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This is a little bit of info about my 1969 Mustang fastback - I've always wanted a classic Mustang, and in 2002, I finally managed to buy one!
The Mustang is an import from California. As far as I can work out from talking to previous owners, it was owned by people in Riverside CA until 1988, at which time it had spent 3 years sitting under a tarpaulin in their driveway. The second owner, who was 18 at the time, saw the car, bought it, and replaced the original 250ci straight six engine with its current 302ci V8 (from a wrecked '69 coupe). He also did some other mods, including uprated pistons and a racing cam.
He sold the car to the third owners in Lancaster CA in 1995, who had it until 2000. At some point after this the car was refurbished with new paint, wheels etc. (the car was originally Wimbledon White but was resprayed Gunmetal Grey). The License number when the car was last in California was 2ZYM574. It was imported to the UK by Pomona Imports of Buckinghamshire, and sold to me in August 2002. In the UK, it qualifies as a 'historic vehicle' for licensing purposes, so I don't have to pay the annual road tax fee! Despite it being refurbished, I've found a lot of bodges, incorrect repro parts and missing components that are still keeping me busy...
Soon after buying the car, I started tidying it up. On a trip to the States, I dropped into California Mustang and Larry's Thunderbird & Mustang to get some bits, and ordered more from the National Parts Depot and Gary at American Restoration Parts in the UK.
In March 2003, the car had a trip to The Mustang Shop near Norwich, to have its smoky engine, leaking power steering, and overheating problems sorted out. The car had a new Edelbrock cam fitted, and I also took the opportunity to get hardened valve seats (for unleaded fuel). The alternator and water pump were found to need replacement during the rebuild. I'm sad to report that my car was one of the last ones the well-known Mustang expert Miles Townshend worked on before his premature death in March 2004.
In June 2003 I received a couple of original 1969 parts from a Mustang breakers (Mustang Masters) in the States and started recoating some of the (thankfully few) rusty bits with POR-15 anti-rust paint from Frost Auto Restoration Techniques of Rochdale. I fitted a K & N airfilter, which looks good, should never need replacing, and is supposed to help the airflow into the carb. I also started tidying up the engine bay a bit, with some new Eastwoods under-hood paint, decals from NPD, a new Autolite radiator cap & positive battery cable.
After a couple more trips to the States in July & August '03, I continued the tidying up with more parts from Mustang Country in LA, including a Ford Motorsports air filter wingnut, some new trapdoor bumpers to stop that rattle and, more importantly, Pertronix Ignitor II electronic ignition with a Flamethrower II coil. I can definitely recommend converting from points to Pertronix, the idle is much smoother, and the engine is more responsive and reliable overall.
In September 2003 I had the carb rebuilt by American Auto Services in Hayes (it was leaking from the accelerator pump diaphram), and I finally got an engine that purrs along nicely.
In November & December '03 I spent some time converting the rear tail-light cluster to have one amber, two red lenses on each side, which looks a bit better than the previous temporary measure of having Mini indicators mounted under the rear bumper. (If you're really interested, there are lots more photos here!) Following a shopping trip to the Columbus Ford Superswap in the States, I also fitted the correct retracting antenna (instead of the cheap and nasty repro that came with the car). This latest batch of parts came from the Branda Shelby & Mustang and Kentucky Mustang stalls.
The next job was to install the correct windscreen washer reservoir (bought secondhand on eBay) to replace the horrible reproduction washer bag the car had when I bought it. I had to fit a new pump motor, which I had already bought at the Columbus Swapmeet, and then the washer bottle fitted right into place using the original electrics and mountings. Next I fitted new heater cables bought from CJ Pony Parts to replace the original broken ones, meaning I now have the options of defrosting the windscreen or warming my feet on cold mornings!
In April 2004 I went to the Mustang 40th celebration in Nashville, and bought a secondhand passenger door sports mirror from the Shady Oaks Mustang Ranch stall. I also got the correct mirror pad from Semo Classic Mustang and an AMK set of screws. After fitting this, I then finally hid away the rear radio speakers that were never properly attached to anything, they're now behind the rear quarter 'sail' panels. I also fitted modern-style 3-point retracting seatbelts bought from Andover. By the way, Here's a handy link to some instructions on how to do a small modification so the retractor fits the right way round.
Later in '04, I used more Eastwoods underhood black to tidy up the front of the engine compartment, and I took the dashpad out to clean up the mess left after someone fitted a dash cover badly (also note an air-con dash is fitted, but the car doesn't have air-con!) While it was out I took the opportunity to fit a new stereo speaker (from NPD) in the factory-provided hole in the centre of the dash. Over Winter '04 there wasn't much to report, except the addition of rubber Mustang floor mats from CJ Pony Parts (bought at the Fall Carlisle swapmeet), and the purchase of a car cover to keep the dust off while the car was garaged over the winter.
In 2005, the arrival of our firstborn meant there was little time to do "car stuff"! Luckily there wan't much left to do, though I did fit a new brake light switch after finding the existing one was for manual brakes, not power brakes, so would only operate the stop lights when a great deal of pressure was applied!
During 2006, I tried to get to as many shows as I could, and tinkered with the Stang as and when! I added a new 'California black plate' style front license plate, and fitted rear seatbelts so that we could all travel together in relative safety. I also finally got round to painting & fitting the rear valance with exhaust cutouts that I bought about 2 years before! Next job is to buy some dual (GT) exhaust tips...
In 2007 I bought a passenger side clock (the rectangular one, not the round Mach I version), and sourced the wiring harness & correct dash panel so I could fit it. The clock doesn't keep great time, but it does work, rewinding itself every minute or so as it should! I did buy exhaust tips from Holley (via Real Steel), but they sent the wrong size twice, so I got my money back and have given up on the chrome tip idea for the moment. I changed the fuel filter, as the old one was silted up with gunge.
2008: I've just fitted new Moroso blue anodised rocker covers, as my old chrome ones were getting too rusty to polish, and a matching air cleaner cover. And a couple of new yellow on black California type plates (for show use only, of course!). I also rebuilt the rear brakes, as they weren't holding the wheels when the choke was on.
Data plate decode
Warranty number: 9R02L193091
9 - 1969 model
Body code: 63A - Sportsroof with standard interior
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No longer a member of the MOCGB, as they are happy to host UKIP racists!
© Andy Holten 2017