1964 to 1973 Mustangs have always been popular and their desirability shows no sign of going away.
To be clear, I will assume you’ll be doing a restomod instead of a period or full restoration. A complete restoration relies on all original parts. These can be NOS (new, old stock), or parts taken from a junked Mustang.
Daily drivers don’t always warrant being driven with period parts, instead, a good choice is to use aftermarket parts for your ride. A restomod project uses newly made parts that are often better than the original, benefiting from today’s advances in machining, metallurgy and tooling.
Where to start? Get Classic Industries’ new 1964-73 Mustang Restoration and Performance Parts Catalog. It’s loaded with ideas for restoring Mustangs and for boosting their performance.
While everybody may differ on a list of top 10 restomod ideas for a street driven Mustang, here are my choices.
Good books are roadmaps to restoration. Whether it’s a tech manual or a project guide book, accurate information is a key to installing that ignition switch or pulling out a dent or ding.
9. Tie rods
As a car ages, people get used to decreasing performance. Things loosen up over time and we adjust to those changes. Tie rods are small parts that gradually wear out, giving you far more play in your steering than should be allowed. Inspect and replace. A tip: as you do your disassembling, remember to take photographs. It’s easy to take something apart, far harder to put it all back together.
8. Windshield wiper arms, wiper blades, and wiper motors
These parts are often overlooked and can have you grieving when winter comes to pass. Replacements are readily available. Consider keeping all the “hard parts” that come off your ride. If you sell, you can offer to include the original parts as part of the deal.
7. Interior hard and soft trim
Used constantly, most vehicles of any kind can use new arm rest pads, door panels, carpet, and headliners. If you’re not ready to get new seats or new upholstery, you can make do with seat covers from many makers.
6. Kick panels
Kick panels suffer a lot of wear and tear. We try to restore their color with a product like Armor All, but a colorant or restorer won’t take out scuff marks and other damage. It’s easier to replace these panels and the parts are not that expensive. Keep the used panels for the next owner in case he or she wants to take the Mustang back to its original condition. Put all kept pieces in plastic bags and use a laundry marker to identify them.
Rubber breaks down over time. Any rubber product exposed to city air pollution for fifty years can get brittle and fall apart. Same way with molding. Some weatherstrip material and molding is specific to a Mustang, other bits may be generic. Weatherstrip kits are made to supply the whole car. Not sure how to install? Join an owner’s club to get good advice on how to fit these parts.
Today’s shock absorbers are better engineered and safer than those made decades ago. Aftermarket shocks are a great way to improve performance; combined with modern tires they will make a huge difference in the way your Mustang drives. Replacing old shocks is a wise investment that will pay off in safety and resale value.
3. Air and oil filter
Don’t neglect the basics! A brand-new oil filter, along with an oil change, is a simple project and absolutely vital for an older car. Get a new air filter at the same time. What you don’t want to do is to simply blow out the old filter with an air compressor. K&N makes great air filters if you want to upgrade from the original paper element.
Converting your drum brakes to disc brakes is not necessarily a cheap or easy project. But it may save your life. Especially if you add power to your restored Mustang; you’ll need a better way to pull down your ride when you stop. Get the advice of an expert before attempting this worthwhile conversion.
1. Tires and wheels
Nothing is more important than a good set of tires and wheels. But if you want tires like the originals, you should not settle for anything less than a period correct replacement. Mustang Dual Redline tires are an exact reproduction of a factory option for early Mustangs. They are undoubtedly better tires than the car was originally shipped with. And while big wheels are in style now, big wheels look strange on small cars like the 1964 Mustang. That was a true pony-car and one with small wheel wells. Think hard if you want today’s fashion on your classic car.
I hope my top ten restomod ideas for your street driven Mustang inspires you to take on a project. Take the job as it comes, as your schedule patience, and budget allows. Remember to take photos, and keep a log if possible about everything you do in your restoration. Documenting your project will make memories for you as well as making for a better sale should you decide to sell later on.
by Catalogs.com Info Guru Thomas Farley