THIS MONTH’S COVER THEME IS A DOUBLE-HEADER. The first subject is about an original and almost entirely complete 1970 Mach 1 Super Cobra Jet Mustang that was just recently uncovered after decades and pulled out of a legitimate barn to once again see the light of day, and the other subject is all about the best car events of the coming year.
First off, since Rare Finds is always a very popular subject, we have a big story (and a killer video on our website, Mustang-360.com) on Kevin Boyer learning about his dream muscle Mustang—a 1970 428 Super Cobra Jet Drag Pack with a set of 4.30 gears in a Traction-Lok rear axle—and convincing owner Terry Fluke to part with it so that he can lovingly restore it and give it the home it deserves. The story goes deeper than that so make sure to read it on page 16. It’ll pull at your heartstrings a little bit, and the video on the website might even make you tear up. We all dream of finding such a rare or significant Mustang, hopefully in decent shape, and getting to pull one out of a real-life barn just adds to the romance.
The Rare Finds story can be considered the beginning of a Mustang owner’s journey with a car, but the end result we all hope for in any project is taking it to a car show in all its shiny glory to show off for everyone to see. Whether that show is a park-and-detail affair or an actual driving event like the Hot Rod Power Tour or the Woodward Dream Cruise depends on each individual person and what they most like to do with their car, and thankfully we all have different opinions on what “fun with cars” is—meaning that there is never a shortage of stuff to do with your Mustang, whether it’s ultra-rare like Boyer’s ’70 Cobra Jet or a base-model six-cylinder hardtop. True Mustang fans appreciate them all, regardless of “pedigree” or awards won; all that really matters is that you like your own car and can appreciate all the other styles. So check out what we put together starting on page 34.
In compiling the feature about best shows, we realized that most of them take place in the summertime, and several are in areas of the country where summer temperatures can reach triple digits. It’s not a surprise that a modified Mustang tends to run hot in warmer climates, especially when subjected to the limited airflow and heat soak of stop-and-go traffic; we also put together a technical story about adding more cooling capacity to ’65-’66 Mustangs with a larger-capacity ’67-’68 radiator that starts on page 42.
Speaking personally, there is nothing worse than sitting in traffic with a steadily creeping water temperature gauge, nervously watching it more than I look out the windshield, begging the Cooling Gods to intervene and bring the temperature down to a level that won’t boil over or, worse yet, crack a head or blow a head gasket. If you remember the adventure with Rodney, my 1974 Mustang II on its journey from Michigan to California (on Mustang-360.com in February 2016), rarely do they pay attention.
After one exceptionally stressful (and ultimately embarrassing) instance with my 1965 hardtop years ago, I vowed to never again undercool a car when building it. At the very least, use the best parts you can when it comes to anything cooling related (water pump, radiator, coolant, etc.). My personal mantra when stock-type restoration is not the game is to stuff in the biggest, nastiest radiator that will fit in the car, regardless of what it requires. Yes, that means cutting the core support for space or just fabricating a brand new one, but the peace of mind that comes with never having to stress out watching a rising temperature gauge is worth the cost; money in the mental bank in my opinion.