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Charlie Richards 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback - Committed

Charlie Richards Has Had A 40-Year Relationship With His Car.

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Tech Notes
Who: Charlie Richards

What: '67 Ford Mustang

Where: Sylmar, California

Engine: The 390 under the hood is the same one FoMoCo assembly line workers bolted in 44 years ago. Yes, it's needed a few rebuilds along the way, (three to be exact-it was sleeved in the last rebuild), but it still has the original block and heads. Charlie livened up things a bit by sliding in a Comp 270H Magnum hydraulic flat-tappet cam. It's a single-pattern cam with specs of 224 duration, 0.519- inch lift, and a 110-degree LSA. A Holley 750 carb sits on top of a polished Edelbrock 390 Performer intake manifold. The compression ratio is set at a pretty steep 10.5:1. Charlie says he has to add two cans of octane booster with each fill-up to avoid detonation.

Ignition: The old points distributor was shelved in favor of a more reliable Mallory electronic distributor. Charlie hid an MSD ignition box inside the passenger fenderwell.

Transmission: This is an original four-speed car, but three years ago Charlie parked the Top Loader in his storage shed, swapping in a Tremec T5 gearbox he bought from Summit Racing Equipment. His is the Z gearbox, the strongest T5 available, that was original equipment in the '91 Mustang Cobra. The clutch is from Centerforce, and he mated a reproduction shifter handle to a Hurst short-throw shifter.

Exhaust: Not really wanting to mess with headers in this tight engine compartment, Charlie bolted on a set of bigger-port Cobra Jet exhaust manifolds. They dump into a 21/2-inch exhaust system with MagnaFlows.

Rearend: The big-block cars all got 9-inch rear axles, and Charlie's car is no exception. His houses 3.55:1 gears on a Traction-Lok limited-slip differential.

Suspension: This car's good cornering manners come courtesy of Marlo's Frame and Alignment. Shop owner Marlon Mitchell is an early Mustang specialist, and he offers a simple but effective formula of parts that drastically improves the ride and handling of these cars. The kit includes reinforced upper and lower control arms, upgraded bushings, bigger sway bars, lowering springs, and performance shocks. The ride is comfortable and has very little body roll during cornering.

Brakes: Marlo's also supplied the Granada disc brake upgrade. The stock drum brakes are still on the rear.

Interior: Charlie's uncle ordered this car with the Deluxe interior, a factory tachometer, and a rare AM/FM radio. The seats were reupholstered a few years ago, and Charlie took that opportunity to add headrests to the factory buckets. He also added three-point seatbelts in place of the original lap belts. He sent out the stock radio to be refurbished with modern innards that will power four speakers and include a jack to connect his iPod.

Wheels/Tires: Charlie likes the look of the factory-styled steel wheels, so he kept them. Those are 235/60R14 and 245/60R14 BFGoodrich tires.

Paint/Body: Believe it or not, the paintjob on this car is 29 years old. Charlie is a teacher, and he spent a few summers working at a body shop. In 1981, he drove the Mustang into the shop, stripped it down, and spent two weeks priming and block-sanding the body until it was perfect. The shop's painter sprayed the car with the original Moss Green acrylic enamel, going over that with a couple of coats of DuPont Imron clear.

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