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!

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!

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.