Jason L 1969 Ford Mustang GT 2dr Coupe

Love at first sight.

It was the summer of '92 I was 16 and in my Sophomore year of High School. We lived in a rural area - farm country more or less. Growing up I was always infatuated with flashy super cars and old school muscle. Growing up I probably had over 200 matchbox cars. My room adorned posters of Lamborghini's, Shelby Cobra's and the like. I knew very little about cars at the time just that I had the need for speed. One day while riding home from school on the bus we passed by this house (not far from home) that had a car sitting out front. The front grill was all taken apart and it had 4 mis matched wheels and tires on it. At the time I had no idea what it was just that it looked AWESOME. The window sported the price - written in shoe polish - $600! As soon as I got home I told my mom about it. We went and took a quick look but she was reluctant to make such a purchase without my dad's approval. He was a long haul trucker at the time - gone all week - only home for the weekends. "We'll have to wait for your father" she said. I'll never forget passing by every day while riding the bus eye balling that car - hoping it would still be there by the time my dad got home. Friday finally came I was so pumped to finally show the car to my dad. That is until the school bus rolled by and it was gone! My heart was broken. When I arrived home I told my dad about the car and he said "Sorry son it was gone by the time we stopped by - I told your mother she should have just bought it considering the price." I was devastated - despite not even knowing what kind of car it was I wanted it on pure looks alone. Just then my dad asked me to go grab him something out of the kitchen - when I headed in I looked outside the kitchen window and THERE IT WAS! My dream car was sitting out back - I couldn't believe it! I ran back to thank my folks that's when my dad informed me it was a '69 Mustang. The car ran and drove - it had a 302 2bbl and C4 auto, it had 4 wheel manual drum brakes and manual steering. I laugh thinking back how hard that car was to drive (and dangerous too haha). Our first car project today was to replace all the headlights and markers up front to make it street legal. The following two years were some of the best memories of my life. Wandering junk yards with my dad looking for obscure hard to find parts (at the time / like the headlight buckets). We put the front end all back together, we replaced all the brakes together, and did a tune up. This was the start of my hot rod addiction. When I think back the car wasn't in that bad of shape - especially for $600. I drove it to/from school the next two years and for a graduation present my dad helped finance a full restoration of the car! I've never stopped throwing money at that car - I still have it today. Now it sports a fully forged and blueprinted 302 - putting down around 375RWHP, a bulletproof C4, as well as a Curries 9" with limited slip diff. The car also has all new interior with Carabeu seats, custom dash insert with Phantom gauges - oh and don't forget a front disc upgrade. I have my own kids now and take them to cruise nights despite gas prices. I tell them the stories of how "grandpa" and I built this car - they're amazed just as much as I am when I think back how far along its come. They're right when they say "you're never done" building a car. The list of future upgrades never seems to diminish. I'd like to install electric assist power brakes and steering (with tilt). I'd love to throw a Martz Chassis front sub frame on it along with a mini tub 4 link to lower the stance. Oh and upgrade to a 427 and 5-speed. Needless to say the need for speed has never subsided.

2 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Claire Traverse City February 14, 2014 at 10:52
    I love this story! Sounds like your dad was a great guy. Happy cruising.
  • 2
    John Des Moines IA March 25, 2014 at 09:27
    It is great to share the memories of our dads, with our children and grand children, who never knew him, through his car that he bought new.

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