Jim Smart
March 1, 2005

We can't help but feel excited about the steadily rising interest in restomod-that wonderful freedom that allows us to personalize our vintage Fords without concern for political correctness, as long as it's tasteful. the new millennium differs from the '80s when modifying a classic Mustang was not only unforgivable, it also hurt the car's value. Today, based on what we are seeing at the automobile auctions and on eBay, modified and custom-built Mustangs are hauling down greater sums of money than the concours-restored stockers that were so popular 20 years ago.

Buyers and sellers alike agree it pays to make just the right modifications to a classic Mustang. it doesn't matter if you do it to a GT, Boss, or Hi-Po special, as long as you are able to take it back to stock if these trends change. We're convinced restomod is here to stay and with good reason. Restomod takes the striking lines of a classic Mustang and dovetails them with constructive modifications that make the car safer and more enjoyable to drive. We salute those of you who had the courage to restomod when restomod wasn't cool. You started an exciting trend that has successfully bumped a potentially stagnant hobby into high gear.

That brings us to Steve Grumbach of northern Virginia. Steve found this '66 Mustang GT convertible through a restoration shop in Southern California. The shop appropriately advised him to consider a rust-free California car, which would save him a bunch of money because there wouldn't be the excessive cost associated with rust repair. This one showed up in Del Mar, California. It was an A-code (289-4V) GT ragtop that was bucked and assembled at the old Milpitas, California, assembly plant near San Jose. It was Dark Ivy Green Metallic, which was confirmed by the warranty plate color code. The 289-4V engine between the shock towers matched the car's build date perfectly. It was a nice East Coast transplant that would make a terrific weekend driver, but Steve wanted more from his California dream.

Steve tells us, "Original was never a part of the plan." He opted for a new 302 crate engine, late-model Mustang GT bucket seats, custom upholstery, Hella halogen headlights, LeCarra steering wheel, VDO gauges, AM/FM cassette stereo, T5 five-speed with a PRO 5.0 shifter, aluminum driveshaft, Griffin radiator, 3.55:1 rearend gears for improved acceleration,Monte Carlo bar for added support, Eaton springs fore and aft, and more. Because Dark Ivy Green Metallic just didn't appeal to him, he went with Honda Prelude silver instead, flanked by colorful blue GT stripes. This is a color combination that could have easily been a factory option in 1966, but wasn't.

It may surprise you to know this restoration wasn't conducted in Virginia. It happened at The Mustang Shoppe in San Diego, California, a continent away. The entire process took a year and a half.

No matter where Steve takes his silver Mustang restomod, there's always someone who stops him, wants to talk, and have a closer look at this time-proven silver certificate. He gets stopped by people of all generations who love and admire the great American icon called Mustang.