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Discussion Starter #1
So, I’m looking into getting a classic mustang and I’ve found a ‘66 I’m in love with from Craigslist. Before purchasing, what would you estimate the restoration would end up totaling to? The interior looks great, no reported rust, but the exterior is a little rough. I’d be doing all of the work myself. Keeping original as much as possible, especially the inline 6 cyl for now. I’m unable to attach the link due to this being my first post, but will attempt to in the comments.
 

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How deep are your pockets!? Pretty loaded question because it really depends how crazy you want to get, and how many things you want to replace/update. I'd plan for $20k.

My best advice: don't keep track of how much it costs because you don't want to know :)
 

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I spent about $30K on parts and roughly 4000-5000 hours of my labor on a very good condition 66. I did all labor except final paint, short block, and convertible top install. This was a ground up restomod with the shell stripped and blasted to metal. Complete interior including restoring the seats from frame up. Rebuilding motor, trans, rear end. Upgrade to front disc brakes, Classic Auto Air conditioning kit. Took me twice as much money and 6 times the time I originally estimated. The end result was basically a brand new Mustang.

Really depends on how bad the car is and how far you want to go.
 

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Beware of rust even if they say no rust. Get the car checked out by a shop. Lift the carpets. Inspect every nook and cranny for signs of rust and body repairs. Ford didn't paint the backside of the metal of these cars. The replacement metal on my car is now totalling 15k-ish. Rust can blow your budget...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How deep are your pockets!? Pretty loaded question because it really depends how crazy you want to get, and how many things you want to replace/update. I'd plan for $20k.

My best advice: don't keep track of how much it costs because you don't want to know :)
Oh goodness! And honestly, at least in newer condition and then considering improvements.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Beware of rust even if they say no rust. Get the car checked out by a shop. Lift the carpets. Inspect every nook and cranny for signs of rust and body repairs. Ford didn't paint the backside of the metal of these cars. The replacement metal on my car is now totalling 15k-ish. Rust can blow your budget...
Yes I’m bringing a friend that manages an auto shop in the local area :) free and easy checkout, haha! That’s a hefty total for one element... I’m sorry to hear that, I’m sure your car is a drop dead beauty however from your experience
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I spent about $30K on parts and roughly 4000-5000 hours of my labor on a very good condition 66. I did all labor except final paint, short block, and convertible top install. This was a ground up restomod with the shell stripped and blasted to metal. Complete interior including restoring the seats from frame up. Rebuilding motor, trans, rear end. Upgrade to front disc brakes, Classic Auto Air conditioning kit. Took me twice as much money and 6 times the time I originally estimated. The end result was basically a brand new Mustang.

Really depends on how bad the car is and how far you want to go.
It’s not a ground up Restomod, I included a link to the posting in my next comment as I couldn’t in my original post. I’d love to see your mustang!
 

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It’s not a ground up Restomod, I included a link to the posting in my next comment as I couldn’t in my original post. I’d love to see your mustang!
Not my Mustang. It is my step-fathers. He bought it new and kept it garaged most of it's life. He was a career Navy Officer ending with Commander of USS Constitution. Anyhow it started to get rust in the usual places. The project started out with him sending it to me so i could at least identify what it really needed. Since I had a 68 coupe for my first car and I owned a tool company I was game for tearing it apart. Thought it would take me 6-12 months. Ended up taking 6 years with a two year break for a heart attack :) Turned out the car was in such good shape it was worth renewing it. Plus my mother wanted it to drive like a modern car with power disc brakes, Borgeson PS setup, adding AC for Florida, etc. I just delivered it last weekend and the reactions were PRICELESS!!!! Seeing my mother and step-father driving off in their mint Mustang that I presented to them was one of the finest moments of my life.

Here it is at their house. Nightmist Blue for the Navy guy!
737960
 

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Beware of rust even if they say no rust. Get the car checked out by a shop. Lift the carpets. Inspect every nook and cranny for signs of rust and body repairs. Ford didn't paint the backside of the metal of these cars. The replacement metal on my car is now totalling 15k-ish. Rust can blow your budget...
If that were my car I was selling, no way would you be pulling up the carpets as it not reasonable to do that without damage.

A cup of water down each side of the cowl should tell you if that leaks.(many, if not most do even if from a salt free State). If the cowl leaks there is likely some floor pan rust, but generally is not the end of the world if the rest of the car is solid.

Take a magnet to check for body filler, a jack and a flashlight. Check the underneath of the car. Also check the trunk at both wells where the quarter panels go down. If all that is solid, it is probably a solid foundation from which to build. Expect some rust repair on a 53 year old car.

Resto cost? As much as you want to spend. I would think you could spend $10k on top of purchase price and have a nice driver.
 

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I've brought my '66 from boxes & buckets to the primed body stage for under $3000 in parts. Granted, I had no rust and only minor body work (also did not take the body work to concourse level).
I can't find the primer stage photos on my computer yet. Painting would run from $1,000 to 3,000 so it depends on how much you want to spend and how close to factory original you want to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not my Mustang. It is my step-fathers. He bought it new and kept it garaged most of it's life. He was a career Navy Officer ending with Commander of USS Constitution. Anyhow it started to get rust in the usual places. The project started out with him sending it to me so i could at least identify what it really needed. Since I had a 68 coupe for my first car and I owned a tool company I was game for tearing it apart. Thought it would take me 6-12 months. Ended up taking 6 years with a two year break for a heart attack :) Turned out the car was in such good shape it was worth renewing it. Plus my mother wanted it to drive like a modern car with power disc brakes, Borgeson PS setup, adding AC for Florida, etc. I just delivered it last weekend and the reactions were PRICELESS!!!! Seeing my mother and step-father driving off in their mint Mustang that I presented to them was one of the finest moments of my life.

Here it is at their house. Nightmist Blue for the Navy guy!
View attachment 737960
Beautiful!! Wow! Well, the guy called me back and it sounded iffy. He doesn’t have too much of paperwork, didn’t take for official checkout, owned briefly and wouldn’t discuss in detail the state of the ‘66.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If that were my car I was selling, no way would you be pulling up the carpets as it not reasonable to do that without damage.

A cup of water down each side of the cowl should tell you if that leaks.(many, if not most do even if from a salt free State). If the cowl leaks there is likely some floor pan rust, but generally is not the end of the world if the rest of the car is solid.

Take a magnet to check for body filler, a jack and a flashlight. Check the underneath of the car. Also check the trunk at both wells where the quarter panels go down. If all that is solid, it is probably a solid foundation from which to build. Expect some rust repair on a 53 year old car.

Resto cost? As much as you want to spend. I would think you could spend $10k on top of purchase price and have a nice driver.
I completely forgot about some of those tricks... wow, thank you! For sure it’s a vehicle I would hold on to and put a lot of work. The guy called me back and I’m kind of iffy so I’m going to talk with a friend and check it out soon... sadly, a decent commute and the owner commented it wouldn’t make the trip home.
 

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Beautiful!! Wow! Well, the guy called me back and it sounded iffy. He doesn’t have too much of paperwork, didn’t take for official checkout, owned briefly and wouldn’t discuss in detail the state of the ‘66.
Thank you!

If it won't make it home it is probably priced high. Can't tell for sure though without seeing and touching it. Mechanical stuff is not hugely expensive like extensive metal work can be especially if you can do a lot of that stuff yourself. If you are looking at it in person definitely bring a magnet with you so you can check out the body. If it hasn't been done already it almost certainly needs cowl work and floor pan work. I learned how to weld and did the cowl myself on my project. Anything you can do will save you a ton of money. Good luck when you check it out!
 

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I'd plan for $20k.

My best advice: don't keep track of how much it costs because you don't want to know :)
20k is exactly what I have in mine (included paint which is where it is now). That doesn't include all the little minor parts house trips for small things.

Pictures show the interior and right before the car was loaded on the trailer to take to the paint shop...

Allen

PS, keep a folder even if you don't ever add it up.
 

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So, I’m looking into getting a classic mustang and I’ve found a ‘66 I’m in love with from Craigslist. Before purchasing, what would you estimate the restoration would end up totaling to? The interior looks great, no reported rust, but the exterior is a little rough. I’d be doing all of the work myself. Keeping original as much as possible, especially the inline 6 cyl for now. I’m unable to attach the link due to this being my first post, but will attempt to in the comments.
I can tell you no matter how careful you are you will end up putting more into it than its worth. Even doing your own work. I am attempting the same thing. 1966 Spirit 200 6 w/auto and after market front power discs. I'm at $13K in it and it is not "concours" condition. Best I could do is maybe win a daily driver. Unless you're picking it up for $3K on less. If you really want a nice, classic Mustang- buy one already done.
 

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I suggest you approach the task of "restoring" your future Mustang methodically.

First, keep in mind that the word "restoration" has no single standardized meaning. For example, some folks will buy a can of Ford Blue spray paint and paint their old worn out engine so it is shiny. I call this a "Rattle Can Restoration" Likewise, when someone represents their car as having a frame off restoration, they clearly do not understand Mustangs. Mustangs are not body on frame construction so no "frame off" is possible. Some sellers describe their cars as "Show winning", to which I would ask, which MCA Grand National shows have you won with that car? In all probability, none. LOL

Second, this brings us to the notion of goals and paths. What exactly do you want the car to be when it is done? (a beater, a daily driver, a restomod, a cruiser, a track car, a concours winning trailered show car, or what?) Having a clear sense of the goal and a plan to get there gives you a direction and a target.

Third, to put your enthusiasm into perspective, shop the market for a car that is already "done" to your level of acceptable quality and essentially turn key ready to enjoy for the purpose(s) you intend to use it. What would the amount on the check need to be to bring that "done" car home? In theory, that should be the total cost of restoration including the car itself.

Fourth, to determine the restoration part of your budget, look at available project cars that you might ultimately select to "restore". The purchase price of the project car then needs to be subtracted from the "done" car total price from the paragraph above. In theory, again, that should be your "restoration" budget.

Fifth, in practice throw "theory" out the window. With project creep the total "done" cost can climb significantly. Many done cars cost their owners more than they are worth and the seller is taking a loss on the restoration. For many hobbyists, being upside down on a car is an unpleasant reality. For others it is unacceptable. You have to decide where you fall on that spectrum.

Sixth, a search of this forum will uncover similar threads where attempts have been made to quantify the total cost of a "restoration". Those threads often include a "formula" that goes something like this: Add up all the parts, all the labor at your local hourly rates , all the upgrades and multiply that number by at least 2.5 to get to your actual cost.

Seventh: the key take away is be patient, attend car shows and talk to owners who have already been down the "restoration" road, sort of a "walk a mile in their shoes" exercise to see if your wallet and your other resources are up for the task. Reread "Third" above.

Good luck and welcome.
 

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Sorry, posted on the wrong thread!
 
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