Jim Smart
April 1, 2001
Photos By: Bobby Spedale

Louisiana's Bobby Spedale understands the roar of a big-block while a light spring breeze whistles through his hair. This is how Bobby likes it. He has always had a passionate interest in fast cars, dating back to the age of 14. At that time, he visited the local dragstrip and listened to the engines roar, which started his hormones flowing for a piece of the action. At the tender age of 15, Bobby earned his driver's license and took the family car down to the dragstrip. Let's face it, grocery-getters just don't impress on the quarter-mile, especially when a young fellow understands that there's better out there. Then Bobby's uncle invited him down to his used car lot for a look at a '66 Fairlane GT390. He invited him to spin the cam lobes and the tires for a firsthand look at performance. Four hundred and fifty dollars later, Bobby had bought himself a hot Fairlane. In the months to follow, Bobby understood what the Fairlane didn't do for him: it just wasn't a Mustang. He replaced it with a '69 Shelby GT350, which wasn't as fast as the Fairlane. A '72 Ford Police Interceptor replaced the Shelby (believe it or don't!). Later on, one of Mustang Monthly's first cover cars (Mar. '80), a '72 Mach 1, replaced the cop car. Please understand, we all have to grow up carefully.

The cover car Mach evolved into a '69 Shelby GT500 convertible. Not bad for an education in evolution via the Ford School of Performance. But that Shelby went down the road after a cover appearance on our sister magazine, Musclecar Review in Sept. '85. Bobby got priced out of the marketplace swiftly when values went skyward during the late '80s. But he never forgot that Shelby title nor the big-block convertible that went with it. His grief served to motivate him into a disassembled '69 Mustang GT big-block convertible project car. Because the car was in a million pieces divided among half a million boxes, getting into it didn't cost nearly as much. Even if it had, Bobby was jonesing bad for big-block, drop-top power. He experienced a couple of false starts, then went to work building this gem. He told us it was a learning experience, but then again, what Mustang restoration project isn't?

Yep, we have to hand it to Bobby. Not only did he snap up a rare Mustang convertible, he also latched on to a conversation piece with a bench seat, a 428 Cobra Jet, a C6 Cruise-O-Matic, and all the trimmings. Ask him and he'll tell you it's fast. In restored condition, he went back to the dragstrip for a shot at nostalgia, opening the eyes of spectators with a 14.88 at 100 mph through the traps. So not only is it a beautifully restored GT convertible that impresses the judges, quarter-milers are awed by this fast as lightning-quick, greased Gee Tee Cee Jay Mustang.