On Tuesday, I introduced you to the El Kylemino, my ’87 El Camino. Back in 2014, I introduced you to the first Curbside Classic I purchased, the Soul Survivor. The Survivor is a 1974 Mustang II Mach 1, now equipped with an upgraded Cologne V-6 and Borg Warner T-5 overdrive transmission. In addition to this article, I also wrote an article covering the transmission swap in greater detail, and reported on a trip we made to the Mustang’s Fiftieth Anniversary celebration in Las Vegas.
It’s still with me, and this week I’m providing a brief update on my activities since. Moving forward, I plan to provide you with a series of articles reviewing my various vehicle modifications, starting with more details on the engine swap and continuing up to the latest projects- Like any other project car, there’s always another part to add, enhancement to make, or refinement required.
To start my update, I should note it’s not always been smooth sailing- Shortly after purchase, I came to a sudden stop in 605 traffic and was hit from behind. For a “car guy” reference, the accident occurred near the former Ford production plant in Pico Rivera, CA. Given the low book value of my car, I was concerned the insurance company would total my recent acquisition, but repairs came in under $3,500, and the Survivor continued to survive.
Since the repairs, I’ve taken it to a number of weekend shows here in LA, as well as the yearly Fabulous Fords Forever car show on two separate occasions (“the West Coast’s Largest all Ford Show”). Folks always express surprise at seeing a Mustang II, and most of the time I’m the only one in my class.
However, I really acquired the Soul Survivor as a yearly excuse to attend the Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The Roundup is held every year in June, when the weather in Steamboat Springs is perfect.
The show includes about 400 Mustangs, as shown by this pre-show line up. From this starting point in an overflow parking lot, the cars roll into downtown Steamboat Springs by model year and vehicle class for the actual show.
During this long weekend in the Colorado High Country, I also catch up with friends, enjoy the local scene, and enjoy the food and libations.
But the best part of of the trip is the drive up from Los Angeles. Since Steamboat Springs is isolated from
the interstate highway system everything, all roads into town travel through spectacular mountain scenery.
In addition, a panoply of mountain roads offer themselves for scenic touring. This picture shows US Highway 550 in Ridgeway, Colorado, on the North end of the Million Dollar Highway. One of the most spectacular scenic drives in the US, the Soul Survivor and I rolled down it back in 2017 on the way home. Once you pass through that gap, the road begins a dance that surprises and delights any serious driver.
I’ll wrap things up with this picture of the Survivor sitting in line at the Long Beach “Ponies at the Pike” show from 2015 or ’16. Next week, we’ll take that deeper dive into my 2.9 Cologne V-6 swap, and we’ll see where we go from there.
Other Soul Survivor Articles: