Jerry could make out the outline of an old Mustang 50 yards behind a mobile home. “I just kind of angled around up there in the yard for a better look. Son of a gun! That’s a fastback! When I could tell it was a 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback, I thought to myself right then that I’d trade this guy an air conditioner for that car!”
Owner: Graeme Saul
Original article by Jerry Heasley text & photography
Mustang Magazine October 2017
Jerry owns a heating and air conditioning business in Lucas, Texas, and had driven 30 miles north to Blue Ridge, Texas, on a service call. “This guy had a gob of property, as far as you could see,” Jerry says. “Other than the house, a couple of buildings, and a mobile home with broken air conditioning, there was nothing else on that dirt road.”
The man was wearing no shirt and bib overalls. He had chickens and an old refrigerator in the front yard. He asked Jerry to open the refrigerator door, get some feed out, and hold his hands open. He did, and the chickens ate the corn right out of his hand. The A/C needed a capacitor, which was a simple fix. As Jerry wrote out the bill and collected his money he asked if he wanted to sell the car. “No, I’m going to fix it one day,” the man answered, “I knew he wasn’t, but I said okay, If you ever want to sell that car, this is what I’ll pay you for it.’”
On the back of his business card, Jerry wrote: $2,500. “He looked at that card and lit up like a Christmas tree when he looked up at me,” Jerry says. “He swore and said ‘I didn’t know you were going to offer that much.’ And he sold me the car right there on the spot.” The deal was struck. In hindsight, Jerry figured $2,500 was a very good amount for the old Mustang, considering it was mainly a shell with no fenders, no hood, no wheels, no rear end, no interior, and no engine.
The Mustang fastback did have the original doors and quarter panels. Later, a Marti Report revealed this 1967 came from the factory with a 289 C-code, originally Springtime Yellow with automatic, deluxe interior, and air conditioning. It was sold new in Texas. This 1967 was perfect for a Pro Touring Mustang that Jerry was putting together. Six months earlier, he had purchased a 2003 Cobra drivetrain to install in a 1966 Mustang fastback.
That car had proved too rusty, so he sold it. The 1967 Ford would be the replacement. Excited to buy the fastback, Jerry literally did not work the rest of the day. He prepared his home shop for the Mustang’s arrival, which he retrieved that same day. You can see the results of his work on page 18, and also on this month’s cover.
By design, Jerry Coleman’s 1967 fastback looks tame. It’s simply painted Wimbledon White with no stripes. But underneath the vanilla wrapper is a Pro-Touring Mustang that was built for three events Jerry and his wife Carla like best—the Hot Rod Power Tour (June), Cruisin the Coast (October), and the Emerald Coast Cruise (November). “My goal was to have a Mustang that didn’t look fast, but was a real snake in the grass,” Jerry says. A Cobra is a snake. Under this 1967 fastback lies the supercharged Terminator 32-valve, DOHC 4.6L out of a 2003 Mustang Cobra.
Jerry owns and operates a heating and Air Conditioning business in Lucas, Texas, on the north side of Dallas. He was on a call in Blue Ridge, Texas, in 2010 to fix an Air Conditioner in a mobile home when he discovered and purchased a 1967 fastback. The car was mainly a shell with no interior or drivetrain.
Despite the lack of parts, this 1967 was perfect for the build Coleman had begun six months earlier. “I bought the Terminator engine for a 1966 fastback, but when I started working on the body, I found it was too rough,” Jerry says. “I sold the 1966 and sat on that engine for six months before I found another Mustang. I’m glad I went with the 1967 fastback. I think it’s a beautiful car.”
How does a hobbyist turn pro, as in Pro Touring? Jerry thought he would have been in way over his head to transplant a mod motor into a classic Mustang and engineer suspension upgrades to put 500hp and 500ft-lbs torque to the ground. He pulled off this build starting with suspension kits from Total Cost Involved (TCI), a company he found in advertisements right here in Mustang Monthly. Jerry ordered TCI’s Mustang torque arm rear suspension and their independent front suspension, engineered for street, autocross, and road course.
“TCI supplied a four-link rear end, brakes for the car, which are Wilwood, a Mustang II type front end that allowed the removal of the shock towers, coilovers, subframe connectors, power steering, a Ford 9-inch rear end, and motor mounts to mount the engine in his Mustang II type front cradle,” Jerry says.
UPS delivered boxes for three days straight. With the fastback on a rotisserie, Jerry went to work in his garage at home. There he bolted on parts as fast as they came in, plus some that involved a little bit of welding. In his words, he whacked the shock towers and installed the TCI front end and motor mounts to drop in the supercharged iron-block 4.6L Cobra motor, which fit the engine bay due to its cutback shock towers.
He asked a talented employee, Gary Murphy, to help reconfigure the factory 2003 Cobra harness to the early Mustang. “The only thing we used the 1967 Mustang wiring harness for was lights and radio and other minor stuff,” he says. “The engine management system from the Cobra does it all—fuel pump, the air conditioner fans, and the fuel management for the fuel injection.”
For the Power Tour, Jerry wanted his car to be easy enough on gas to travel long distances. Of course, he also wanted it to go fast enough to make people wonder what was under the hood, a task well suited for an unfettered 4.6L supercharged engine (minus its four catalytic converters) with four-valve aluminium heads.
Jerry wanted the supercharged V-8 hidden so nothing stuck through the hood. He chose a Shelby “short hood,” meaning not the elongated fibreglass hood for a 1967 G.T. 350 or G.T. 500, but a regular hood in fibreglass with an integral, functional scoop. Although the fibreglass scoop is open, it doesn’t vent air to an intake.
He contracted Wades Customs to build a steel front valance that integrates with the contour of the front bumper and forces air into the factory intercooler to cool the blown Cobra 4.6L. Jerry also wanted to fit the factory 2003 Cobra exhausts above the transmission cross member, in keeping with the sneakiness of his build. To make room, it took some serious work to widen the tunnel. Meanwhile, he considers the custom stainless-steel exhausts, featuring 26 beautiful TIG welds, done at Rich’s Performance Muffler (RPM) to be a work of art.
The mufflers are four-chamber Flowmaster. Jerry kept the Cobra’s T-56 six-speed manual transmission and chose a Hurst for shifting, which he cut in half to make it look how he wanted it to look in the console. He could have used the stock Cobra rear axle with its IRS, but after seeing a few of these builds, he thought the stock Cobra set-up made a classic Mustang too high in the back. “You could crawl under those cars without a creeper,” Jerry says. “You can’t do that with my car.”
He had ordered a Ford 9-inch with his TCI rear suspension kit, but the Detroit Locker proved too noisy. So he installed a Detroit Truetrac spinning a set of 3.80:1 gears, praising the quiet operation of the Truetrac. “It never slips,” he says. “If you are going in a straight line and hit the gas, it lays two black marks. It’s an amazing piece of machinery.” The four-wheel Wilwood brakes that came with the TCI kit do not use vacuum assist, as normally aspirated engines do.
Supercharged engines blow air into the intake, which is why Jerry used Ford’s Hydro-Boost from the 2003 Cobra donor car. (The boost for Hydro-Boost comes from the power-steering pump.) Jerry credits the innovative one-piece headliner with an integral console from Mustangs to Fear to be the best money he spent on the car. It was easy to install and increased headroom by 2. inches.
One key innovative change inside is replacing the busy air-conditioning controls on the instrument panel just to the left of the steering wheel with a single Mercury Cougar A/C register. He mounted the three Vintage Air control knobs in the custom console under the armrest and fit the stock instrument panel with AutoMeter gauges.
The little gauge between the traditional speedometer and odometer openings in front of the driver is for engine boost. The custom console mounts two gauges, in the style of a 1967 Shelby Mustang. The door panels are the 1967 Mustang deluxe, which many enthusiasts still consider the best looking ever on a Mustang of any year. The seats are Pontiac Fiero buckets, which fit easily on Mustang seat tracks and are adapted well to the Mustang-style upholstery with custom stitching by Lazy K Garage.
For safety, he installed a stock 1968 Shelby Mustang rollbar. Something Shelby had wanted to include on its 1967 models. The body is stock with some minor changes. Jerry wanted something different. So he replaced the conventional gas cap on the deck lid with a motorcycle-style gas cap from Ride-Tech, frenched into the driver’s side rear roof panel. “I get lots of compliments on that gas cap,” he says.
He also installed power windows and a one-piece door-glass kit from One Piece Products to eliminate the side-vent windows. Maybe the most radical modification was to add Detroit Speed mini tubs in the back. According to Jerry, this was the maximum mini-tub he could add that would keep the stock interior. “It’s tight, but it can be done,” he says. Jerry and Carla drove the car in the 2016 Hot Rod Power Tour, where they had met Graeme Saul from Johannesburg, South Africa.
“He comes over here every year and does the Hot Rod Power Tour with a neighbour of mine who lives about three miles up the street.” After Graeme got a ride in Jerry’s 1967 during a leg between the drag strip outside Houston and Gonzalez, Louisiana, he tried to buy the Mustang. The answer was no, but Graeme kept emailing throughout that year and didn’t let up until the Colemans said yes. Jerry and Carla drove two cars to the 2017 Power Tour, the 1967 Mustang for Graeme and a 1961 Impala. It turns out, that by the time the tour was over, Graeme had purchased both of their rides.
I first saw the mustang when I did my first Hot rod power tour in 2013. It belonged to a friend of mine Jerry Coleman who built the mustang. He stays in Texas and back in 2013 he invited me to come to see his collection of muscle cars. The Mustang was parked at the back and at the time was not for sale but I had hope that one day he would give in and sell her.
A few years later in 2016 while doing the tour I managed to get a ride in the mustang and while sitting in the passenger seat I managed to strike a deal with Jerry and purchased the mustang then and there. The following year after purchasing the mustang I flew to Dallas collected the car and ended up completing the 2017 Hot rod Power tour with my mustang and then shipped it back to Durban SA where I collected and drove it home.
The story of me and choosing a mustang was due to the fact that back when I was around 18, my first v8 was a 70 Mach 1 and because of hard times I had to sell her. I’ve always had a thing for fastbacks and when the opportunity came along to own another classic mustang I couldn’t say no.