Headline – The ultimate street car???

This article comes from October 1975 Super Stock and Drag Illustrated. It was provided to me by Tom Tate who is now the proud owner of this vehicle.

As I noted in our email conversation this article clears up some timeline information for me. Hot Rod Magazine ran an article in 1977 about this car but I thought the car was built in 1975.

The final quote from my Dad is pretty good. Enjoy…and thanks Tom!


Putting some real teeth in a Mustang II.

This is no fish story. It is absolutely true. We’d planned to save this little gem until it was completed for our upcoming street issue, but we felt this little preview would better serve the common good. It is intended to serve as fair warning to those minnows who regularly cruise the greater Detroit area – when you see this silver grey mutha pull up, you’d better do your swimming somewhere else.

What do big-time professional drag racers do between races?

“Well, we take on occasional projects for people, just to keep my crew busy when I don’t need them for the race cars,” said Wayne Gapp. “Like that one over there” he added with a sheepish, self-satisfied, cigar-filled grin.

There sat your standard ’75 Mustang II, with the sticker still in the window except that there were these huge 12″ slicks in the rear wheelwells, the front end sheetmetal was off the car, and that motor was nestled tightly in the engine compartment sure didn’t look like standard equipment. Moving closer and circling slowly, you noticed that the fenderwells had undergone surgery, and that the engine was using Pro Stock type front engine mounts and set back a bit. And it was big. Real big.

“Looks like a 429”


“Well, not exactly. It’s a 460. A 460 Cobra Jet to be exact. It’s a real nice motor. We put some good high compression pistons in it, a real strong cam, ported and polished the heads, all that good stuff. Be interesting to see it run – ought to go 10–seconds easy if the guy just stands on it.”

It certaintly was a real nice car. Interior was dead stock, but if you looked up underneath, you immediately noticed the round tube frame under the floorboards and the heavily beefed-up rear subframe and suspension. By asking, we found out the competition C-6 tranny sported a 9″ 3500 rpm stall speed torque converter, while the narrowed 9″ rear housed a Detroit Locker and 4.30 gears – just to keep the gas mileage reasonable, we suppose.

“Who’s it for?”

“Some businessman we know. Said he just wanted us to make the Mustang run faster than his old Torino.”

Noticing that the big 850 cfm double-pumper sitting on the hi-rise manifold protruded above the hoodline, we just had to ask. “What are you gonna do for hood clearance?”

“I guess we’ll have to put a little scoop on it. That’s the only thing wrong with it – we can’t get the damn thing shut.”

They probably never will – not really, anyway.


3 thoughts on “Headline – The ultimate street car???”

  1. Jeff,

    I’m so glad I found this article and glad you included it in your Dad’s legacy. Its pretty obvious that even if they were working on this car between other jobs, they put more work into it than I had originally thought when viewing the Hot Rod article. I have to believe all those guys who worked on it had a great time seeing it come together, not to mention probably getting a bit of wheel time before the owner came to take it home!

  2. Hey…knew your dad pretty well…back in the proverbial “day”…we actually purchased the Mustang gas funny car (the logghe “Gates” car)…we bought 4-5 engines from Wayne…originally @ the old Outer Drive shop…we ran gas…then alcohol…then nitro…you’re absolutely…right…your dad…one very special “dude”…knew Bill Jamison a bit too…real good “people”…lots more to “talk” about…will in future…glad I “found you”…(is your first name Mike???)Drake Viscome …hope all is well for you & family…believe your mom’s name Diane(???)…met once!!!

    1. Hello! This is Jeff Gapp, Mike’s brother.

      Thanks for taking the time to take a look at the site. I recently had a email chat with Daryl Huffman who built out the ‘Gate Job’ recently and sold it at Barrett-Jackson. He sent me a couple of cool photos of the build out of the Mustang as well as an image of the Mustang during the time you had it. He’s got the Mustang body as well.

      I just learned something as well… I knew that he had a shop in Dearborn but didn’t know it was on Outer Drive. I’m really enjoying put this information up. I was very young when he quit racing so I’m learning a lot as I research this and that. I actually have a few pics of your rides over time. Good looking cars.

      I’ll tell my Dad you said hello!


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