Jeff Ford
November 1, 2001

Mike Nunn of Sharpsburg, Georgia, likes his Mustangs fast and a little different. He also has a supreme weakness for '67 Shelbys. "Probably one of the most memorable events that forged my future passions occurred around 1969," said Mike. "While hanging with the guys in the "smoke hole" during a lunch break in high school, one of our friends pulled up with a '67 GT350. His dad worked at a local Ford dealership and let him borrow the car with the promise that he would return it within an hour. It was Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue stripes. I remember walking around that car, admiring the features, listening to the engine, and thinking, Now this is a serious vehicle. I was in lust."

Fast-forward 25 years and the lust wasn't abated. However, in the intervening years a family and work slipped between his desires and the reality of life. Of course, horse fever set in (it always does), and it all started with an innocent little '95 GT. From there, the downward spiral careened out of control. Soon a '68 GT convertible packing the 302 4V was in the garage. But it wasn't enough. The Shelby from all those years ago was still bumping around in Mike's cranium. Though smitten with snakebite, he was still savvy enough to realize a Shelby wasn't practical for what he wanted to do. "I wanted something with the '67 Shelby look that I wouldn't be afraid to drive on weekends either on the road or on the track. I wanted something that incorporated the more modern handling and performance equipment in the '95 I was driving."

That's where a clapped-out '67 came into the picture. Since Mike desired modifications and the vast majority of Shelby owners seem to frown on that, this fastback was just the ticket. It was perfect for the project too. It needed so much that most folks would have slowly backed away from the 289 2V-powered bomb. But not Mike. He plunged in with both feet.

Metro Mustang of College Park, Georgia, was tagged for the lion's share of the restoration and modification, but Mike performed the entire teardown and bagging and tagging. Then he sent the car to the media blaster for paint removal. Everything he got back needed, well, darn near everything. After the body was completely adjusted and aligned, Tim Guill at Metro went to work detailing the undercarriage with the correct red iron oxide and sound deadener. The final paint and body was handled by Auto Select in Fayetteville, Georgia. Mike selected a Ford color for what was becoming a "GT351"-a '96 Taurus Royal Blue Pearl Metallic with a hint of extra mica. From there, Mike followed our engine build from the Sept. '97 issue and managed to obtain some pretty impressive numbers from the carbureted 351 Windsor. Behind the Windsor is a Tremec 3550 that feeds power to an N-case, 9-inch rear housing that sports 3.73 Traction-Lok gears. From there, Global West suspension, subframe connectors, and other small tweaks allow the car to handle as close to a '95 GT as possible. Inside, the car has all the stock Deluxe interior with the addition of a set of Mach 1 buckets. Mike even saw fit to add the correct Shelby rollbar, but demurred from putting in the correct steering wheel in favor of a Le Carrera. After riding in the GT351, we concluded that the car rocks! So has the fever abated? Is Mike cured? No, in fact, it's worse. Since completion of the GT351, Mike has seen fit to add some other steeds to the collection. As we said, though, Nic Cage said it, but we think Mike's living it, 'cause he's a baaad man with a heart of Mustang gold.