Rebuilt motor in summer of 1994 - block is a 302 from a 72 ford truck. Had the block cleaned and magnafluxed to make sure it was free from any cracks or imperfections. Block was then bored .030, making the displacement about a 306. The crankshaft was then turned, and machined down .020. Everything was new on the engine, except the block, the crank (including the main and main bolts). Other than that, new:
A new larger radiator was added with the engine, along with a fan shroud, which keeps the temps low. The thermostat is set somewhere in the middle. It runs cool enough in the summer, but gets hot enough in the winter.
There is a manual choke, but it is rarely needed
There is a hood lock that is operated from inside the car, with a heavy-duty cylindrical key
The top is power. It still works, but it is about 50% slower than it was last year. Every year since Iíve owned it, it has worked flawlessly. This is the first year is has slowed down. I assume there is leak in the line to the actuators. The convertible top is original, and shows its age badly. It will be the next thing to be replaced. Leaks have been fixed with patches with little regard for appearance. Just trying to keep the inside dry. :) New tops installed run $550.
The weather stripping on the car is also original, and needs to be replaced. A full kit is about $250. In one spot, I had used weather stripping from a random junkyard car, which seemed to match the shape. It works, but looks awkward.
The windows in 1969 mustangs were glued in rather than bolted. The glue wears away in 10-15 years. I re-glued them once, only to have them come out again. I have tried a number of things, but they need to be fixed by a professional. It is about $300 to get them fixed. Right now, it just makes it a bit tricky to roll up the windows. It also makes them seal poorly against the weather stripping.
I redid the interior throughout 1991- 1995. The original interior was tattered, so I retrofitted a newer interior, as I was in college and this was the less expensive option than restoring the original interior.
The cost for a COMPLETE interior replacement kit is about $600. This would include new front and rear seat covers, new carpet, new interior door skins, new window cranks, new armrests and door handles and new interior quarter trim. I did not make any cuts in the doors, which would be visible once the car was returned back to stock. I was very careful in all modifications to make sure than anything I did could be un-done at a later time. I have the original steering wheel, but it needs reconditioning. I also have the original seats, but as stated, need recovering. I have almost all the original parts, but most are so worn, they are un-usable.
The interior was originally gold.
Also, the doors do not always unlock. Sometimes they get stuck in the locked position. For this reason, I leave the car unlocked at all times. I have built a custom "club" which locks the car in park, and the brake pedal off. It is all cast steel, and hooks to 2 steel parts of the car. Unlike people who put the club on a steering wheel, not knowing that a steering wheel can be cut in a matter of seconds, making the club removal easy, my club can not be cut out to be defeated.
The car was repainted in 1993 in Cadillac allante red. It is the most amazing shade of red I had ever seen, which is why I chose that over the mustang red available for the 1969 model year. Lower door areas have began to rust through. Bondo and fiberglass were used to make some fill spots, but not excessively.
The best part about the car is the structural integrity of it. All mustangs rust. Sometimes southern cars can be found rust free, but most all mustangs rust. Floor pans, frame rails, torque boxes and strut towers are main areas that it hits. I replaced the frame and floors the month I bought the car (1991). This was $2300, and included new frame rails, new floors, new inner quarter panels and rustproof undercoating over it all. It is still as rust free as the day it was done. The shock towers were completely reconstructed in 2001, as well as the torque boxes, which hold the front frame to the rear frame. Re-enforcements were added to the front frame as well. Again, a rustproof coating was applied. New shocks were installed, as well as new bushings. I also replaced the 2 stock shock tower re-enforcements with a single uni-brace. This provides MUCH more stiffness in steering. I also added a monte-carlo bar for added support. The work in 2001 totaled $3300.
The transmission was completely rebuilt in 2001 with a 12mo/12kmi warranty. The rear end is original, and is well built for highway speeds, rather than off-the-line power. The car was originally a 250cid inline 6.
The car is set up to be very dependable. Everything I did, I did with the intention of making it a solid daily driver of a car. I have obviously made no attempt to keep it original. I have also not tried to make it a show car. I like to make it nice, but I put functionality over mint-condition appearance. Even when I was strapped for cash, when it came to anything structural or mechanical, I would replace it with the highest quality part I could find. I have used this car as a daily driver on and off for 10 years. I used it for 2 years straight in 91-92, used it for one year at college from 95-96 making repeated 6-hour trips from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. I used it as my only vehicle for one and a half years in 98-99. That is when the front end gave me problems. When I found out it needed $3000 of welding, I parked it for a while. I had the work done in 2001 to get it roadworthy again. For all work or modifications I have done, have kept these criteria in order of preference:
1- reliability, 2-comfort, 3-aesthetics, 4-originality.
The car runs great, and makes a wonderful modified comfortable daily driver. The work that remains to be done is mostly cosmetic: interior (if you wish to return to original), new top, windows glued, weather-stripping. I have invested roughly $15,000 since I bought the car in 1991. Some of that cannot count towards the amount invested, for example, I put in a new 6 cyl after the first one died at a cost of $700. This was then replaced later by the V8. This running total has been in my head mostly, but I do have some receipts.
I would sell the car for $7000. I love it dearly, and would hate to see it go, but have other priorities now. It takes time, which I do not have. For anyone looking to buy his or her first classic, please realize that this car, or any classic, WILL take some of your time, and often it will take patience. Its a 30 year old car, understand that not only will things wear out on the car, but the technology that was used 30 years ago is not as dependable as what is designed today, meaning parts will need to be replaced with more frequency.