1966 Mustang rebuild project

Over the weekend I picked up a ’66 Mustang 289 coupe that two previous owners had started to restore, then stopped. Some of the work is OK, some will need to be re-done. After getting all the parts sorted out and inventoried, I’ll likely pull the engine and trans for a cleanup, rebuild and fresh paint while cleaning out the engine bay. Some sheet metal will just be replaced, like the hood and quite likely the front fenders as well. The trunk is in surprisingly good shape, as is the dash — original AM radio and all.

Most of the glass is present. I was told it was ALL there, but my mistake — didn’t inventory it completely. The expensive quarter windows are gone, as are most of the taillight assemblies, etc. Most of it probably would have been replaced anyway, but the missing quarter windows will be a budget hit I wasn’t expecting. Well, not specifically at least. I did build in a “fudge factor” for things like this, as well as a generic estimated number for assorted interior and exterior parts.

The doors and front fenders may be salvageable, or may not. I budgeted for replacing all of it. Previous owners welded in some patches… some poorly.

No apparent rust on the back end, but I am assuming someone covered rust holes with body filler at some point. We’ll see what stripping reveals.

The dash is in surprisingly good condition, including the original AM pushbutton radio. The whole interior will get a repaint, and the newer floor pans may need some welding. Again, we’ll see what the cleanup and stripping reveals.

At 93K miles and with non-original valve covers and air cleaner, we’ll assume some work has been done and the engine will need an overhaul. It’s coming out for sure.

I think the biggest challenge right now will be not ordering a bunch of parts prematurely. For example, I know the car will need all new emblems, window weatherstripping, and so on. I don’t need that stuff NOW, though, and won’t for quite a while. The first task will be to remove the fenders, then get it up on jack stands so we can pull the wheels and tires off and remove the engine and transmission for rebuild. Interior and trim work is months off, so ordering parts for that would be a waste. Also, if I decide to sell partway through, I don’t want to have to let a bunch of new parts go at a loss.

Right now I have some basement drywall to finish pulling out thanks to a botched waterproofing job by the previous homeowner… then it’s wrench time.