Joe Zibrin's 1966 Mustang
(from Volume 24, Issue 299)

story by owner Joe Zibrin, photos by Michael B. Kelly


My first classic car in Florida was a 1971 Dodge Challenger. It was white with T/A stripes and a big block 383 cubic inch motor, and I drove to shows for several years. I sold the Challenger and bought my 1966 Mustang 20 years ago from a friend from New York. I drove it like it was for the first couple of years, and then I started upgrading the car. I removed the original 289 motor and 4-speed transmission and upgraded to a 1968 302 cubic inch motor that was machined 60 over. In the process a new roller cam was installed, and custom heads were built. I assembled the new motor and installed it with a 5-speed transmission.

I met my now wife Kay, and we started more upgrades to the car. The first upgrade when we were together involved changing out the white interior and replacing it with the blue and white Pony interior. Kay and I went to the Daytona Turkey Rod Run that same year looking for parts for the Mustang, when we spotted a car that she fell in love with and purchased, a 1970 Corvette. As I was restoring my wife’s Corvette the Mustang was at many car shows, and always at Old Town on Saturday night. One of our favorite shows being the Beach Blast at Cocoa Beach. We always took two cars to the show, but no one knew which two of our five cars would be there. We sure miss that show.

When all of the restoration of the Corvette was complete it was then taken to the paint shop. After many, many tries the Raspberry paint color was finally chosen. During that time Kay also found a 1970 Opel GT at Old Town. After negotiations we purchased the Opel as well, and it also went to the paint shop and was treated to the exact same Raspberry paint color as the Corvette. Since the Opel GT is kind of like a scaled down Corvette of the same year, we refer to the two as “Big Me” and “Mini Me”.

It was then time for the ‘Stang to go into the paint shop. We changed the color from Wimbledon White to white with blue pearl in the clearcoat. Under the hood chrome and blue make up the color scheme on the engine, with blue LED accent lighting added to give it a nice blue glow when displaying the car at night. The interior also received some more upgrades, including a Dakota digital dash and a Pioneer stereo that both illuminate blue.

At another Turkey Rod Run we found a wonderful man named Coop who did the pin striping on all three cars. On that same trip my wife also surprised me, buying Chip Foose wheels for the Mustang. The perfect touch. The most recent upgrades to the Mustang included Wilwood disc brakes up front, a new 8-inch posi rear end with 3.55:1 gears, and updated rear traction bars.

In March of 2010, Kay was named Cruiser of the Month at Old Town’s Saturday Nite Cruise. During that entire month she had three cars parked on the checkerboard feature area along “Trophy Row”; the 1970 Corvette, 1970 Opel GT, and her 1972 Camaro (she later sold the Camaro, but it still comes to Old Town). Then on April 1st of 2011, Kay and I got married at Old Town during the Friday night Cruise, to which we took the 1991 Camaro Z/28 convertible that we had redone. We led the Friday night cruise as the new bride and groom, and it was a very special evening. Kay picked the wedding date, and I guess I will never forget our anniversary, since people have joked us about it being April Fools’ Day. Another great memory is when my 1966 Mustang was picked to be Cruiser of the Year at Old Town from May of 2018 until May of 2019. During that time I got to park it on the checkerboard feature area every Saturday night, in addition to leading the cruise down the brick streets of Old Town at 8:30pm every Saturday.

Along the way classic cars have certainly played an integral part in both of our lives, and have been a great source of fun and entertainment. Over the many years countless hours of labor and money have been spent on our passion for cars, but it has also brought both of us immeasurable joy. We are certainly blessed to have these beautiful cars....and each other. CN