1975 Ford Mustang Sidchrome Jim Richards
Signed Certificate of Authenticity (hand signed by Jim Richards) – No. 166 of 500 only made
This car started life as a Boss 302, and was purchased in Auckland in 1972 by Siddons Industries (Sidchrome Tools). It was used for a short time on the road before Sidchrome employed Jim Richards to develop and race the car.
Racing parts were sourced from the USA, and the engine & gearbox were replaced with a race prepared 351 Cleveland and close ratio Ford top loader. 1966 Thunderbird front discs were fitted; the car was lowered and the rear suspension fitted with a Watts linkage; doors were re-skinned in aluminium, and bonnet & boot replaced with fibreglass units. The Cleveland was fitted with a special oiling system, steel crank and rods, racing pistons, and four 52mm IDA Webers.
Its race debut was at Baypark in Easter 1973, and Richards went on to win the 1973/74 NZ Saloon Car Championship. The following year the car was fitted with Gurney Weslake heads, and a Borg Warner T10 gearbox replaced the top loader. A deep front air dam was fitted and the car was re-painted in red over yellow.
In 1975 Jim Richards took the ‘Sidchrome’ Mustang across to Australia to take on the local Sports Sedans. After just five months of racing in Australia, the car had chalked up 13 outright victories with a total of 28 major placings from 30 races. Not bad for a car that was then nearly seven years old. However, by the end of 1976 the Mustang was no longer competitive and was shipped back to NZ, where the new owner raced it for a few seasons, then put it into storage.