Don Crouse / West Covina, CA
Don Crouse lives a few miles from Disneyland, but for Ford-ophiles, his garage has way better rides. Rows of classic Ford musclecars sit under car covers waiting their turn at the restorer's hand. If this were a true Cinderella story, these cars would all be in pristine, museum-ready condition. But this is West Covina, so they're not all movie queens-Don's shop is more like a Ford collection point for homeless hi-perf cars, parts, and projects. While the cars may be a bit musty and tinged with surface rust, they all pack the right parts. The impressive 3,600-square-foot cinder-block shop behind his house is more like what could have been a Ford Total Performance warehouse in the '60s. What you can't see in this photo are six more cars in a third stall that include a pair of woodie wagons, an '89 Saleen Mustang convertible, a 351C-urged '74 DeTomaso Pantera, a '71 Boss 351 Mustang, and a '70 428 Super Cobra Jet Mustang. To the left of this photo, behind the wall is a storage rack filled with amazing stuff like a complete set of N.O.S. pieces sufficient to build a brand-new 428 Cobra Jet engine-and most of the parts are still in OE Ford boxes. There are also 429 Super Cobra Jet parts like oil pans, exhaust manifolds, intakes, and heads. While most of the cars in Don's collection need restoration, his attention is currently focused on a centrifugally supercharged small-block Fairlane he's building with his son Scott to run in the 8s. There's a lot of Blue Oval history stacked between these walls.
1. Upstairs, sitting on the reinforced wood floors, are rooms full of Ford engine parts, drivetrain components, and sheetmetal and interior goodies. There are even some Chevy parts up there that belong to Don's son Scott and his '65 El Camino project.
2. A collection of mostly complete engines wait behind this wall. These include pedestrian 289s, 302 H.O. motors, a Boss 302, a gaggle of 351Cs, a 460, a pair of 428CJ motors, a 429CJ, and a '63 low riser 427 engine just for fun. Whew!
3. Here we have not one but two '70 Boss 302 Mustangs. When you've been collecting Ford stuff for as long as Don has, cool stuff just starts to pile up.
4. Not all of Don's cars are rare - just cool. This 289-powered '67 Fairlane GTA is a veteran of the Hot Rod Power Tour(tm).
5. Don's original '63 dual-quad 427 Galaxie has a history that would take days to relate. Its back-row stable mate is a '57 two-door ranch wagon. There's another Galaxie outside under a cover.
6. On the rarity scale, this '70 Cougar Boss 302 Eliminator prowls near the top of the list. Mercury built fewer than 400 of these creatures and only a handful remain.