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Tackling the rescue of a butchered fastback
Hello, I am new here. My name is Bob, and my business is called Mission Garage. I specialize in buying, selling, and servicing collector cars of all brands.

This week we took in a 1971 Mustang fastback that is the victim of an amateur “restorer” that was working way out of his skill level. The car was brought to him, apparently in rough condition, by a widow who wanted to have her late husband‘s pride and joy restored. The car has all new floors, rockers, trunk floor replaced; new quarters and wheel housings, and replacement doors. I consider the work to be decent amateur. The car is painted and 3/4 assembled. The work is what I would call decent driver quality.

The problem area – The guy talked her into upgrading to a newer drivetrain, citing better power and drivability. He ended up buying a 2002 Mustang with the 4.6 and five speed and set about putting that in the car.

I was referred by a friend, because for six months the guy has been promising to get it running, and finally admitted defeat. What I have found is a car with the engine installed and massive gobs of wires going in all directions. Once it was inside my trailer, I lay down to strap it in and I saw a poorly welded crossmember made out of square stock with a rack and pinion bolded to it. The strut rod‘s coming from the lower A-frames to the front most crossmember were gone because this crossmember was in the way. Upon further examination, the strut rods are now running towards the back of the car, bolted to some handmade ears that he welded in. WTF. The transmission mount is fabricated from various pieces of scrap steel and angle iron.

Under the hood, it gets even worse. There are various harnesses laid wide open and cut up. There is at least one ECM laying loose against the firewall. I haven’t measured anything, but the engine appears to be slightly cocked. He put the newer car’s radiator in with electric fans. They aren’t connected, and the upper mount is a piece of bare sheet metal tacked on and flashrusted. Inside the car dashboard is incomplete and laying loose. In the passengers foot well is another loose computer with a huge harness running somewhere. He mounted the battery in the trunk and ran cables, but I can’t see that work yet because the car is full of boxes of loose trim and parts. Everything is pieced together with Miss matched screws and bolts.

The situation is, the lady has spent a ton of money on the car. She is heartbroken and asked me if there was anyway you could be saved, or if she should just sell it for parts. Of course, anything can be saved with the right amount of work, and I have been down this road before. The question will be if she wants to commit to the time and the cost it will require. The guy that did the work is now fighting cancer; so I doubt she will have any recourse there.

This car is so bad that my preliminary game plan would be to find a parts car were they stock front crossmember and put everything back; ditch the modern engine and wiring, and go back to a 302 or something. We can straighten out the wiring and get it running and driving right, but it remains to be seen if she wants to eat that kind of a bill.

So, here I am doing some initial research. Any thoughts that any of you want to throw my way would be welcome. Also, any line on a parts car, somewhere reasonably within range of the Northeastern United States.

I do have pictures if anyone is interested.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Post up some pics. And welcome from Iowa. Just saw a parts coupe for sale a couple weeks ago in SW Wisconsin. It was a 71 coupe with a 302. Guy wanted $750 (no title). Body and interior was shot but the underside looked decent and it ran and drove and stopped. Kind of far from you but I can see if it is still there when I am back that way this weekend.

73 Grandé H Code. Headman long tube headers, T-5 Transmission, 3.70 Traclok, Lowered 1" all around, Aussie 2v heads w/ 2.19 intake, 1.71 exhaust, screw in studs, full roller cam 608/612 lift 280/281 duration LSA 112, Quick Fuel 750 CFM double pumper, AirGap intake.

- Jason

[Image: 082-hot-rod-power-tour-2017-1970-1970s.jpg]
Welcome from Oregon.

Sounds like a real mess. Good luck with it.

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
Here’s what I have. Hopefully they work [Image: 454234-CA-1-CCB-4-D06-AB59-835791390-A6-C.jpg]

[Image: 69-EBB8-E1-02-E9-4-DA8-AA52-3-D9390126-A22.jpg]

[Image: B6-DDEEC7-EC41-44-F0-BDC5-A2-A0-FC0-E4797.jpg]

[Image: 3-DC85468-C407-44-E5-BB99-ADEEB40-B709-C.jpg]

[Image: 660-CBD50-F3-ED-40-B6-B72-E-E32-A9042-AB82.jpg]

[Image: 530-F3-E99-D6-A4-4090-B6-AD-85-F37-DBE87-F1.jpg]

[Image: 33-B0-DD9-C-F1-D1-4-EDD-ACDA-6-AC068282777.jpg]

[Image: 7-E441296-4-D7-D-4176-80-DD-331-E21-F6-ADA1.jpg]
(10-11-2018, 08:12 PM)73pony Wrote: Post up some pics. And welcome from Iowa. Just saw a parts coupe for sale a couple weeks ago in SW Wisconsin. It was a 71 coupe with a 302. Guy wanted $750 (no title). Body and interior was shot but the underside looked decent and it ran and drove and stopped

Jason- that sounds like just what I would need, I wouldn’t rule it out. If you could get a contact I would be grateful. We are scheduled to sit down with the owner next week after our assessment is done.
What a mess. It's nearly impossible to figure out somebody else's mess, just about have to strip it and start from the beginning. I'm sure the bottom of the car is even worse than the top. Easy to see why you are looking for a donor.

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
[+] 1 user Likes Don C's post
Wow, just wow.

Good plan to go back to "original".

That's crazy!!!   Welcome from Tucson, Az.  (Originally from NY)


Tucson, Az
1973 SportsRoof
351C bored .040
Crank .020  and Stock cam
Flattop pistons
Edelbrock 4bbl CARB 800 CFM ELEC CHOKE
Edelbrock Performer 2750 Intake Manifold

[Image: NewPrimedHood_zpsw2jaj0cu.jpg]
HemikillerWow, just wow.

Good plan to go back to "original".


Yes and you all know I like that (going back to original) plan. Big Grin

 But what a large task!  

WOW is right!


1971 Boss 351  
1972 Q code 4 speed convertible 
1971 Mustang Sportsroof  351-2V FMX 
1973 Mach 1 (parts car)
Thank you.
The lady that owns the car has no idea what she’s doing. All she knows is that her late husband loved it, and she wanted to bring it back in his memory. I have no idea how she got hooked up with the guy that did this work, but she thought she was doing it the right way.

Definitely, One of the worst things you can do is get involved in trying to clean up somebody else’s basket case. I’ve been down this road before and I do it for the sake of the cars. I know that sounds corny but my life‘s work has been trying to rescue and at least improve great old cars. Everybody has a passion for something, this is mine, is all. And this story means that much more when the car is a family heirloom. My intention is to not only get it running and back together, but make it into something she can really be proud of.

Her brother, who met me at the other guys shop and paid his bill when I picked it up, asked me if I thought it could be saved. I told him absolutely, anything can be saved, and I am willing to do it. Of course, I can’t do it for free; so once I do enough research we will bring him and his sister in and show them in person what we have found, and find out if she’s willing to commit the resources it will take. Nobody gets rich doing jobs like this, but for the sake of a beautiful old car I hope she agrees to do it.
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