Wayne Jeffreys
October 1, 2004
Photos By: Jeff Ford

When it comes to the captivating Mustang, few can pass up a convertible-especially one packing a big-block 390 4V. Duane Helzer of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, fell prey to the shiny coat and drop-dead good looks of this fine '67 convertible.

"I had a '66 Mustang GT in high school, but babies and marriage dictated selling the car in 1975. In 1989, I bought a '67 hardtop for my 16-year-old daughter. I restored the car and started showing it in 1991. I have been in the hobby ever since. In 1995, I looked at this car; it had been sitting for years. I really wanted it, but the asking price was high for a car that needed restoring. A friend of mine in our car club bought the car. He had the engine and transmission rebuilt, and had the car stripped to bare metal and painted," Duane related.

Luckily for Duane, his buddy grew tired of the '67 and decided to get rid of it. "He offered it to me at one of our club meetings, and I couldn't let it get away again," said Duane.

Since the paint was already a nice glossy shade of Raven Black with painted gray stripes (both under the clearcoat finish), Duane had little to do there. But as you know, that seldom stops a restomoder. Duane decided to put his own touch to the convertible. Though the changes he made are subtle and completely reversible, they are striking. For instance, the wheels applied are the correct 14-inch styled steels, but they mount raised white letter BFGoodrich tires. The car was also lowered just enough to give it that stance that demands attention. Body mods are almost nonexistent except for the Shelby sidescoops Duane added to jazz up the outside of the convertible. Inside, the car is quite posh with deluxe interior, air conditioning, power steering, and power disc brakes.

Under the louvered hood resides the torquey 390 4V that has had a subtle cam change via a Crane grind. It also has better spark than the anemic Ford points from a Pertronix Ignitor. The carb was changed out to a 770-cfm Holley. Behind that is the old reliable C6, its only mod a 427-valvebody. The big-block tranny moves all the torque to a 9-inch axle that houses 3.00 open rear gears. Though not a great stoplight axle, the 3.00 does make freeway work a low-rev affair.

When quizzed about his driving habits in the black convertible, Duane answered with a smile, "Every chance I get." We can't say we blame him. we've had a spell cast on us by his black ponycar with its convertible top, big-inch engine, and deluxe amenities.