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How I met my Mustang


Fredensborg
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How I met my Mustang...

 

   It was the fall of 2003. I was driving down highway 169 from working a weekend cash job in cabin country of Northern Minnesota. Cruising along at my typical 10-15 miles over the speed limit, I catch a shiny glimpse of beautiful blue muscle car on the frontage road just off the highway. I did what any red-blooded American boy would do, and hastily cut across a couple lanes of traffic and slip into the turn lane to go take a peek.

   As I pull up, it's almost a scene out of a movie...The hood scoops looking like the snout of some evil blue dragon taking a nap on the side of the road... the blackout hood, spoiler, all the right things to pique the interest of a 23 year old kid...the classic "4-sale" sign tossed on the dash with a local number to call

                                                                      

                                                                        "1973 Mustang

                                                                          8,500$ Steve"

 

All the information necessary...so of course after drooling over the car a bit, I get back in my '96 F-150 and fly home. That evening I call Steve and inquire about the car. Trying to remember to not sound too excited as I asked him a few standard questions, how many miles? Any accidents? Why are you selling? Blah blah blah, I was hardly listening to the responses...now on the important questions!! Yes it is still available, but boy has he had a lot of calls on it....but, yes he can show it to me tomorrow afternoon!!  All day long at work I was thinking of the car, visions of burnouts, hot chicks riding shotgun, and drag races dancing through my head. As soon as work is over I drive back to the sleepy little town along highway 169. 

 

   "Are you Jason" he asks, clearly a little disappointed in my age...I have always had a babyface and I can tell he thinks I'm barley old enough to drive let alone buy a car for myself...

 

"Yes sir, you must be Steve" Of course he is, we chat for awhile longer and the initial ice wears off and he asks if I would like to drive it....WOULD I??? Ive been waiting all day for this! He fires it up and lets me take the reigns for the first time...this not being my car and me not wanting to damage anything...I drive like a little old lady around the block a few times. "OK, pull over" he says, "I'll show you a couple things"...I'm pretty sure Steve has sold a car or two in his day to young bucks. As soon as we switch spots he heads to the edge of town at a pretty good clip, we come to a complete stop in the middle of a nice stretch of flat two-lane blacktop with no one in sight. He proceeds to do the most ass kicking break stand I have ever been a part of up to that point in my life...lets off the break a lays a nice patch of rubber along the road to commemorate my birth into the Mustang Family.

 

   At this point he probably could have added a thousand dollars to the price of the car, I was hooked...this car would be mine. We cruse back over to where my truck is parked and I try my best to work "The Art of the Deal"...the Don would have just shaken his head at me :)

 "Will you take 7500$???" 

 

"Oh no, this car is a paint job away from being a 30,000$ car!! I cant sell for less!" he says..

To which I naturally reply..."Sold!"

 

We head back to his place and write up a quick little contract. I give him a deposit, then head to the bank the next day to take out a loan for the rest...A few days later she's all mine!

   The first day I had the car I get pulled over for rolling through a stop sign, pretty sure the cop just wanted to check out my bad ass ride because he let me off with a warning anyway. Up till that point in my life I've never had a cop pull me over and be all smiles, asking questions about my car...

    I drove her around a decent amount those first couple years. To work and back when the weather was nice, friends houses, the occasional car show...After meeting my wife and using the Mustang as the get-away car in the wedding (sentimental value anti-sale insurance guarantee, do it guys!), the babies started arriving and the Mustang fell into disrepair a bit. She sat in my garage for the better part of ten years, the longest trip being an 18 mile journey from our old house to our new one when we moved in 2010...but my kids are bigger now, and I have finally decided to get the Mustang back out there. I should have her back next week, and I am VERY excited!!

 

These old Mustangs have an effect on people, and I swear I was meant to have this car...I know it sounds kinda corny and silly. But all the little things that had to line up just right for me to notice the car when I did, work up north that weekend, take that particular road home that day, be the first one to show up and see the car out of a handful of calls the Steve got (or maybe that was one of his expert salesmanship tactics??) :) I think others of you know what I'm talking about and maybe have a similar (or vastly different) story, I'd love to hear the different circumstances that led to other people being owned by a Mustang!!

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Jason
1973 Mach1 Q-code

My carbon footprint is exceptionally large.

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Great story, but:

 

:worthlesswithoutpics:

 

-----

 

So after my pal Jim bought a 1963 1/2 Galaxie 500 XL to have a cool hot rod to work on, I was jonesin’ pretty hard for a cool hot rod of my own.  After pokin’ around on Craigslist for a few weeks, I’d decided to look at a 1971 Mach 1 being sold for way too much money… but it was locally in San Angelo.  I originally saw the first pic (below, swiped from the CL ad, as a matter of fact) and was intrigued, but not “all-in” for $2800. I kept seeing it on CL for a few weeks with the price dropping a bit each time. It had gotten down to $2200 when I called the seller and asked about it. He said he’d had lots of interest (B.S.) and it wouldn’t last long (more B.S.). I waited a few more days and called to go see the car – meanwhile, my wife had found his ebay ad for the same car (more pictures) with pretty much the same description – for $2000. I printed that out and took it with me. My pal Jim was warning me off the whole time, but I had the Mach 1 Goggles on and I was going to have this car. The seller had said something about the $2200 CL ad price, and I showed him the ebay ad… to which he reluctantly agreed to honor that price. After crawling all over the car, noting the holes in the floor, the seized engine, seized master cylinder, the fact that he had no title or even a set of keys, along with Jim “Dude-ing” me the whole time, I walked away. We both came to the conclusion that it was WAY too rough for the money and that it was probably better to pass on this one (OK – he decided it was better to pass on it, but I wasn’t done considering all options yet). 

After another week, I called the guy back and asked how things were going, and he once again came back with the ‘lots of interest’ and ‘won’t last long’ B.S., and I told him I’d like to check it out one more time. So, I met him on a Saturday morning with a trailer and looked it over one more time. He still wanted $2200, and I reminded him of the ebay ad I’d shown him last time. He sighed and agreed again. But then I threw him a healthy dose of reality. He kept claiming it was a rare and desirable car, and worth a lot more – he’d just seen one go for $40K on Barrett Jackson. To which, I threw up the B.S. Flag. During that week away, I’d joined 7173Mustangs.com and I think this forum as well, and done a ton of research. Turns out it was a Boss 351 that went for $40K (very much NOT a ratted-out H-Code Mach 1), and I explained everything in detail about the car (production numbers, DSO code, how insignificantly not-rare or collectible the car is, etc.) and told him with the seized engine, rust, no title or keys, and overall sad shape of the car that I would give him $1600 and not a penny more. He started to protest and I basically told him that I’ve been watching this car not selling for the past 2 months, and that he wasn’t going to find another sucker to give him even that much. He wanted to argue, but finally agreed after seeing the trailer outside… and a few minutes later my other friend Don and I winched the Mach 1 onto the trailer, I handed him 16 Benjamins and took his quickie Bill of Sale that he’d scribbled out. I later found out he’d only paid something like $1000 for it, and was trying to pull off a Gas Monkey kind of a deal.

It wasn’t until I got it over to the Auto Hobby Shop that I’d started being concerned about a few things… First, that I’d gone against Jim’s advice, Second that I’d paid too much, and Finally that there were no keys. I wasn’t even concerned with the lack of title, but that would sink in later and turn out to be no big deal as well, since it had ancient Texas plates, a military ID tag, and a Texas registration sticker from 1980 (it had fallen out of the system a long time ago). Jim was there just shaking his head, looking more like a disappointed father after I’d just wrecked the family car or something.  He wasn’t pissed or anything, but he was definitely not initially very supportive. I’d even asked him, “OK, Jim. What should I start with?” Without missing a beat, he replied, “A tetanus shot.” Looking back on things, that was freaken hilarious… but at the time it just irritated me.

Don said he’d ease the car off the trailer with the winch, but after I hopped in, he hit the release and the Mustang and I rolled off the trailer and picked up speed before bouncing hard onto the pavement and coasting away.  This was the first time ‘driving’ the Mustang, but I was really more of a passenger, since the steering wheel was locked (with no keys), and the brake pedal was solid from the seized master cylinder.  After it came to a stop, the guys helped push the car to an outside stall, and the comments began to roll out.  Everything from, “whatta pile,” to “I wouldn’t have bought that POS,” to “what possessed you to buy THAT,” to “you’ll never make that nice again,” came from just about everybody who laid eyes on it… which just made me more determined – whatever… it’s my car now, and I’m going to make everybody eat their words.

Here are some pics – a couple of Craigslist pics and a few from after getting the car to the shop.

 

schlep1-300x225.jpg  schlep2-300x225.jpg

back_end1-300x225.jpg  back_right1-300x225.jpg

Interior_starting_point1-300x225.jpg

 

And 4 years later, this:

 

Frankcarshow_2017-4.jpg

Frankcarshow_2017-6.jpg

 

Great story man! I love the first bit of drive time was rolling off the trailer!! Haha, I’ll dig up some old pics of my car from the time I bought it and post in a bit.

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Jason
1973 Mach1 Q-code

My carbon footprint is exceptionally large.

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  • 2 years later...
Posted (edited)

Bump.
 

I’d really like to read more stories of how folks found their mustangs…don’t be shy folks! Lets see those creative writing skills!! 

Edited by Fredensborg

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Jason
1973 Mach1 Q-code

My carbon footprint is exceptionally large.

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That's an awesome story David! At least you know the entire history of your car that way!! Keep 'em comin guys, I find these stories of how people came to own their mustangs fascinating! Any other original owners? What was it like the day you ordered it? Did you ever come close to selling? How many others are like me and are the third or fourth owner of their cars? Please, lets hear those stories!

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Jason
1973 Mach1 Q-code

My carbon footprint is exceptionally large.

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I had been looking for a Mustang convertible for a while. I started out looking for a 67-68 or a 69-70 but all the cars I drove did not drive or handle very well and I felt like I was sitting on it rather than in it. I Then I started looking for a 71-73, a friend of mine had one back in the day and I like the styling. I almost didn't go look at mine because it was yellow and later I repainted it... YELLOW!!??. I met the owner 1/2 way between where we each lived. He was surprised when I pulled out a floor jack and coveralls and asked if I could look underneath. It looked pretty solid and it drove great and I sat IN the car. We made a deal on it. That was in 1998. I had it for almost a year and drove it all over the place. One day on the way home from work some chucklehead made a blind left turn from behind a travel trailer and tore the nose off my nice driver Mustang. I REALLY didn't want a project car... I was pissed and tore it completely apart. It sat on blocks and jackstands for the next 7 years. I'd tinker on it now and then, replaced and repaired the damaged metal (fortunately the pick-up that hit me went over top of the frame rails). After languishing in my garage a friend challenged me to get it back together and offered his help. I got it back on the road in August of 2006 for a big show and cruise in Grand Rapids. Since then it's been a "rolling restoration". I've swapped it to a 5 speed, changed to 18" wheels, rebuilt the engine, reupholstered the seats and replaced the wiring harness (still in progress, but hey it drives), next up is a big brake kit featuring Cobra brakes and Brembo 4 piston calipers on the front. Between the beginning and today I have put about 60,000 miles on her and have been all over the eastern US. I'm NOT saving this one for the next guy!! LOL!! My favorite cruise night is a 110 mile round trip. 

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[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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I love reading these!! Thanks for sharing, great story! Must have felt great to get it back on the road after all those years!

 

How about any of you European members or Aussies? How did you guys meet your mustangs?? Don't be shy!

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Jason
1973 Mach1 Q-code

My carbon footprint is exceptionally large.

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My 73 came from a friend of mine who had the car for a number of years. It was completely dismantled about 10 years ago. After moving house a number of times and realising the cost of a full restoration and the time involved, he decided he would not be in a position to do it for many more years to come. He needed the single garage space in his new home, fully taken up by the car, panels,engine, trans, etc and boxes of all the other bits. Reluctantly he offered the car to me for next to nothing on the proviso I would not part it out being a Mach1, matching numbers car, Q code, 4V, etc and well optioned.

I decided on a full ground up resto. Sand blasted (except for flat panels), all rusted sections repaired or replaced. 99.9% of every nut, bolt, screw and rivet removed and replaced. I haven't worked on a Mustang before and with nothing bagged or tagged, and a complete re-wiring, assembly was like a giant jigsaw. The 7173 site has been a huge help.

 

Negatives - Cost is always more than first thought; Hundreds of hours of time. BUT

Positives – Looks great, sounds great, real fun to drive and a head-turner when I'm out enjoying it.

Would I do it again? BLOODY OATH MATE!

 

David

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Well, like many of us here, most of my story has been posted before, but I do have quite an interesting story that newer members might like to read. I'll keep it as brief as possible.

It all started for me back in 1972 when I lived in Birmingham, England. I was walking along the downtown main street with a friend, when there it was. It was a Grabber Lime (I didn't know the name of the colour at that time) Mach 1 with all the black goodies, interior, stripes, hood. Absolutely gorgeous and I fell in love........ with a car! I said to my friend, "one day I'll own one of those", to which he said, "yeah right!". At that time I did not know that I would move to Canada 8 months later. Fast forward to 1974, I bought my first Mustang. Not a Mach 1, but a 71 Fastback 302. I had that car until I got married and we had a child. In 1980, we split up and I bought a 72 Mach 1 Q code, 4 speed. I only drove that car in summer as I had picked up a second Mach 1 H code automatic as a parts car that turned out to be better than that, so I "fixed it up" and drove that as my winter beater for 4 years until I sold it. The Q code stayed with me until wifey #2 came along and I sold that car in 1991 for 2500 bucks, all I could get for it at that time. I SHOULD have kept it!!!

Fast forward again to 2008, I was in a position to look for another Mach 1. I started with local ads on Autotrader, Kijiji etc. then to the internet. I found a beautiful looking Mach 1 on the Hemmings website, but the price looked wrong. I sent an email to the owner asking for more information and to confirm the price. I got a reply next day, but he did not confirm the price (unfortunately as it turned out). Me, being the suspicious type, went back to the Hemmings site to get a copy of the ad, but it had gone. Not having that copy almost cost me the car when I imported it. ** Always print a copy of an ad when you first see it**. After a few phone call the owner who lived in the LA area, I decide it was time to go see this so called rust free car. I flew out to LA from Detroit to meet Tony and see the car first hand. This car was everything he said it was. Zero visible rust anywhere. It had been repainted in the original Light Pewter, but that was all. The motor and engine bay were totally original other than of course, service parts. The interior had new seat covers, but the rest was untouched. After lookin git over, it was time for a test drive. Now, some will remember a recent post of mine regarding a broken throttle cable. Just as we were about to pull out of the diveway, the cable snapped. A good start for sure. So we took Tony's car and headed to Ventura and NPD to buy a new cable. As I had already decided to buy the car, I picked up a few other items I knew I'd need to be shipped back with the car.

After a great weekend with Tony, we arrange to ship the car back to Detroit via Reliable Carriers. It arrived a week later and this is where the real fun started. A friend from work had access to a car trailer and offered to go with me to collect the car. I thought I had all the paperwork done and ready, but noooo! First, I got to the US customs office by the Ambassador Bridge, only to find my export papers had not been cleared despite giving them more than the require 3 days notice. After some haggling, they stamped the papers and we were on the way over the bridge. Arriving at the Canadian customs things got really interesting. I knew I had to pay the 5% Federal tax, so after pulling into the secondary inspection area, we were ordered out of the vehicle and separated. Three customs goons started questioning us and I won't go into all of that, but bottom line is, they did not believe what I declared I paid for the car. Fortunately I did not lie. After 2 1/2 hours of interrogation, they finally let me go with the car. Remember I did not have a copy of the ad, well if I had I would not have gone through hell at the border. I simply did not have proof showing a price close to what I paid. The car was valued at double what I paid by these "experts". 

I will add more later, time for the British F1 race. 

What a race!! Hammer Time!! 

Pic 1; being checked over before shipping. Pic 2: arriving home. Pic 3; Engine showing original decals. The only major item replaced on this was the carb and I have the Autolite original in a box.

1971 MUSTANG TOW YARD 002.jpg

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IMG_0512.1.jpg

Edited by Stanglover
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Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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I found my car in January 2000 (summer time here). I had been looking at Mustangs for a while and most had fresh paint or were basket cases. This one was at least honest and RHD converted (Passing trucks on the open road in Australia when driving in the left seat is not much fun-You have to put a lot of car out there to have look.) . She had an older respray, visible small amounts of rust and evidence of having had more hits than Elvis. The front end was bad. The steering had a heap of play. She was shod with bald retreaded tyres. I actually  left the car yard and on the way home changed my mind and returned to put a deposit on her. I think I felt sorry for her. All I asked was that they transfer the registration to our state. The salesman told me that the car was for sale due to a divorce settlement.

One week later i picked her up and had my first drive. Bad was an understatement. I drove her down to my race sponsor's back shed where we rebuilt the front end and steering box. We put new shockers on (They are the same as some Australian Falcons). The Kelly Tire rep sold me 4 brand new tyres for $50aud each which was an absolute bargain. It probably helped that my race buggy was also shod with Kelly's through my sponsor We then wheel aligned her.

Two weeks later I took her for a proper drive. She was a different car. In the 20 years that I have owned her she has never let me down and she has been to a lot of places, including camping at off road race meetings up north.. A panel beater friend of mine cut the rust out and fabricated a patch panel for the filler panel between trunk and roof. That was the only paint that I have had done since I bought the car so the current photos look the same as the day I bought her.

I have started stripping her down for body and mechanical repairs. I have discovered that she is a numbers matching car. Dickheads often offer me money for her as apparently they will take it off my hands because "no-one" wants this style of Mustang I could never sell her as I consider her to be family.

Edited by Mike King
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