but from being a bang-about car. Also, the original six had already been given the heave-ho in favor of a 302. The same could be said for the original C4, replaced with an AOD that was functioning none too well. Jim decided to fix the AOD and keep moving, though somewhere between "I'm just building a driver" and where the car is now, things went awry. Perhaps Jim could blame the current condition on the folks at Route '66 Service Center, but actually it's all his fault. See, while the folks at Route '66 were fever pitching the ride, Jim got to thinking, and "one thing lead to another and it just kinda got out of hand," Jim said with a laugh.

Out of hand is not what we'd say about this wild ride. Startling is what we'd call it; something that will stop you in your tracks. What grabs your eyes and won't let go is that Bright Atlantic Blue base clear finish and those Chrome Yellow stripes.

Under the hood is a fairly mild 302 4V with a Weiand intake and Edelbrock carb. The cam is mild and not fussy, and the custom modded Hooker headers send the gasses from the stock heads to a pair of Flowmasters-a perfect pairing to the wild paint. Behind the 302 is the aforementioned AOD, now tricked out and working fine. Since the engine is only in at 275 hp, Jim stayed with the 8-inch diff applied by the former owner and added a set of 3.50:1 rear gears.

The brakes are a fairly stock setup with discs in front and drums out back, while the wheels are the ubiquitous American Racing Torq-Thrust Ds in 15-inch size.

Inside, the scheme is picked up with custom-stitched blue and yellow stock seats and accented dash. The wheel is a falcon piece that offsets the engine-turned glovebox door and instrument panel. in this day and age you have to have tunes, so Jim selected a Pioneer head unit, a Pioneer GM-X1024 amp, and 3.5 round and 6x9 oval speakers. Boomin' sound comes from a Bazooka subwoofer.

Jim relates he likes the car because it stands out, and there isn't another car like it. Certainly that is what got it noticed by Jim Smart. We like that Jim went down a route less traveled and defiantly came up with a winner.