POWER PROFILE: Darreld Hutchins’ 1968 Mustang Convertible

Darreld Hutchins has always looked ahead. “As a financial advisor, I’ve found that my career is focused on the long-term and there was little to show when I turn off my computer at the end of the day,” said Hutchins. “I needed a creative outlet.” For the man who makes a living planning for the future, it was a bit of his past that gave the Washington state resident the outlet he so desired.

One look at the Hutchins’ custom Candy Brandywine colored’68 Mustang convertible says this is no ordinary pony.

“My dad instilled the love of cars in me from an early age,” Darreld begins. “I grew up listening to stories of how he used to race against Don Garlits and other pioneers of drag and circle track racing.” Unfortunately for Hutchins father, a serious crash ended a promising career.

For this married father of two, however, his automotive roots would have more humble beginnings. “My first car was a 1981 Plymouth Champ that I traded my 4-wheeler for when I was just 14.” A string of uninspiring modes of transportation would pass through his hands, many even before he was old enough to legally drive!

Admittedly Darreld states it may be his college era car he recalls most fondly. “It was a 1966 Mustang Coupe,” says Hutchins. “I drove it all the way down from Alaska to college in Idaho with a buddy. We drove about twenty hours a day for two days unable to sleep because we had so much stuff crammed into the car that the seats were straight up and down!” Aside from that, he says with a laugh, “We had a full car top carrier and my skis and bike duck-taped to the top of the carrier. It was quite a sight!”

Shelby style inboard lights, roll bar and menacing hood scoop hints this Vortech supercharged horse was built to run.

Man with the Plan

Today, a more family friendly Audi Q7 shuttles daughters Amanda and Juliet around town while Darreld wrenches away on his “other” distraction, a ’68 Pro Touring Volvo 1800. “It will have all the comforts of a modern car,” says Hutchins, “but for all out power, you can’t beat the Mustang.” Specifically: a 1968 Mustang convertible – outfitted with a TCI suspension and Vortech-blown small-block.

Tucked neatly behind its 500hp powerplant, the Hutchins' enjoy all modern conveniences found in today's latest offerings.

“The car is a lot of fun and handles fantastic but is more difficult to drive than new cars, shares Darreld. “You actually have to work when you’re behind the wheel, especially when your right foot is connected to over 500 horsepower! “If not,” says this numbers man, “ It can get exciting really fast if you don’t watch what you are doing!”

Cobra disc brakes at all four corners provides stopping power while TCI steering and suspension makes short work of carving corners and highway cruising the Pacific Northwest.

With plenty of new avenues to channel his attention, Hutchins now plans family cruises with wife Jennifer, car shows with his home Mustangs Unlimited club of Vancouver, and, for the man who was raised with excitement in his veins, the occasional autocross.

“Owning these cars mean that you’re never done working on them,” says Darreld. “It’s easy to bite off more than you can chew. You’re going to need a plan and stick to it.”

Sound advice from a man who plans for a living.

 

About the author

JP Emerson

My affliction with vintage iron is matched only by my knowledge of classic Rock ’N Roll. Although a heavy lean to all things Ford blue, I have a sharp appreciation for all makes and models, especially those that gulp gas and drop oil to mark their territory. Having provided work for multiple magazines, manufacturers, SEMA, and a top secret list of celebrity and auto insiders, I understand the bond between cars and owners.
Read My Articles

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