Photos by Don Creason
Glen and Becky Martyn of La Verne, California, attended the Mustang 50th Anniversary Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, this past April with their pride and joy, a 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback. As you can tell from these pictures, a car like this demands attention. Editor Creason knew if he passed on shooting this car he’d regret it for years to come as the attention to detail and execution of every aspect of the car is nearly flawless.
The Martyns have owned the ’66 for the past 23 years after buying it from the original owner. “It’s my first musclecar, but I’ve been a muscle car fanatic forever,” Glen says. “We bought it because I have always loved this body style. Plus, it was in good shape. I’m only the second owner.”
With young kids running around at the time, the Mustang wouldn’t get much attention for quite a while until the kids had graduated college. When that time came, Becky finally gave Glen the go-ahead to get started on it, prompting him to request vanity plates that read “MY TRN66”. When Glen was contacted and asked if he would like to display the Mustang at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas last November, he didn’t have much time to get it done. It was go time.
“Paint, motor, upholstery – we had 90 days to get everything done and get the car out to Las Vegas,” Glen told us.
Paint, motor, upholstery – we had 90 days to get everything done and get the car out to Las Vegas
Not a single detail was overlooked nor expense spared as the ’66 was brought back to life. It has been equipped with a 1972 351 Cleveland out of a Pantera, which has been bored to 4.06 and stroked to 3.875 for a current displacement of 401 cubic inches and a compression ratio of 10.8:1.
LTR Racing Engines of Onyx, California handled the engine build. The stout rotating assembly is comprised of a Scat forged SVO crankshaft with 2.00-inch rod journals. Arias forged pistons are slung by Pro Comp H-beam 6.200-inch connecting rods. The entire rotating assembly was carefully blueprinted and balanced before the bottom end was buttoned up.
Stock 2V Pantera closed chamber two-barrel cylinder heads have been ported, polished, and tested on a flow bench. Intake and exhaust valves are from Racing Engine Valves. The stainless steel pieces measure 2.020-inches and 1.600-inches respectively and are actuated via Crane roller rocker arms with a ratio of 1.7:1 to increase valve lift. LTR racing-spec valve springs ensure snappy valve action with a seat pressure of 180 pounds per inch and open pressure of 300 pounds per inch.
The mill also features a very trick custom Isky hydraulic roller camshaft (0.340/0.355-inch lift, 235/250 degrees duration at 0.050), perhaps one of only a few in existance. A custom fabricated 3.5 quart oil pan seals off the bottom end. The tailor-made pan was custom built to cooperate with the trick pieces used in the front suspension. The pan is paired with a Stock Car Products external oil pump and a 2.5-quart Accusump oil accumulator.
Carburetion is handled by a modified Holley 830 CFM mechanical mixer sitting atop a Weiand original intake. A MSD ignition box, distributor, and wires, are tied to a Pertronix Flame-Thrower coil to light all eight candles. Hooker long tube headers flowing through to DynoMax VT mufflers and three-inch pipes vent the spent exhaust gasses to the atmosphere.
Chino Hills Transmission of Chino, California, built the Mustang’s Ford AOD transmission which allows the Martyn’s lower RPM highway cruising. The AOD uses a torque converter with a stall speed of 2,500 rpm. Other upgrades to the Fox body era slushbox include an external cooler and a custom shift kit. Kolene steels and Kevlar clutch bands were used to further fortify the internal workings in anticipation of the high output under the hood.
As for the chassis modification, Glen tells us that the ’66 drives “like a road racing car.” He says that it “handles very nice – the power steering helps,” thanks to the power rack steering box. The independent front suspension is completely custom from Total Cost Involved (TCI) with single adjustable coilover shocks and RideTech struts. One-inch sway bars reside in the front and rear of the Mustang, which also has been equipped with TCI subframe connectors to keep the body stiff. Out back, there is TCI rear torque arm suspension (with a safety loop) and RideTech adjustable coilovers.
Axles come from Currie Enterprises along with 3.88 gears stuffed inside a Ford 9-inch rearend. The upgrades were all necessary to withstand the high horsepower engine..
All 506 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque are delivered to ET-III 17-inch bolt together race wheels. Those wheels are wrapped in Continental rubber measuring 225/45 on the front, and 245/45 on the rear. Wilwood brakes do their best to bring the Mustang to a screeching halt, should circumstances demand it.
I love everything, but I really love the smell of the upholstery. I like to tell women that my upholstery smells better than their Coach purse
Glen told us that the Mustang was originally Emberglo Orange from factory. Wanting something more contemporary for this restomod build the car has since been painted Mercedes Pewter gray with a BMW shade of white used for the stripes. “The body appeared clean when I bought it, but the driver rear quarter panel had been hit. We didn’t find it until we soda blasted the body.”
The Mustang was entrusted to Bill Richman at RRC Fabrication and Speed of Upland, California for the body modifications as well as most of the work on the project including installing the TCI suspension, wiring, and more. During its time under the knife the quarter panel was repaired, the door handles were replaced with modern flush/inset style pieces, the radio was removed, and air duct bezels were installed using ’57 Chevy instrument gauges. The metal hood had a bond-on hood scoop added, which has been riveted with exposed aircraft-grade stainless bolts.
Glen elected to add a front fiberglass spoiler that accepted the original bumper. The bumper’s appearance has been cleaned up with the bolts welded onto the backside of the front bumper and the front shaved. The rear bumper was then split, shortened and tucked, and the license plate relocated so that updated exhaust tips could be installed.
Dave Gongora of Gongora’s Body and Paint in Pomona, California, gave the ’66 the beautiful aforementioned Pewter coat you see here.
Inside, a gorgeous Bourbon interior installed by Joe and Eddie Sanchez of Deluxe Interiors in San Dimas, California, really pushes the Mustang’s appearance to the next level. “The interior is wrapped in leather throughout,” Glen says. “We cut the tops off of the LeMans power seat to give it the look of a low back seat. The passenger seat tips forwards and reclines back, and we reshaped the seats and custom door panels to continue the design of the engine compartment inside to the interior.”
When asked what his favorite thing is about his ’66, Glen gave us an answer we’ve never heard before. “I love everything, but I really love the smell of the upholstery. I like to tell women that my upholstery smells better than their Coach purse,” he laughed.
Glen told us that he hopes to proudly display his ‘66 at the SEMA trade show in Las Vegas again this year, so keep an eye out for it if you plan on attending. For now, he says that he gets quite a bit of use out of the ’66, driving it to local drive-ins and cruise nights. With only 350 miles on the odometer, we say it’s time to let it stretch its legs on the blacktop!