Building a Stable for the Pony

The Pink Mustang Waiting for its new garage

The Pink Mustang Waiting for it's new garage

Having a love for old cars carries with it an inherent problem:  Where do you keep them all?  For the odd junker or parts car, indoor storage may not be a necessity, but for an antique that’s in decent shape it’s a different story altogether.
Unfortunately, I purchased the Mustang without a garage space waiting at home.  I was simply out of space, and until I found more, I was forced to let the car sit in the driveway, tarped and rather neglected.  The immense rush of self-guilt that came from not having a proper garage space for the old car served as excellent motivation, and within a week of purchasing the car I started construction on a new single car garage.

I priced out pre-built garages, and compared with what it would cost me to hire a couple guys and buy all the materials myself.  As it turned out, the cost to have one delivered was with about $150 of what it would cost me to build it myself, but the delivered garage would have no windows and would be 60 square feet smaller than what I would build on my own.  In addition, the flooring of the delivered garage would be lumber, whereas if I built it myself the slab would be concrete.

We poured a concrete slab instead of wood flooring

We poured a concrete slab instead of wood flooring

The construction itself was incredibly quick.  It took about 6 hours to dig out the foundation and pour the concrete.  We built a slight ramp into the slab at the garage door, and decided to go with a 9′wx7′h garage door which ran $138 from Lowes.

The framing for the garage took about 8 hours, and then another 8 hours was spent finishing out the roof and walls.  For siding I decided to use a smart siding instead of T1-11.  It was my first experience with the material and I can’t say enough good things about it.  For starters, it was roughly $9 cheaper per sheet, it has a hard primed exterior surface, and it takes paint much better than t1-11 does.  If you’re looking to build a cheap shed or garage, check that stuff out!

The garage walls are going up fast!

The garage walls went up fast!

Putting up a garage like this was remarkably easy.  I didn’t purchase any construction plans, all the construction was done from memory, right down (or up) to the roof rafters.  I still need to build parts shelves in the garage and put up some finishing trim, but as far as storing the car is concerned, the mustang has a pretty new garage to rest in, safe and sound!Jon's Garage - 16

Jon's Garage - 23

Interior and Carpet Restoration

I pulled the interior and carpet on the 1965 convertible Mustang with the intention of replacing pretty much everything.  I wasn’t sure what condition the floor pans would be in, but I’ve patched and replaced pans in other mustangs, so the prospect doesn’t frighten me too much.

Here’s what the Mustang looked like before I got started:
IMG_0496

1965 factory pink mustang

(I can only pray that sticky stuff on the steering wheel is oil…)

1965 factory pink mustang

The seats and door panel inserts looked pretty good, so we decided to save them, and we pulled all the interior components out:Pink Mustang Interior

(One of my neighbors called the color “titty pink” back in the 60′s.  Sounds about right.)

Pink Mustang Interior

Pink Mustang Interior

Pink Mustang Interior

(The secret to restoring vinyl: If you overexpose your photos, white seats always look great!)

1965 Mustang Convertible Carpet Replacement

1965 Mustang Convertible Carpet Replacement

1965 Mustang Convertible Carpet Replacement

Next I sanded down any surface rust in the pan and sprayed it expoxy primer.  I also sanded down the door interiors and dash, taped them off, sprayed with epoxy primer, and the painted with 1965 Ford interior white paint:
1965 Mustang Door Re-Paint

1965 Mustang Door Re-Paint

1965 Mustang Door Re-Paint

(Stuffing your mustang in a big plastic bag is NOT an appropriate disposal method)

1965 Mustang Door Re-Paint

I also removed the center console and re-sprayed that as well.  The chrome on the console is less than perfect, but it is still very presentable, and at the cost of replacing the chrome, I opted to instead keep it.  I then went ahead and replaced the carpeting with a carpet kit from CJ’s Pony Parts:

1965 Mustang Convertible Carpet Replacement

(The instructions said “PRE-MOLDED”.  Technically true, but hardly “plug-and-play”)

1965 Mustang Interior Restoration

Once the carpet was done, I reassembled the interior and replaced the padded dash which had been warped over the years due to sun and age. Along with the new carpet and paint, I also replaced the steering wheel and horn ring.  Here’s what the new interior looks like:

1965 Mustang White Interior

(Strategic angles prevent you from seeing the missing kick panel)

1965 Mustang White Interior

(Now, if only I had fixed the rear window cranks while the interior was out!)

1965 Mustang White Interior

The new interior looks and feels great!  I’m thrilled to have it done, and the only thing I’m thinking of doing to the interior now is either refinishing or replacing the gauge cluster, but other than that I have no complaints.  Having done the interior on a ’65 coupe in the past, I have to say that the convertible was much easier considering that I could put the top down as I worked on it!

Ford Carlisle 2009

My brother and I went up to Ford Carlisle this past summer to sell his 1965 Mustang Coupe.  The car didn’t sell unfortunately, but here’s a funny picture I found while searching through my photo archives.  The Car is still for sale, so if you’re looking for a 1965 Mustang Coupe HiPo GT Project, this is it!

IMG_0499

Some people just can’t help themselves….  I have to admit, I’m pretty much the same way. :-)

The Mustang and the Manhole

I have to give a big THANK YOU! to the guys over at the Brandywine MD fire house for helping me out with my mustang this afternoon!  I was worried sick that I might have caused serious damage to the car, but they really saved the day!

You see, I went out to a cruise-in at the fire house this afternoon, and as I was parking the car at the show, I drove over a manhole cover that collapsed beneath the weight of the car!!!  Apparently the welded steel tabs that hold the cover snapped, and the front end of the car sank into the hole!  I immediately froze, terrified I had snapped the A-arm or wrecked the suspension, and imagine my shock when I stepped out of the car and found this!:

IMG_0612

Of all the places for it to happen, I was lucky it was at the fire department!  Aside from the hideous embarassment of it all, at least they had airbags on hand to lift the car and get it out without causing any damage!  Believe it or not, I didn’t have any damage to the body panel or paint, and only a slight nick to the lower chrome trim.  I did catch serious hell from the Chevy guys there, but I was just glad there was no serious damage!  It could have been a whole lot worse, and the guys at the fire house did decide to put cones up around the manhole cover after the little run in with my car!

Paul McCartney at Fedex Field

Getting Ready for Paul McCartney!

Getting Ready for Paul McCartney!

You may or may not have been aware, but Sir Paul McCartney played at FedEx Field in Landover, MD Saturday Night.  I went to see the show, and while the music was great, pretty much everything else was a train wreck.  I drove the pink mustang out to the show because I was at the Mustang Mania V car show in Columbia, MD earlier in the day.  I got to the stadium 2.5 hours before the show, and it’s a good thing I did!

The show started about 1 1/2 hours late due to traffic being completely abysmal, supposedly people were stuck for as long as 2 hours trying to get in to the stadium!  It was fortunate that we had avoided getting there at the last minute, because I’m not sure the car would have been too happy with a 2 hour traffic jam to get into the show.

Once I was inside I found that the water stopped running in the bathrooms due to a blocked up pipe, supposedly they had it fixed 25 minutes before the start of the show, but the show started at 9pm, and I found the water had stopped at 7:25, so that’s at least an hour with no running water in the stadium.  Hardly the picture of sanitary conditions.

Food concessions were almost as bad.  After waiting for 20 minutes to get sodas, I found the credit machines had crashed (Cash only, folks!), the soda taps weren’t working, and they were waiting on the beer kegs to be changed out.  Essentially it was $5 bottles of water or nothing!  I spent $200 on tickets for the show, but the condition of the facilities certainly didn’t reflect it!

Paul McCartney Rocking FedEx Field!

Paul McCartney Rocking FedEx Field!

The mass exodus at the end of the show was also a nightmare.  I assumed I would wait until the rush died down so that I wouldn’t get caught in a heavy back-up with a 1965 mustang.  I waited for nearly 1.5 hours and the traffic was still heavily congested!  I took my chances, and ended up getting out of the complex about 2 hours after the show ended.

90,000 people go to FedEx Field for Redskins Games, but 50,000 concert goers was apparently overwhelming.  Don’t forget that they charged a $10 parking fee per ticket, but you don’t get that money back if there’s  more than one ticket holder in your car!  Oh, there’s also more seats than parking spaces there, so they were essentially charging for a commodity that didn’t “technically” exist!

McCartney himself was awesome, 2.5 hours of great tunes from a legendary artist, but FedEx Field really short changed their patrons, IMHO.  How do you charge $10 for parking 50,000 times if there’s only 22,001 seats?  It should be illegal to charge money for a parking spot that

  1. Isn’t used
  2. Doesn’t actually exist!

I will say this much:  If McCartney comes back in town, I hope he goes to another venue.  I’d love to see him again, but there’s no way I’ll ever pay to see another concert at FedEx Field!