|Engine||289 two-barrel engine|
It’s always amazing to find a vintage Mustang with ultra low-mileage. In the case of this ’66 hardtop, on average, the 44-year-old Mustang has been driven barely over one mile per year. Like last month’s ’69 Mach 1 with 52 miles, this hardtop came from the Bob Mercer collection.
Mercer, who owned Bob Mercer Ford Sales in Hickman, Nebraska, from 1962 to 1970, set aside one new Ford per year during his nine years of ownership. When he was diagnosed with cancer in the late 1990s, he broke up the collection, selling the cars to different buyers. Two of the three Mustangs, including this ’66 hardtop, are now part of Bob Perkins’ collection of low-mileage Mustangs.
“Mercer did an amazing job of preserving the cars,” Perkins says. “They never went through dealer prep, so they were just like they came off the hauler. And he kept everything-tags, stickers, plastic covers, paperwork, etc. He even kept the IBM data card that was used to place the order to the Ford district sales office.”
|Engine||K-code 289 High Perf. engine|
Bob Perkins remembers meeting Ed McMullen at the Mustang Club of America Grand Nationals in Kingsport, Tennessee, in 1981. “His nickname was Ed Glass because he had a glass company,” Bob recalls. “On the side, he specialized in NOS Ford parts, mainly ’55-’56 Fords, but he also had a lot of Rotunda stuff like oil filters. He also told me that he owned a low-mileage ’66 Mustang fastback with the K-code 289 High Performance engine.”
Ed told Bob that the Mustang had originally been purchased by a gentleman who owned a service station with his brother in Cleveland. In 1966, the two brothers had purchased a pair of ’66 Mustang fastbacks, one black with red interior and the other red with black interior. The cars were seldom driven, usually just on weekends. Ed eventually bought the black one, with less than 4,000 miles on the odometer, in 1969 or 1970.
Always intrigued by low-mileage Mustangs, Bob inquired about buying the K-code fastback but Ed said he wanted to save it for his three sons. However, a few years later at Spring Carlisle, Ed told Bob that he was ready to sell the fastback. “He said he couldn’t split the car into thirds for his sons,” Bob says, “and he had decided that he wanted to buy some land.”
|Body Style||Mach 1|
As a long-time restorer, MCA judge, and collector of low-mileage Mustangs, it takes a lot to impress Bob Perkins. So when Bob says that this 52-mile ’69 Mach 1 is one of the nicest and most untouched Mustangs he’s ever seen, you know there must be something special about it.
1969 Mach 1 Hardware
“It never went through dealer prep,” Bob points out, “so it still has the antenna in its original paper bag in the trunk. The window sticker is still in place and there are tags and stickers under the hood that usually fell off once a car was driven.”
Which begs the question: How could someone not drive a beautiful Indian Fire Red Mach 1?
|Body Style||Mach 1|
|Engine||428 Super Cobra Jet|
The credentials for this ’69 Mach 1 sound like no other you’re likely to come across: 11,000 miles; original tires, belts, and hoses; original paint; brand-new interior and trunk; window sticker and all paperwork included.
But, wait. It’s also equipped with the 428 Super Cobra Jet, a Drag Pack step up from the basic CJ. Bob Perkins lumps his SCJ with CJs, “It’s the best unrestored Cobra Jet Mach 1 I’ve seen anywhere.” Then he issues an understatement, “They are pretty rare with the SCJ. I don’t know for sure how many they made.”
Combining the rarity of the Super Cobra Jet with this one’s originality and factory performance just might make for the ultimate vintage Mach 1. But Bob wants us to see this Mach 1 in terms of its superlative originality.
|Body Style||Sportsroof – Fiberglass|
|Engine||BOSS 429 Twin Turbo|
One of the most enigmatic Mustangs of all time was Ohio George Montgomery’s “Mr. Gasket Gasser,” which still survives today in the hands of restorer/collector Bob Perkins. Built in 1969 for Ford’s drag racing program, the body is fiberglass and the frame is a modified ’33 Willys. Straight axles were de rigueur on Gassers, bolstered with Logghe front coilover springs and a Ford 9-inch rear end.
“I could adjust the loading at all four corners,” Montgomery tells us. “The chassis was way ahead of its time.” Under the hood is a Boss 429 with twin turbochargers.
Montgomery revolutionized the NHRA’s “Gasser” class in 1967 with his “Malco Gasser” ’67 Mustang fastback. Previously, he had been winning with a supercharged ’33 Willys coupe. Running elapsed times in the high 8-second range at about 160 mph, his record-setting Willys caught Ford’s attention in the early 1960s.
Driver Hubert Platt was on top of the drag racing world in 1969. Known for his on-track showmanship and cars lettered with his “Georgia Shaker” nickname, Platt had risen through the ranks, hitting the big-time in 1962 as a Chevrolet Z-11 teammate with “Dyno” Don Nicholson before going professional with a Ford Thunderbolt in 1964. That attracted Ford’s attention, and in 1966 he landed a factory ride in a Holman-Moody built long-nose Mustang followed by a ’67 427 Fairlane in the Super Stock class. In late 1968 when Ford decided to promote its drag racing clubs, not to mention the new Muscle Parts program, they brought in the popular Platt as part of a six-car Ford Drag Team.
To cover the United States, the effort was split into two teams—east and west—with Platt selected as the captain of the Eastern team. He drove one of two ’69 Mustangs—a 428 Cobra Jet SportsRoof for Super Stock competition and another powered by a 427 SOHC for match racing—while fellow Georgian Randy Payne drove a Super Stock CJ Torino. For the Western team, Ed Terry drove the Mustangs with Richard Wood in the Torino. Eastern team cars were blue with white; western cars were the opposite, white with blue. Both teams used modified Ford ramp trucks (see this month’s “Rare Finds”) to haul the Torinos with one of the Mustangs, depending on the type of race, following behind on an open trailer.