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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all thanks for this great forum and the wealth of information being shared here. So finally found a car that I am interested in. 72 convertible with a 302 and FMX pretty much a one owner car with 66000 documented miles. I would love to to restore the car to a driving condition so safety is first looks second. Most of the car appears solid with most of the notorious items shock towers floors etc looking good. Both rear fenders are rough to say the least with the lower quarters mostly gone. My biggest questions are about the very rough areas in the picture looking forward in the wheel well by the front leaf springer hangers. Is that a deal breaker or not ? Any and all help would be appreciated.
 

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Not if you know how to or are willing to learn to cut out and weld in new metal! Look at NPD's catalog to see if those pieces are available, if so...its just time and money to deal with it. Do you have a garage to keep it in and work on it? If you have to pay a body shop to do that then no... what do the rest of the floor and front frame rails/aprons look like? Any photos of the rest of the car?
 

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Those are the inner rockers rails, which replace some of the strength lost in the absence of a permanent roof structure. They run the full length of the rocker and are critical to a convertible.

That said, you're looking at a big job to replace the rusted areas. A "correct" full inner rocker replacement requires a significant amount of work, you'll be gutting the interior. If they're only rusted through in areas, then patching is a less expensive option. With the car also needing quarter panels, plus outer and inner wheelhouses, this is not a small job. You are looking at a fair bit of rust on this car.

If this is your first classic car, I'd pass. Spend a little more now to get a car with a solid body.
 

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Corrosion "rot" is sort of like looking at an iceburg... Everything that you can see usually only represents a tiny fraction of what lies hidden beneath the surface. That said, with the popularity of vintage Mustangs and the resulting availability of parts, ANYTHING can be repaired or replaced with enough time, effort and money (usually LOTS of money). For me, I'd keep shopping and look for another that's more structurally "clean".
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Those are the inner rockers rails, which replace some of the strength lost in the absence of a permanent roof structure. They run the full length of the rocker and are critical to a convertible.

That said, you're looking at a big job to replace the rusted areas. A "correct" full inner rocker replacement requires a significant amount of work, you'll be gutting the interior. If they're only rusted through in areas, then patching is a less expensive option. With the car also needing quarter panels, plus outer and inner wheelhouses, this is not a small job. You are looking at a fair bit of rust on this car.

If this is your first classic car, I'd pass. Spend a little more now to get a car with a solid body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies. It def is one of those borderline things for sure the rest of the car appears to be fairly solid and I do agree that model and year does not warrant a full restoration as it’s a lesser desirable car. I will post some more pictures as well maybe I haven’t seen something that I should. Thanks again for the feedback.
 

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Those are the inner rockers rails, which replace some of the strength lost in the absence of a permanent roof structure. They run the full length of the rocker and are critical to a convertible.

That said, you're looking at a big job to replace the rusted areas. A "correct" full inner rocker replacement requires a significant amount of work, you'll be gutting the interior. If they're only rusted through in areas, then patching is a less expensive option. With the car also needing quarter panels, plus outer and inner wheelhouses, this is not a small job. You are looking at a fair bit of rust on this car.

If this is your first classic car, I'd pass. Spend a little more now to get a car with a solid body.
Listen to this person very carefully. The squareness, proper structure is totally dependent upon those rockers. Done several and to weld in the internal rock support is a time consuming job.
If you can cut, measure, weld you have a shot at fixing the three layers on metal in those rockers. AND, if you do not weld them up squarely , you will have a cockeyed, lopsided Mustang you will need to cut apart again a fix. I happen to know a 73 year old man (won't tell who) that did that about 35 years ago.
 

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Here's the deal: The 1971-1973 coupes and convertibles don't get much love from car enthusiasts. I like those cars. But the reality is most people don't. That means the value tends to be pretty low when they're in good condition. (A 1971 model with a factory 429 Super Cobra Jet would be a rare exception. Extremely rare!)

Since those cars aren't very popular, there isn't much demand for replacement parts unique to the 71-73 coupes and convertibles. You'll spend WAY more getting that car into decent condition that it will be worth.

If you would like a 71-73 convertible, I would strongly recommend you find a nice, clean example you can drive and enjoy. Unlike other early Mustangs, those cars don't demand extremely high prices. That's a good thing for you.
 

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I have a '73 that I put way more into than it is worth, but that was a conscious decision going in. I started with a car that was in much, much better shape and I paid $10k for it a few years ago. It ran just fine, but I still replaced the engine. I had to deal with a little rust (Floor pans, inside shock towers and, strangely, top frame around engine). That was it, nothing like I see in your pics. I was in a position to have someone else do the work and I think it ended up being about 40 hours of rust remediation (a drop in the bucket, so to speak) but they were set up and experienced to do it. You are looking at alot of time with your proposed project. If you want a 71-73, I would look around some more.

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