Learning stick is the easy part.
June 26, 2007 8:34 AM   Subscribe

I have a 1964 (and a half) Mustang. The only problem is that it has not run since 1981. It has been on blocks in the garage. How much would it cost me to get it on the road again?

I have an interest to restore the car but every person with car knowledge has given me a different opinion on what I could do myself, have others do, if I should keep it historic, what parts I should sell off it, etc. I know the basics of how to replace simple things but not major ones.

The car was gifted to me for a dollar 5 years ago. From my understanding, these were the major problems:
1. The wiring was starting to go.
2. One of the brake lines may have popped.
3. Engine was running but probably needs someone to work on a valve.
It was generating smoke and probably would not pass the state
inspection. Not to mention it has not run in 26 years.

I do not have any interest in selling the car.

I have not had someone come give me an estimate on what it would cost me to fix it up, but I figured the MeFi's are smart enough or could speak from experience. I would also appreciate advice on whether to keep it historic or not.

Bonus questions: Can anyone recommend someone near NYC that
specializes in fixing historic cars? Also, what the insurance would be for a clean record driver?
posted by thetenthstory to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Before, and before.
posted by meehawl at 9:22 AM on June 26, 2007

I used to have a 64 1/2 Mustang and spent thousands of dollars repairing and restoring it. The good news is, Mustang parts are cheap and they are easy to work on (I did a lot of stuff myself).

It's damn near impossible to give an estimate untill you define what the actual problems are. I think you should do it though...it's totally worth it. Especially for that year. Also, find out the production number on your car - it's a fun piece of knowledge to have about your car.

Purchase a Mustang book as well. There are a couple of major, and a lot of minor differences between the 64 1/2s and the 65 models.

Good luck and have fun!
My email is in the profile if you want to chat off forum.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:25 AM on June 26, 2007

Response by poster: There's a big difference between restoring either a 98 Civic or a car sitting in a garage for a year compared to one thats 50 years old and hasn't driven in 26 years.
posted by thetenthstory at 9:27 AM on June 26, 2007

Response by poster: * that was for meehawl
posted by thetenthstory at 9:28 AM on June 26, 2007

More than you think, most likely.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:35 AM on June 26, 2007

Bare minimum, just for mechanicals:
1500 brakes all around (includes hoses, master and slave cyls, shoes, new drums. Throw in another 3-500 if it needs all new steel lines.

The motor's likely toast. Three-four grand to pull it, freshen it up, put it back in.

a grand for the fuel system.

another grand for a whole new Painless Wiring harness. Less if you put it in yourself.

My bro-in-law put together a 68 'stang for my sister. It was exceptionally rusty, so there was a lot of frame work, floor pans, etc. He built up a *hot* motor. *tight* new suspension. Fresh paint job. 14k, but all the labor was free.
posted by notsnot at 9:47 AM on June 26, 2007

I have a 64 1/2. If it's been in a garage the whole time, the body is probably okay. But I'd check the floor boards, corner panels, and especially the cowl vent area anyway, since that could of easily been trashed by 1981 with just normal driving.

"wiring was starting to go" is pretty vague. Any more details on what was wrong? Sometimes this just means a short or two somewhere that never got tracked down and fixed. Wiring usually doesn't deteriorate too badly for parked and garaged cars (unless the mice/rats get to it...).

If the engine wasn't prepped for storage when it was parked, it could be an issue. 81 is a long time for seals to dry out and things to rust in place. What kind of engine in it? But pretty much all the 64 1/2 engines are easy to come by. Or at least a work a like, a 260 v8 is kind of hard to find these days, but a drop in replacement 302 crate motor can be had for ~$1500 easy.

Insurance should be pretty cheap, at least it was for me. In some states cars of that age are also not required to pass emissions inspections.

Alot of it depends on what you plan to do with it. You could probably get it running good enough for the occasional sunday afternoon drive for a few grand. If you wanted a safe and reliable daily driver, 5 to 10 thousand is probably about right (new engine, disk brake upgrades, suspension repair/upgrades, body work, paint, etc). If you need to pay someone to do all the work, double that.
posted by alikins at 11:22 AM on June 26, 2007

Yeah, if it hasn't run in 26 years, I'm going to hazard a wild guess and say the engine, wiring, and brake lines are going to need some serious work, no matter what condition they were in before.

My first college roommate's dad was a Ford fanatic, and had a 65 convertible and a 67 fastback already restored to about 95% new, and a 64 1/2 in process the last I saw him. The cars were restored around 89-90, and he had paid between 10 and 15 grand each to have a Mustang shop in Kentucky rebuild them. Apparently there's a point where it goes from being a 10 grand job to a 20 grand job, just depends on how 'like new' you want it, and how much original trim and all is worth using.
posted by pupdog at 4:50 PM on June 26, 2007

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