Restoration of cars is one of those things that once it gets in your blood it becomes a life long passion. My "addiction" and love of classic cars began at the tender age of 19 when I was stationed in Hawaii with the U.S. Army in 1978 and I bought a 1954 corvette, that was in total pieces for $400.00. Unfortunately for me I did not yet have the maturity or knowledge of restoring cars yet to realize the the potential the car had. To make a long story short I ended up trading the car for a Chevrolet Vega.
Fast forward to 2011, at this point I had restored 2 other Mustangs. The first I sold to buy my wife an engagement ring, and the second one I sold to get seed money to buy and restore a convertible, which I had always wanted. I found a 1966 convertible with a 6 cylinder on e-bay located in a town close to me. After a little bit of a bidding war I won the auction.
. My wife had told me from the start that I could only have one Mustang at a time, but I found a loop hole and while I couldn't have but one at a time, there was no mention of where I could restore that one car, that being said, I built a 20 X 30 garage to restore the convertible!
To say that the car was a rust bucket is a total understatement, but it was my goal to make her a show car. I started the restoration in October of 2011. The car was totally stripped down to a bare unibody and I converted the garage into a temporary sand blast booth. and sand blasted the entire car while it was bolted to a rotisserie. It was at that point that I was able to access the metal repairs. I ended up having to replace over 75% of the cars sheet metal, It was a good thing that I had taught myself mig welding on my other 2 restorations!
I had started on the final body work and after 4 gallons of bondo, in which 90% ended up on the floor as dust, that I wasn't the body prep man I hoped to be. One of my friends who was a body shop manger for a local Ford dealer came by one night and say my despair and attempted body work, and offered the services of his body shop, which I quickly accepted and promised to name my next child after him! One very special event as a result of this was he told me one of his body shops men's wife had been diagnosed with cancer, and that the body shop was going to donate the cost of the final body and paint to him. All the body men were going to donate their time and all his vendors were going to donate paint and all materials so the total cost of the job could go the the man for his wife! The car was painted it's original color Arcadian Blue,
Once the car came back from the body shop in February 2013, I began to put the car back together. I installed a "pony" interior in the car with the blue-white color scheme, restored the original under dash a/c system, put a rebuilt concours correct 6 cylinder in with a C-4 transmission. On the exterior I spent months searching on E-bay and was able to have all the exterior chrome be N.O.S. The tires on the car are original style 4 ply bias. The convertible top is ford's version of white in 1966
In August of 2013 the car was finished and christened Elizabeth-Marie, my wife's and daughter's middle name. That same month I took her to her first car show, where she won the first of her 9 first place trophies. She took first in every show she entered. She also won 2 sponsors best,of show and a ladies choice award.
This year is going to be an exciting year as well. The national and Grand nationals for the AACA is being held close to me in July, and she well be going to her first national MCA event in May. Also we will be going to the 50th anniversary of the Mustang in Charlotte in April .
In just a few weeks Elizabeth-Marie is also going to be on TV! I was at a indoor car show in January and a man started taking a lot of pictures of the car, and then introduced himself to me, he was a producer for the Powerblock network, which has it's studios just an hour from me, and asked if I would be interested in having my car featured in one of his shows, the answer of course was YES!
I look forward to many, many years of being Elizabeth-Marie's owner, and hopefully the opportunity to show that 6 cylinder mustangs can stand up against the V-8's!