Everyone knows the late-60s muscle cars, but the horsepower wars
started far earlier using full-sized hammers like this 1964 Ford
Custom 2-door sedan. Stuffed full of Ford's nastiest 427 and fitted
with a bunch of upgrades to make it easy to drive today, it's got
an industrial-strength look that still resonates today.
If you wanted a performance car, you bought a Custom and stripped it down. The Custom was the bottom-of-the-line, so it was already no frills, but the smartest guys spec'd a 427 (known as a Q-code) and little else. Most were Wimbledon White, partly because that's how Ford painted them when they went racing and partly because it was the most visible background for sponsorship decals at the drag strip. Regardless, that's how this car was originally born and it cackles and snarls just as you'd expect. The long bodywork is straight and clean, and while the paint isn't show-quality, it has a bare-knuckles look that's still intimidating. Somewhere along the line this one grew a teardrop hood like the Thunderbolts (which were one size smaller, on the Fairlane platform) and the center headlights were converted to air intakes, both modifications that probably could have happened when it was fairly new. Panel gaps are good and it doesn't look like this car was actually used for racing. Even the chrome shines up nicely and gives the Custom a bit of an upscale look, just for fun.
The blue vinyl interior is bargain basement, but that's purely intentional. Bench seats, a manual shifter sticking out of the transmission tunnel, and a tach stuck to the top of the dash make it seem very much like 1964 all over again. You'll note this car has both clock and radio delete, and there's a heater only because it was standard equipment. The big steering wheel looks great with its built-in horn ring, making it feel at least a little civilized, and the beautiful silver-faced gauges have a fairly contemporary look. That Hurst shifter is now linked to a modern 5-speed gearbox, so it's a lot happier on highway cruises, but the original Toploader 4-speed is available (call for details). The back seat is still plenty spacious, so bring some friends, because, quite honestly, the dual-quad 427 won't even notice the extra weight. There's also a huge trunk that's been stripped of everything but the mats in the interest of drag strip functionality.
But the real story is all happening underneath, where that Q-code 427 is dressed for combat. With Holman Moody tinwork, 427 emblems and a lot of period-correct details, it looks the way it might have before its first race in 1964. Dual quads are always impressive, but this one runs very well and they don't get at all fussy, although you'd better be sure it's aimed where you want it to go before you crack open the secondaries. With less than 500 miles on the build, it's very fresh and hasn't been raced, so no worries about getting someone else's tired, yet expensive, hi-po motor. The 5-speed transforms the big block into something that can be easily used on the street and it bellows through a set of gorgeous long-tube headers and a stainless exhaust system. A Ford 9-inch out back doesn't seem to mind the torque ripping through it and it sits right, especially on those skinny 215/75/15 blackwalls that emulate the original bias-plys that it might have worn originally.
Most folks won't get this car, but if you're one of those Ford guys who love the early muscle, this car hits all the right notes. Call today!