Jim Smart
June 1, 2000

Step By Step

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The '67 Mustang was, in our humble opinion, one of Ford's best styling exercises ever. Why? Because it mirrored the original introduced three years earlier yet it stood on its own with deeply sculptured lines, a razor-sharp beltline, three-element taillamps, groovy simulated finned sidescoops, a wider track, and nice engineering refinements inside and out.

Despite the Mustang's runaway success from 1964 to 1966, it wasn't a marque that could afford to rest on its laurels. Nineteen sixty-seven brought an entirely new set of challenges: the Camaro, the Firebird, a redesigned Barracuda, and the Mustang's corporate cousin, the Cougar. Each of these nameplates would take a substantial bite out of the ponycar pie, but the Mustang wasn't backing down by any means at 472,121 units, and with optional big-block power.

This leads us to Dennis Fields and this Dark Moss Green '67 hardtop. Call this ride the poster car for 1967: crisp, sharp, elegant, and a classic Mustang hardtop. Styled Steel wheels and narrow-band white sidewall radial tires yield that original equipment look, coupled with better handling. That's a black vinyl top--a nice option for the '67.

Dennis' '67 is part of the secret of success that year. The Sports Sprint option was a sales stimulator during the spring and summer of '67. Today, Detroit would call this package a bland name such as "Value Package," which is what the Sports Sprint option was in 1967. The Sports Sprint package consisted of a chrome air cleaner lid atop a 200ci six or 289 V-8 with Sports Sprint decal, rocker panel moldings, louvered hood, vinylized shifter handle, and full wheel covers. It was a modest dress-up package at a special price designed to woo buyers into showrooms. Ford's strategy worked--selling not only Mustangs, but also Galaxies, Fairlanes, Falcons, and more.

That's a 200hp 289 two-barrel V-8 sporting a C7DF-E Autolite 2100 carburetor. It's a snappy powerplant offering good low-end torque for city and highway driving. Behind the 289 is Ford's rugged and reliable 3.03 fully synchronized three-speed manual transmission. We like this combination for its simple design and function. It takes us back to when these cars were new. Wiggle the shifter left and right in Neutral, and then slip the Ford shifter down and left into First gear. The 289 offers such a familiar feeling and sound. Bring the revs up to 1,200 rpm, ease out on the clutch, and roll on down the road. The 289 2V accelerates smartly with a lot more zest than your Toyota Echo or Ford Focus--that's solid American overhead valve V-8 power beneath the bonnet. Slipping the cog box into straight drive with those 3.00 gears in back allows the 289 to breathe nicely at highway speeds.

Slide the climate control to MAX A/C and feel that old cast-iron Tecumseh compressor kick in. Cold air roars from the vents. The outer world fades into oblivion. To roll up the windows, you're going to need a healthy shoulder because power windows weren't available for 1967. Turn on the AM radio for a time-warp experience of odd sounds, the traffic report, and talk radio. Twist the dial to and fro to see if there's a good oldies station playing your favorite memories--yeah, the fabulous '70s everyone likes to forget.

But we like to remember those experiences that have the most meaning, such as the first time we ever drove our Mustang. The miles and years become something of a book--chapter after chapter--with a lifetime of memories made in a nimble Ford classic.