Jerry Heasley
July 29, 2004

Step By Step

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Mump_0407_8z 1966_Ford_Mustang_Terlingua_Edition Front_Passenger_SideMump_0407_10z 1966_Ford_Mustang_Terlingua_Edition EngineMump_0407_11z 1966_Ford_Mustang_Terlingua_Edition InteriorMump_0407_12z 1966_Ford_Mustang_Terlingua_Edition TrunkMump_0407_7z 1966_Ford_Mustang_Terlingua_Edition Passenger_Side
The principles behind the Terlingua Mustang. Kneeling: Randy Gibson. Standing, left to right: Kevin Lynam, Kenny Northum, Bill Neale, and Dick Meditz.

What highly collectable vintage Mustang hasn't been cloned? If you answered the '66 Trans-Am notchback, you are wrong.

Dallas Mustang has entered the market with, if not a clone, a modern-day "retro-mod" of Shelby's famous Terlingua race car.

To refresh your memory, for 1965, Shelby built his GT350 Competition, a fastback commissioned to steamroll the competition in SCCA B-production road racing. That it did and continued to do in 1966, 1967, and for the rest of the decade.

Meanwhile, the hot, new series for showcasing ponycars was the infant Trans-Am, first run in 1966. In reality, the Mustang coupes were Shelbys, but they were not branded as such or offered to the public. They were purely race cars.

Shelby's Trans-Am racing team was called Terlingua Racing, named after a ghost town near the Mexican border in west Texas. At one time, Shelby and his cohorts were going to build a boys' school there. Bill Neale, Shelby's longtime buddy and automotive artist, drew the Terlingua logo, with a jack rabbit at the center, which Shelby used on the race cars. Neale had the foresight to trademark the emblem.

Drawing from the history of Terlingua Racing, Dallas Mustang recognized the potential for a new Terlingua Mustang. First, coupes are much easier to find than fastbacks and convertibles, so why not put together Terlingua Trans-Am-style Mustangs?

The idea took root several years ago with the creation of SCAT, an abbreviation for Shelby Cobra Association of Texas. Dallas Mustang's Dick Meditz and Neale are members, both are from Dallas, and both are into vintage racing. The Terlingua logo became the club logo.

Dick envisioned building a retro racer in his shop at Dallas Mustang and offering it to the public. When Kevin Lynam joined the Dallas Mustang team last year, he convinced Dick and co-owner Randy Gibson of the viability of such a project. Along with the series-produced car, named

Terlingua, Dallas Mustang could market Terlingua "branded parts," like the brakes, suspension components, and rack-and-pinion steering, tentatively named the "Rabbit Rack."