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Once-in-a-Lifetime Find: 1969 Ford Mustang 428 Drag Pack Convertible Is 1 of 8

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 10/11/2018 Hot Rod Network Staff
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When Kirt Fryer got a chance to buy a 1971 Mustang convertible, he didn't let international travel hold him back. He packed up and hit the road for Calgary, Alberta, Canada, from his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The fish on the end of this line was a big one: a 1971 Drag Pack Mustang convertible, which fits Fryer's mantra that goes like this: "It's a big-block, it's a Mustang, it's a convertible, then it's pretty rare."

Of course, rarity is relative. Every 1971 Cobra Jet convertible is rare, but what is super-rare is a convertible with the Super Cobra Jet, which these days collectors refer to as Drag Pack convertibles.

The same step up from Cobra Jet to Super Cobra Jet is a huge one with the 1969-1970 428 big-block convertibles. It's just that Fryer is well known as a 1971-model enthusiast, so he was extremely disappointed when he could not make a deal on the 1971 convertible, which was a real-deal Drag Pack Mustang. Then the seller surprised him.

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"We're talking and he says, 'Well, I got another Mustang convertible you might be interested in, and I'll make you a little better deal on that. '"

Fryer's ears perked up. Maybe he didn't have to go back home without buying a big-block Mustang convertible. This convertible was also a big-block, but a 1969 model. Plus, rather than being an extremely rare 428 Cobra Jet and maybe one of, say, 50 built, this convertible was also a Drag Pack, meaning a Super Cobra Jet, and in a 1969 model with an automatic transmission and a V-code (3.91 Traction-Lok) rear axle.

"They built eight of those," Fryer told us. He knew this was the kind of car that comes up maybe "once in a lifetime."

004-rare-finds-fryer-1969-ford-mustang-drag-pack-rear.jpg© Hot Rod Network Staff 004-rare-finds-fryer-1969-ford-mustang-drag-pack-rear.jpg

The car was stored in an airplane hangar, on a wall, on pallet racks. "This Mustang was three cars high. You had to use chain boomers to get it up off the rack, then take the slats out, so you could lower the car down, then you had to put the slats back in." Fryer remembers that getting the Mustang down was quite precarious and downright "scary."

He was very pleased to find a triple-black car, and one with an interesting heritage with an ownership history through the famous collector and TV host Peter Klutt of Dream Car Garage. The Canadian had owned the convertible for more than 20 years. The engine was numbers-matching according to an evaluation Fryer had Ed Meyer perform.

"He figured out the car had its original motor, but not its original transmission or rearend."

No doubt, Drag Pack Mustangs saw racing use. This battery in this car was in the trunk for weight transfer on the strip.

Fryer was pleased the sheetmetal was original. Maybe best of all was the original paint.

Back home, he got the car running and driving. The car needed a good cleaning. Jason Billups, not far from Tulsa, replaced what Fryer called "stuff from auto parts stores" under the hood and other areas of the car with Ford Autolite parts.

The 1969 Mustang is a departure for a 1971 enthusiast, but Kirt Fryer is not complaining. He knows the car's rarity and super high performance make this Mustang very special and very valuable, as well.

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