Injury Time Out – 1973 Mustang SportsRoof

Other duties happen outside of working on #ProjectSportsRoof…like yard work!!!!!   While attempting to tame the foliage in the backyard on Sunday, my electric hedge clippers became self-aware and in true Terminator fashion, exacted revenge on two fingers on my left hand – index and middle.   (Yes I have pictures and no I won’t post them here.) Pretty sure I taught the neighborhood new curse words.

Of course this necessitated a trip to the ER, much to my dismay and my wife’s.    It took the doctor a fair amount of time sew them up – 31 stitches and to pass the time the doc and I discussed cars – specifically his new Tesla.   So over all it was a nice break from the average weekend routine and I scored some pain meds to boot!!  (HA,HA).

I’ll be out of commission for the next couple of weeks so maybe I can catch up on some blogging.  Might be a bit optimistic, considering how long it has taken to just type this post!!!

Note to self:  Don’t throw out the next door hanger for a landscape service.

I am slurring my typing, meds are kicking in …..SO…thanks for reading.



restorable classic cars | Tumblr

Thanks for checking back on #ProjectSportsRoof. I’m about the finish the cuts and
fitting for the right rear foot-well that was rust all the way!!!! Final Fit for foot-well …


restored classic | Tumblr

Thanks for checking back on #ProjectSportsRoof. I’m about the finish the cuts and
fitting for the right rear foot-well that was rust all the way!!!! Final Fit for foot-well …
1973 Mustang Project SportsRoof – Exterior Walk-Around

Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof.  I run my car projects much like I run my IT projects.  You always have to know where to start and know the end game.   As with any project that isn’t being built from scratch, in other word, you have to work with what you’ve got, …

Knock..Knock…Who’s There? It’s the bottom end of your 351 Cleveland!!!

After spending $$$ to get my 2v heads done right and after driving my 73 Stang for about 50 miles, the Cleveland has developed  a knock in the bottom half of the engine.

It’s not uncommon when restoring cars that an undiscovered issue pops up and changes the entire project plan.  But the dilemma I have now has multiple facets.

First there’s what to do about the engine.  Rebuild it if possible? Replace with a short block, reusing the 2v heads?  Buy a crate engine? Or set it on fire in the driveway?  Each one of these options have it’s own inherent hurdles and impacts the timeline differently.

Second there’s issue with the old conundrum “Well as long as….I might as well do the ….”  In this case it read like this… “As long as the engine out, I should, really, redo the engine bay.”  That’s has is own timeline with the cleaning and sanding and priming and painting and replacing clips/fastener….etc.

So let’s discuss the engine.

There are a few “known knowns” (thank you Donald Rumsfeld!!!):

  1. The current 351C engine isn’t original to the car – in fact the car was born with 302. Why is that important?   I don’t have to worry about the matching numbers thing,  that ship sailed sometime ago.  Basically anything goes.
  2. Not rebuilding/replacing is not an option.
  3. Budget.  Although there is no set dollar amount, there is restraint how much can be spend in a given time.

Then there are the “known unknowns”

  1. Is it the cam?
  2. Is it just the bearings?
  3. Are the cylinder walls serviceable?
  4. What do I want this engine to be?

Options:  (just a few)

Option 1:   A friend of mine suggested a crate engine – just order one from Summitt Racing or Jegs.  Make all the power I want.

Ford Racing 363 C.I.D. 500 HP Boss Crate Engines

Ford Racing 363 C.I.D. 500 HP Boss Crate Engines – $8439.97

– Discussion:  $$$ (Could stop right there with this one.)  Getting a 400+ HP turn-key crate would be just awesome.  In my option that is what these Mustangs were meant to be. (ching-ching)   Getting tons of power to the rear wheels with the current  automatic C6 transmission will required a possible rebuild and an upgraded torque converter.  (ching-ching again).  But having a Cleveland in the engine bay is way cool!!  I grew up in GM family… there weren’t a lot of discussion about Ford product and anytime I heard “Ford talk” a 351 Cleveland engine was mentioned.   I do like the look of it under the hood the are wider than the Windsor family of motors.  Keeping it a 351C V2 will be less expensive and you can make good power from it if you do it right.

– Conclusion for Option 1:   Not gonna happen!!

Option 2:  Find a good used 351C and install that

– Discussion:   This is a good possibility.  That’s already happened to #ProjectSportsRoof.  The 302 was replaced with a 351 (whether it was a Windsor or Cleveland is not known) as this was the engine the previous owner hauled it out of a field with.  As it turned out that engine was seized and the current engine was found and installed (along with the used C6 trans).   It may be tough to find one.  If and when you do the mileage shouldn’t be a known unknown and you need to determine the condition as best you can by listening to it run.  If it is just sitting on the shelf,  would you perform a “trust-fall” with the seller?  Bottom line is a used engine “is like a box of chocolates”…you might end right back up where you are now.  Frankly this would be my last option.

-Conclusion for Option 2:  A weak maybe.

Coming up next – the Rebuild option.

Thoughts? Suggestions?




Preservationists’ outcry, demolition begins on iconic Phoenix Studebaker Dealership | Hemmings Daily



Old Studebaker dealership buildings tend not to attract the attention of big-city mayors or generate headline news these days. One in Phoenix, however, has proved the exception to that rule when demolition began on it earlier this month, prompting preservationists and that city’s mayor alike to condemn the developer responsible.

Designed by architect W.Z. Smith and built in 1947, shortly after Studebaker introduced its new postwar cars, the Stewart Motors Co. building – named after the dealer that built it in the heart of Phoenix’s Auto Row along Central Avenue – incorporated a turntable in its glassed-in corner showroom along with numerous Streamline Moderne elements all rendered in brick, with nary a wagon wheel in sight. As described on Modern Phoenix, the building created “a joyful dialogue with the streetscape, which is pleasant to enjoy both on foot or by car.”

Many Phoenix residents, however, probably know the building better for its subsequent tenant, Circles: Discs and Tapes, a locally-owned record store that put go-go dancers on the turntable to attract teenagers cruising the Central Avenue strip during the Sixties and Seventies. Despite leaving many of the original features intact during renovations to the building, the owners of the record store never applied for historic status for the property before closing it in 2009.

In an effort to preserve the building, the city’s Community and Economic Development Department and local preservationists began to negotiate with Empire Group, the developer that intended to place a 19-story apartment complex on the site. According to Downtown Devil and Robert Graham’s City Views, Empire had earlier in the year proposed a design that maintained the street-facing facades of the Stewart Motors Co. building, meanwhile asking the city for a tax break for its project, but threatened last month to tear the entire building down as a negotiating tactic.

“While the developer denies that they have any plans to demolish the building within the 30-day life of the permit, they made clear in a public meeting… that they would seriously consider complete demolition of the building if their request for property tax incentives from the City is denied,” Graham wrote.

See the rest of the article:

Source: Despite preservationists’ outcry, demolition begins on iconic Phoenix Studeba | Hemmings Daily

This isn’t the only dealership left.  The A.E. England Motors Inc. (1926) was remolded and is now part of the ASU campus and had a few other business operation from there. Like wise with C.P. Stephens DeSoto Six Motor Cars (1928). $250K was spend on that and it’s now called DeSoto Central Market and has bar and restaurant housed there. The old Lincoln Mercury dealership (built in 1947) has a automotive repair conducting business there.


Thanks for reading.


old studebaker dealershipsold studebaker dealerships

1973 Mustang SportsRoof – Floor Pans Getting To It! – Part Four

Thanks for checking back on #ProjectSportsRoof.   I’m about the finish the cuts and fitting for the  right rear foot-well that was rust all the way!!!!

Final Fit for foot-well.

Final Fit for foot-well.

This video is pretty comprehensive so I’m just going to just let it roll.


A couple of things worth noting.  The “flap” what was clearly not going to work and leaving the sheet metal running up the side of the transmission/drive shaft tunnel was going to give too much flex in that panel, as the welds would be pretty high.  It’s important to have that solid because as most must guys and gals know the Mustang of this vintage only have sub-frames which lease the floor as the most important body stabilization part of the car.   I will eventually put sub-frame connectors under this beast.

In case you are wondering what that electrical wiring is to the right of foot-well that is for the seat belt switch which when pressure is applied to the seat bottom there must be a connection completed by the seat-belt male end and female end to turn off the “Seat Belt” light and or buzzer.

I have a lot more coming up on the floor pans so stay tuned!!!!

Thanks for reading.


1973 Mustang SportsRoof

1973 Mustang SportsRoof






vintage muscle car | Tumblr

Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof. We beginning the actual work on the vacuum system on the projects 351C starting with the valve assembly distributor ( the …

1973 Mustang SportsRoof – Floor Pans Getting To It! – Part Two

Hey, welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof (1973 Mustang).  We are working through the rusted floor pans and I’m about to make the cut for removing rust from the right rear foot-well.

Quick note about the video sequence.  As executive director, camera guy (well smart phone guy) and film editor (is that still a real thing?), I don’t always plan out the steps like you might see on a TV show.  (There goes my chances of being on Counting Cars – I’ve got a better chance of being a walk-on-the-set zombie on the Walking Dead – I love both of those shows!!!! ) Perfect example is in the next few posts and videos.  Instead of stripping out all the carpeting, I made a cut along the tunnel on the right side and just removed that carpet.  You can clearly see that.   Then I removed the rust from the foot-well (you’ll see that below) and then worked on cutting the re-pop floor patch.

That went so well, I felt confident enough to remove the driver’s seat and the rest of the carpeting.  So when I show that video you’ll notice both patch panels on the right side are fitted.  There just no ‘do overs’ on this project.

Here are the next two videos.  By the way you can see all the videos on my YouTube channel  just search for #ProjectSportsRoof and you’ll find most of them.



Once again in the video I mention getting the replacement pan for under the rear seat – above the muffler.  However, as I mentioned previously that portion of the floor is not reproduced.

More floor panel work coming up.  If you have comments or tips/hints use the comment box below.  Love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading.



Out and About!!! #ProjectSportsRoof

Out and About!!!







1973 Mustang – Project SportsRoof – Compression, Rods and Heads

Thanks for check in on #ProjectSportsRoof. If you remember a of couple months back, shortly after bringing the ’73 Mustang home, I conducted a compression test on all the cylinders.  The 351C was running rough (to put it mildly) and smoked like a pile of tires on fire (only the smoke …



1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Floor Pan Discovery – Part Two – Incidental Find

As with most car restoration projects discovering what needs to be worked on and to what extent is an experience to say the least.  Sometimes that discovery is a bit disheartening like the rust to floor pans on the right side, sometimes is a major relief  and sometimes it’s cool.

As I began removing carpet – which I’m now sure was 33 years old, it uncovered the normal dirt, pens, papers (no build sheet… bummer) and just about all the normal things that slide between the seat cushions and work their way under the carpet.  That can show a lot about its previous owners and how the car was used.

Among these things are coins and #ProjectSportsRoof had an abundance of lost change.   The first coin I found was a nickel.  It was under the underlayment which I found to be a tough place for nickel to have worked its way.   Interesting enough it was dated 1973.

1973 Jefferson Nickel.  Placed by a a worker at the factory?  hmmmm....

1973 Jefferson Nickel. Placed by a a worker at the factory? hmmmm….

This reminded me of an often told tail of auto workers leaving tokens of some sort in an inconspicuous place.  Wouldn’t that be interesting.

Over all nearly $30.00 in coins were found and of those 3 were from 1973 (a nickel, a quarter and a penny).  With a huge cap between 1979 and the 2005 (perhaps indicating it’s break in service when the car was left in a field, junked and then saved.

Someone in the Ford factory back in the day leave this 1973 Jefferson nickel so that someone years later might find it?   Interest thought!!!

Thanks for reading.



1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Floor Pan Discovery – Part One

2 days ago Thanks for following along with #ProjectSportsRoof. Over the next couple of weeks (giving myself a lot of time to get this all down in the blog) …
restored-cars | Tumblr

Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof. We beginning the actual work on the vacuum system on the projects 351C starting with the valve assembly distributor ( the …


1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Floor Pan Discovery – Part One

Thanks for following along with #ProjectSportsRoof.  Over the next couple of weeks (giving myself a lot of time to get this all down in the blog) I’m going to take you through my process for repairing the floors in the 1973 Mustang.  I’ll be interrupted by  (air quotes)REAL (end air quotes) work and a couple of car shows between now and then.

As much as I’d like to say I was aware of the rust on the floor of the Sports Roof, I can’t.    I really missed seeing the extent of the damage.  Needless to say I was a bit depressed when I brought it home and climbed in the back seat and notices the floor seemed a bit….’crunchy’.

Take a look at these videos:

You might be able to tell by my voice that I wasn’t overjoyed with the condition of the passenger side floor.  To make matters worse I eventually found out they don’t reproduce a patch for under the rear seat for the 1973 Sports Roof.  More to come on that in a future post.

Just to issue a reminder as you might be wondering why you see the back seat now in the car as in the previous video it was out, but my goal is to have this as a rolling project and able to at least speed on down to the local petrol station fill it up and grab a Pepsi. (You just can’t work on a car without a Pepsi!!! – Hey maybe they’ll sponsor this rebuild and I’ll change the license plate to read “1973DrinkRealSugarPepsi”.)

O.K. so if you were listening closely you’d realize that I started the floors back in Dec (2015) and it’s now the last day of the Feb 2016 and I’m just getting to post this up now.  So it’s taken me a good chunk of time to do this all by hand – including all the cutting with just a hand-held dremel and some metal snips.

I appreciate any and all comments so let ’em fly!!!!

BTW day on this Leap Year day – we’ve surpassed 20,000 registered user on this blog, thanks everyone!!!

Thanks for reading.





1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Vacuum System Part IV

1 day ago This will be a longer post as I finish up the vacuum system on #ProjectSportsRoof , the 1973 Mustang Sports Roof. We have to make a repair, …


1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Vacuum System Part IV

This will be a longer post as I finish up the vacuum system on #ProjectSportsRoof, the 1973 Mustang Sports Roof.  We have to make a repair, hose to the master cylinder, charcoal filter, and the transmission.

Take a look at the broken vacuum “T”:


So from the broken “T” I moved to the master cylinder and then to the transmission and finished off with the charcoal canister.



One final task to finish up the vacuum system and that is the charcoal canister that is supposed to catch the fumes from the gas tank.


Back at the beginning I mentioned that I need to get this done because the Stang was coming due for its renewal and smog check.  Just a couple of days after finishing I planned driving over to the emissions testing facility and I got my renewal notice via email.  Here in AZ you can register you car online after you pass your smog check.   The notices normally tell you that a an emissions test is required.  My said “No Emissions” required!!!!!!!     Well the vacuum system needed tending too anyway and now it’s check off the list.

Thanks for reading




auto mod | Tumblr

Jan 7, 2010 Thanks for checking back on #ProjectSportsRoof. Progress is being made and I’d like to finish up these post on the install of the Mach 1 grille …

2nd Annual Team Tanner and Friends Car Show – Benefiting Autism Society

A fun car show for a  GREAT cause!!!   Autism Society of Southern Arizona.


Bring your classic beauty, your muscle machine, your chopper,  your tuner, your daily driver or your project car!!!!  Heck – bring your farm tractor!!!!   You’ll get a swag bag with goodies (Car Guys Garages  free t-shirt offer, Hagerty Insurance and more) and a cool T-Shirt. There will be raffles for collectible die-cast cars, and other prizes from O’rielly’s Auto Parts, Hot Rods at Old Vail Road, car wash packages and more.

Come on out and hang out with some cool cars!!!!



I’ll be there with my 1973 Mustang and 2007 Corvette!!

See you there.



07 and 73

07 and 73








1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Vacuum System Part III

Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof.  We beginning the actual work on the vacuum system on the projects 351C starting with the valve assembly distributor (the valve on the water pump.  Here is a pic:




Here is the video:

As always when I’m holding the camera and recording I miss a few things, like there are only two vacuum connections on the valve assembly distributor and the vacuum hoses I referred to at the end go to the charcoal canister – that supposedly filters gas fumes.

Here are the clamps I used.

Here are the clamps I used.

I’ve got more coming up on the vacuum system and then we’ll jump into the floor pans.

Thanks for reading.