Jim Smart
September 1, 2007

When the outside air temperature approaches 100 degrees around Los Angeles, Gary Mattson of Simi Valley has a fundamental desire to stay cool inside his '66 Mustang. First-generation Mustangs-not to mention early Falcons, Fairlanes, and Comets-were never factory-fitted with in-dash air conditioning. At best, they had underdash units that did a marginal job of keeping things [such as your knees-Ed.] cool. They also took up space and were unattractive.

Mattson decided to look to Old Air Products for solutions. The company specializes in R134a street-rod climate-control systems that enable hot rodders to fine-tune air temperature and humidity levels in the cabin. Through the years, Old Air Products has developed in-dash climate-control systems for popular classic musclecars, including Camaros, Firebirds, Barracudas, and Mustangs; there's even a system for classic Thunderbirds. Old Air's Hurricane system is easy to install and available in a few different configurations depending on how visible or invisible you would like it to be. We'll show you the options and let you decide

Right out of the box, Old Air's Hurricane system for the Mustang, Falcon, and Comet is cable-operated and works off of your Ford's heater control. All it takes is modification of the existing control using a micro switch and Old Air-supplied cables. You may also upgrade your Hurricane system to electronic control, which is just as easy to install as the standard Hurricane system. All you have to do is figure out where to position the climate-control switches. Old Air provides a nice-looking control pod that installs beneath the dashboard. You can also create your own control pod or modify what Old Air has available.

We're installing our Hurricane system in a '66 Mustang where the heater has already been removed. Don't worry-heater removal is simple. The Hurricane is designed for street rods and is engineered to fit the classic Mustang, Falcon, and Comet. It fits right in place of the factory heater assembly, using Ford's heater attachment points and openings at the firewall. The system is discreetly hidden under the dashboard.

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Mission Control
If you're going with the standard Hurricane system with manual controls, you'll use your Ford's factory heater control. A micro switch, included in the kit, is incorporated into the factory heater controls. This switch controls compressor clutch engagement. When closed, it carries power to compressor switches further down the line. Position this switch carefully, then mark the screw holes.

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Go High Tech
Although electronic climate control is not standard with the Hurricane system, you can turn your Hurricane into a Category 5 rock-and-roll experience with this electronic climate-control add-on from Old Air Products. The standard Hurricane system is cable-operated. The electronic climate-control system turns your cable-operated Hurricane into an easy-to-use touch control. Instead of a cable-operated hot-water valve and manual shutoff, you get an electrically operated two-stage valve that completely closes off hot-water flow whenever the heater is switched off. No manual shutoff, no cables-a drive-by-wire climate-control system you're going to like.

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This system employs a super-smooth, three-speed fan switch, as well as an air control that enables you to switch from heat to defrost. When you need cold air, just touch the A/C button for prompt compressor-clutch engagement.

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