These two “horses” are a perfect combination.
Think of “cars” and “horses” and most people think of either a Mustang or a Ferrari. But take a closer look at a Porsche and you’ll notice a horse in its badge, too. While Ferrari’s ‘Prancing Horse’ may be the best known of any car emblem, Porsche’s rampant stallion – taken from the coat of arms of the city of Stuttgart – has been around almost as long, first appearing on a 356A in 1953.
A little over a decade later, that other famous horse would come into the automotive sphere, when the Mustang arrived. Since its debut in April 1964, the Mustang’s millions of sales created the whole ‘pony car’ genre in the US and made the classic car an icon around the world, including here in Australia.
One of those local car enthusiasts and Mustang devotees is Chris Clifford. Despite a long-held desire for a Mustang, the Queenslander only added on to his garage relatively recently.
My First Pony
“I’d always wanted a Mustang since I was a kid,” Chris said. “I wanted a Mustang and a Porsche 911 coupe.”
That desire for a ‘Stang wasn’t satisfied until 2005, when Chris came across the car you see here.
A largely standard 1965-model coupe, running a period-correct 289 V8 and 3-speed automatic, the car featured a few minor changes from stock, like a mandrel-bent aftermarket exhaust system and Holley carby, adjustable White Line suspension and Koya 19-inch wheels.
“It was purchased off a follow car enthusiast who had a collection,” Chris explained. “I was lucky enough to get it after seeing it advertised.”
As purchased, the car was already a stunner in its bold red paint and tidy black vinyl interior, and also came with an aftermarket air con system, so it needed very little. But Chris did add a modern 3-row aluminum radiator and fan for trouble-free cruising in the Queensland Summer, as well as new two-tone door trims.
“I then spent numerous hours polishing and cleaning it to bring it to mint condition,” Chris added.
Those Koya alloys are a standout, their impact augmented by the fact that the car now rides 60mm lower than stock.
With a car history that includes a 1962 Rambler Classic and ’65 HD Holden, Chris is no stranger to the highs and lows of owning and running a classic car, and has some Ford history, too, as his first car was a ’72 MkII Escort 2-door, but the Mustang is something extra special.
“I love the ability to cruise in it, its classic appeal, as well as the nostalgia it brings from that era,” Chris explained. “It’s great that my young boys and family love the car as well.”
As well as regular cruising, Chris has also provided the car for wedding duty on several occasions – “I continually get requests for it to be used at weddings.”
Old and New
In 2009, four years after the Mustang was bought, the second part of Chris’ dream came to fruition when he purchased a 2003-model Porsche 911 Carrera.
The Mustang and the 911 Carrera may seem strange companions, but Chris enjoys them both equally, reserving his new and old “horses” for weekends and special occasions, while a Chrysler 300C serves as the daily driver. While he’s quite enamoured with the Mustang, Chris said he may be persuaded to part with the car sometime in the future, especially if a tidy 1958 Corvette came along at the right price – keeping the “horse” theme going, albeit in the form of “horsepower”!
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