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What type project to get / where to start?

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As I said in my introduciton post, I'm looking to get started pretty soon on a Mustang adventure of my own. I've already pretty much decided that I want a '65 - '67 convertable (why not?) and at least a 289. (I suppose a V6 would work, but hey, it IS gonna be my fun car!)

Now, in speaking to my dentist yesterday during a marathon four-hour appointment to do the crowns on three root canal jobs, some questions came up. First the background. I have this vision that I'll get a cheap project car and spend time with my son working on it and then after several years have a wonderful driving vehicle. I have been thinking, therefore, that I want a definate "project" car.

My dentist has other opinions from his experience. He's into street rods. He's got a '40 Packard and a '41 Ford coupe. The '40 has the original flat six 1bbl engine. All the initial work on that car was done for him.

The '41 he stripped down himself and put in a Chevy 350 engine with a 700R4 tranny. (I think that is the tranny number.) He also did some major body restoration and painted it (including blue flames) himself. He has always wished he spent less time working on the '41 and more time driving it. He says his son was never that helpful and the project took him away from his family.

His advice to me was to purchase a Mustang that was in pretty good shape and not to "waste my time" on major body or engine work.

What do you think out there? Is the work a "waste" or is it rewarding? Does the work take you away from family or bring you closer? Should I get a car that is more complete, as somebody initially offered or one that barely runs? How much of a rust load should I accept?


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major body work, especially floor/frame oriented IS a HUGE WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY!!!!!!

engine work, hey its not nearly as bad and you know you have a good engine in the end.

Body work and painting are expensive and a pain the arse also, unless you want to do it yourself, which is just a pain in the arse thats mildly expensive compared to having someone else do it :p
It all depends on the individual really. Some like dealing with bodywork (cant imagine who!) and some like engine work. That said, a badly rusted body - turn and RUN! Dents, dings - fine if your up to that, but you cant 'fix' rust, unless you can just replace whatever panels are rusted.

You know more than any of us what kind of task you are up to, and the kind of reward you would get out of it, so i suggest you sit down and think about it before buying a project.

Good luck,

Rust and body work is where a lot of time and money can be wasted. I would spend a little more money and buy a car that is solid (little or no rust) and in somewhat decent shape with the engine needing a rebuild or some interior work needed.
Any car project will usually put you outside and family inside.
Otherd can be paid to do the work and you can take the family with you when you go to drop off and pick up there is some family time there.
If your kids are small a four passengeer car..mustang OK. If y ou got tens or near that age maybe a classic station wagon would be a thought.
Ready to take the kids in the neww interior of the Mustang to Dairy Queen??
Since you first asked about family you should foreget doing a car ..period.
You don't particularly sound sas tho you'd know if you were getting your moneys worth on the Mustang and this isn't a area where you'll get what you pay for even..people will gladly sell you 10k worth of rust...
This is exactly what happened with my '57 Ch*vy project...I had a 4 door wagon I envisioned my son and I restoring...whenever I tried to, he didn't want to. He liked it, but didn't want to work on it when we were together. I didn't want to take time AWAY from my son, I wanted to spend time WITH him. I found a restored 9passenger '57 wagon for a lot less than it would have cost me to restore the other one. And I can sell the other one now since I have one. My son is excited to go driving with me in it, go to car shows to show it off, etc. So now we'll spend time together in the wagon, not working on it. This also give more time to the house and the mustang. (see, I do have one - *g*)...

Now, a friend of mine inquired about what kind of mustang to buy cause his son wants one to restore with his dad...and he is a welder/machinist so body work won't be too bad...and he'll paint it himself...

Talk to your son about it...figure it out with his input. I learned the long (hard) way...Guy(NH)
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get a solid body where most or all of the work is already done. do the engine and mechanical stuff yourself
As has been stated, only you can decide. I like the body work, the painting, and the mechanical part.
Working on any car is rewarding for me. Me and my wife did the whole deal on the 66 start to finish,
first time she ever welded or shot paint, and we had a lot of fun. My wife's special. And will add this,
don't count on doing it with your son, most kids have a short attention span, especially teenagers.
A '68 Mustang coupe 1st and then a '64 Falcon convertible (260 V-8) were supposed to be father son projects. His interest faded into girls so he drove the Falcon after only doing a disc brake and C-4 transmission conversion and I sold the Mustang off. The third car, a '67 Mustang convertible, I did for myself and got help for things I wanted done better than I could do. The bottom line make yourself happy. The things we did do together were a lot of fun and remain fond memories. Use others experience to make a budget to bring any car you expect to buy to a quality level that is at least your minimum expectation, then add on the cost to make it your dream car. Compare these cost to simply buying a properly restored car, even a show quality car, then make your restore vs. buy commitment decisions.

Did you ask your dentist how much money he really spent? Many of us, perhaps including him, add up our receipts until they equal $10,000, then throw those receipts away and start adding again at $0.00.

Good luck!
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Thanks for all the replies!

As for my dentist, I didn't ask. I'll go back next week and find out how much he spent.

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