I’ve got the top out the mustang, and I’ve packed it away safely for the winter while I work on the body of the Mustang. Pulling the top out itself was simple, I did it by myself in about an hour. I was expecting it to be a lot more complicated that it really was!
I took a trip up to CJ Pony Parts about 3 weeks ago to gather parts, paint, etc. for the mustang. Al told, I spent a little over $1,000 on the order, and included in that was a $35 restamped data door plate to replace the original. My original door plate had been sprayed over, and I wanted to make sure that the plate was clearly visible due to the rarity of the car.
Last week my new data plate came in the mail and for some reason the stamping style was completely different from the original. I know that different stamp styles were used based on point of origin, date produced, etc., but all that info is on the door plate, so there shouldn’t have been an error like this.
I called CJ and they told me that Marti Auto Works did their stamping, and I would need to get in touch with them. When I called Marti, they said they had no record of doing the work and needed the order number. What followed was a flurry of calls back and forth that went something like this:
Call to CJ: They gave me the order number, told me to call back Marti. (Spoke to Earl)
Call to Marti: They said the order number was incorrect, please have CJ give them a call to straighten this out. (Spoke to Christie)
Call to CJ: They gave me a different order number, told me I could just call Marti back myself. (Spoke to Earl)
Call to Marti: They still couldn’t find the order, they again told me CJ should be the one calling them since they placed the order, and could I please email them photos of the original and re-pop plates. (Spoke to Christie)
Call to CJ: Asked to speak with Jeremy (The guy who did my order 3 weeks ago), asked if he was sure that Marti did their plates. He checked and said it was someone else. I explained the situation again, and the run-around I’ve been getting, and he said I need to talk to customer service. I talked to customer service, they asked for photos of the plates to see how bad the error was, and I sent them.
Call from Marti: Christie calls me, says that she looked at the plates, and it was obvious that it was not something they did. I explained to her what CJ told me, apologized profusely for harassing them, and asked them to go ahead and re-pop the plate, since they weren’t at fault but actually took the time to help figure this out.
This took up a good chunk of my day, and I felt terrible about pestering Marti when it wasn’t their fault. CJ Pony Parts managed to make me look like a real asshole for complaining about a mistake they didn’t make; Thanks CJ! They also couldn’t be bothered to apologize for the mis-stamp, or for pawning me off onto the wrong manufacturer. I really feel like CJ did a piss poor job here, and I’m fairly certain I learned my lesson. I’m not going to be buying my parts from CJ in the near future!
Marti said it was going to take a few weeks to get the plate stamped, which is fine with me. I highly recommend you consider Marti if you’re getting a plate restamped, because who knows what you’re going to get with CJ!
BTW: Marti charged me $10 less than CJ did!
My 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.
Overall, 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!