1966 Ford Mustang: Reader ride

By: Lyle Gilchrist's , Photography by: Lyle Gilchrist's

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Lyle Gilchrist's 1966 Ford Mustang...

1966 Ford Mustang: Reader ride
Lyle Gilchrist's 1966 Ford Mustang


Lyle Gilchrist's 1966 Ford Mustang

My interest in cars began while growing up on my grandfather’s farm. At the age of 12 I bought my first car: a 1928 Chevy. I have always has this interest in old cars and over the years I have had some nice ones, most of which I still have.

I had the passion for GT Falcons and have owned and restored three of them; and XR, XT and XY. After a period I became very disillusioned with the GT movement and sold all of them. With an empty shed I thought it would be a good time to buy the car I had loved as a teenager: a Mustang. About this time I was told of a 1966 coupe that the owner wanted to sell not far from my home. One drive around the block and I was sold and so was the Mustang.

The car was built on March 22nd, 1966, at San Jose in California. It only ever had two U.S. owners who both lived in Los Angeles. It was sold by Robert Loud in Pasadena, L.A. When I bought it, the body was very good, showing no rust at all. Mechanically it was very tired but still had its original smog pump fitted. I stripped the car down and had two guys from Albury do a right-hand drive conversion for me. They did an awesome job.

I painted the car and rebuilt the original 289 cubic-inch motor, the C4 gearbox and differential. I fitted XA Falcon stub axles with XF slotted rotors and calipers, XA brake booster and master cylinder, and an XF power steering box.

I went through the suspension and fitted King Springs with Koni adjustable shock absorbers and a one-inch sway bar. I added an extra leaf to the rear springs and fitted Pedders SportsRyder shocks. Wheels are original American Racing Torq Thrusts. Lastly, I fitted all new interior trim, new gauges and a new woodgrain gauge bezel and glove box lid.

My Mustang is a real joy to drive and I cannot get enough of it. I’m also now in the process of restoring a MkI Ford Escort two-door. But this will be a story for another day.

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