Legendary Sleeper
Muscle Car Review|December 2019
A Special-Order Q-Code Custom 500
Richard Truesdell

The year 1966 is remembered by many as the pinnacle of Ford’s Total Performance Era. Jimmy Clark had just won the 1965 Indianapolis 500 in his Ford-powered Lotus 38, the first win ever at the Brickyard by a rear-engined car. And just over a year later, Ford won its first 24 Hours of Le Mans in the famous staged One-Two-Three finish.

In February 1966, jet airplane mechanic Don Revere Smith walked into Hayward Ford, the San Francisco Bay Area’s legendary Ford/Shelby performance dealership, to special-order a truly unique, full size muscle car. After talking with Roy Miller and Roy Boynton, two of the high-performance sales specialists at Hayward Ford, Don selected a Custom 500 two-door sedan in Nightmist Blue. But rather than ordering it with a 289, 352, or 390 V-8 and loading it up with power-robbing options, he chose the then-new 428ci FE V-8 and the heavy-duty C6 Cruise-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission.

So began what would be a five-decades-long love affair with his fabulous Ford that only ended with Don’s passing in 2018 at the age of 97. The story of that 52-year journey comes from the car’s second and current owner, Peter Batagios.

“I met Don and the 428 about 18 years ago,” says Peter. “I was in a small parking lot with my wife Anne’s occasional track car, a rare 1997 Acura Type R. I was worried when I saw the 428 trundling in and aiming for the small spot next to me. Then I can hear that Ford. I looked over at the 428 badge and wondered, How did he get that in that car?

“He noticed that I noticed. He was smiling and said, ‘You know what it is?’

“I said I did, and before I could get a word out he said, ‘It’s not for sale!’

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

RELATED STORIES

Orange Is the New Shred

DEAN GUITARS MD24 FLOYD ROASTED MAPLE

3 mins read
Guitar World
January 2022

We're at the Tipping Point of Electrification

Everything is Going to Change — the Only Question is How Quickly

6 mins read
Innovation & Tech Today
Fall 2021

CAVEMAN FOR HIRE

DONNY DUST HAS BUILT AN EMPIRE OUT OF SIMPLY SURVIVING. WE SPOKE WITH HIM ABOUT CARVING TOOLS OUT OF STONE, HIS PREFERENCE FOR WEATHERED TATTOOS AND HOW WE ALL NEED TO RECONNECT WITH THE NATURAL WORLD.

8 mins read
Inked
2021 Holiday Issue

SMALL INTIMATE MOMENTS

PHOTOGRAPHY OFFERS ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE IN THE WORLD WHILE I ALSO FLOATING OUTSIDE IT. WHEN I AM IMMERSED IN MAKING CANDID PHOTOGRAPHS, I SLOW DOWN AND ENJOY MOMENTS THAT I WOULD OTHERWISE MISS." - REBECCA ROTHEY

2 mins read
Lens Magazine
November 2021

general hospital

MISSED CONNECTIONS Esme inwardly fumes when Spencer congratulates Trina on the success of the opening.

3 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
December 06, 2021

WORKING FROM HOME IS JUST THE BEGINNING

What does the future of work really look like? In their new book, journalists ANNE HELEN PETERSEN and CHARLIE WARZEL argue that we’re at a moment of staggering potential—if we’re only willing to broaden our imaginations.

5 mins read
Entrepreneur
December 2021

RIDE FROM HELL!

Lyft driver was abducted, shot 7 times & left for dead!

1 min read
National Enquirer
November 29, 2021

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING (Hint: It 's you)

Because you don’t have to spend a single babysitting dollar to totally make someone’s season. Cue the cheer!

3 mins read
Girls' Life magazine
December/January 2022

Ditch Your New Year's Resolutions ASAP

MEET NEW YEAR’S INTENTIONS: THE MUCH MORE AUTHENTIC WAY TO TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE.

6 mins read
Girls' Life magazine
December/January 2022

HARRY & MEGHAN ARE NEIGHBORS FROM HELL!

Fat cats fleeing California town as tacky royals set up shop

2 mins read
Globe
November 22, 2021