Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Steel Child

It's funny how things from your childhood stay with you and affect you later in life. When I was very
young, my father had a 1968 Fastback Mustang. Some where along the line, I must have decided this was a very cool car, and now, 30 years later, I still think the 67 and 68 Mustangs are way cool cars!

My very first car was a 1967 Mustang. It was half bondo, but it had side pipes, mags, a sun roof, and a LOUD stereo and I LOVED that car. I have since owned a 65, 69, and 70 Mustang, but relative to this one they were all in very poor shape.
I made one serious mistake with all of my other mustangs - I let working on them intimidate me and tried to hire others to do all the work. The flaw with that plan is that it costs a lot to hire others to do everything, and I flat out couldn't afford it on a corporal/sergeants pay. In the long run I was forced to get rid of the cars.
Well, as you can see, I got the bug again and bought this one about a year ago. "This time" I told myself (and my wife) "I will do the work myself!", and so far I have. Of course taking things apart is easy, the proof is in getting it back together and running, and I haven't got there yet!

The guy I bought it from in San Antonio fibbed through his teeth and said it ran well. Well, we had to stop at every gas station between San Antonio and Austin to fill the radiator and cool the poor beast down. This turned a 2 hour drive into a 4 hour drive! :-) People came over to talk to my son and I at just about every stop we made. Even with the hood up and me pouring water in and over the radiator, guys still wanted to tell me what an awesome car it was! Yes, my ego is alive and well and I liked this.

This car is awesome! It has been in Texas and parked in garages for all of its life. For more than 15
years it was parked and didn't even move. Thanks to someone smart years ago getting the car rust proofed, this 40 year old lady doesn't have any more rust than my 4 year old pick up. It has just about every option you could have got with this year and model. In dash air-conditioning (not that after market unit that mounts under the dash), power steering, automatic, the roof console, the center console, the GT hood, and it's all 100% original.
The bad news is that as far as some of the moving components are concerned, parking a car and not driving it for 15 years is one of the worst things you can do to it. Engines and transmissions do not like this. All of the rubber in the steering components are shot or gone.

Well, we pulled the engine out and got it rebuilt and setup to accept unleaded gas. I have just got it back about a month ago. This weekend I am working on the engine compartment, sanding it down and painting it so we can put the girls engine
back in. Next things I have to do is get the transmission looked at, and buy all the steering components (tie bars, pitman and idler arms, and anything with a rubber protected joint).

We researched the cars history and found that it had been purchased by an Air Force colonel for his wife Dorthy. The bumper still has the 1967 sticker that allowed it on the AF base! Bad news - the poor man died a month after he bought the car. We have tentatively decided to name the car Dorthy in honor of the Colonel and his wife.

Well, wish us luck because I am NOT a car guy, have no idea what the heck I am doing, and I'm scared to death that I bought a car that made it 40 years in good shape, ripped it apart, and it will never run again! Keep your fingers crossed . . .

1 comment:

  1. I think I am in love. I love American cars, especially Mustangs and Thunderbirds... Hugs xx