1967 Ford Mustang Hardtop - Sapphire Afire
Glenn Thomas' '67 Hardtop Is A Nostalgic Tribute To His Mother's California Special
Isn't it something how our youth tends to form who we are as adults? When we reach middle-age, we want to relive our youth to get a handle on where we came from. When Glenn Thomas was in high school more than 30 years ago, his mother drove a '68 California Special hardtop. The GT/CS is long gone, but memories of it remain to this day to form the basis for Glenn's extraordinary '67 Mustang restomod.
It's hard to ignore this Sapphire Blue Metallic notchback from San Leandro, California. It looks sharp slung low as a classic Mustang road hugger. Glenn got the ride height right because this is a body that lends itself to a low stance.
Glenn also didn't want something identical to his mother's California Special hardtop. He wanted something extra. He got more power from a balanced and blueprinted 392ci Windsor small-block built by S&S Automotive. Because it's a bored and stroked 351W, it naturally makes a lot of torque. Glenn looked to Edelbrock for cylinder heads and a Performer RPM dual-plane manifold, both good for low-end torque. Glenn understood you get all kinds of power from a Comp Cams roller bumpstick thanks to well-thought-out selection and packaging. Glenn opted for a complete MSD ignition system-Pro Billet distributor, Blaster coil, and 6A box-to make sure nothing was missed.
When a youthful Glenn was cruising Northern California in his mom's California Special, he couldn't have imagined how much better cruising would get later on. In the '70s, the best you could hope for was an automatic or a four-speed as engines hummed at 2,800 rpm at highway speeds. When overdrive made a comeback in the '80s, enthusiasts became determined to transfer that technology into classic Mustangs, with companies such as California Pony Cars creating five-speed and AOD conversion kits. Glenn enjoys the benefits of overdrive with a Tremec T5 five-speed and 3.50:1 cogs in a 9-inch Traction-Lok. Glenn built this driveline with help from his father-in-law, Phil O'Reilly.
On the ground, Glenn played a cool and easy hand with off-the-shelf pieces that would be easy to service. He went with Ford disc brakes front and rear. American Racing Torq-Thrust II five-spoke wheels, measuring 17 by 8 inches, are stuffed into Yokohama 225/40/ZR17s front and 245/40/ZR17s back. Mustangs Plus Grab-A-Trak suspension components get the job done when it's time to cut apexes. A Flaming River rack-and-pinion steering system provides precision control beyond anything Glenn could have imagined in his youth.
Inside, Glenn went with the basics that Ford provided in '67-'68-twin-pod instrumentation, the rolling "sea to shining sea" dashpad, in-dash factory air conditioning, and everything easy to reach. However, Glenn went one better with a Flaming River steering column, a Grant steering wheel, an SN-95 gauge pod mid-dash, Scat Pro Car bucket seats, and an instrument cluster with Auto Meter Phantom gauges. The Hurst shifter looks retro, yet it motivates a five-speed with overdrive. Glenn also lowered the seat pans 1 inch for more headroom.
Glenn told us his '67 Mustang project couldn't have gone as well as it did without help from his son Jordan, wife Kelly, brother Matt, and father-in-law Phil, along with Ron and David Bramlett at Mustangs Plus.