Merv and Pat Rego have been involved in Mustangs in some way or form since the first Mustang was displayed at the New York World's Fair in 1964. Already married and starting a family, they laid eyes on the Ford pavilion and all the new Fords for 1965 and fell in love with the sporty new Mustang. Those early years, raising a family and working for the punch clock, weren't easy, but the Regos found a way to own a Mustang or two throughout that time. Their passion for Mustangs eventually grew into a business, Central Jersey Mustang, where Merv restored countless Mustangs for customers all over the Northeast. They even started their own local Mustang club, as the nearest club to them was a several-hour drive.
Like many who shun the cold northern winters, the Regos packed up and moved to central Florida, landing in the city of Lakeland (midway between Tampa and Orlando) and setting up shop under a new name, Classic Creations of Central Florida (www.classiccreationsfl.com). Again, they looked for a Mustang club to be an integral part of and found the Imperial Mustangs of Polk County (IMPC). There, Merv has held the position of president, while Pat is still the club's treasurer and is the chairperson for its large annual car show. This is where we first met the Regos more than 10 years ago, actually, and got a glimpse of Merv's love for the Mustang firsthand, touring their garage which included a '67 Shelby GT350 (with factory air no less), an F-350 dualie, a Fox Mustang, and a Thunderbird. Later, the Thunderbird would be traded for another Fox Mustang (he now has four of those).
When the Shelby was sold off to build their new home in Florida, Merv, who also has a gleam in his eye for early Falcons, wondered why the Mustang body was never used in a wagon or sedan delivery form like the Falcon was. Ford even played with a wagon body style, but it never went into production and we've seen several examples of Mustang wagons over the years, with some better than others. Though we've never seen a true sedan delivery style (no side glass) doesn't mean it can't be done, and Merv set out to build a one-of-a-kind Mustang sedan delivery to park next to his '66 K-code fastback, '65 Falcon Ranchero, Roushcharged '04 F-150, and other four-wheeled toys. Having the rough '66 six-cylinder coupe in his inventory since the couple's days in New Jersey as a starting point was the easy first step, but what to do from there took three years of building in their shop's spare time, some of which became editorial fodder for this magazine, including the engine build, suspension modifications, and more.
Fixing all of the rust issues the coupe had was step number one. The coupe received new floors, cowl patches, rockers, and more. Where they could, stronger parts (convertible rockers, and so on) were used, or custom strengthening braces were incorporated. With the roof, transition panel, and trunk lid cut away, measurements were taken and a trip to the local salvage yard netted Merv a roof panel and hatch assembly from a Volvo 240DL wagon. The roof line, length, and hatch width were all within specs of the measurements needed to fit to the Mustang. Danny Gaydos, Classic Creations' lead metal man moved forward on the roof swap and fabbed up the sedan delivery specific sheetmetal side panels to fill it all in. Finally, the rear of the car was completely hand fabricated in steel, including the molded bumper area, taillight panel, quarter extensions, and so forth. Danny even devised a way to make the gas cap act as the hatch release (the fuel filler is in the load floor inside). The rear framerails were also moved inboard to allow wider tires out back. After weeks of block sanding and making sure the car was perfect, Gaydos applied a custom purple mix of PPG basecoat/clearcoat and then painstakingly wet sanded and buffed out the surface to a show finish.