Jerry Heasley
May 1, 2009

In the old days, a tornado was a tornado. Today, meteorologists hit us with the F1 through F5 ratings on the Fajita scale. But what happens when three Twisters fall out of the sky, two F5s and a 428 SCJ?

The result is a one-of-a-kind storm, or a "unique collection," as Larry Carrell calls his trio of Grabber Orange Twister Special Mustangs.

As for a favorite, Larry prefers the original '70 Mach 1. "From a design standpoint I love the old cars. To me they just don't make cars like they used to."

Clearly, nostalgia and collecting are central to Larry's car collecting philosophy, although he bought the new Twisters first. "I didn't start seriously collecting cars until four or five years ago," Larry told us. "I've always had a few cars, but I moved around a lot as part of my job as a petroleum engineer. Until my family was raised, I didn't have the discretionary cash."

Obviously, he does today. In addition to the Mustang Twister trio, Larry's stable consists of two Boss 429s, two Boss 351s, a Boss 302, a pair of '68 Shelby fastbacks, GT350 and GT500. His enthusiasm has poured-over into other Fords. He owns two Boss 302 Cougar Eliminators, a 428 SCJ Cougar, and a '68 Eliminator GT-E with the 427 side-oiler, now under restoration. Larry also owns Mopar and American Motor musclecars.

"I'm kind of a car nut, so to speak, but I'm primarily a Mustang guy," he explains.

Larry's familiarity with Twisters became intimate when he bought a '70 Twister Special Torino. In addition to 96 Twister Special '70 Mach 1 Mustangs, Ford also produced 90 Twister Special Torino Cobras for the Kansas City Sales District dealers. These mid-sized Ford musclecars were Vermillion in color and powered by 429 Super Cobra Jet big-blocks, plenty potent to attract a musclecar collector like Larry.

Larry and his son were investigating a Shelby Super Snake conversion for the new GT500 when they heard about the Grabber Orange Twister Special reincarnations from R&A Motorsports. So far in Mustang history, Twisters have roared across the plains in '70, '85, and '08. For the latest iteration, R&A planned a run of 96, same as 1970.

Larry also learned that R&A would build EF1 through EF5 versions (EF standing for "Enhanced Fajita"). Obviously, the higher up the scale, the hotter the conversion. EF5 is the most powerful tornado classification for storms. Larry nabbed an EF5 convertible and an EF5 coupe. "They're the only EF5s built out of the proposed 96," Larry says. "I wanted them because they have the most horsepower." In a dynamometer run, Larry's new EF5 Twisters pulled 650hp at the rear wheels.

With the Torino and the new Twister Specials in the stable, it became pretty obvious that Larry needed a '70 Twister Special Mustang to complete the collection. It wouldn't be easy. Only 96 were delivered to Kansas City dealers in 1970, half 428 Super Cobra Jets and half 351-powered. Obviously, Larry wanted the big-block, which narrowed the search considerably.

Larry says he "stumbled" onto his '70 Twister Mach 1. A friend in Oklahoma told him about a collector in Rhode Island who wanted to sell his 428 SCJ Twister to make room for a Boss 429. He might sell if he found the right Boss. "We got the first right of refusal," Larry told us. "When the opportunity came, I sent a trailer to Rhode Island and bought it."

Randy Roberts from Oklahoma's Muscle Car Restoration had already restored the Grabber Orange Mach 1 for the Rhode Island collector. So Larry ended up with one of the finest Twister Special Mach 1s in the world.

He also feels that with the Torino and the two EF5s "that nobody else can have," he has assembled a unique Twister collection no one else can duplicate.