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I never even thought of t-roofs as a possibility for these cars, and it looks great with that period-correct Hurst Hatch installation.  I came from the Pontiac camp originally in the late 70's, and without looking I recall the '76 Trans Am might have had the Hurst Hatch t-roofs as a factory-installed option.  I had a '79 Trans Am special edition 400 / 4 speed in '83 with the GM t-roofs, and man were those things tough to get sealed properly.  Car was a daily driver and parked outside so it had to be able to survive the rain.  What a neat feature to have on a Mach 1 though!  It would really open up the driving experience while still maintaining the sportsroof appearance.  Come to think of it, back then there were also several shops cutting up roofs for manual popup sunroofs when that fad was big.  I wonder how much structural integrity a Mach 1 would lose by doing this.  Probably not a bad idea to also have welded-in subframe connectors.

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Welcome from North Carolina to the Forum.

A couple of things to think about. Someone already mentioned the fact that cutting the opening for the tops weakens the car. The top is a huge structural part of any car. I was and automotive tooling engineer for 25 years so I understand some of it.

On the newer mustangs, in Fox body, that got T-Tops from the factory they actually added another stamping on each side to the inside of the rocker box to add back some stiffness lost when cutting the roof rails out. That stamping was one of the additions to all of the SVO cars to make them stiffer and handle better. Of course Verts have different rocker boxes to put back the strength taken out with no roof.

Your car was the Gold Glow original but Black was still an option in 72 but was not an option in 73 except by special order.

I have a couple cars that have sat, one for 25 years and the other for over 30 years.

The one I am currently working on is a 73 Vert that sat in California for 25 years has 48,000 miles. I did drive it about 20 miles, very slowly, to get it home from transport. I of course took lots of things apart. I pulled the entire heat and air system off and put new heater core in and cleaned all the air system and replaced all the O-rings and foam seals. Lots of info on the Forum for that.

The brakes were taken completely apart. The master cylinder was rusty and had blown one side so replaced. New vacuum seal for brake booster. The P.O. had started to work on the car to get going and decided to sell. He had put new rotors, wheels cylinders and rear linings on. He had used the original calipers so I took apart cleaned, new seals, new hardware and put back on. I took everything back apart and checked. One broke spring on the rear. Also replaced the rubber brake hoses and blew out the lines.

The oil seals on engine do not leak and the rear axle and pinion seals are ok so far.

One test I do on all my cars before going out is to apply the brakes with both feet as hard as I can to test blowing something out. Better in driveway then on street.

Another important change is the fuel lines due to the alcohol in the fuel. You need to change from the tank to the carb and get the new hose that is made for the alcohol fuel. The fuel tank should come off and get hot tanked to get the crud out of it. Blow out the metal lines and if corroded inside replace them.

All of the ground connections in the electrical probably need to be cleaned to keep everything working there.

Of course the radiator hoses and heater hoses need attention.

You may or may not know that the 351 - C has a unique thermostat that alters the water flow as the engine warms up. Make sure you have the correct thermostat made for a Cleveland engine. You can search the Form for all that info.

A car sitting for long periods of time is not that bad. I have a 1950 Ford that has 16,000 miles and all original hoses, belts and even tires are still on the car. I did take all the brakes apart and check but zero rust in any cylinders.

Great that you got your friends car and putting it back on the road. Just be safe and check everything or you might be stranded or worse have a crash.

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P


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