This 1965 carburetor needs help!

I bought my mustang as a running convertible. That doesn’t mean it ran WELL, it just ran. I have the receipts from the engine/carburetor rebuild, and mechanically speaking the car idles fine. Once I got the car home I found that the carburetor was not operating properly. It would start without hesitation, but the choke didn’t want to move.

The previous owner had compensated by setting the choke more than 90 degrees too rich. The problem is that at 30 mph, the car wants to stall out. Certainly not what I would consider a safe driver.

There is also a significant amount of carbon of the choke valve and a ton of rust on the spring coil. Not only that, but the choke piston is completely missing! The vacumn works just fine, but without the choke piston, that doesn’t matter too much!

I decided to completely disassemble the carburetor, clean the engine paint overspray, replace the gaskets, and dip every nut and bolt. The goal is to restore the carburetor to “new” condition. I scoured a mustang junkyard for a replacement piston, but in the end I’ve decided to replace the choke with an electric, rather than manual, choke. This should provide greater reliability, and although not “original”, it will be unseen beneath the air intake, so I’d be very surprised if anyone noticed.

I’ll post photos once I get the carburetor finished, in the meantime I’m planning on stripping and repainting the air intake and valve covers back to a high quality gold finish.

What The F@*# Did I Just Buy?!? Part 2

1965 factory pink mustangMy brother Thomas and I decided to make the trip up to Martinsburg, WVA to take a look at this car.  We left straight from work, and 3 hours (and several winding backroads) later we had arrived.  The owner uncovered the car, and we searched high and low for some indication of what the original paint color may have been  We were almost hoping to find a trace of vintage burgundy or poppy red, something that would justify that this car was not originally pink.

As it turned out, the original paint did indeed seem to be pink.  The gentleman was asking $11,500, and based on the shape of the car, the price certainly seemed fair.  I had brought Thomas along with me to help me examine the car in detail, and get his instinct on it.  There was a litle bit of bondo sitting in the drivers rear quarter (common), but the floor pans seemed fair, the engine ran and idled well, but the convertible top was pretty much shot.

The owner said that the top needed a new rear curtain, but closer inspection showed several small stress tears, and excessive rubbing on the interior.  I was confident at this point that the car was genuine, but I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to get involved with a “chick’s car”.  I thanked the owner and started the 3 hour drive home.

The owner informed me that he had 3 people coming the next day, and if I wanted it, I needed to make a move quickly.  On the drive home, I started estimating the price of making it driveable:

Retuning, New Top, New Steeing Wheel, Paint Touch-up, New Trim, New Carpet, New Wheel Inserts, New Seat Belts, Rust Remediation, and a Power Steering Leak.

1965 factory pink mustangOverall, not a terrible list.  Slightly expensive (The top alone would be $1,300), but most of the work I could do myself, so I just need the money for parts.  Even after all of the work was done, I suspected that I could still come out ahead.

Rule #1 (For me, at least) is that I don’t get into a car project that I suspect I’m going to loose money on.  Maintenance costs are one thing, but I don’t want to spend $30,000 on a classic car that I can’t break even on.  I look at classics as an investment!

The numbers seemed to work on the car, so 9am the next morning I called the owner back and offered him $10,000.  I explained that because of the surface rust pockets coming up I’m forced to do some decent preservation work, and the top is more or less shot (getting stuck in the rain with a topless car stinks).

He agreed to the price, and I dropped off a deposit check.  I got back up there a week later, trailer in tow, and brought the mustang home.  I stopped at a gas station on the way back, and ended up with a crowd of people around the car shocked to see the pink mustang on the trailer.  Any car that can grab that sort of attention at 11pm is worth getting in my book!

Is that your Mom’s car?

I pulled up to a traffic signal today, top down, enjoying the sunshine, when a woman in a Cadillac pulled up next to my pink ’65 Mustang.

I knew she wanted to say something, and as I rolled down the window, she asked: “Is that your mom’s car?”.

I couldn’t resist, so I piped up and told her “No, I asked them to paint the car Poppy Red, and they the paint shop thought I said Pepto”.

Her jaw dropped! She responded by saying “Well, I LOVE the color! Are you going to have it fixed?”. I told her I haven’t decided yet as I pulled away, and got a good laugh as I took off.

I have a feeling this is just the beginning of a very long journey that’s going to be filled with plenty of gawkers. I knew a straight man driving a pink mustang would draw attention, but this car easily gets three times the attention of any other classic car I’ve ever driven!

What The F@*# Did I Just Buy?!? Part 1

I might have lost my mind, the jury is still out on that one.  I decided I wanted to buy a sports car, and with the wife’s approval, started looking for a new toy.

7I had it all worked out in my mind; British; hand-built; small; and terrifingly fast.  Perhaps an old Lotus 7, or an Austin Healey.  Heck, I was even willing to consider something as large as a Sunbeam, as long as it looked good and turned heads, I wasn’t going to be too picky.

Even the wife got into it, searching Ebay and Craigslist, waiting for a good deal on a solid car for weekending and car shows.  In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have let her help me, because odds are that without her help I’d be driving a Lotus Europa right now instead of a (comparatively) huge V-8 Ford Mustang.

brownMy wife likes finding cars that she knows I’ll hate.  She enjoys seeing me turn queasy over the latest classifieds advertising someone elses backyard mistake.  I know better than to try and shove a 350 small block in a Spitfire 1500, or put a rattle-can paintjob on a ’69 Z-28 Camaro, but apparently this isn’t common knowledge  (I also don’t care that your “rare” MGB was ordered in chocolate brown and still has the original paint.  It still looks like poop).  Searching for cars online is a lesson in patience, and I’m lucky some of these advertisers can’t hear what I’m thinking.

Lo and Behold, my wife pipes up one night and says “hey, this guy says he has a factory pink ’65 Mustang Convertible for sale”.  “That’s nice, but pink wasn’t a factory color in 1965, he must be wrong”, I say, thinking that’s the end of the conversation.  “It’s in nice shape”, she says, “and he’s only asking $11,500, you should look at this.”.

It’s obvious I’m not going to get out of this, and if looking at a photo online makes her happy, so be it.  Hell, I’m curious to see what an antique pink Mustang looks like, anyways.  Little did I know that I was about to kiss my little imaginary Lotus goodbye.

The Earliest Pink Mustang Color: Playmate Pink

Playmate pink
In 1965, The first factory pink mustangs were released.  Known as “Playmate Pink”, they were done to match the 1965 Mustang given to Playboy Playmate Donna Michele, shown above, as reward for winning playmate of the year.  The color carried over to 1966, and the original pink cars were all special orders, with six digit DSO’s on the data plates, and a blank exterior color code.

It is interesting to note that this original image seems to be over-saturated, and the original color of the car may in fact be a considerably lighter than this image seems to indicate.  examining under the door code plate of an original 1965 playmate pink yields an interesting color:

IMG_1928
The Pink is very light, almost a flesh-tone, and it’s interesting to note that there is at least one other first generation mustang floating around in this pale pink tone.  Could this perhaps be the correct “playmate pink” color tone from 1965-1966?

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