Ford Mustang Running Horse

1969 SS/GA Mustang

Mustang Club of America (MCA) Member
Owner: Rusty Gillis (NHRA SS/GA MPH record 71, ET record 74)


Rusty Gillis' Story

I went to Indy to the US Nationals in 1969 with a friend who was racing and was hanging around Hubert Platt and his Platt and Payne Ford Drag Team. I ended up not going home and worked for him for 2 months no pay, just paid my expenses I even stayed at his house a few times. Hubert was driving the race car hauler and he told me about his 1968 428 CJ Mustang he wanted to sell. I borrowed the money from my uncle and bought it in Nov. 1969. I went to Pomona and won class at my first National event in 1970 and came back in 1971 and won SS/FA class again.

Hubert told me about a 1969 Mustang 428CJ shell he had that was a Boss 302 test car. I bought it and in July 1971 removed the drive train from the 1968 and built the 1969 SS/GA in a week. Had it painted pearl white and candy red and blue and won best appearing car at the Miami points race. I set the MPH record at the World Finals in Texas but as I was going though tech they were not going to let me race because my car did not have the quarter scoops. They finally said I could race but not to come to Pomona without the scoops. The ET record was 11.45 and I won the Miami National Open with an 11.24 in the final on 11.5" Firestone slicks in December 1971. Firestone was developing a 9" slick for the lower class Super Stockers and I did the tire test in Gainesville. I was totally surprised when it went 11.22 on 9" slicks. I went to Pomona and ran 11.28 with the 9" slick shutting off early and Firestone sold every 9" slick they had at Pomona. I won SS/GA class at Pomona in 1972. The next weekend I went to Orange County and ran 11.18. I set the ET record in VA in 1974 at 11.26 and the next day ran 11.13 at 122.

I raced at all the NHRA National events except Englishtown 1970 – 1972.

428 CJ specs in 1971

I stopped racing the Mustang at the end of 1974 and it sat until around 1992 when I decided to put it together to race in Stock eliminator. I stopped again in 2000 and decided to restore it in my shop in 2005 close to the way I raced it in 1972. I raced it a few times and the quickest it went was 10.97 with a worn out short block that was built in 1998 but now had Edelbrock heads and a roller cam. The engine is out getting rebuilt.

Gillis Performance Restorations

My son Brian and I have a restoration shop in Port Richey, FL and we work on classic Mustangs 95% of the time. We have been featured in Modified Mustangs & Fords magazine in a few tech articles and are building their Colt of Personality 1966 Mustang project car. We do a lot of rust repair, panel replacement and paint. We have installed a lot of coil over suspensions on early Mustangs. We are building a 1967 Fairlane to race in Super Stock and Modified Mustangs & Fords will be featuring some of the build in tech articles.

Gillis Performance Restorations
6330 Pine Hill Rd # 7 & 9
Port Richey, FL 34668
727-847-7973
www.gillisrestorations.com