The Restoration of a Vintage Mustang

Almost 20 years ago, I acquired a 1965 Mustang convertible. It was my second.

I had one for several years in the mid-1970s, but with a growing family and the uncertainties of driving without benefit of lead in the gas, it seemed an impractical indulgence at the time. (Leaded gas was a hot topic of discussion in the early 1980s; conventional wisdom of the day held that unless the engine was specifically designed for unleaded gas—which the Mustang engines were not—the valves would quickly burn out without the lubricating benefit of lead).

With some pangs of regret, we traded for a 1985 Toyota Corrola.

By 1999, long after it had become clear that vintage cars run just fine without lead, we had upgraded from the Corolla to a Previa minivan and a Tercel, which meant transportation needs were covered for our four-person family. It was time to embrace the impractical.

And so, I indulged....

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Washed and waxed, the indulgence makes its 1999 debut on my driveway. (For details, click here.)
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Sitting pretty on the driveway.
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Under the hood, a 302 cubic inch V8, a big bump up from the 200 cu in inline 6 in my earlier Mustang.

I knew from the start there were issues that would have to be addressed, but a newly rebuilt engine had been installed a year prior to my acquisition, the body work appeared to be sound, and overall it ran pretty well for its age.

Soon after buying the car, I started acquiring the shop tools and assorted Mustang parts I knew I would eventually need—air compressor; MIG welder, an assortment of window felt and rubber weatherstripping—but the Mustang's issues were mostly cosmetic and I was working long hours with a long commute, and so, except for a few fix-ups that couldn't be ignored, I never got really serious about restoration.

Fast forward 20 years, the car is not getting any younger, I'm retired with time on my hands. What to do?

That's what this blog is all about....

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