This is the story of my 1969 Mustang and a documentary of it’s resurrection. If you want to skip my pontification and see the latest status just scroll down a bit. I am 43 and have never done a restoration like this so I thought I would make a web site to help others on the restoration fence make the decision to restore or not. I have worked on cars all my life, mine, my parents, friends etc etc. I have a good mechanical ability, I took welding in high school shop and have welded a little, 4-5 times all arc welding, over the years. I am a systems engineer for a living so I don’t do automotive work as part of my job. I bought a MIG welder to do this car and practiced welding before doing the actual welds on the car. I intend to devote part of this site on the welding as it seems to be the scariest part for most people who are thinking about doing a restoration.
I guess I have had the mustang bug all my life. When I was 18 I could have bought my first convertible, a 1968 red stang for $1800 in 1979 but I only had $1500 and the salesman would not drop the price. Wish I had the $300 but I was a poor teenager at the time. I few years later I got a 1976 Mustang II….or as it is better known a dressed up pinto. It was a piece of crap, I still have not forgiven Ford for that, but back then all American cars were crap. So here I am many years later and I no longer HAVE to work on cars to keep them running, this one is for………fun.
The picture at the top was taken the day I started the restoration, I bought the car from This Ebay add., in March of 2005. It was delivered via flatbed on April 8th 2005. It was listed as a car that runs but needed restoration. It has a 302 2brl, power steering, non powered drum breaks, and of course, it’s a convertible (powered). I drove about 2 hours to see it before I bought it and while I could see some frame damage/rust I did indeed drive the car and it drove reasonably well. The engine ran strong, 148,000 miles on it and the owner said it was original. I have since verified that this IS a numbers matching car, the VIN, doortag, Shocktower and engine data all match. She is an honest to god Candy Apple red from the factory convertible. The tranny shifted smooth and the steering was tight. So we made a deal and I was a mustang owner. The car had been a gift to his wife 10 years earlier and she drove it off and on for about two years. They had put a total of about 2000 on it while they owned it. After that the parked it for some restoration, they didn’t drive it again for 8 years…, that is when I bought the car. After looking at it even though the tranny shifted good and it drove well I knew it was a roll of the dice if I would be able to drive the car for the summer of 2005. I hoped I could hold off on the restoration for a little while and drive the car but was not meant to be. The first thing I did was replace all the tires, they were dry rotted, I then drove the car for about two hours on the roads near my house, engine and tranny did fine……front frame rail did not. While I was parking the car in front of my house there was a pronounced thud from the engine compartment while I was turning the wheel. It turned out that the power steering cylinder pushed right thru the rotted frame rail….it was toast…this ended my hopes of driving the car for the summer, and the beginning of its restoration.
I am doing all the work alone, my 11 your old son wanted to help until he found out it was real work! I am doing it in my 2 car garage, no special lifts etc. I am going to take the pictures just as it is as I do it, not making it pretty like on TV, what you see is what it is. Once the car structure work is done I am going to rebuild the engine as well. I expect to be driving the car in the spring of 2006