Mid July, I went to meet Randy Sargent of Sargent’s Automotive in Snohomish WA. He runs a classic restoration shop specializing in Mustangs. Seeing as he knows a few things about where they usually have issues, he told me to go ahead and tear out the interior and then lets talk once I see what the situation is. This feels like a setup, and an opportunity for me to realize what I am actually getting into. I have to assume he has talked to enough owners to know we have to see how bad it is directly and then decide how much we really want to restore it. So my son and I spent a Saturday tearing things apart.
A bit messy, but what the heck is that? What a hack job to wedge in a kicker in the back. Additionally, the transition panel to the trunk was a sheet of plywood. Fortunately, it came out easy enough and there was no major damage caused by the install.
The floorboards were another story. Remember that cowl vent leak I mentioned earlier? It turns out that it leaks over the pedals, then sits on the floor in the carpet and rots out from the inside. At some point, a previous owner tried to stabilize it with some extra sheet metal and a few rivets. Not awesome, but better than the holes clean through in the other foot-wells.
This was the thing Randy wanted me to see. If I can get over the idea that there is going to be these kinds of hidden issues that will have to be dealt with, we can start the project. The other conversation is that all of these issues are going to be expensive, and when were done, its still going to be just a coupe. Not a Fastback, not a Boss 302, not a Mach-1. Sentimental feelings are pretty expensive, it turns out.
The next step was to strip it all the way down, get it on a rack and steam the years of cruft off it.This is where I let the pros get to work. I don’t have the tools, time, or knowledge to mess with the body. That’s an art that I don’t posses.
Next was to get it media blasted. Before it went in, they cut out the whole floor pan since it will be replaced with a single unit when the rebuild starts.
Remember the optimism with the rear left quarter panel? After media blasting, it turns out most of it was just body filler.That’s going to have to be replaced. I am surprised it had enough metal to hold the form.
Next step is to get some new sheet metal and continue removing the cancer and start replacing it with new reproduction panels.