Jim Smart
May 1, 2009

I've known Bob Harris for many years and admire his smooth perseverance, always striving to make the most of his love for automobiles. His father loved cars so he gets it honestly. By the way, the nameplate doesn't matter. The only requirement is that it's got to be "cool." In addition to this striking Candyapple Red '67 Mustang hardtop, he also drives a fat-fendered Chevy pick-up in Tangerine, which is hard to miss in Los Angeles traffic.

Eager to fill his calendar with something interesting after he retired, Bob went shopping for a Mustang to build. Fastbacks didn't trip his trigger. And he didn't want a convertible either. "I'm a coupe man," he told us. It also had to be a '67, a model that Bob likes for its sculptured lines, simulated side scoops, mouthy grille, and concave tail panel.

Now 70, Bob thinks of the Mustang as his fountain of youth. When he found this car in 1992, a full-scale restoration had already been performed. The seller had painted the car and filled the engine compartment with a 289 small-block. However, the 1994 Northridge earthquake had damaged the paint. Because Bob couldn't find a body shop interested in doing the repair, he decided to do it himself and, at the same time, rebuild the Mustang more to his liking. A few weeks later, the hardtop was Bob's idea of "cool."

Bob took the 289 and went through it completely, adding Edelbrock induction, aluminum heads, and hydraulic flat-tappet cam. It's a snappy small-block with a lumpy idle and crisp throttle response, yet it's ready for cruising with good road manners. For the driveline, Bob dialed in a 3.40-geared 8-inch rearend for tire-barking acceleration. Understanding that the 3.40 cogs would raise highway revs significantly, Bob installed a Gear Vendors overdrive unit, which splines right into the C4 with a shortened driveshaft.

For suspension and brakes, Bob turned to Marlon Mitchell at Marlo's Frame & Alignment in Chatsworth, California. Because Marlon has been building suspensions and aligning front ends for most of his life, Bob knew Marlon would know what to do with his underpinnings. Marlon installed genuine Fly-Ford Racing springs and components, which dropped the ride height just right. Then Marlon put together a set of Granada front disc brakes with cross-drilled and slotted rotors. More recently, Bob had rear disc brakes installed to improve stopping.

Wheels are Billet Specialty in 16x7½-inches, wrapped in BFGood-rich 205/50/16 (front) and 245/50/16 (rear) Comp T/As. The combination gives Bob a reliable contact patch and exceptional handling.

When Bob infused more power into his 289, heating issues necessitated a large aluminum radiator and electric fan. An Edelbrock high-flow water pump was also installed to help get the heat out.

Aftermarket underdash air conditioning with a Sanden compressor cools the summer heat. Inside, you've got to love what Bob did with an other-wise plain black vinyl interior. He enlisted help from North Hollywood Auto Upholstery, which clad the bucket seats and door panels in a soft cloth material that's easy on the buns during hot summer days.

"I like the sound, the lowness, the color, and the way this thing corners," Bob tells us. "It's the comfort, and, of course, the attention this car gets," he adds. "It makes me feel young again."