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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, guys be kind here. I am moving to a place in the country with a barn, and will be taking my LONG ignored, 1966 Mustang "Project" with me. I'm thinking to continue with the 'rat rod' concept as it cannot be restored without tens of thousands of dollars. Below is the set up, just wondering if anyone has thoughts and suggestions for an old guy with stiff knees and back, but still has the fire and tools to make something fun out of this thing.

  • Frankenstein 1966 Mustang 289 Coupe with a truck 4 speed top loader in awful scratched and dirty grey primer
  • Stored 10 years in dry garage.
  • Chinese front fenders from PO, they fit, well sort of.
  • Repaired by PO rear quarter panels could probably be made to look just OK in paint or primer.
  • Interior complete except dash pad replacement, driver's seat needs rewelding.
  • Floor pans replaced by me with NPD parts so no more holes. Kept dry since repaired.
  • Grey primer exterior except the Chinese front fenders still in black paint.
  • Half inch of of dust over entire car but has been closed up so no interior filth.
  • Drum rakes need replacement.
  • 289 is also a frankenstein, re built by me, but the parts in it were apparently from the PO's 'leftovers' bin.

If you were in your late 60's how would you, or would you even try to, restart this project? I'm leaning toward #2., but let's have the opinions guys.

1.Sell it and buy a used gasser for fun?
2.Put all the parts back on it best can,leave it in primer, and to to the track on "run what ya brung" days? (30 years ago this was the most fun I had with "racing".
3. Weld in subframes and get serious about adding expensive power and rigidity.
4. See 3, plus crate engine and new trans, bankrupting me in the process.
5 ?
 

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You are in your late 60s? Then do what will bring you the most fun and enjoyment for the least amount of money. I'll soon be 65 and I would lean towards #1 or #2. For me, #1 would be sell it and use the money for something super duper special, like a trip to a place I never thought I'd make, a once in a life time kinda thing. Examples might be front row seats to see the Rolling Stones, 2 weeks in Nepal, sail from the east coast to the west coast thru the Panama canal, a tour of the Grand Canyon, a month touring the country of your ancestors, you get the idea. I'm at a point where I enjoy experiences more than possessions.
 
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Well, if you feel like putting the time and effort in it and that is something you find enjoyable I'd just go ahead and restore it. If that isn't something you like doing then join @bontai Joe on a few of those cool excursions he was mentioning! :)
 

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blinged out
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rattle can it,do the brakes and drive the wheels off !
if it was a fastback and I was in good health I'd probably spend some time on making it presentable!
 

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Make Smoke, Boil Water!
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Being 'older', and having had more than my share of "projects", I eventually got to the point where I had to step back from 'the dream' and face cold, hard reality. It was a hard lesson to learn, and not in any way fun. I had to face the reality of my body betraying me with failing mobility, the inability to do things due to the ravages of arthritis, and my wife becoming disabled. I don't want you to get to the place I find myself in. So have a few tough-love thoughts for you.

(Warning, tough decisions follow...)

First, you've let it sit for TEN years. Be honest with yourself, and ask yourself, "Do I REALLY want to take this on, knowing how much time and sweat it's going to take?" And the tough one: Would I rather be doing something else??

Second, you have a crummy start at something that's not even a restoration, or much of value-add to the car. ALL that cheap stuff is going to have to be yanked and panel-beaten into the right shape, to get it to fit and look right. Otherwise, ask yourself: "Am I REALLY OK with the way all these halfway measures look and drive?" Then you get to the mechanicals. You're saying the engine is rebuilt, but again with half-measures here. Does it require more work than you're willing to give it?

I had someone ask me some time ago, "Do you own this project, or does it own you?"
Dang, that's a hard question and only you can answer it for your personality and circumstances...

Or (building on donmac above), maybe you should just get it running good enough, get a brush, a few cans of returned paint at the auto parts store, paint it all one color, then take it for one last race with FOR SALE signs on it, and decide if you want to be rid if it. Only you can decide. Otherwise, do you have the energy and the time to go after this to really make it right...?

I have a neighbor who had a '36 Packard Limousine, and the inability to finish the restoration on it (or heck, even GET IT RUNNING!) was eating him alive. He finally unloaded it, and now has a happy business dealing in Packard parts.

Good luck with the decision, we're all with you either way.
 

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I'm 68, a few project cars of my own. It's tough getting older.
It seems like in your 20s-30s you have little money, lots of energy but no time.
40s-50s some energy and money, still no time.
Now in 60s-70s, all the time in the world, but no energy, (should have) money.
There's never a balance.
Older, you have all the knowledge. Shame we can't find a young person to mentor, one who wants to learn.
If you're leaning towards #2...that's your answer. You need a helper though. Ask around where you're moving to. See about finding a helper. Ask neighbors or friends.


Sent from my SM-S205DL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Understand the age and joints thing all too well. It has sat because I have zero space in my garage to do work on it. When I move, it will have it's own concrete floor stall with plenty of room around, in front and in back of it with an adjoining, heated "tool room".

By the way, I will be 6.5 miles from an IHRA dragway. I just know one visit is going to light me up on getting this thing ready, probably as a rat rod.
 

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I'm at close to the same decision as you, 68 and just bought a new project. (see my post on the Cars section)
In my case, the project is basically my 1st car, never thought I'd have one again, but it just happened.
I have no interest in doing a full on,frame off resto- I just want a reasonable driver, with maybe a bit more power.
And my budget will be low to modest.
What will actually happen? I don't know, but am really looking forward to it.
 

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I'm with a couple of guys here when I say save it.
Hey I'm a Mopar guy but old Iron can't be left to rot. No matter what brand it is.

Just my .02$
 

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It takes a huge mental adjustment to convince yourself that your days of wrenching are over when the knees and back begin to give pain. At 56, I totally gutted and remodeled a house which sometimes involved 20 hour plus work days . At 65, I had my first go around with cancer, and my back had deteriorated to the point where walking 1000' involved a rest break. At 74, walking 300' without using a cane is out of the question, and I just discovered that I have lost over 3" in height over the past 10 years. It will not improve.

Sell the car and parts before you move and then follow the suggestions of @bontai Joe while you still have enough left in your body.to actually enjoy the activities.
 

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I'm getting too old for major resto's myself! I have 2 performance boats that need glasswork [which I hate} and one has been sitting 4 yrs. now!
my son is 25 and boy can he keep himself over worked! he's gm tech at dealership full time and in spare time is building
66Bellii 500ci/6sp. manual [finished just needing final cut and buff}
1980 2wd blown BB blazer [needs interior installed and front fenders painted}
1999 suburban with duramax/allison [needs newer instrument cluster and interior installed}
1997 chev 3500 dually 6.5 [needs box painted and installed}
198? ford 1215 4x with loader [needs headgasket or head}
jd gator with generac 990cc engine [needs seats installed }
finish basement [ drywall stage]
3 kids [lifetime of work}
maybe there's more hrs. in his week than mine,every time I go over there major work has been accomplished, this week the suburban body was put onto the new 3/4 ton chassis with the engine installed. oh and last saturday he put head gaskets in a friends duramax! that takes most guys 3/4 days!
sometimes I like being old!

get the motor fired up in that mustang,see how it sounds and decide from there! at least running you'll get decent cash for the car if you decide to walk away!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I get jittery and cranky when there is nothing going on. Older I get the more I need something to work on. Since TV is officially become a cesspool of useless not to mention annoying messaging, that isn't where I will be spending any of my time. When I move, I will finally have the space needed to work on this project without having to unpack my small garage just to get at it, then repack it just to close the door. Thinking about it, this whole new home thing has been about getting out of the "rat race", physically, socially, and mentally. Maybe I'll end up with a "rat rod" instead.... a good trade if you ask me.
 

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I am older yet. I always thought I wanted a boat, looking on c-list & marketplace regularly. Have had an outboard in the basement since 1992. Live ~8 miles from a launch ramp. Could handle a 14-15' aluminum by myself, maybe with wife.
Still do not own a boat.
Finally realized I don't really want one if I did not pick one up in 30 years. I still look, but unless it is THE deal, I likely won't get one.
Is the mustang something like that?
tom
 

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First off...congratulations and good luck with the new home and the move.....I would just put a Fire Sale price on it and get rid of it...less to move...how far a move is it?....Traveling is a real pain these days with this COVID stuff....and some people just don't like to travel any way.....but my wife and I have been doing it and really enjoying it......I am trying to get to as many National Parks as I can ...they are magnificent...as far as front row seats for the Stones.....are we talking front row, center? ;)
 

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I don't have a dog in this hunt but here's my .02 and you can take it with a grain of salt. My wife and I are original owners of a Toyota 4-Runner Deluxe bought brand new in 1987 and I have kept it up ever since. In the past few years the following have been replaced: clutch, frt. axles (they were cheaper than just replacing the rotted rubber cv boots), tires, radiator, a/c, brakes, exhaust manifold and head gasket (the 3rd one since ownership) not to mention all the other little things. The body is straight with hardly any rust but needs painting.

The new head gasket blew @ <500 miles while under wty. then covid hit. It has been sitting for 8 months waiting on parts and sick employees to return to work, the owner himself was down with covid for over a month. My son doesn't want it because they're doing their best just to survive in today's world.
I'm 67, retired and just tired of dealing with it, much less put any more $ into it so it's going.
If it sells I'll treat the wife to a special night out and/or buy another guitar; either would be much more enjoyable.
Good luck.(y)
 

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Sounds like I have a lot in common with some of you guys...
I hung onto my 1981 G-10 Chevy van that I've owned since 1990,its still "restorable" but maybe not by ME..
I have a lot of good memories of trips I took to TN,NY,ME,and many other places in it and I did a lot of work to it just before I took it off the road in '03,I put a V8 in it and ditched the straight 6,and installed a used 2:73 rear diff when its original 3:08 decided to lunch the diff carrier where one side gear went..

Many of you have probably read about my most recent setbacks with my left hip,leg & lower back issues..
I have not been able to do squat the past year,and I blame the pandemic for preventing me from getting out and keeping active..plus old age,at 62,I'm in worse shape than many 70+ year olds I know..:(

I also bought a 1985 K-10 Suburban from a member here in 2009,and it has never seen the road,its been sitting in the yard since-life got in the way and no money to fix what it needed then,prevented me from doing anything with it..:(
All I did with it was install a used Diamond snow plow I got in trade on it,never got around to hooking up the plow lights yet--plowed my driveway once with it..the 6.2 diesel it has runs "ok" but the 700R4 trans has issues,I was told it loses reverse at times and does not shift into OD...now the truck's rockers are rotted to death,and it was in nice shape when I got it,the undersides were like new,it came from the northwest and hadn't been in New England that long...I feel very guilty having let both these vehicles sit too long..

I'm reluctant to "give up" and sell off everything still though...Tudor is right about the "huge mental adjustment" we face when we get to this age,after being a "gearhead" and able to fix most anything,(or try to at least)...
I am not dealing well with the fact I'll have to make the big decision soon..

I would say option #2 may be right for the original poster IF he feels he will be able to accomplish what he started.
I wish I had a son to help me out now,it sucks working alone when your about 1/2 the man you used to be..:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I am trying to adjust to the slowly advancing limitations of age and wear. I do as much as I can although in my mind these things are no problem. Now, it just takes longer, and being retired I guess that is OK as long as the project still provides that satisfaction of work and reward.
The move will be an hour's drive one way with many trips planned over the next few months.
Will leave the fridge and a few other big items to "Two Men and a TrucK".
I also have to move my 3 lawn and garden tractors and other equipment. That will be a weekend rented trailer job by itself.
I can appreciate the sell it ideas, that has crossed my mind before, but only because it sits barricaded in 1/4 of a 2 car garage, almost inaccessible. Otherwise, I'd have had it on the road by now.
So for now, it will be moved to its new stall at the new house. Plenty of work room around it. One item at a time, it will be back on the road in all its grey primer glory. Who knows, if I can find a decent engine/trans deal the whole thing might be part of the week day run what ya brung crowd at the local drag strip.
 
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If you like the car, and really dont want to get rid of it, I would, and have, done number 2. Get her together and running. Make it safe, and a even coat of primer on it and drive, and enjoy it. If nothing else its worth a LOT more running and driving, even if its rough. Old mustangs have a LOT of value to them. even the base coupes are climbing fast in value. I would think long and hard about cutting it up and making a ton of non reversible mods. So get it together to a point that it will run, and drive, and see where it takes you after that.
 

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Mid 60's here, medically disabled/retired from a lis franc injury along with back problems and shot elbows. Live on fixed income from SSD & VA disability. Completely remodeling my house interior from the studs out by myself. First room, the kitchen, is almost done and took just over 2 months. Still have to construct the maple countertop. Next room will be the office/home theater.

Moved to the rural boonies of northern Florida after being homeless for 2½ years. At the beginning of being homeless, traveled 2,600 miles on a recumbent pedal tricycle from Denver to Pensacola. Been here now going on 6 years. Cleared the 1.25 acre property by myself with a push lawnmower and a battery powered sawzall.
Age and ability should have nothing to do with what you want to do.

One of the very first things you realize when no longer working is that you now have huge amounts of time. Now those projects that you have kept at for a couple hours here and there over the years can now be completed. I'd suggest getting the vehicle running and then sell it to someone that wants to do anything to it. Still, it will be an albatross around your neck until you do something with it. Moving to a new place and getting it the way you want will consume lots of time while the vehicle sits in the barn. Each time you go into the barn with it there still in pieces, you are going to be either thinking that you can use the space or you should do something with it. Fix it up to run and sell it. Maybe get another project that isn't a Frankenstein to begin with.
 
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