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Hi, I'm looking for some advice on this possible project car. It is a '66 coupe, 200 c.i. straight six, single barrel carb. with C4 auto transmission....but it has been rusting in the New Mexico desert for a decade or two....ugh. I want to save it and restore it, but unsure of its possible and what might be a fair purchase price(?).



This car originally had an Ivy Green Metallic body color, but you can only see a little green in a few places in the door interiors. Motor and transmission seems original, but most other engine components are missing. I don't see any rust pinholes in the roof, but I'm not sure of whether the body/floorboards are intact. I am told if the unibody is rusted out...that changes the possibility of restoring this rusty beaut. And the car will only be available by pursuing a salvage title. The odometer says 98K miles.



Basically, my impression is that it is a complete rebuild.... probably $12-13K, and it would be a keeper since I would not be seeing any sort of monetary profit from the work. I'm a long-time car guy, but a bit inexperienced at complete rebuilds. I thought I should post some photos and hopefully generate some discussion. I really do appreciate any/all comments. I would be glad to answer any questions best that I can.


Ok, so P.S., there's one last thing that's interesting and asking for comments. Above the standard mustang emblem on driver front, there WAS an emblem that seems to have been '500' (see photo 136). Any thoughts on what this could have been? The car was manufactured in Deerborn MI for Domestic Special Order of Los Angeles (according to the door tag), but I can't figure out what the '500' could have meant.... any thoughts? and does it have bearing on the value?



Many thanks for looking.
 

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12k - 13k to rebuild?

Think about doubling that,.....and that’s you doing the labor. Paint alone will take a nice chunk of that budget.

Stick around, this board is Great!
 

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Well...I guess it would depend on the condition of the underside, floors, frame rails, etc. If it's been in the desert all its life, I'd expect the underside to look better than the top side, but it's one of those things you'd have to check.

A general rule of thumb on these old cars is that its probably going to cost twice what you think to get it where you want it. Unless it's free, I think I'd pass and find something in better condition to start with.
 

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That's not rust, that's patina! Heck, if it's not rusted through, that car's a great candidate for a scuff to knock off any high spots and blow a coat of matte clear on it to preserve the look and metal underneath. Restore the undercarriage, drivetrain and interior, don't worry about the exterior. Shiny paint is nice, but having a car you can truly enjoy is much more fun.
 

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Don't really see rust other than patina surface rust. You need to look under the car to check the frame rails and floors. Door panels and speakers are different. I don't think that "500" means anything. I going to guess someone just stuck something on there at one time. Where the rear roof attaches to the body looks different like there's been some rust work. Also where the bottom front fender attaches.
 

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Answered an add for a 65 vert that was missing all front end Sheetmetal and all interior parts for 800 and told the guy I would be there in 1.5 hours with my tow dolly so after driving 40 miles the guy said he could not sell it until they found the title so I asked if I could leave my tow dolly there to transport it and he refused and another guy came as I was leaving and I told him I hoped he wasn't wasting my time but he said I will call you that nite. Had a feeling he was a b-s artist and I was right. 2nd day add up said 2k now. Just a bs artist and not the first time its happened to me but I only went there with 800 to buy. He claimed to be a car guy but after meeting him was just a cheating lying piece of sh****tttttttttttt. Wes
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Awesome! Thanks for all the replies....I knew I came to the right place..:). So to answer a few questions from above.... the person with the car is not a car guy and is actually shocked that someone is interested. And since I know the guy, I could probably easily pay $0 to $500 and he'd probably be happy. He's looking to me to provide a number....and haul it home...and pay for the salvage title of course. I was thinking in the $500 range (at most) but wasn't really sure if that was fair or too much. So thank you.


I agree the missing "500" emblem is probably an add-on from a previous owner as I have found nothing on-line anywhere to suggest it could mean something for this vehicle in its original condition.


And yea, I think I better go look at the undercarriage best as possible before committing to anything. My fear is that if there was sand (wet sand) in contact with metal for years, that would be very bad.


And hmmmm....Hemikiller...that's an awesome idea to preserve the patina 'as is'. It does definitely have a good look as-is. I was thinking of restoring it to ivy green metallic of course. And thanks too Israel for your cost comment....that's good to know.


And Mustangman....sorry you got jerked around like that....not cool!


Thanks again all for your comments! I may do a follow up after going to look at the underside...and if I get it.
 

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The car is a former California car according to the car's L.A. DSO on its Datatag. It's California license plate in the rear is another tip-off..

:eek:)

Tony K.
 

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david, check the trunk and floorboards for rust, as well as look under the passenger side of the dash vents for rust. if the metal there is pretty solid, then i say buy the car for what you can get it for. offer the $500, but be prepared to have to pony up about $1500 for the car.

once you get the car decide what direction you want to go with this car, restoration, restomod, what ever, and then develop and stick to your plan. given the pictures you posted, and given your modest budget, this would make a nice daily driver, or a nice second car.

and just remember, this car can be completely rebuilt from the ground up if necessary, all the parts are available for it from a variety of sources, and if you take your time, and pay attention to what you are doing, and pay attention to detail, you can do the work yourself, for the most part.

by the way, where in new mexico are you? as we are practically neighbors, i live in tucson az.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Yea, thanks....I noticed the Domestic Special Order of "71" indicating for L.A. too. Does that add any value or something else special?
 

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Thanks rbohm for your advice. I'm hoping to look at the vehicle again in a week or two for those things you mention. I live in Gallup in the NW corner of New Mexico and the '66 is in town at a friend's house. This mustang, if re-done, would be an occasional driver. Thanks again for your comments!
 

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Oh, and one more question. This vehicle's ID tag indicates that is has the C4 Dual Range Auto transmission. Everything I see about this transmission is that it was short-lived in the mustang history. Any advice in dealing with this transmission in a total rebuild project car?



I thought I would attach one more interesting photo from this '66 coupe. It is the ceiling panel patina just in front of the rear window. Thankfully, I've found no pinholes between this ceiling and roof in this area.


:)
 

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Oh, and one more question. This vehicle's ID tag indicates that is has the C4 Dual Range Auto transmission. Everything I see about this transmission is that it was short-lived in the mustang history. Any advice in dealing with this transmission in a total rebuild project car?



I thought I would attach one more interesting photo from this '66 coupe. It is the ceiling panel patina just in front of the rear window. Thankfully, I've found no pinholes between this ceiling and roof in this area.


:)

Rebuild it unless you want something else. They are fairly simple for an automatic. I purchased the Bad Shoe rebuild video and a master rebuild kit and did mine. Not too difficult at all.


<style></style>
 

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Oh, and one more question. This vehicle's ID tag indicates that is has the C4 Dual Range Auto transmission. Everything I see about this transmission is that it was short-lived in the mustang history. Any advice in dealing with this transmission in a total rebuild project car?
:)
it was just a change in the valve body programming. there should be no shortage of parts available for that transmission. if you decide that you dont want to use the dual range C4, then search up a later model C4 and use that instead. the bell housings interchange.
 

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I saw in the first post how you are quite aware the car was sold in LA and now it's in dry desert country. Odds are good that it's been in the same dry area all its life and the rust may not be near as bad as you think. What I see is mostly sun baked. Floorpans from leaky cowls has nothing to do with living in salt and snow country so expect that.

A C4 is essentially a C4 behind a straight six. The dual range is just an odd idea Ford tried with how you use the shifter. It just confused people (and still does). But once you learn the habit of shifting it slightly differently its not a problem at all.

The way you say "salvage title" bothers me. In my state, you can't just get one of those. Now if this guy had a title at one time and lost it, he can file for a "lost title" which means he would pay the DMV for a fresh copy of what he already had. And then he could sign it over to who bought the car.
In some states you can file "abandonment" paperwork and eventually end up with legal ownership of the vehicle. Not something I've ever had part of and my understanding of it locally is you about want to retain an attorney to see it all the way through.
If neither one of those two options then you can file a "storage lien" or "mechanics lien". In either case you need to be an established business. For storage, you need to able to say someone dropped the car on you and you kept it parked and secured X amount of time to the point you consider it abandoned and wish to recoup your storage charges by auctioning off the car. The mechanics lien is the same idea, show that you have done work and put parts on the car for someone for which you wish to recover some compensation for by auctioning the car. These two options require seem reading between the lines as to how they actually work and there's kind of some gray area in there too. I can say I have witnessed about a dozen such auctions (conducted by a local constable) where not one single person showed up to bid.

Outside of those options I think you need to step carefully. Find out how things actually work in YOUR state. See if you can find out who the car actually belongs to or how it came to be on this guy's property. You don't want to invest one dime in a car that the local law enforcement might come to your house and confiscate one day. It has happened.
 

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It all depends on state law. Some states like Georgia don’t even require a title for a car of this age Just a bill of sale.

The car looks to have very little rust on the top half, none of the usual rust through areas. As stated by others the frame will be key.

Even if it’s rusted , it is not a huge problem. All of the parts are available and far worse cars have been repaired. The only question is how much time and money are will to expend to bring this particular car back to life. My son’s car was in far worse condition. I wanted to learn to weld so I took it on as a project. It has been a fun and interesting journey but is coming out well. It was in better mechanical condition, but the body had a lot of rust in the frame.

I am currently bringing a 65 Fastback to life after sitting in a garage for 13 years. I have completely redone all the mechanical systems and the car drives really well. Minor interior work is planned. The body needed a new lower cowl, and a few minor rust spots taken care of. The trunk areas and tail light panel had to be rebuilt. All told he’ll have about 20-25K into it after painted not including my labor. That was although an engine rebuild. The OP will need to plan for the same price range doing all the work himself. But done over time and in phases it is not too bad.
 

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Yea, thank you for these later posts, especially regarding state title and legal ownership. I've only researched online for New Mexico MVD and talked with friends that went through similar ownership here. I will be visiting /calling local MVD office prior to going further with purchase.



So not sure if this complicates things more but, the story on this '66 Mustang goes.... my friend had a renter 15-20 years ago that left this undriveable mustang behind when he moved out. I guess if was going to be his project car...I don't know. So my friend never had a title on the car, basically it was just abandoned with him, and has not moved an inch during the last decade or two. Best I understand, the NM-MVD will run a search for ownership, registration, stolen status, etc, etc, if/when I go to register to request a title.


Thanks again everyone for your comments!
 
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