It was 1978, 18 year old Jeff Furbush was working Napa Auto parts in Canoga Park, California -- as a part delivery boy. "My twin brother Craig Furbush, had a white one, and I had a customer come in for weeks and tell me "My mother has one just like that in red, come check it out" Finally after a few attempts Jeff went to check it out, and, before his eyes, was a 1969 Ford XL GT LTD "RED & White special" " He named him Bruce and $400.00 and found true love.
Back in the days when sportswriters bestowed colorful nicknames on professional athletes, barrel-chested boxer John L. Sullivan, a man who claimed he could knock down a horse with a single punch, became known as "the Boston Strong Boy." Baseball Hall-of-Famer Jimmie Foxx, one of the most feared sluggers of his era, acquired the nickname "the Maryland Strong Boy." And at least two old-time strongmen, Warren Travis and Charles J. Phelan--who reportedly could lift an elephant without breaking a sweat--shared the nickname "the Brooklyn Strong Boy."
Jeff Furbush standing in front of "Bruce"
What does all this have to do with Fords? Meet "the Michigan Strong Boy."
Its long, clean-cut lines stretched taught over its 121-inch wheelbase, the 1969 Ford XL GT looks like it means business as it casts an 18-foot shadow over the asphalt. Its chiseled good looks are especially apparent in convertible form, with crisp creases along the tops of the fenders stretching unbroken from grille to tail lamps. It's a blunt bruiser of a car, an unapologetic, full-sized, 3,600-pound, body-on-frame machine packing up to 429 cubic inches of Dearborn muscle, with gobs of room for six adults.
Athena Furbush test driving "Bruce"
His 30 year old Daughter Athena Furbush said "Its a boat, He always wanted a boat, so he just takes his boat and drives it on the road"
For a grand total of $3,474.43, your 1969 XL GT would come equipped with power front disc brakes; a competition suspension that included higher rate springs, a bigger front anti-roll bar, and heavy-duty shocks; a 3.25:1 rear axle ratio in place of the standard 2.75:1; GT ornamentation; a Rim-Blow steerin
g wheel; simulated mag-style wheel covers; and H70-15 belted wide-track tires. The GT package required those dyed-in-the-wool sportsters to select, at minimum, the 390-cu.in. V-8, which made 265hp at 4,400 rpm and 390-lbs.ft. of torque at 2,600 rpm breathing through a 2-bbl. carburetor. Optional engines included the 2-bbl. version of the Thunder Jet 429-cu.in. V-8, which produced 320hp at 4,400 rpm and 460-lbs.ft. of torque at 2,200 rpm, and its 4-bbl. sibling, which made 360hp at 4,600 rpm and 480-lbs.ft. of torque at 2,800 rpm.
Ford produced 998,796 full-sized cars for 1969, with 54,557 fastback coupes and 7,402 convertibles in the XL series.
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