Right Hooker Paddock Find: 1969 Mustang R Code

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

You to have to give it to the Aussies: they share our love of muscle cars from American manufacturers. So much so, in fact, that examples like this impressively rusty Mustang R-Code here on eBay Australia are still deemed to be on the right side of salvation. That may not be the case, considering the seller has already priced out replacement body shells for the next owner. 

For those of us watching stateside, the right-hand drive steering placement is the first sign that this thoroughly American Mustang was intended for a different audience. As someone who prizes the odd or obscure over the outrightly valuable, I’d love to show up to a cruise night with a right-hooker Mustang. The missing windshield and other glass should tell you that the interior situation is quite dire, but the options list is what sucks you in, tossing aside rational thought to consider how this Mustang might return to the road.

Wow – there’s the reason for the replacement body shell comment. But back to the options: numbers-matching 428 Ram Air Cobra Jet; close ratio manual gearbox and locker rear end; and, of course, the R-Code designation. The seller has included a Marti Report confirming all of this, as well as a new factory-supplied build tag. As your eyes move across the body, however, the evidence of rust is downright frightening: the roof, window frames and rear quarters are all supremely rotted. It makes you wonder where this was parked that it got this bad.

And, of course, there’s rust in all the usual places, like the floor. The seller does retain the original VIN plate, and that combined with the other documentation should leave little question as to what this Mustang once was. The question that does remain, however, is if it is beyond saving. With such a rich options list, one might feel it is worth taking the seller’s recommended route of a replacement body shell, but for the purists in the room, might they more appreciate an original body that’s been restored – no matter the cost? The seller’s starting bid of $28,000 AU may factor into your answer.

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Comments

  1. Tom Member

    OK super cool find. I love right hand drive muscle cars just because of the cool factor. BUT….questions. Last photo is said to be of the car when new. how is it that it was left hand drive when new? Any experts out there. I figure if a car was built elsewhere in the world as a RHD it was born that way?

    The rust….I am a rust expert but I have never, in 40+ years seen rust like this especially in the upper body except along perhaps a coastal area with a lot of sea-salt air.

    Anyone have any comments on how a car could rust out like this other than having lived its life on the ocean-front?

    7+

    • John

      Stored under a tree with a tarpaulin covering it for a few years will make them rust like this.
      Car is in Queensland…tropical Queensland, lots of humidity, rain and sea breeze….

      5+

    • Mike_B_SVT

      Right hand conversion. It wasn’t born that way.

      3+

    • Loco Mikado

      Seen many cars along the Oregon Coast that had rust in a pattern like this in the 60’s-70’s from what I had seen. We had a beach house a mile inland and after a weekend we had to wash a gritty,salty residue off the car before we got drove on Sunday night after only being there since Friday night. Beachfront was way worse but 10-15 miles inland it was no worse than anywhere else. Salt air does no metals(not just iron & steel) any good.

      2+

    • Andy

      This wasn’t built as a factory rhd. There were (and still are) major engineering firms specializing in LHD to RHD conversion.

      0

    • Mark-A

      Pretty sure that it’s a CRAZY Australian law which means that you MUST have a RHD car if you intend to use it on the public highways, they also convert HGVs to right hand drive too! Pretty extreme but just another example of what people will do to their DREAM Vehicles wherever they are.

      0

  2. sir mike

    I thought Australia was a drier climate?? Which lake was it stored in?? Hopefully stays in Australia and is restored…if that is even possible w/o a new shell.

    2+

    • Jeffro

      Must of been a croc infested lake.

      3+

  3. Bill

    He’s asking a lot of money for something that doesn’t have any under the hood pictures. The engine is what drives the value on this and no photos.

    6+

    • newfieldscarnut

      He didn’t want to hurt himself when the hood hinges rip off of the rotted inner fenders .

      12+

  4. Jeffro

    With holes that big in floor board, they can drop their Foster’s beer can out of it if they get pulled over.

    14+

  5. JW

    OMG and I thought our Midwest was the rust belt of the world. They must have built this Stang in Detroit then let it set out a couple winters then DROVE IT across the Atlantic ocean to Australia where it sat next to the ocean for decades. PASS !!!

    4+

    • Andrew

      Atlantic?

      7+

      • Densa

        He was taking the scenic route.

        0

      • Mike_B_SVT

        Yeah, they took the scenic route. Atlantic to the Med, through the Suez and across the Indian Ocean 😉

        5+

      • Steve Visek

        Maybe they used the car as an anchor along the way? 🙂

        3+

  6. CCFisher

    Probably stored outdoors under a cover that trapped moisture against the panels.

    Mustangs were not built in RHD until the current generation, so this is a conversion.

    2+

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Staff

      CCFisher, thanks for the info. The history is interesting on this one, for sure. Even more surprising considering someone went thru the trouble of importing + the conversion to let it rot.

      3+

    • SSPBill

      Bingo. Probably sitting on mud or clay too as it look like all the moisture came from below.

      Ford contracted for 200-ish ’64-65 Mustangs to be converted. Since these all the conversions were small companies or kits until Tickford started do conversions in the late ’90’s-early 2000’s. So somebody really wanted this car. Too bad it ended(?) this way.

      4+

  7. healeydays

    Weird thing is the Marti report says it was delivered to Cavalier Ford in Maplewood MO. That doesn’t make sense and should be a bit of a warning sign seeing that it is an export car…

    3+

    • CCFisher

      Mustangs weren’t sold in Australia back in the day. Any early Mustang in Australia was imported privately.

      6+

      • Wrecka

        Many of the local conversion comapanies back in the 70’s and 80’s were very dodgy

        0

  8. Hot Wheels Calgary

    On this episode of Roadkill, we’re going drive the rustiest Mustang EVER!

    4+

  9. Dave

    rustang

    12+

  10. EJB

    “Last of the v-8 interceptors”

    Sorry… couldn’t resist a Mad Max quote.

    7+

  11. LAB3

    Just like being in high school in the Detroit of the 70’s! “I’m gonna fix this car up” A set of Cragers, a five gallon bucket of Bondo and a Schieb job later and you too can be badass!

    4+

    • SSPBill

      Please don’t forget fake rusty side pipes and the longest leaf spring shackles you can find!

      1+

      • LAB3

        That only works if you have a Thrush Woodpecker sticker behind the front wheel and a mooneye sticker on the diff cover.

        2+

  12. doug6423

    Look at all that great PATINA! 🙂

    7+

  13. Don

    How original is a car with a new body ?

    2+

  14. James

    Oh gees. What a bunch of cry babies. That car is easily repairable and they make every panel for the car. The new quarters include the sail panels almost to the top of the roof. While the floors have some rust in them, they don’t look that bad and much worse has been done before. I too would have liked to see underhood pics to see what is still there, as lots of those CJ bits are expensive.

    4+

    • Don

      Ya dude every part of the body can be fixed ,and every part is bad ,buy the time you fix every thing your going to be in the hole ,then you will be the one crying 😖

      9+

  15. Cherokee Bill

    A ton of work and money. With the asking price even if you do the work there won’t be much meat on the bone if any.

    5+

  16. Patrick

    Australia has rules for importing LHD cars. Maybe this one was brought to Australia when it was fairly new.

    “You may import your left hand drive (LHD) vehicle into Australia within the following parameters:

    Your vehicle may remain LHD provided it is 30 years or older from date of manufacture.

    Your vehicle would have to be converted to RHD for use on Australian roads if less than 30 years old.”

    As for the rust, Australia is surrounded by oceans. This could be the result of an extended amount of time spent by the beach.

    3+

  17. Adam T45

    To add to the information provided by my fellow Aussies, this car is located on the Gold Coast in Queensland. The location would be about the equivalent of the car being in southern Florida, where the climate is subject to high humidity. The Gold Coast is also subject to winds blowing in off the Pacific Ocean, adding salt to the equation. I think that probably explains the rust factor, especially if the owner stored the car under any form of cover or tarpaulin.

    This car would’ve originally been purchased through a dealer in the US as a left-hand drive car, and then privately imported to Australia. Some people chose to leave their purchase original after import and some chose to convert the car to right-hand drive. Mechanical components for a conversion were actually easily sourced directly from Ford Australia, as the Mustang shared many of its suspension and steering components with the Ford Falcon, which was the flagship model here in Australia.

    Hope that clarifies things a bit for you all.

    18+

    • Tom Member

      thanks to John, Mike B SVT, Patrick and Adam T45 for your insight. Always good to learn! T

      5+

  18. the one

    Who needs an engine when you have “Flintstone drive..”

    5+

  19. Luke Fitzgerald

    “Please do not bid if you think you can drive it home” – least we got a sense of humor

    7+

  20. mike d

    even IF it could be fixed.. would cost a fortune to ship.. better off sticking to North America

    2+

  21. Jay M

    Project car?
    More like basket case. I wouldn’t even use the parts on another car for fear of lowering it’s value.

    1+

  22. cudaman

    Right hand drive???? It was a mail delivery vehicle!

    1+

  23. Don

    Why is the parking brake pedal on the left side? This must have been a conversion by someone.

    0

    • Andy

      LHD or rhd, gas, brake, and clutch are in the same location.

      0

  24. dogwater

    Looks like a bloom-n onion

    2+

  25. Keith

    “Rust? That’s not rust…..THIS is rust”

    But seriously, imagine what the cowl area looks like.

    1+

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