Our 1967 Mustang coupe was my wife’s first car, purchased for her when she was in high school in the late 1980s. Its powerplant is a 200ci straight six; its transmission is the 3-speed manual variety. Both assemblies are original to the car.
Right now, our Mustang has manual drum brakes, manual steering, and no A/C. (Which makes Oklahoma summer driving not much fun.)
Odds, Ends, and J.C. Penney
Ford built this particular Mustang in Los Angeles, seeing fit to grant it a black interior and a Springtime Yellow exterior. By the time my wife purchased the car in 1989, however, a previous owner had repainted it white.
By then, while the body was clean and straight, the interior was rough — cracked and buckled dash, torn seats, cracked steering wheel, once-black carpet faded to dirty beige … among other things. Exterior-wise, rust peeked through a few spots in the paint, mostly on the roof and the distinctive side-body creases.
On the plus side: In the wintertime, when you hit a bump just right, you might actually get heat from the heater.
The original radio was also gone. In its place was a barely-functional Audiovox cassette deck and two Roadmaster 6×9 speakers in the rear tray. (The true pièce de résistance here was the 30-watt amp mounted inside the engine compartment. It sported no brand name, but its age was reflected by the fact that it was distributed by J.C. Penney. This rare artifact hung around until the Mustang underwent a complete audio-system upgrade in April, 2011.)
Timeline: The Outdoor Years
From 1989 through 1996, our little ’67 Mustang lived outside, sadly. (It’s apartment living, after all. Whatcha gonna do?) The car’s condition quickly deteriorated. Rust became more pronounced. The dash buckled even more under the 100-degree Oklahoma summer sun.
In 1996, my wife and I purchased our first home, complete with a two-car garage. This ended The Outdoor Years for our pony … but not its slow descent into the world of non-use and (gasp!) minimal care.
Timeline: Garage-Kept, But …
In 1995, both Lisa and I were in need of dependable vehicles, and the Mustang didn’t really qualify. However, we (well, she) didn’t want to get rid of it, either. In the space of a couple of years, we purchased a home, a used 1995 Honda Accord, and a used 1995 Nissan truck. The Accord took up one side of our garage; the Mustang, the other. My truck got to sit outside.
While the Mustang was now “garage kept,” we were young, and didn’t really have the money to do much with it. I drove it a few times a year, just to keep it in some sort of running order. We performed basic maintenance, replaced a few batteries, replaced the radiator, kept it moderately clean … and that was about it.
Every once in a while, Lisa and I would talk about how nice it would be to fix up the Mustang at some point. But for about fifteen years, that’s all it was — talk.
Then 2011 came along, and I was tired (and that’s putting it mildly) of watching the ’67 Mustang wither away in the garage. We had some savings built up. The time had come to do some restoration.
And that, friends, is where this blog starts.