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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I was going to start working on the 69 Mach SCJ this year but another opportunity entered the picture suddenly, but with its own dilemmas.

I also have a 1978 Ford LTDII (2 door coupe) that I fixed up in high school and drove as DD for 6 years, including all through college. My dad bought this car brand new in 1978. I love this car more than any of my other cars, even though nobody else would.

Car has sat in parents shed for the last 15-20 years now, body is in bad shape, I considered just junking it.

Then last year, very unexpectedly, my dad died after a minor surgery and I knew junking that car was no longer an option. He was only 58.

I'm in an LTDII owners Facebook group and a guy on there is selling a body shell with frame. Frame is solid, body shell has been completely media blasted and is in excellent shape, currently sitting on rotisserie, just needs floor pans repaired. Everything else is solid. I can get the shell and frame (comes with 351M boat anchor and C6, which I already have as well) for $1000 and transfer everything from my car over. He has a lot of NOS parts I can buy as well.

Dilemma is...it's not actually "the" car my dad bought then. But there's almost no way to fix the current car that wouldn't cost a fortune, and involve custom fabricating many panels. And seems ludicrous to cut panels off good body to weld onto bad body when you could just use the good body and save yourself from having weld seams everywhere.

If I move over everything that made it the car...the same interior, trim, options, etc, from my car. Paint same colors. Is it still actually 'my dad's car?' My mom and wife both hesitated at the same question.
 

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When it's all said and done, if it looks exactly like your dad's old ride, does it matter?

I know guys that have restored mustangs and camaros that were literally nothing more than a firewall and some inner skin panels left of the original cars, but that car meant something to them... but at the end of the day, is it really still that same car?


The only real issue is how to handle the VIN, if you want it to be "the same" as your dad's or if you want to roll with the correct one. We don't have to discuss that here ;)
 

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People have been hesitating at answering that question since at least 500BC
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

My first car was a '78 Cougar that was nearly identical to those LTD-IIs. It was already rusty in 1990 though so I can't imagine how bad one would be now. I can't help with the philosophy questions but I'd still like to see more of these things on the road whichever way you go with it.

Oh yeah, this is VMF, so.....:worthless:
 

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I'd like to also throw in I kinda had this problem for a while too.

My dad sold a red 1968 firebird for the down payment for their house in the mid 80's, the house I grew up in and they still own. To make up for that car, around 87/88 when I was 6/7 he bought a 67 to replace it, it was a decent car but needed a lot of work. It was the first car I handed him tools on, played around in, etc. It was painted white with blue H.O. stripes around 1989. The motor blew in the early 90s, and I was the oldest of SEVEN, so it sat, and sat, and sat, until I talked him into letting me take it around 2012. Boy was it rough. It needed floors, quarters, trunk, drop downs, , front clip, doors, subframe... ironically, the windshield, back glass area, and cowl were all excellent, but the car was also stripped, missing all the interior, etc. I held onto it for years until last year when I finally had a talk with dad about it being too much of a project for me. I could handle the repairs, but at what time/$ cost? He understood, but I still wanted a car "like dad's" so I bought a damn near rust free 1968 Firebird to replace it. It's not my dad's car, but I still have the pictures and memories of dad's car, and when I sit behind the wheel and look out over that long hood it's like I'm riding with him again, even though it's really not the same car.
 

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I thought I was going to start working on the 69 Mach SCJ this year but another opportunity entered the picture suddenly, but with its own dilemmas.

I also have a 1978 Ford LTDII (2 door coupe) that I fixed up in high school and drove as DD for 6 years, including all through college. My dad bought this car brand new in 1978. I love this car more than any of my other cars, even though nobody else would.

Car has sat in parents shed for the last 15-20 years now, body is in bad shape, I considered just junking it.

Then last year, very unexpectedly, my dad died after a minor surgery and I knew junking that car was no longer an option. He was only 58.

I'm in an LTDII owners Facebook group and a guy on there is selling a body shell with frame. Frame is solid, body shell has been completely media blasted and is in excellent shape, currently sitting on rotisserie, just needs floor pans repaired. Everything else is solid. I can get the shell and frame (comes with 351M boat anchor and C6, which I already have as well) for $1000 and transfer everything from my car over. He has a lot of NOS parts I can buy as well.

Dilemma is...it's not actually "the" car my dad bought then. But there's almost no way to fix the current car that wouldn't cost a fortune, and involve custom fabricating many panels. And seems ludicrous to cut panels off good body to weld onto bad body when you could just use the good body and save yourself from having weld seams everywhere.

If I move over everything that made it the car...the same interior, trim, options, etc, from my car. Paint same colors. Is it still actually 'my dad's car?' My mom and wife both hesitated at the same question.
The short answer? No. Some of the car lives on in that scenario...but its mostly another car.
 

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Since you asked for advice, here are my 2 cents:

Do you really "love" that LTD or, do you love the idea of that car having belonged to your dad?

Having let the car deteriorate over the past 20+or- years, are you feeling somehow guilty for allowing that to happen?

In the end the decision is yours and if the sentimental factor is strong enough it will override the fiscal side of your dilemma.

Good luck.
 

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Is it the same car if you transfer everything over to a new frame? I would say no...but just as important is the followup question: does that really matter if it reminds you of your dad when you look at it, drive it, etc?
 

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Been there and done that. No it won’t be the same. It’s the memories not the car.
 

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https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/general-discussion-non-vintage-mustang/1035218-any-f100-fans.html


^ Same scenario here for me. Grandpa bought this '67 F100 brand new, without a single option save a heater! He gave it to my Dad, who then passed it on to me. I've got tons of memories in this truck, from riding in the bed under the woodgrain aluminum topper with Dad and Grandpa and tons of sh*t in the front seat, to learning how to drive a stick in it 10 years later. It's Grandpa's truck to me- always was, always will be. Everytime I drive it, I'll likely think of him....... and he'll be smiling knowing that the truck now has power steering, power brakes, tilt wheel, heat AND A/C, digital gauges, crown vic font suspension, narrowed 8.8 rear, and a bad a$$ stereo system!! Sure I may have only used 'most' of the cab, the engine, and some of the trim, but it's still the same truck..... mostly...... lol
 

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Here is the hard truth: The car sat in your Dads garage for almost 2 decades, evidently without an attempt to get it running. You are talking about a LOT of work on a car that will never be worth more than the memories. AND it won't be THE car, it will be a reflection of it.

I think if your Dad could speak on it, he would tell you to follow your dreams, not try to hold on to a piece of his past. Your dream is the Mustang and I bet he would feel better and insist you build it. That is what parents do.
 

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No, not the same car. It will be an imitation. To some that is good enough. You have to make that decision.
Russ
 

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Here is the hard truth: The car sat in your Dads garage for almost 2 decades, evidently without an attempt to get it running. You are talking about a LOT of work on a car that will never be worth more than the memories. AND it won't be THE car, it will be a reflection of it.

I think if your Dad could speak on it, he would tell you to follow your dreams, not try to hold on to a piece of his past. Your dream is the Mustang and I bet he would feel better and insist you build it. That is what parents do.

So much this. I have seen many of these "in memoriam" projects started, and then they become just too much weight on the shoulders of the person attempting them. In the end, you only have so much time on this earth and cars are just things. You're still here, so live your life, not someone else's past. Do the SCJ and send the LTDII to another home whatever/where ever that may be. Keep a piece of it in your shop to remember your dad by, but don't commit yourself to a project because of an assumed obligation to his memory.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
You all are right, it is just a car, and just having the interior in there from my old car would be enough for me, because I spent a lot of time in there too. The car was MY car too, not just my dad's. I can't tell you why, but I also just LOVE the car, I always have. I'd drive it more than my Mustangs.

Prepare for this sacrilege, but I don't really give a **** about the SCJ, to be honest. I almost sold it, because to me it IS just a car. So is my 67. I don't have any attachment to them, they're just random cars and material items. I bought it because I could, and I do good restorations and paint work and I believe it deserves that. I feel guilty about the SCJ and feel obligated to do it because it's a unique car, whereas the LTDII was just something I knew I'd revisit someday so I was fine with letting it sit until that day.

Now my dad, he probably did like my Mustangs more than the LTD, he always loved them, and liked mine.

So here's what's going to happen. You make some good points, and it doesn't matter if it's a different body to me anymore. I'm going to do it, and it will be a relatively inexpensive and fast restoration because I already have a complete car, and a good body that is going to require minimal work. I have the shop, the knowledge, the tools, the dedicated paint booth, the resources, the experience, there's really no reason not to. I hate to make the Mach wait only because parts get more expensive every year. Maybe I'll just nurse that one along and do a few major things on it each year. That will keep me from getting burned out on it and still keep it fun.

Here it was in all its glory, during my highschool senior prom, how it sits today (yes, that is a John Deere 10-speed hanging there), and a picture of the replacement shell and frame.
 

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Put a nice little used engine and a set of wheels to your dad's car, clean up the interior, call it "patina" and drive the thing.
 

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I say go for it. Passion goes a long way and you seem like you have a decent plan in mind. I remember I used to want a Granada ESS when they came out. To each his own I say.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Put a nice little used engine and a set of wheels to your dad's car, clean up the interior, call it "patina" and drive the thing.
That's actually what my buddy suggested. Just rebuild the motor on my car (or get it running...the heads have already been completely redone with new valve job) and drive it as is while I work on the shell.

Now the real question--I wanted to build a 400 hp 351W to drop in in place of the 351M it has, but haven't done any research into what this conversion would look like. Lot of controversy on the M's for building into a performance motor. I could stroke it out to a 400 as well. Is it still worth using the same motor to make a hot little performance conversion? I have looked into it very little at this point.
 

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I am sorry to hear about your dad. 58 is way too soon.

It sounds like you loved that car more than your dad did...and that's okay. If it's a car that you really love driving more than any other, then I say do it. Will the car be "that car" debatable, but it certainly would be a nice tribute.
 
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