I remember when I was bit by the Mustang bug. I was in the 8th grade, the movie was "Bullitt" with Steve McQueen. A 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback with a 390ci, finished off in a delicious highland green paint job. I wanted that car like a 6th grader today wants an Xbox. I dreamed day and night to own one, unfortunately Mustang fastbacks back in the day were a pretty penny, and today they are out the roof in terms of prices.
13 years later I was bitten by the bug again, this time thanks to a Craigslist ad.
I was doing my usual morning cup of coffee and browsing good old Craigslist for those typical Ferrari barn finds a gearhead like myself yearns for. Then an ad for a 66 Mustang popped up. I clicked it with skepticism. And of course it was the typical one sentence craigslist sale pitch "Runs good, needs work, come get it". I was hesitant but his $6,000 price tag intrigued me to call him. An hour later after a brief phone call I was driving enroute to go look at this 50 year old rolling pile of metal.
When I arrived to the address, I had to laugh, it literally was a barn and a small house, ironic. A young kid came out and greeted me. He proceed to show me the car which had a tarp strewn over it. Before me this fine gem stood, beyond filthy on the outside from dust collected from who know's how long ago. I could barely tell what color it was. The interior wasn't much better, with various parts to the car filling the passenger seat and rear seat. The owner claimed it ran good, so I was waiting for him to prove just that. To my surprise it fired right up, and the exhaust note of that 289ci V8 was music. Hearing the exhaust note pretty much sold me, which sucks, because i'm a sucker for a good sounding car which means my wallet is going to hate me. After an hour of asking questions, test driving and negotiating, $4000 later I was the proud owner of a 1966 Ford Mustang GT.
I was running out of daylight and needed to get this car home. I parked the car I drove up in a safe place to be picked up later, loaded up my dog, and the 90 mile journey home began. The car drove great, I was all smiles up until 15 miles into the drive. Things got interesting, it begain to hesitate, and then out of no where the motor shut off. 75mph , and I coasted onto the highway shoulder with a disgruntled look you only see in a movie. I had a dead car 45 minutes into owning it, and I was not happy, but you can't dwell on issues, you only can fix them. I popped the hood, and began the checklist, I had spark, motor turned over freely, nothing was out of the blue, except one thing. No fuel was flowing to the carb, which was odd, because the fuel gauge indicated half a tank. Bad fuel pump? Nope, I could clearly hear it pumping. I walked to the back of the car and smacked the fuel tank with a piece of bumper that was sitting in the box of parts that came with the car. A clear hollow sound, the damn fuel tank was empty, my fuel gauge was stuck.......I laughed and began my walk to the gas station I could see 1/2 mile down. Good news is, I got fuel, the car fired up and the remaining journey home went smoothly, with the intentions of never trusting that fuel gauge again.
Several months went buy, I fixed various parts. The car was an absolute blast, drank gas like a garden hose, but the sound, the feel, and the simplicity of the vehicle was more than therapeutic. I owned the car for more than a year after purchasing it. Upgraded many parts on the car, it looked nice, it drove nice, but no matter how many parts of the car I upgraded, I seemingly had a notorious gremlin that followed behind me everywhere I went. I can't recall how many times I got stuck on the side of the road. Infact I carried a jack, and a tool box with me in preparation if I went outside of the city. Whether it was electrical, or the braking system over pressurizing. Owning the car was beginning to take a toll my love of the car and my wallet. I had my eyes on a new project and it was time to let her go. With that being said, would I discourage anyone from owning a classic Mustang? Absolutely not! This project was an absolute blast. I learned an enormous amount of information, met some great individuals and scratched that Mustang itch that i've had for the last 20 years. The car probably was one of the top 5 most respected cars I owned. Anywhere I went the car received an enormous amount of respect. I admired that, it is usually a hit or miss with any other car, some love it, others hate it, but with the Mustang, it was solid thumbs up. It forever will have a special place in my heart.
-Breed of Speed
-Breed of Speed