Bill T

Dusting a Ferrari

31 years ago, I had a 1966 Mustang GT Fastback. I had just finished spending 5 years putting it back together after it had been totaled by a drunk driver while at college. While rebuilding it, I balanced and blueprinted the engine (A-code 289) and did a bunch of Shelby modifications – export brace, monte carlo bar, lowered A-arms, Koni shocks, Tri-Y headers (into stock exhaust system), Hi-rise intake (Buddy Bar)… and a four-wheel disc conversion by adding a second pair of ’66 calipers and rotors to the rear axle and a dual master cylinder.

Anyway, after five years of rebuilding and a few months of teething, my Candy Red GT with a black pony interior was well-sorted and ready for an outing. A friend of mine was racing his modern Mustang at an SCCA event at Moroso Motor Speedway (now Palm Beach International Raceway), and I went up with my then-girlfriend.

To get to PBIR, one takes this road called the Beeline Highway about 15-20 miles Northwest from West Palm Beach. The road is straight and flat, and back then was two lanes. Shortly after getting on this road, We were passed by a guy in a Ferrari 328GTS with two girls in the car with him – one on the passenger seat, one on the transmission hump between the seats. I got out and passed him back. He gave a little nod to his passengers, sort of a ‘watch this, girls’, and went to pass me again. I waited until he was even with me, then downshifted and floored it. 80, 90, 100…shift into fourth…110, 120, 130. At this point, we’d been riding side-by-side about a mile – luckily there was nobody else on the road – and Mr. Ferrari had run out of steam. He tucked back in behind me and slowed down – 110, 100, 90, 80. Once we reached Moroso, he sheepishly ducked into the Ferrari paddock and I never saw him again.

When I built the car, I put a set of 3.00 gears in the rear, and had never revved over 5800 RPM on that ride. I had never had the car that fast before or since, but it was rock-steady and running cool.

My girlfriend and I have since married, and I had to sell the car to afford a house with a garage.

To this day, I still have a soft spot for Mustangs – especially those that can dust a Ferrari!

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