A while back I purchased a 1966 mustang. Well unfortunately I was one of those guys who got caught by a dishonest seller. I managed to get a chunk of my money back but what I was left with was still more work than I wanted.
I've toyed with the idea of selling it and trying again, but I think rather than abandon her I'd like to show her the love she deserves. She has an incredibly solid body and is a VERY good base car. The person who owned it before me (or people) did funny things here and there...seems like they'd buy a top notch part and sink big bucks into doing something correct or high performance (such as the edelbrock 4bbl intake with 600cfm holley carb) but then they'd skimp on stupid crap here and there (such as hanging parts of the exhaust with....clothes hangers. Yep.).
I figured she needed LOVE and not more abandonment. This was especially true when I did the VIN code and found out that she's an original Emberglo with a black interior which as I understand is a relatively uncommon color (and beautiful to boot). While not a Shelby or something rare, I have a VERY soft spot for Emberglo cars just because you hardly ever see them.
So I decided to do this thread, to keep you guys up to date with all the stuff I am doing to her. It will also keep me motivated to have someone to "report" to with regards to my pony.
I have had her since September 2011 so I feel like I've done quite a fair amount since then considering I have two jobs and I'm in school to get my degree (over a decade after I graduated highschool...better late than never).
So here is what I've done so far, both small and large:
Body/Trim: Original good condition grill with original refurbished pony and corral taken from a donor car installed. New side scoop chrome trim purchased but not installed yet (waiting to do paint before I start swapping all the emblems).
Engine - new battery, new positive and negative battery cables, carb tune, full oil change, brand new spark plugs, new radiator cap, new oil breather cap, properly hooked up PCV. Swapped mechanical voltage regulator to electronic voltage regulator.
Lights/Wiring- New brake and turn signal wiring (was totally absent before), new turn signal bulbs and plastic w/ seals up front, new turn signal bushings, new factory correct horns and horn wires (absent before), new headlight high/low foot pedal switch, purchased new headlight on/off switch but have not installed yet (should be installed within a few weeks).
Interior: New guide wires on steering column, replacement steering column taken from donor car, new clutch support arm, new bushings on gas brake and clutch pedals, fully rebuilt parking brake with combination of new and donor parts (was absent before), new rear view mirror. Premium woodgrain gauge cluster (new bezel/lens, original gauges) purchased but not installed yet (should be in a week or two), also purchasing a woodgrain glove box door to begin slow transformation to a pony interior. Door lock mechanisms totally rebuilt (they had been put together with wire hangers....sigh..and apparently I may rebuild them AGAIN again to have knobs lol), window tracks were cleaned and lubed. And I even bought a replacement 1966 owners manual (a new reprint one, though I have plans to locate an original at some point).
My plans, in no particular order:
-Replace the 289 with a reman or a crate engine, likely another 289 or a 302 or something. Haven't made my mind up on that one but I simply do not have the time to break down the full engine and do a rebuild much as I would love to.
-Replace radiator with aluminum. Add fanshroud.
-Rebuild the original 4-speed toploader.
-Convert interior to pony interior.
-Consider converting lap belts to shoulder and lap belt system.
-Repair small (quarter size) rust patches on rear quarter panels above wheel well (you know the spot)
-Repaint back to original Emberglo (currently black).
-Replace all the emblems and gas cap, replace rocker panel molding.
-Replace wheels and tires with either Torque Thrusts or factory correct, not
sure which one yet.feel like correct would look better with Emberglo.
-Install air conditioning.
-Swap manual steering to power steering. Alternatively, replace original steering box with new flaming river box or similar without upgrading to power steering.
-Change drum brakes to disc at least in the front, upgrade master cylinder to dual master.
-Few more things I'll think of when I remember.
I don't intend to have a concours car or something that is going to net amazing resale value. What I DO want is a comfortable, nice looking weekend cruiser that turns heads and might get a few tiny trophies in local shows. I'm not looking for a show winner but if I'm going to be restoring this baby I'm going to do it RIGHT and not cut corners like the previous owners did.
I know that I will likely never get my money back on this baby. But. I don't think that's what it's all about. I feel like losing a little bit of cash in the long run is a small thing compared to knowing that I breathed some new life into a car that was on her way to a slowly deteriorating death caused by nothing other than negligence of previous owners.