Rides from the Readers: 1967 Ford Mustang

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McKenzie Johnson

Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, tips@hagerty.com. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to the above email address.

Today’s featured vehicle is a 1967 Ford Mustang. Ford used the same 108-inch wheelbase for this model year but gave its pony car a light makeover: The Mustang grew in length and in width, adopting a larger grille and a concave taillight panel. The 289-cubic-inch V-8 carried over, supplemented by the 271 K-code motor and a new-for-’67 320-hp, 390-cubic-inch engine. This was also the year in which the Camaro and Firebird joined the Mustang on the streets of America.

McKenzie Johnson

This particular ’67 belongs to David Carter. “Marlene” is his daily driver and, in fact, his only car. “Los Angeles traffic? No problem. Grocery store? Random errands? In-N-Out burger run? She’s with me.” he writes. With limited mechanical knowledge and boundless optimism, Carter bought the Mustang in 2014 with a shot suspension and blown motor. Little did he know the relationships he’d forge in the Mustang community and how much he’d learn through the year-long process of getting Marlene roadworthy.

David Carter

“I met my mentor, Rocky, for the first time where all car enthusiasts meet: a Walmart parking lot,” Carter recounts. Rocky had decades of experience as a Ford mechanic, and had opened his own shop—Cobra R in Upland, California—in 1994. Over the next two years, Carter and Rocky consumed countless donuts and hamburgers together as they resurrected and refined Marlene.

Out came the stock six-cylinder and three-speed C4 transmission; in went a 302 crate engine, topped with a four-barrel Holley, and a Super T-10 four-speed. “I rode a bicycle to work for six months straight when we had to pull the driveline,” Carter confesses. “They say it never rains in southern California—but it does.” The new powertrain combo sends power through an 8-inch rear end with 3.25 gears and enjoys a revamped cooling system. Of course, the suspension and brake systems also got makeovers, and Carter added a few cosmetic touches of his own.

“When Marlene was finally roadworthy, it opened my eyes to the beauty of owning a classic automobile,” Carter writes. “Sure, it was no fun being stranded, pushed to the side of the road, and towed during that first year—and sometimes to this day—as I worked out the quirks and learned about the car, but that’s all a part of the experience.

“I drive because it connects me to the past and keeps me in a place of continual learning and humility in the present. I drive because I have not mastered it, despite reading every Hagerty article that I can, and having all of the Haynes Owner’s Workshop Manuals. I drive because in a time of such distracted and thoughtless transportation from point A to point B, it’s nice to have a hobby that allows you to enjoy the journey.”

We couldn’t agree more. For more photos from Marlene’s restoration, check out the slideshow below.

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