Debbie Morton’s ‘67 Mustang is Car of the Month


The Canyon Lake Car Club congratulates Debbie Morton for having her 1967 Ford Mustang chosen as Car of the Month.

Debbie says, although she was only 6 years old, she still remembers the day her dad bought the car. “This car has great sentimental value to me,” she says. “Growing up, he used to let me sit on the hump in the front between him and my mom so I could steer.” (A horrifying thought today, notes Debbie, but that’s how it was then.)

Debbie took her driving test in the Mustang and got her driver’s license on her 16th birthday. She talks about the days of piling “seven high school friends” in the car, saying, ”If Dad only knew, I think I would still be in trouble!” She says her high school parking sticker is still in the back window.

Her dad officially gave her the car about 15 years ago. Debbie says it was in really rough shape, so she had to tow it from her parents’ home in Seattle to California. After restoring everything under the hood, lack of time, money and energy prevented her from going further. She thought for many years about what to do with the old car.

Then, three years ago, after moving her parents from Seattle to a facility near her, Debbie knew exactly what she would do. “Mom was wheelchair bound and my dad, Mom’s primary caregiver, was diagnosed with a debilitating illness.”

Today Debbie take’s her dad to his doctor appointments in his own, fully restored, car.

According to Debbie, the Mustang has the original 289 engine; however, it’s been bored, has a higher performance cam shaft and an Edelbrock four-barrel carburetor. She says it also has a new four-core radiator, and the factory air has been replaced. She had the front seats replaced with ‘69 Mustang seats so they have head rests. She says all there’s left to do is to get a new radio. Then “it will be just like new.”

For his encouragement, Debbie thanks to her husband John. She also thanks Joey at Tops Auto Body in Lake Elsinore for “an amazing job restoring it” and Gerhart’s Garage for getting the engine to run smoothly again.

Says Debbie, “This ‘67 Mustang was my dad’s gift to me; the restoration was my gift to him.”


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Donna Ritchie