Find someone local that has restored a car before. They will be able to help you better than trying to explain the process which is difficult to do with out seeing the car and your budget will also take part.
Books books books! Get as many references as possible. Order the NPD catalog (free). They have a nice selection of references. You'll need tools, space, money, and a ton of time.
This is why professional restorers charge so much and take so long. It ain't because they're lazy! But you can do much or all of it yourself, if you're willing to take the time to learn the right skills.
IMPORTANT POINT: You will never get as much out of the car as you put in (monetarily). If you are concerned about saving as much money as possible, purchase an already-restored 'stang. Restoration is a money-losing proposition. Only do it if you think you will enjoy the process.
Restoration means different things to different people, some think it means frame-off-restoration and others think it means a paint job. Note: frame-off-restoration for a classic Mustang means refirbishing it completely including the unibody since there is no frame.
You'll need a place to work. Be sure you have an enclosed space or garage. A single car garage is not a good workplace. A dual car garage can provide sufficient space for most of the work. Of course its nice if you have a 40x40' shop. You'll need a good set of mechanics tools and its nice to have an air source and air tools.
You'll need a shop manual, and body, electrical and interior assembly manuals from Jim Osborn publications. You can get by without these but its a lot less difficult if you have them.
You'll need a lot of money and time. Plan on spending two years working at least one hour or more each day. Kiss your wife goodbye because its the last time you'll do something together for the two years. Plan on hearing her bitching about how much money you're spending. Plan on hearing her bitching about you never taking her anywhere!
Whatever you plan spending, triple it. Whatever time you think it will take, triple it. Only one in ten people starting a restoration finish it. The worst moment is when you have it all apart, see how many parts need replacing, and then it dawns on you how much its gonna cost. Many people bail out at this point and sell off their basket case car. If you stick with it and after a long time the unibody is ready to paint. A long time after that parts start going back on and you're left wondering what you did with the fasteners for the piece you're working on. You go to the Mustang shop and find the cost of the fasteners is outrageous but you need them. Okay, now if you've not been scared away, you're a restoration candidate!
You'll need good organization so get some freezer baggies from the grocery store and a kitchen marker. Get a bunch of small boxes to organize your parts. Use the assembly manuals to identify things to come apart and KEEP TRACK of all parts coming off the car. Make sure you compare part numbers and write down notes of how things come apart and the size and type of fasteners used. Bag and label all parts. You do this because if you don't you'll never remember what goes where. By your tenth restoration you'll know where they go but not on your first attempt so organization and parts identification is paramount in getting it back together.
Okay start taking it apart. If you don't know how to take it apart be sure to ask here. Inventory and store your parts in logical groups because you'll need them sometime in the future and you'll be glad they're all grouped together and labelled.
If you decide to plate things, throw all the to-be-plateds in a group AFTER jotting down where each comes from. Get them plated then put them back in their respective baggies.
A successful restoration takes good organization and time management. Good luck to you!
I wish you the best of luck on your resoration. Read up all you can before you start, that way you do it right & dont have to redo it in a couple of years. If you make it original it will be worth more, My car is not close to original, but its what I want and makes me happy when its running. Everyone forgot to mention, it will take sweet and bloody hands, Have fun and make the car you want.
>64 1/2 Pearl Orange Coupe
>302 C4 B&M shift kit star shifter
>True Dual 3" Flowmaster
>Edlebrock Performer intake, roller cam
>Holley 600 e/choke
>TOO bad its still slow