Jim Smart
November 1, 2004
Photos By: Jeff Ford

You've got to admit your imagination can be limitless in the exciting world of Restomod. With a restomod mindset, you can take a vanilla C-code Mustang convertible and dress it to the nines, pump it full of power, and surround yourself with greatness. What's more, you can strap it to your backside, cruise Main Street, tackle a twisty road, come home, and be a renewed person for the experience.

Meet Jack Wolff of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids is a terrific place to live. The winters are tough, but afford you the time to play with your cars (if you have a heated garage), and the summers are incredible.

This dreamy project dates back to 1999, when Jack owned a '66 six-cylinder convertible and a '69 Cougar hardtop. Jack liked his convertible and the way it looked, but he realized he wanted something more than a six-cylinder Mustang, so he sold the convertible and the Cougar.

Jack's dream began as a '68 Shelby clone. However, the cost of fiberglass and other Shelby nuances was way out of reach. So Jack turned his attentions back to 1966 knowing that would be a cheaper path to a Shelby clone. He thought about the limited number of '66 GT350 convertibles that Shelby-American built and decided to build one for himself. He located this gem in Virginia. It had 150 miles on a ground-up restoration. Luckily for Jack, the owner had lost interest and was willing to sell.

After he brought the car home to Michigan, Jack began building his GT350 clone. The 289-2V engine ran like a clock. A white interior just needed a few features to make it extraordinary-Flo-Fit seats, a JME instrument cluster, a Shelby rollbar, a Classic console, Kenwood AM/FM cassette and CD changer, power windows, three-point safety belts, and that groovy LeCarra wheel.

Outside, Jack installed Shelby mirrors, new tires, a GT rear valance, hood pins, and an interesting front valance. He managed to find the front valance at the Spring Swap Meet in Columbus, Ohio. The valance and GT fog lamps are actually all part of what {{{Ford}}} called the "2+2 Night Rally Kit," available from Ford dealers coast-to-coast in 1966.

In 2002, Jack enlisted the help of Rick May, also a member of the West Michigan Mustang Club, who helped him rebuild and hop up the 289. These gentlemen fitted the original iron with Manley forged pistons, a Comp Cams bumpstick, roller rockers, valvesprings, and more. An MSD ignition system lights the mixture. A Pertronix 40,000 Flame-Thrower coil supercharges the spark. Jet Hot Tri-Y headers scavenge the hot exhaust gases. On top is a Blue Thunder tri-power intake manifold with three Autolite 2100 carburetors, which means great reliability and performance beneath that long air cleaner.

Because Jack believes in the wise management of power, he opted for power front disc brakes, a 111/48-inch front sway bar, subframe connectors, and Shelby-style underride traction bars. The upper control arms have also been lowered to improve negative camber.

Behind the warmed up 289 is a Tremec T-5 five-speed shifted by Hurst. A Flaming River tilt steering column makes the drive easier.

By the time you read this, Jack will have installed rear disc brakes, a limited slip, and a cable clutch conversion. Not bad for this Wolff in wolf's clothing.