Jim Smart
January 1, 2008

There's no one else on earth quite like John Murphy. He's been through some tough times, yet he greets each day with abundant wit. John has always prided himself on being able to do just about anything. If he doesn't understand how something is done, he teaches himself how to do it better than anyone else.

John has dabbled in classic Mustangs for most of his life, always examining the details. Lately, he's focused on radiators and fuel tanks, discovering that U.S. Steel was a supplier of galvanized sheetmetal for early Mustang fuel tanks. At a glance, John can tell if the radiator in a Mustang is correct based on tank, bracket design, and alphanumeric identification.

So imagine John's enthusiasm when he bought this unmolested Springtime Yellow '66 convertible 21 years ago. Not only was it an original California car, but everything was there, including the Thermactor emission control system. It also came with an unusual aftermarket accessory: the Towne Top Detachable Hardtop.

The sales literature described the distinctive fiberglass top as a "Safe, easy, distinctive, practical hardtop made of rugged fiberglass, ensuring protection from winter hazards of falling ice or branches. Clear, undistorted rear vision-a rear window made of safety glass." It also said, "Three minutes on or off," implying easy installation. John knows that it isn't always easy and requires two people.

It took John several years to locate Roy Moss, the founder of Dory Development Corporation of Salem, New York. The company made these limited-production hardtops for Mustang and Corvair convertibles. Production of the Mustang top began on April 24, 1964, right after the car's April 17 introduction. Priced at $28, the Towne Tops were offered in two colors, Raven Black and Sand Beige, with an optional dome light. It's unknown how many were produced, but serial numbering began at #1000, and John's is #1153. Only three are known to exist today.