• Jun 16, 2012
Father's Day lands this weekend, and if you're anything like us, you're doing your best to put off trying to find a gift. Ford has an idea for those of us too lazy to pull up dad's Amazon list and click purchase. The automaker says it takes roughly two years for a hobbyist to complete a classic vehicle restoration from the ground up over nights and weekends. That means that a project Mustang started this summer will be ready just in time for the car's 50th anniversary in a couple of years.

How's that for clever? The company says roughly 95 percent of all Mustang parts are available brand new as reproductions right now through FordRestorationParts.com, including full body shells like the one seen above. Besides, what's your old man doing with his time now that he doesn't have to worry about you choking to death on your hand anymore? Check out the press release for more information.
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Father's Day Is the Perfect Time to Kick off Restoration of America's Favorite Classic, the 1964-66 Ford Mustang

• Mustang restorations started this summer should be ready in time for the car's 50th anniversary in April 2014

• Ford-licensed restoration parts for classic 1960s Mustangs can improve quality, lower costs and shorten restoration time


DEARBORN, Mich., June 12, 2012 – With the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang less than two years away, this summer is the time to begin restoring your classic pony car so that it can be ready for one of the most important milestones in American automotive history.

"Working nights and weekends, and as your budget allows, it takes roughly two years to do a complete wheels-up classic car restoration," says Brian Martin, director of automotive restoration development at McPherson College in Kansas. McPherson is the only school in North America that offers a four-year bachelor's degree in automobile restoration.

Martin says with careful project planning and outsourcing of some specialized jobs such as painting and transmission rebuilding, a father and son following a detailed plan can easily restore a first-generation Mustang in a good-sized home garage. What's needed are basic hand tools, proper manuals, good mechanical skills and a realistic budget.

Restoring a classic Mustang is a great father and son project, and this Sunday, June 17, is Father's Day – a great day to kick off a Mustang restoration with the goal of having the car ready for its 50th anniversary on April 17, 2014.

Jonathan Brand and his dad have restored three classic Mustangs in their home garage, a '65 coupe and two '69 models. It was an experience Brand says he will never forget.

"My dad and I weren't as close before we restored the Mustangs," says Brand, an artist who now lives in New Haven, Conn. "It definitely brought us closer together, all those hours working on the cars. He taught me a lot about cars, and we had a lot of fun."

Brand's advice: Have patience, manage the budget and use Ford-licensed restoration parts, especially for the sheet metal repairs.

"We tried using panels from junkyards, but when you consider the time it takes to get them off and then to get them to fit properly on your car, it just isn't worth it. We found the new parts fit really well," Brand says.

95 percent of classic Mustang parts available
America's love affair with the original Mustang is still going strong after nearly 50 years. Debuting in April 1964, the original Mustang sold more than 1.2 million units – including more than 174,000 convertibles – before its first redesign in 1967.

The original Mustang has long been America's most popular classic car of the postwar era and is usually No. 1 or 2 on the list of most popular cars Hagerty Classic Car Insurance of Traverse City, Mich., insures.

Ford Motor Company aggressively supports the original Mustang with thousands of high-quality, officially licensed reproduction parts available at www.fordrestorationparts.com. These replacement parts look, fit and perform exactly as the originals. Many Ford restoration parts are actually made from the original Ford tools that have been preserved for the restoration market. About 95 percent of all the parts needed to build a "new" classic '64 to '66 Mustang are available today.

"We offer everything from a door handle to a complete Mustang body," says Dennis Mondrach, Ford Restoration Parts licensing manager. "We just recently launched a 1965 Mustang convertible body – the complete assembly, all the sheet metal from the hood to the trunk. It is designed to enable fans of the original Mustang to build the classic of their dreams using a body that is stronger than the original."

Reproduction Mustang bodies are available in every classic model year from 1965 to 1970 along with the ever-popular 1965 and 1967 convertibles. All cars feature modern welding and assembly techniques and are made from high-strength, modern automotive-grade steel. Officially licensed fenders, bumpers, door skins and other body parts for project cars that have restorable bodies are available to replace parts susceptible to rust or damaged in accidents.

Mondrach says it is nearly impossible to pluck a restorable 1964-66 Mustang or such parts as fenders, bumpers and grilles from scrapyards. Most have been wrecked, or rusted, and Mustangs with any parts good enough to be reused were long ago picked clean by restorers.

Classic Mustang restoration: Easier than you might think
Because the original Mustang uses technology that was state-of-the-art for mass-produced cars in the 1960s, the car is extremely easy to work on compared with today's vehicles. Also, the Mustang's mechanical components have always been easy to find and affordable, further adding to the car's appeal among collectors. In addition, the car can easily be modified with better suspension, performance and safety options that were unavailable at the time.

Ford Racing, for example, offers many optional crate engines and performance options to meet the needs of every Mustang enthusiast.

Mondrach suggests starting a restoration with a Mustang whose body is sound and not in need of major rust, welding or accident repairs. "The costs add up quickly when you are cutting out and replacing damaged body panels. It may be more cost effective to start with a complete new body and use the engine, transmission, suspension and major trim from a donor car," he says.

Martin, of McPherson College, recommends refurbishing the drivetrain, suspension and other mechanical components before the body and paintwork. He says a reasonable budget for a complete restoration is between $30,000 and $50,000, but that would include a new or rebuilt performance engine, transmission, rear axle, brakes, suspension, cooling and electrical systems, as well as all the trim, paint and interior parts to be as good as new.

Before starting a restoration, experts say, knowledge is the first and most important thing to attain. "Join a club. Buy the original Ford-issued repair manuals," Martin says. "Ford service manuals from that time were really good. They were designed to speak to mechanics with a high school education, not like today's repair manuals that assume you have an engineering degree."

Other tips for restoring a classic Mustang
• Decide how you will use the car when it is done. This will influence the cost of the restoration. Building a 100-point show car is far more expensive and time consuming than building a very clean weekend cruiser
• Keep track of all the money you spend on parts, service and supplies, says Jonathan Klinger of Hagerty Insurance. You will need to document your costs to prove to the insurance company what you have invested, and receipts will be required when registering a custom-built "assembled vehicle" for title
• Join the local Mustang club, a good source for used parts and knowledgeable members


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  • 13 Comments
      Carbon Fibre
      • 2 Years Ago
      Absolutely amazing how Ford, GM continue to offer parts and service on such classics. Of course not in a consumer friendly fashion but for all those enthusiast. This is what all car manufacturers should follow to at least continue to make parts for their most recognizable, respected, special vehicles in it's time. I expect to find EVERY single part from a Supra if toyota did such thing.
        ckm
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Carbon Fibre
        They are not the only ones. Mercedes is, I believe, the only manufacturer to offer every part for every car they have ever made. Apparently you can build a 'new' 280SL, but it will cost your ~$400,000
          Kwijiboz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ckm
          Rolls-Royce is another, although I think rather than having all parts in stock at Crewe, the majority of parts are fabricated to order. As you can imagine the cost is truly stratospheric! An interesting note; next time you get to sit in a R-R or Bentley, you'll notice that the timber trim down one side of the car is a mirror image of the other. All the veneers used for each car are from a single root ball (forgive me if that's not the exact term). Once the veneers have been sliced from the root, the remainder is stored at Crewe in preparation for it being needed for future restoration or repair. But really, at this level you'd kinda expect that. Kudos to Ford for valuing their history by doing this for cars that are far more.....humble.
      Randy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder what items are in the 5% of parts that are not available. Just curious, anyone know?
        Jim R
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Randy
        Probably small parts that aren't essential to operation of the vehicle. Small trim pieces, chrome, maybe some rubber parts like weatherstripping. Also the bodyshells don't have VINs. They aren't intended for you to just build a car out of a bodyshell--they're there to be used as donors for an already-existing vehicle, or several vehicles. You'd have to remove the VIN off of a too far gone example to register one of these for road use. (Or you could treat it as a body-in-white and go drag/vintage racing as long as you're OK with the car not being road-legal)
          caddy-v
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jim R
          You can build off the body shell without a vin, once the car is complete, road worthy and safety tested, you need to visit the sec of state (at least in Illinois) and provide all of the documentation, receipts etc. and they will issue a vin. Been there and done it. The down side is it takes a minimum of 6 months for the title.
        csrecord
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Randy
        For the price of a new GT 500 to build, it doesn't make sense unless you have the money and lots of time. I would think the parts missing are trim and glass.
      EricDJ
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would like to receive this for fathers day, but to be able to build for my wife. She loves this body style. Building it isn't an issue that 15k body is. Anyone want to trade an 03 Mustang Convertible for this body?
      Custom Bikes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Come on AB you had the SAME article few month ago, but now you just slapped a new headline
      AmericanRestoMods
      • 2 Years Ago
      Really cool idea. Amazing marketing at the very least. Being that our shop restores and restomods cars, we can attest to the fact that it takes a lot of time. Especially if you start with a rust bucket. I can see how this might save some time, but I am not sure that it would save any money in the long run.
      csrecord
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cool, but by the time you are done the cost will equal a new GT500.
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