Shadow Dancer: Justin Perrin's Custom 1966 Ford Mustang
Photography and Interview: Luke Ray
When Justin showed up to one of our Coffee & Classics events in his '66 Mustang project, he turned the heads of everyone there. Not only that, it sounded tough and Justin takes his family around in it, baby seat and all. We just had to take a closer look so we made the trip out to the sticks to talk to Justin and to find out more about this mean machine.
Who are you and what do you do for a living?
My name is Justin Perrin, I'm 25 years old and am a qualified electrician from Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia.
Tell me about your first love for cars, right back when you were young. What inspired you?
Ever since I can remember I've been interested in cars. My dad was a big influence on me growing up having a number of Chevs in the garage and I enjoyed tagging along with him to events. I was always encouraged to be involved in whatever he was doing and I guess it just rubbed off.
What was your first car?
Dad bought me a 1962 XL Falcon ute off a family friend when I was sixteen. The plan was to have it completed when I got my license at eighteen but things escalated and it's ended up a complete restoration, gloss black paint with new everything and too good to use as a daily. I still own it but it hasn't left the garage in nearly ten years.
How many cars have you had?
I went through a few Commodores for daily transport with my last one being a VY SS ute. Along with the Falcon I've also got a 1964 Ford Ranchero which I drove a lot before I bought the Mustang. I also own a '72 Honda CB350 which I've done a full stripped down café racer build on but it hasn't been ridden in a while.
Which genres of cars are you in to? Is it all about US muscle or do you have other interests?
Not at all, I'm into all sorts of stuff. Traditional rods, customs, historic race cars and basically anything old that's built to be driven.
What are we looking at here?
It's a 1966 A-Code Mustang Coupe. Factory black on black car with a 4v 289 and toploader.
When and how did you come to own it?
After learning that I was soon to become a dad the search for a car with a back seat began. After a couple of months of looking this came up on eBay in Penrith, New South Wales. The ad still showed the car in the States but it was black, V8 and manual so I had to have it. Without enough time to fly up from Melbourne before the end of the auction I put a last minute bid on it and ended up winning it.
In what condition was it when you bought it?
Better than I expected considering I hadn't seen it before I flew up to drive it home. Everything was pretty stock but lots of little things needing repair or replacement. It looked like it had been thrown together in the US and sent straight out here.
When I got it home I took the hubcaps off to find that some of the wheels were only being held on with 3 nuts. Things got worse when I removed the rear wheels and had the brake linings fall onto the floor.
What were your intentions back then?
From the outset I wanted it turn it into something I could have some fun with and run in hillclimbs and track days. It had to feel like driving a ‘60s Trans Am car on the street but be practical enough to jump in and drive anywhere. It's surprisingly comfortable, even on long trips considering the tyres, spring rates and exhaust.
List all the modifications that have been done to the following, including any interesting facts and/or stories to go with them:
Body & Paint
Fibreglass bonnet with pins. Pinned bootlid, removed front bar, Raydyot side mirror, ‘65 Mustang grill, rolled guards, drilled rear bumper and beaver panel and front brake ducts. The paint consists of black in about four shades and varying levels of gloss.
Takata Harnesses, fixed back drivers seat, Autometer gauges in the original cluster, Grant steering wheel, removed centre console, ABS door panels, and a fire extinguisher. Most of the time there's a baby seat in there too.
The engine is a 289 with mystery internals. The carby and manifold have been replaced with a Holley 600 and a Weiand Stealth. The exhaust is a 2.5" mandrel bent system exiting at a muffler out behind the passenger door. The gearbox it still the three speed toploader that it left the factory with.
Wheels & tyres
The tyres are 225/50/R15 Yokohama Advan AD48 semi slicks bought second hand. Mitch from Antique Tyres sorted me out with a set of 15x7 steelies.
In the front there are relocated tubular Global West upper and lower control arms, adjustable strut rods, roller spring perches, 620lbs springs, Koni adjustable shocks and a 1 1/8 " sway bar. In the rear there is a set of reverse eye TCP 4 1/2 leaf springs with Nolathane bushes and Koni shocks.
It's still got a heater which keeps the passengers happy.
Anything else of note?
The battery has been relocated to the boot and an aluminium firewall has been installed between the rear seat and the boot. A Monte Carlo bar, export brace and competition crossmember stiffen up the front.
Do you take the car to events?
Occasionally I'll go to shows that interest me but I'm just as happy to go for a blast through the hills the family.
I'm currently collecting the parts to replace the steering, then I'll be turning my attention to the brakes which will more than likely be upgraded to a Wilwood kit. Hopefully by the end of the year it will be ready to see some track time.
I've also got a 302 and five speed manual in the garage which I'd like to put in at some stage. While the car is off the road I'll replace the floors and install the subframe reinforcement the convertibles came with. Who knows? Maybe a roll cage will work its way in there too.
The other cars need to be sold to free up some space and money for house renovations.
Follow Justin: @j_kl_p.