After many years of restoring a 1963 red Corvette Roadster, it came to playing a couple of rounds of Deal or No Deal. So in July of 2008, the No Deal decision was made. I called a couple of collectors in our area and a deal was struck to sell the corvette. I thought it would be tragic but as we rolled everything into his feather-light trailer I found that this was a relief rather than tragedy. For the next two months, we had our garage back.
Sometime in late August, we started looking at different cars on the internet and comparing notes about what we were looking at: 1955-1957 Thunderbird came up the most often along with 1965-66 Mustangs running a close second. We did not want to get into the “sorry no parts available” trap again so we started looking at Mustangs. Cindy and I went to a couple of Mustang retail parts places to ask for advice. American Mustang in Rancho Cordova and their staff pointed us in the right direction on what to look for in a 45-year-old car. I had no idea what a torque box was, maybe a musical instrument.
With decoder book and flashlight in hand, the search was on. The first few cars we looked at were real disappointments – overpriced and misrepresented. The worst liars we ran across were a couple who swore the car numbers matched, garage kept car that was owned by a sheriff in Sacramento. In fact, the door tag was the only number on that car that matched the title. The ID numbers under the hood on the top frame rail were from a convertible. The car had been put together from several different cars but this car at a glance was a real beauty.
We were getting discouraged. We did see this 67 lime gold GTA popped up on Craigslist from time to time and the price kept dropping. I did some research what a GTA was. It took me an hour to figure out that the ‘A’ was for automatic transmission. Out of the blue this car showed up in Granite Bay, and the asking priced had dropped again. We called and made an appointment and went to look at the car. I spent about 45 minutes looking the car over, checking numbers, measuring the sway bar and checking the correct fog lamp wiring and switch. The car was the real deal, but it was really rough. Cindy and I went for a walk and decided that it needed too much work and the lime gold color was not our favorite… sooooo we struck a deal with the hillbillies and drove the car home on a wing and a prayer – no gas gauge, no oil pressure and no temp. gauge. The car was such a mess but had real potential.
The resurrection was on. Parts and pieces came from all over the state with the bulk of the parts coming from American Mustang – as they were very good at finding the thing that hooks to the deal next to the what cha ma-call-it or the piece I took off the car to replace, only to find out it was not a part for a mustang but came off an old outboard motor.
I spent the next 6 months, 6 to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week refurbishing most of this car. The pieces and parts of the car came back from painting on January 19, 2009, and I had the car reassembled and ready for the first showing on February 21st at Sam’s Maaco trunk swap meet and car show.
The car was born in the San Jose, California plant and was first purchased in Alameda and several years later was sold to the hillbillies in Cobb California near Clear Lake. It is our belief that we are the third owners of this piece of Americana.
MUSTANG-AMERICA’S FAVORITE FUN CAR!