Vintage Mustang Forums banner

1 - 20 of 60 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
45 years ago, and the second week into my Junior year at high school, my father moved us from Minneapolis to a small farm town just north of the Iowa border.

Needing a vehicle to escape from reality, I started bicycling through the small farm town. I arrived at the used car lot of the only car dealership in town. They carried a mixture of new cars, farm trucks and assorted hay wagons. On that crisp fall day, I spied a rough looking, red 1967 Mustang Fastback sitting in the very back corner of the lot. It looked as if it was forgotten in time, abandoned, traded-in on something that would actually be useful on a dairy farm. The year was 1975. I immediately found the salesman/owner/mechanic and paid the outrageous price of $300 I had saved from hand-washing dishes at the local restaurant. The faded red pony was a 289 two barrel, with a three speed manual on the floor, small crumples on both ends, and was missing the Mustang logo on the front grill. The interior was black and the gas gauge never worked. I ran out of gas multiple times cruising the small town at night, which is what we did at 24 cents a gallon. The town had one very large police officer named Rodney, that had mercy on me and would push the Mustang with his big bumpered cruiser to the small gas station where he would unlock the station, turn on the pump, and help me fill up to get back on the streets. Once in the dead of winter, at 2 am while driving back from another small farm town, I ran out of gas and had to walk a half mile in -20 temps to wake up a farmer for gas.

I cut the original two-into-one stock exhaust and made it throaty sounding with dual Thrush mufflers. I also installed a Hurst T handle and boot to the manual shifter. One of the motor mounts was permanently broke, and the engine always lifted and banged when I got on it. Seventeen was a good age to have a Fastback. I raced it five times on a straight stretch of road south of town and the quarter mile ended at a wayside rest that young spectators could sit and watch the American Graffiti finish. It was also one mile from the Minnesota/Iowa border, in case we needed to make a run for it.

Oh, just a side-bar, the ’67 Mustang tires had the exact width to fit on the railroad tracks that ran through town. After letting out a little air pressure in each tire, I could put it on the rails in first gear, let out the clutch, jump out and sit on the hood while it chugged down the tracks. In fact, we could have five high schoolers sitting on top of the car going down the tracks drinking Hamm’s beer all the while.

Keeping with the family tradition of selling everything that meant something to us, the Mustang was sold in 1975 to a local farmer for the same amount I paid for it, $300. It was replaced eventually with a 1967 six-cylinder baby blue Camaro.

Today, Forty-five years later I started to reminisce for that car. I wondered whether I could find the red Mustang after all this time and buy it back so I could have a piece of history that would plug one of the childhood voids.

I’ve always envied the people who still have their high school cars and restored them back to the days of “muscle cars are just what we drove!” condition.

After some prompting from a friend who restores old Corvettes, and actually had one in the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, I found my former high school’s Facebook page. I made a post asking for any information on the where abouts of the red Mustang Fastback. I left my cell phone, email, address and a picture of a red ’67 that was restored on the Facebook post. I closed my laptop, said a prayer, and went to work.

Thinking this was a total long shot, and not really expecting to find it 45 years later, the cell phone rang two minutes later. The caller said, “I’m the guy who bought the car from you in 1975. Where you tall, skinny and had long curly dark hair?”

My heart leaped as I drove down the road. I had to pull over before I crossed the center line. “Yes I was that guy!”
He told me the car was taken to his dairy farm. He made an arrangement with a farm hand that he’d receive the Mustang as payment for bailing hay all summer.

Story has it, the farm hand took the car out and crashed it. The car was totaled and hauled off to the local salvage yard, never to be seen again. The man who bought it from me said he tried to hunt it down for the same reasons, it’s a 67 Mustang Fastback! But by then they had crushed it and probably ended up recycled into a hay baler.

I mourned the demise of the old car that beat a 283 Malibu, 351 Mustang, 425 Pontiac land yacht, and hopped-up Maverick. That was a gross inequity and I was mad at the young man who demolished my old car! It was not perfect, or restored by today’s standards, but to a seventeen year old man/child it was rough and perfect in every way. I felt the void more than ever.

But all was not lost! He told me he had torn down an old, dilapidated machine shed and found the Mustang’s original rear valance with my original license plate still attached to it. He never switched license plates and said he would be more than happy to ship it to my Montana address.

There is the answer. I will not get the car back. It is gone forever, which is almost better than knowing its still out there and never to be found. What I did get back is that which date-stamped the year and place of ownership of my favorite car from 45 years ago. The valance and license plate are mounted on old barn wood and hanging in my garage. Every time I pull my not-so-1967 Mustang in and out of the garage it is there in full view. The one that got away has been returned, even if only partially.

773148
 

·
Registered
1965 Ford Mustang fastback T5 Ncas 9in Locker
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
Cool but sad sad but cool👍
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Sad ending, but always cool to hear the stories from when these classic Mustangs were just another old car. At least you have a part of the actual car as a vivid reminder. Thanks for sharing your story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,987 Posts
That's an awesome story, Thanks for sharing it with us. Pretty cool that he still had the valance/tag combo and offered it back to you.
So what mustang do you have now?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
That's an awesome story, Thanks for sharing it with us. Pretty cool that he still had the valance/tag combo and offered it back to you.
So what mustang do you have now?
Thanks, and very welcome. I'm looking for the same style of red 1967 Fastback to replace the original with. C code? with 3spd manual. Just starting the hunt. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
1965 Ford Mustang fastback T5 Ncas 9in Locker
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
Any pictures when it was a rail (car)? That would be a site... stopped at the tracks and you guys roll by🤪🤣😬🤡
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
739 Posts
Precious man-cave art, for sure. Congratulations on getting the relic!
 
  • Like
Reactions: RobertMontana

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
That's an awesome story, Thanks for sharing it with us. Pretty cool that he still had the valance/tag combo and offered it back to you.
So what mustang do you have now?
Any pictures when it was a rail (car)? That would be a site... stopped at the tracks and you guys roll by🤪🤣😬🤡
Ha! Wish we did! We could of got in some serious trouble, but oh the scenery by rail!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Sad ending, but always cool to hear the stories from when these classic Mustangs were just another old car. At least you have a part of the actual car as a vivid reminder. Thanks for sharing your story.
Thanks, and yes can you imagine paying $300?? Very true, nice to have something tangible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,219 Posts
It’s amazing how 17 is such a memorable year. Cars, girls, friends, testosterone, all the time in the world and no responsibilities yet. Glad you have something to remember it by.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
It’s amazing how 17 is such a memorable year. Cars, girls, friends, testosterone, all the time in the world and no responsibilities yet. Glad you have something to remember it by.
Very true. At the time i felt slighted because I didn't have the Super Bee, or SS 396. But, in retrospect I don't think either one of those would fit on the rails! Thanks, much!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,284 Posts
Great story. Thanks for sharing.
 
1 - 20 of 60 Posts
Top