This car is a TRUE BARN FIND showing only 7,912 original miles when it was unearthed this past year. The story goes that a Ford assembly line worker named Randy and his wife (Donna) bought the car new in 1973 to celebrate the birth of their first child, Michelle. They ordered the car loaded with desirable options like the 351 Cleveland 2V engine, the heavy duty C-6 automatic transmission, the decor group option with factory side stripes, and the sports wheel covers. They also chose one of the best color combinations, Medium Bright Yellow paint with a black power top and black deluxe comfortweave interior. Randy knew this car would become collectible because Ford had just come out saying they would no longer be making convertibles after 1973 (and Ford didn’t until 1983). Donna had a daily driver, so this was her “toy.”
All the paperwork was in Donna’s name, and she reportedly drove it only on sunny days and always with the top down! I was told the car was kept in their garage during its early life. The couple bought a silver Thunderbird in 1976 to celebrate the birth of their second daughter, Sonya, so it became Donna’s new toy and the Mustang was rarely driven after 1976. Sometime in the late 80’s the family moved and built a house on some land that had an old barn. A concrete pad was laid down in the barn, and both cars were parked there. Randy maintained the Mustang for some time until his sad passing in the mid 90’s. It then languished under blankets for some 30 years and became a home for the critters that frequented the barn.
A gentleman named Thomas, who collects guns, came upon the car last year while driving through Donna’s town looking for a deal. Donna had once owned a gun shop and Thomas worked a deal to buy her left over inventory. Donna was so taken with Thomas that she told him there was “something else in the barn that he was going to buy.” Thomas was the first person outside of Donna’s family to step foot into the barn since Randy’s death. A friend of Thomas bought the Thunderbird, and he bought the Mustang thinking he would fix it up for his wife as a “driver”. He soon realized after posting the car on social media that it was what is referred to as a “reference car” and needed to be in the hands of someone with experience bringing such cars back to life. I have been obsessed with 1971 to 1973 Mustangs for the past 45 years, so I took on the challenge of waking the car from its deep slumber and cleaning off the many years of grime and mouse poop that had encrusted it.
I cannot begin to describe the originality of this car when I purchased it. Nothing, and I mean nothing, had been changed or modified on the car, except maybe the oil filter, but even that looked original. The oil had reportedly been changed once, so maybe they didn’t change the filter. Even the tires were original, and two of them even held air! It has taken me over 300 hours to turn the car into what you see today, but the car still has lots of “patina” left. I have changed only those parts that needed to be changed to get the car running and driving. Every original part that was removed will go to the new owner. Here’s a rundown of what has been replaced on the car listed by location:
1. The undercarriage: the gas tank, straps, sending unit, fuel line hoses, and tail pipe were replaced. Everything else under the car is original. I have resisted the temptation to detail the underside of the car. All the undercoating is factory and nothing has been cleaned or painted.
2. The passenger compartment: The interior looks as new. The carpet and the dealership applied floor mats cleaned up nicely. All of the vinyl and plastic trim panels are mint. You probably will never find door panels or interior rear quarter trim panels as nice as the ones in this car. The dash pad is gorgeous. Even the convertible well liner is flawless! The only thing that was changed was the stuffing in the back seat bottom. Rodents had feasted on it.
3. The engine compartment: I installed a remanufactured correct Motorcraft distributor with an Ignitor unit. I could not get the car to run right with the factory distributor, but it is included in the sale. I swapped over the factory vacuum advance to the new distributor, so it is original. The ignition coil was replaced because the original one was leaking oil. The carbon canister hose and heat riser hose for the air cleaner snorkel are new. I changed the air filter but the original is included with the sale. Same for the oil filter, fuel filter, and spark plugs. The carburetor was rebuilt. The car did not have a battery when I got it, so I installed a new battery that has a kit to make it look like a factory 1973 Motorcraft unit. The factory alternator was cleaned and detailed. None of the black under hood paint was touched. Most of the Ford Blue on the engine was repainted because rodent urine had eaten through the factory paint, but the air cleaner paint is original. None of the black paint under the hood was touched up. The windshield wipers are original, but the rubber inserts were replaced (originals included). All the other engine components, like the water pump, the fuel pump, and the power steering pump are original. Even the distributor cap, spark plug wires, belts, and heater hoses are original!
4. The trunk compartment: Nothing in the trunk was replaced or changed. The original spare tire, jack, wrench, and hardware were detailed. All of the trunk spatter paint is original. The top boot and bag are original.
5. The body: There are a couple rust holes under the deck lid due to rodent nesting. A new reproduction deck lid is included and this can be used to patch the holes or the deck lid can be replaced and repainted. Other than that, the body is in mint condition.
6. The paint: There were numerous chips, mostly on the lower part of the body, that needed to be treated and touched up. Small spots of corrosion on pot metal pieces like the side view mirrors and the fender extensions needed to be touched up as well. I treated some surface rust on the lower body blackout with rust converter. The paint under the hood shows little rust spots from the car sitting so many years in its damp tomb. Overall, the paint presents extremely well, but buffing the car would make it a show stopper.
7. The wheels and tires: Correct reproduction Coker tires are mounted on the car, and the original tires are included in the sale.
8. The glass: all original and flawless except for a tiny chip in the windshield shown in the photos. You won’t find nicer glass on a fifty year old car. I don’t think the windshield wipers were ever used and you won’t see even one linear scratch on the side glass from going up and down.
9. The top: all original and in mint condition inside and out except for a small two inch tear that was repaired with 3M Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive. The repair could probably be cleaned up a little more.
10. The weatherstrip: Flawless. Soft and supple with no dry rot.
11. Electrical: The wiring harnesses, head lamps, fuses, voltage regulator, starter solenoid, starter, alternator, battery cables, and all other switches and electrical components are original and work perfectly.
12. The stainless and chrome work: All original. Typical pitting on pot metal like the door handles, very minor pitting on the top boot moldings and moderate pitting on the rear bumper (but it is a great candidate for re-chroming). All the stainless is nice and shiny without dings or scratches.
I have done as much as I want to do with the car at this point. Some will claim I did too much to the car, others will claim I did not do enough. This car should easily take a gold award in unrestored class at any MCA event. When was the last time you saw a car this old with the original belts, hoses, spark plug wires, air filter and so much other factory equipment? Even the master cylinder is original! The next step in getting the car ready for MCA judging would be to recondition and reinstall any of the factory parts that were removed, or to source NOS or good used parts where available. If showing the car isn’t your thing, it should provide many years of driving pleasure, because it really is like owning a brand new 1973 Mustang convertible. Amazingly, the car runs and drives perfectly and has zero fluid leaks of any kind. I changed the oil, along with flushing the coolant and the brake fluid. I would not hesitate to drive this car across the country.
Here are cold start and walk around videos of the car (copy and paste the URLs into the search bar):
The car comes with a treasure trove of original documentation, including the dealership sales invoice, receipts for the cash deposit and balance paid on the car, window sticker, Eminger invoice, factory literature, as well as receipts for the dealership purchased floor mats and rust proofing. And, best of all, included in the sale is a company memo found inside the car stating the companies’ position on “Streaking,” lol! Two sets of keys are included, along with an original “Wade Ford” key chain and a Wade Ford match book. For an interesting read, Google the life story of Wade Wallace, the owner of the Ford dealership that sold this car. story/news/local/2016/04/04/longtime-car-dealer-philanthropist-wade/10604692007/
Regarding the price I have set for the car, compare my car to this one that was bid to $50,000 on 3/23/2022 on “Bring a Trailer”. -ford-mustang-30/ That car was a “Plain Jane” 302 car lacking the many options that my car has and there were questions as to originality of the interior, the trunk splatter paint, and the condition of the undercarriage as it had been freshly undercoated. Even so, $50,000 was NOT enough to buy that car. Considering these facts, my car is a value at $44,500. I am not a dealer, just an enthusiast who loves the “big body” 1971-1973 Mustang convertibles!
This car is for sale locally, and I reserve the right to cancel all bids and end the auction early.
More info: Click here to see original eBay auction and get more information (Affiliate link)
Seller's other items: mustanger2002
Location: Birmingham, Alabama, United States