Gary Young has been involved with cars his whole life. Even in his early childhood he can remember working on cars, and that continued with auto shop in high school and later on while working at Chrysler in the 1970s. Even today he owns a company that provides fasteners to the automotive industry. Fortunately, Gary's business has done well, and it has allowed him to build quite a collection of vehicles, all American, of course. His cars range from classic muscle cars like a '70 Chevelle LS6 and '70 Hemi 'Cuda to modern ones like a Cadillac CTS-V. Incredibly, Gary has never sold any of the cars he has bought. "I have no sad stories of the one that got away," he says with pride. One of those that didn't get away is a very unique '69 Mustang that Gary has owned for more than 35 years.
Gary first spotted his future ponycar in Marina Del Ray, California, in 1974. At that point the car was already far from stock, with the owner replacing the stock 428 Cobra Jet with a 427 Medium Riser. Once acquiring the car, Gary continued to customize it by adding T-tops, fender flares, a tilt front end with rectangular headlights, and a shaved gas cap. "It was all pretty cool in the '70s, but not what I would want today," he tells us jokingly.
Around the same time that Gary bought the Mustang he also saw an ad in a local paper for a Ford 427 SOHC V-8 for $2,000. "I intended on someday putting it in my Mustang," he tells us. That, however, didn't happen for quite a while. Gary drove the car until 1986 when he settled down and focused on starting a family. The Mustang sat idly by for nearly two decades until 2004 when he decided he wanted to bring the car back to life.
While Gary knew he wanted to do something with his Mustang, he didn't quite know what. He took the car to Performance Restoration Services in Chatsworth, California, where he met Kevin Bollinger. "The car was a mess. The old mods were terribly done and I really didn't know what I wanted to do," Gary remembers. However, he and Kevin discussed what they should do and decided to install the 427 SOHC "Cammer" engine in the Mustang and do a full restoration, both inside and out.
Before that could happen, though, lots of work had to be done to remove some of the earlier modifications done to the car. "The previous bodywork was poorly done and so a new roof and rear quarter-panels had to be fitted along with the rear panel," Gary tells us. The tilt front end remained, and we're glad it stayed. It makes this Mustang one of the more unique we've ever seen. The exterior is finished off with a coat of Ford Screaming Yellow paint, commonly found on the New Edge Mustang GT and Cobra.
The interior of Gary's Mustang wasn't restored exactly the way it came out of the factory, but it still looks very clean. Some things, like the stock high-back bucket seats remain in the car, but a removable three-spoke Grant steering wheel, Dakota digital gauges, and an Alpine head unit have been added. Even with the dual Kenwood speakers in the trunk, Gary claims that he would rather listen to the engine while driving and hasn't even turned on the stereo yet since completing the build.
The structural components of Gary's Mustang also needed quite a bit of work. With its tilt design, the frontend needed a complete makeover to be able to carry the new engine. Excluding the lower framerails, an entirely new assembly was fabricated. To provide some extra stiffness, a set of subframe connectors and additional supports from Total Control Products were also added.