Ford Mustang

1968 Ford Mustang

Jo & Donny Dill, Coweta, OK

By The Numbers

Engine: stock 302ci J-code small-block Ford Windsor with Edelbrock Performer intake and Holley 600-cfm carb

Trans: TCI-built C4 three-speed automatic

Rearend: 8-inch rear with 3.00 gears and Power Trax limited-slip

Suspension: stock with Shelby mod and 1-inch sway bar up front, stock with 11/16-inch sway bar in the rear

Brakes: SSBC disc brakes up front, stock drums in the rear

Wheels & Tires: 15-inch Boyd Coddington wheels with BFGoodrich 205/60R15 and 235/60R15 tires

Cool Factoid: This ’68 was Jo’s first car, and many of her dates with her future husband, Donny, consisted of them working on it together.

1969 Mach I Mustang

Allan Palmer, Hampstead, MD

Longtime bracket racer Allan Palmer did pretty well for himself on the regional bracket race circuit until 2006, when a downturn in racing caused car counts—and purses—to plunge. It turned out to be the perfect opportunity to build the Pro Street cruiser he’d always wanted. After selling his bracket race Mustang, he bought another ’69 to go cruising with. After a four-year stint in his one-car garage—where Allan transformed the car himself other than the engine and paintwork— it was finally ready for the cruise scene. Subsequently, Allan’s been all over the East Coast with it, and he reports the 1,035hp blown and stroked small-block Windsor hasn’t given him the slightest trouble. If Allan’s Mach 1 looks familiar, it’s because you’ve seen it in Billet Specialties’ ad that runs right here in Popular Hot Rodding. We’ve admired this Mach for a long time, and now we finally know the rest of the story!

By The Numbers

Engine: 8:1 compression 427ci Windsor small-block Ford with AFR 255 heads, Hampton 8-71 blower on Hampton blower manifold, COMP cam (.680-inch lift with 258 degrees duration), dual Holley 750 blower carbs

Trans: Performance Automatics C4 three-speed automatic with TCI converter

Rearend: Strange 9-inch Ford with 4.10 gears and Detroit Locker

Suspension: Total Control coilovers, QA1 adjustable shocks, S&W four-link rear with QA1 adjustable shocks

Brakes: Wilwood front and rear disc brakes

Wheels & Tires: Billet Specialties Street Lite wheels (15x4 front, 15x15 rear), Mickey Thompson 26x5 (front) and 31x18 (rear) tires

Ford Falcon

1965 Ford Falcon Futura

Randy Wilbert, Crestview, FL

By The Numbers

Engine: stock ’97 Ford Explorer 5.0L Windsor V-8

Trans: T5 five-speed manual transmission

Rearend: stock Ford Explorer 8.8-inch rear with 3.73 gears

Suspension: Total Control Products suspension with four-link rear

Brakes: ’78 Ford Granada front disc brakes, ’97 Ford Explorer rear disc brakes

Wheels & Tires: Weld Series 90 wheels, 165/80R15 front and 265/50R15 rear tires

Cool Factoid: Randy’s ’65 Falcon and the ’88 Mustang LX donor car were salvaged from Hurricane Katrina and had both been submerged by 15 feet of water before Randy rescued them and built one Falcon out of both of them.

Ford Galaxie

1965 Ford Galaxie 500

John Carbon Canfield, OH

This Galaxie 500 joined the Carbon family in November of 1964 when John’s dad took delivery of his first brand-new car. John was 9 years old and probably even more excited than his dad when they drove away in it. From that day on, John washed and waxed the Galaxie weekly because he knew it would be his one day. Sure enough, nine years later when he graduated high school, his dad tossed him the keys for keeps. The Galaxie was in awesome shape (thanks in part to John), but wasn’t a hot rod. While his family was on vacation, John dismantled the Galaxie, had it sprayed metalflake gold, and added custom wheels. His dad was less than thrilled when he saw it, but John had his custom cruiser. Marriage and family life parked the Galaxie for many years, but eventually John made the decision to rehab it completely from the ground up as a real hot rod. The first thing he decided on was the flamed paintjob, as a nod to his firefighting career.

By The Numbers

Engine: 428ci Cobra Jet Ford big-block with Edelbrock Tri-power intake, 3x2 Holley carbs, and Crane .580-inch lift cam

Trans: Top Loader four-speed manual trans

Rearend: narrowed 9-inch with 4.56 gears

Suspension: stock front suspension with cut springs, ladder bar rear with coilovers

Brakes: stock power disc up front, stock drum in the rear

Wheels & Tires: 15x5 and 15x15 Weld Pro Star wheels with 26x7.5 and 33x19.5 Mickey Thompson Sportsman

Ford Crown Victoria

1955 Ford Crown Victoria

Bob Bowen, Lake Havasu City, AZ

By The Numbers

Engine: stock 5.0L H.O. small-block Ford Windsor

Trans: stock Ford AOD four-speed automatic overdrive

Rearend: 8-inch Ford with 3.55 gears

Suspension: stock suspension with rack-and-pinion conversion, modified Granada spindles and cut stock coil springs, heavy-duty Ford station wagon springs in the rear

Brakes: Granada disc brakes front, Mustang drums rear

Wheels & Tires: Budnik Muroc II 15x7 wheels with Pirelli 205/50R15 and 215/65R15 tires

Cool Factoid: Bob says it was the massive “Back to the ’50s” car show in Minneapolis that got him into the hot rod scene. This ’55 was beautifully restored with a ’50s vibe when Bob found it; he only removed the side skirts and swapped the wheels and tires to suit his taste better.


Oldsmobile Cutlass

1975 Olds Cutlass

Mark Weber Sturgeon Bay, WI

I am a big fan of forgotten cars, and Mark Weber’s ’75 Olds Omega is the poster child for cars well off the beaten path. It’s attractive and familiar looking, yet it’s curiously different on closer inspection. The thing that sealed it for me is the fact that Mark has collected all four fourth-gen X-bodies; he’s also got a ’77 Nova, a ’75 Pontiac Ventura, and a Buick Apollo. This one has the original 110hp 260ci Olds V-8, which makes it rare indeed. These cars were seldom hot rodded by the little old ladies who owned them, and can often be found in great shape for a great price; they truly make wonderful low-buck hot rods. Even after new paint and interior work, Mark says he’s got less than $9K in his mint Omega. While it’s not the fastest thing on the road, Mark has been able to afford collecting the entire stable of fourth-gen (’75-79) X-bodies for about the same price as a belly button ’69 Camaro. And this Olds, Mark says, also sounds great and knocks down good fuel economy with its stock Rochester DualJet carburetor.

By The Numbers

Engine: stock 260ci Olds V-8 with stock manifold, heads, and Rochester DualJet carburetor

Trans: Turbo 350 three-speed automatic

Rearend: original 10-bolt rearend

Suspension: stock rebuilt suspension with heavy-duty springs and Lakewood “slapper” bars

Brakes: manual front disc brakes, rear drums

Wheels & Tires: ARE Torq-Thrust with BFG radials

Cool Factoid: The first letter of all the fourth-gen X-bodies (Nova, Omega, Ventura, Apollo) spell out the word “Nova,” the least expensive of the quartet


Mercury Comet

1967 Mercury Comet

Jim Lord, Dunkirk, MD

By The Numbers

Engine: Ford Racing 302 small-block Ford Windsor crate engine, World Products heads, Ford Racing “F” roller cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake and Holley Street Avenger carb

Trans: TCI Street/Strip C4 three-speed automatic

Rearend: 8-inch Ford with limited-slip and 3.00 gears

Suspension: stock

Brakes: disc brake conversion, front and rear

Wheels & Tires: 15x7 American Racing Torq-Thrust II wheels with General tires

Cool Factoid: A careless driver took out the door and front fender on Jim’s Comet once, and he was forced to scavenge from one of his other project cars since good parts are hard to find for Comets.