When the Mustang was first released in 1964, it took the world by storm. Initially only available in a notchback and convertible, and with a 260 cubic-inch V8 as the top engine, it was quickly billed as a secretary’s car. However, when the 289 cubic-inch Hi-Po engine was added to the options list, in addition to the Fastback body, all bets were off.
This particular example is currently owned by one Nathan Cali, it’s a GT that’s seen several performance and aesthetic upgrades. Based in Southern California, the car cruises the streets of L.A. with a set of American Racing Torque Thrust rollers, upgraded brakes and a clean slate side profile. No side stripes, emblems or anything else to take away from the original body lines of the first Mustang.
Stripes adorn the hood, roof and trunk lid, but this car would look right at home in a drive-in parking lot in 1965 as it does today. The 289 has been hopped up a bit, thanks to an MSD ignition, Edelbrock intake manifold and carburetor, and a modern, heavy-duty aluminum radiator. It might not be an absolute asphalt burner,
The engine is backed by a 5-speed manual transmission, which provides Nathan the ability to row his own gears, but to also hit the highway without fear of the car overheating and sucking up too much fuel, and to relieve unnecessary stress on the Hi-Po 289. It’s the perfect balance of street machine, and canyon cruiser.
For those of us who are getting to the stage of our lives where we’re becoming more “reflective,” having the perfect time machine to relive some of those great old memories makes it so much better.
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of AutoCentric Media, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.