Jim Smart
May 24, 2007

David Curry is a hard guy to miss. He's an individual who stands out, making him easy to remember. Even if we don't remember him, it's impossible to forget his Springtime Yellow '66 Mustang GT convertible that's loaded with a 289 High Performance engine, a four-speed, and a Pony interior.

The truth is, we've known Dave's K-code convertible longer than we've known him. Our relationship with this gorgeous car dates back to another Mustang buddy-Chuck Dodge, formerly of Salem, Oregon. We met Chuck and this car in 1987 at an Oregon Mustang show, where we photographed it for Mustang Monthly and a book published in 1988.

At the '03 Mustangs Plus show in Stockton, California, Dave walked up to us and announced, "I have a K-GT you're going to want to see." Dave led us to his loaded Mustang and introduced us to his restored version of Chuck's old convertible. We were stunned, first at what a small world it is and then over the terrific job that was done on the car.

It was actually his father who stumbled upon this well-equipped Mustang in 2002. The goal was to build a nice Hi-Po convertible as a surprise for David's 30th birthday. As an older restoration, the car was rough around the edges but restorable. David's dad, with help from Ken Mann of Mann's Performance Automotive, went to work on the car, freshening it up to factory-original condition in only nine days. It wasn't a full-scale restoration because the car didn't need one. David was presented with the car on Thanksgiving Day in 2002 during a large family gathering.

"I was blown away," David says. "I didn't have a clue about my family's plot to give me this car."

David, from Eagle Point, Oregon, isn't afraid to drive his Mustang. It's a weekend show car, but it's also a driver. What a driver it is with the 271hp 289 High Performance V-8 splined to a Top Loader four-speed and 4.11:1 gears. Although the Hi-Po experience stands on its own, imagine the high-revving small-block with 4.11:1 gears. There's enough mechanical advantage in those cogs to burn the reproduction redline rubber right off the 14-inch Styled Steel rims.

The joy in this ride is the 289 High Performance engine with its mechanical camshaft, special cylinder heads, four-barrel Autolite 4100 carburetor, and dual-point ignition. The Hi-Po yields a unique sound through the soft clatter of 16 rocker arms thrashing out a beat. In addition to the GT Equipment Group with its foglight, trumpet exhaust, and side stripes, Dave's convertible is also equipped with the Interior Dcor Group in black vinyl, console, and Rally-Pac.

Think of Dave's Mustang as the new family heirloom. For him, this K-GT convertible is a keeper.

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289 High Performance Facts

  • Introduced in the '63 Fairlane
  • Open-element, low-restriction air cleaner
  • Chromed-steel valve covers
  • Aggressive mechanical flat-tappet camshaft
  • Cylinder heads with screw-in rocker arm studs and valvespring pockets; Ports and valves are the same size as 289 two-barrel and four-barrel
  • Wider 1-1/3-inch harmonic balancer
  • Meatier C3OE connecting rod forgings
  • Larger 3/8-inch connecting rod bolts
  • Wider main-bearing caps
  • Stamped-steel, nose-mounted crankshaft counterweight
  • Narrower timing set to accommodate the counterweight
  • Special cast-iron exhaust headers
  • Autolite dual-point ignition with mechanical advance
  • Autolite 4100 four-barrel carburetor with manual choke
  • Same four-barrel cast-iron manifold as 225hp engine
  • Special 16-inch four-blade cooling fan
  • Cast-iron water pump
  • Larger alternator pulley