The Mustang

For this evenings writing I thought I’d give you a run down on my Mustang.

WARNING:  Caution Chevy owners you are going to hear Ford stuff!!!!  This blogger does have a split personality.. Ford vs. GM. I catch a lot of <insert bad work> from my Corvette club and the same from the Mustang guys.  I’m learning to live with a split persona..”No you’re not!!!”…”Yes I am!!!!”  “HEY guys…not NOW…they’ll notice.”  “Fine!!!!!”….”He started it!!!!”  ENOUGH!!!

Sorry folks, must have missed my medication  this afternoon. Sooooooooooo..oh…yeah…I remember.

I purchased the Mustang about 4 years ago from a family in Glendale, Az., for $6000.00 cash.  They were the original owners and purchased it in Phoenix, Az and handed it down their daughter.  She is the one I purchase it from.  So, I am the 3rd owner.  The car was in pretty good shape but had over 173K miles.  Engine was a 250 straight 6.  No power.  It had dealer installed AC and when you turned that on..forget ’bout it (insert heavy NY accent) you could walk faster.  Ok, not really the 250 was rated at about 155 hp but it had 10:1 (or 9:1) compression and for some odd reason they stuck a single barrel carb on it.  “What?” you say….I say yup..it was a Webber. It also sported (and still does) a 3 speed manual transmission mounted on the floor.  The interior was recently re-done and in good shape, except for the dash.  All the gauges worked.  The original radio was replaced with a crappy first generation cd changer (located in the trunk…pretty convenient).

Here is a program note.  When see the word “TIP” you’ll know that this is something you might want to jot down.

I’m going to give you the details for how the Mustang came “configured” when it was ordered.  Later on I’ll give you the list of modifications and if anyone likes (comments…good or bad…are welcome and questions as well) I’ll pass on my web site link and you can see some before and after pictures.

Get ready here comes the first programming note.

TIP:   I love the history of a thing.  Sometimes, to me, the history is more important than the actual value of the object.  As far as cars go documentation will increase the value, sometimes considerably.  So where’s the tip? Ok….just for being patient I’ll give everyone a double dose.  Keep the paperwork!!!! If you are buying a car ask for any and all paper.  Some people keep everything, you’d be surprised.  My Mustang came with a folder full. Anything major done with this car was in the paper work.  There the second dose. Find a registry for the car make and model.  A registry is here someone or some organization contacts owners or is contacted by owners and the list all the details of their particular cars.  The individual or organization often create databases and store all the collected information.  They are a fountain of information for you to use when getting the details, similar to what you’ll see below in a second, for your ride.

TIP:  (No extra charge for 2 tips in a row!!)  Ford lovers check this out.  There is place in El Mirage, AZ called  Marti Auto Works.  They own the rights to the Ford databases and records prior to 1974 (some models up to 1989).  These guys have everything..I mean everything.  Give them the VIN number and they’ll pile on the data (it’s not free but very reasonable).  They are authorized by Ford to reproduce window stickers and Protecto Plates (identification plates that go on the inside door jamb).  I  had them run the number for my ’70 coupe.

Here are some of the details:

The car sold for $2984.20 (ha…2o cents!!!) .  The engine was less than the radio.  TIP:  Insurance companies may only insure your car for the sticker price, that is what my regular insurance company would do.  Get some collector car insurance!!! We’ll cover that together in the near future.

She came  with the  6 cylinder 250 IV 250, vinyl Hi-back bucket seats (Mach I seats), color-keyed carpeting, floor-mounted shift lever, Instrument gages, factory Ford color “white” color code “M”, black sidewall “belted tires” and  AM radio.

(HELP: If any one knows why most people refer to their cars as “she” or “her” drop me a comment.  I’d like to here some suggestions.)

It was ordered and sold from Don Sanderson Ford Inc, 5300 Grand Ave., Box 938, Glendale, AZ.  It was shipped from Dearborn, MI via rail. Come on now..how cool is it to know how it was shipped?)

Kevin Marti will provide you with an “Elite Report” this includes very detailed data.  I’m not kidding..right down to how many were produced exactly like yours.  I won’t type it all here, I can send you the level of detail if you drop me a comment and ask for it.  Here’s an example:  191,522 Mustangs were produced in 1970; 15, 300 had the straight 6 engine; 107 had the same seats.  My car was one of 1,146 with the same paint and trim codes. It was the 58,634th Ford vehicle scheduled for production at the Dearborn plant. And here is my favorite.  “Your car was actually produced on January 28, 1970 – one day behind schedule.”  Cool?  Way Cool!!!!  Hey, she has a birthday coming up..40 years old!!!!

I think that’s enough for now. Tomorrow – a run down on the Corvette…..”OH YEAH….love GM!!!” …”So the Ford got to go first!”..”That doesn’t mean anything!!!”…”Does too!!!”….”Not!!!”    I’ll take my meds tomorrow!!! Promise!!!!

Thanks for reading

Tim

The Family and the Cars

So I’ve “blogged ya” some history, now it’s time for some current stuff.  Of course my Dad is a car guy and my brother is pretty handy with a set of wrenches, but 24.2 years ago I married into a family that pretty much made most of the car guys I had known in my adult life (ok the adult part is debatable) mere tinkerers.

I have three brother-in-laws that were raised in the car business and not just a little bit of a car business, but a full-blown mechanic shop, engine building, stock car sponsoring, car show restoration, towing type business.  These guys knew more about cars by the time they were teenagers, then I did when I was 30 (yeah..I’m over thirty..and not just a little).  This guys know their stuff.  I now have nephews (their kids) that are even giving me a run for my money.

So I’ve set this up, pretty well, and keep it in mind because when I get to the physiological hurdles of restoring a car, you are going to understand my particular issue and you might relate.

(I seem to start a lot of sentences with the word “So”.  So I’ll try to limit the use of it.  You might also notice that I use ‘…..’ between words.  I do that for to give emphasis on a larger more dramatic pause the you get from the run of a mill comma. Nope not grammatically correct…but a habit I might break….if I get enough comments about it from the readers of this blog.)

So here is a quick introduction to my cars.

1.  1970 Ford Mustang Coupe.  I’ve owned it for approximately 4 years and I love it.  This is my first real restoration.

2. 1984 C4 Corvette. First year for that generation, everything is unique.  Although not my dream generation of corvettes, I love this car.  Ever since my uncle put me in his Corvette, I’ve wanted one.  When I joined the Air Force my goal was to finish up by second degree become an officer and by a Corvette.

Ok enough for this evening.  Tomorrow I’ll give you the run down on each.  I have a great story on how I got the Corvette.

Thanks for reading.

Tim

A little background

So some background coming your way.  No not my life’s story, just a little car related history.  Grew-up in up-state NY – way upstate.  My Dad was a body man by profession, working for various dealerships and auto body shops as well as owning a couple of his own (moderately successful).  He was a premier body man, the way he did it was artful.  He also fancied himself a mechanic, he was pretty good at that, but not nearly reaching the level he achieved “working on fenders”.

You can see that I was brought up with cars.  When we owned our own shops – (4 of them, I think) I worked weekends and summers in each one and learned the skill. I also learned that I didn’t want to work this hard for a living. But I got a very good respect for the craft. I also loved the Chilton Manuals and the body shop books.  Each had depictions of front(bumpers/grills/headlights) and the rear (bumpers/tail lights). I memorized as many as possible and I could pick them out on the street and site the make, model and year.

In addition to the constant exposure there were four specific events that helped to set the seed for what would become my passion now.

The very first occurred when I must have been 3 or 4 at the time when my uncle owned a 1958 blue and white Corvette.  I remember him puting me in the car and I remember the image of the steering wheel and the two-tone paint.  Family legend has it, that I was the only nephew he allowed in the car…don’t know if that true or not, but it makes for a cool story.

The second was the a Chevy II Nova.  My Dad often let folks use a garage bay sometimes when they wanted to do a little work on their own.  I don’t recall the guy’s name but he used the garage for a couple months to work on this awesome drag car. I believe it had 396 engine with triple carbs and it sounded beautiful.   I must have been 12 or 13 at the time and I remember hanging over the fender while he worked on it.  I also recall helping him put out a gas fire when one of the gas lines sprang a leak while starting her up.

The next was going to the stock car races at Fond-Foultonville track.  My Dad had a buddy who ran a car there and we got to go into the pits. I remember the smell of fuel, exhaust and burned oil. I remembered how hard that dirt track got at the end of a night of racing.

The final event was my first car.  I was graduating from high school and my parents presented me with a fully restored (my father’s work) 1966 Chevy Impala Convertible.  It was the prettiest car I had every seen and the 2nd coolest (the first coolest was my friend John DeLong’s 1972 (I think) Mach I Mustang..beautiful car and fast.  The only way I ever beat him in a street race was by running a red light, when he slowed..I didn’t.

So you’d think I would continued to work on cars and I did for a bit while in college.  I drove the Impala to death, wrecked it twice and sold it cheap. Bought a Plymouth Duster and did all the body work and sold that.  Then I stopped.

I grew to dislike having to work on them.  Maybe not that, as much as I was afraid that I’d be trapped in what was (in my thinking and at the time was) a depressed industry and family problems gave me the impression that it was best to leave that all behind.  Which I did.  For many years I wouldn’t touch a car, unless I was just jump starting someones or I need a quick repair of my own. During that time I did manage to own a 71 Chevelle and a Burlinetta Camaro, but those were short-term and at the time I was glad to get rid of them.

That’s it for ancient history.  The next posting be a bit more recent and I’ll introduce you to some family members and my cars.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to drop me a comment or note.

Tim

Post Script:  We’ll get more into the cars and issues soon enough, but without this background you might not “get where I’m com’in  from”. I’ve got some cool stuff to share and a feature where there will be a daily auto related ‘FACTOID’ and or some real auto news.

Cars – Restore, Mod, Race

What’s this blog going to be?

Well I’m hoping that it will be a place where car guys and girls come to read what the average car “person” goes through when they have either limited skills and/or resources, but still love to restore, modify and/or race their cars.  I’ll talk about what I’ve gone through and (with two cars in the process of being modified) what still have ahead of me.  Hopefully there will be some thoughts and solutions to what you might run into, or you might have a solution for one of these issues/hurdles.  If nothing else, some will say…”yup..I feel your pain.”

Stay tuned for the start of something  I think it will be fun to read and hopefully informative as well.

Be back later with a little of my background and I’ll introduce you to my cars and some members of my family. (yeah..they play a role!!!!)

Thanks for reading.

Tim