Jeff Ford
October 1, 2002

Step By Step

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P169790_large 1969_Ford_Mustang_GT Driver_SideP169810_large 1969_Ford_Mustang_GT Rear_Passenger_SideP169811_large 1969_Ford_Mustang_GT Rear_ViewP169812_large 1969_Ford_Mustang_GT A_FrameP169813_large 1969_Ford_Mustang_GT HoodP169814_large 1969_Ford_Mustang_GT InteriorP169815_large 1969_Ford_Mustang_GT Engine

Naysayers, poo-pooers, and know-it-alls are some of the pitfalls of owning a car like the ’69 GT. Even editors like myself can get into the act in a moment of brain cavitations. See, we’ve been eyeing this Silver Jade GT for the past several shows at Silver Springs in Ocala, Florida. We’ve watched the car improve and grow into a great show car. However, two years ago we made a gaff that sends our cheeks into fits of redness.

We told one of the owner’s friends that the car was “almost there.” All he needed to do was ditch the tan distributor cap and get the smog installed. Hee, hee, there’s a small problem with that last part. The 390 4V that Ford squeezed into the engine bay of the GT has no smog— unless the GT came from California—and this one didn’t. So, I am admitting to the fine readers of this pub that I made a mistake.

Luckily, the owner, John Gyorok, was smarter than the editor and probably shook his head in disbelief at the madness of such a thought. Still, he might just be used to it by now.

According to John, he has had people come up to the car at shows and tell him, “They never made a GT in ’69.” Well, they can come sit by me, all comfy in my dunce cap, because in fact Ford did build a GT in 1969 and this is one of the 6,694 GT units that rolled off the line that year. The GT was available with the same engine/drivetrain lineup as the Mach 1—either of the 351s, the 390, or the 428 and either the FMX (with the 351s) or C6 automatics (with the 390 or 428) or a four-speed.

As we stated before, John’s GT came down the pike wearing the 390 4V and a four-speed. Behind all that, power was pushed out to a 3.25 traction-lok 9-inch rear axle. The GT was also shod like the Mach 1: styled steel wheels rested at all four corners. The color, Silver Jade, is understated yet jazzy enough to turn heads. Plushies include the black ruffino-knitted vinyl deluxe interior, Rim Blow steering wheel, power steering, and power disc brakes. John has added the rear deck spoiler and rear window slats to jazz the body even further.

What’s funny is that John found the gas-swilling GT for sale at a gas station. Somehow, that has a certain synergy that makes us smile. Obviously the GT was in less-than-pristine condition and needed some work; John was more than happy to step up and make it happen. His toughest acquisition was the correct air cleaner: long gone when the car was purchased 10 years ago. Still, John found the item to make the engine bay correct. As for paint, he had Creative Colors and Concepts in his hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, apply Sikkens base clear finish to the massaged body. The engine was, after finding a bent push rod, rebuilt to stock specs by Russ’ auto and machine shop of Fort Lauderdale as well. Some could say that John has every right to roll his eyes and become jaded with all of us telling him that he doesn’t have this or that or that the car doesn’t even exist. He seems to take it all in stride and enjoy the controversy. In the end, John is already Jaded; Silver Jaded that is.