38k Original Miles: 1968 Ford Mustang Convertible

The owner of this 1968 Mustang Convertible says that it only has some minor surface rust and that it still features its original drive-train. If this is true, then it has all of the makings of a promising restoration project that would eventually be a very nice car. The Mustang is located in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set the opening bid for the Mustang at $17,000, and while there have been no bids to this stage, there are 14 people currently watching the listing. The owner has also set a BIN option at $29,500.

So, let’s address the claim of minor surface rust that has been made by the owner. I have spent a long time examining this photo in a bid to determine whether this is penetrating rust in the frame, or something else. To me, that looks like real rot, but maybe I’m just looking at it wrong. There are also a couple of tiny spots in the lower quarter panels, but these are so small that the contaminated metal looks like it could be removed with a simple drill, not a grinder. Other rust areas aren’t as small. There are obvious spots in the lower corner of the door and lower fender on the driver’s side, while there is a significantly larger spot in the lower fender on the passenger side. Generally, the exterior photos paint a very positive picture of the Mustang, but it really is a case of examining a car like this carefully to locate the faults that could cost the next owner significant money.

The story becomes far more positive when we look inside the Mustang. The owner refers to the interior as being original, and if it is the original interior trim, then it is in very nice condition. There really doesn’t appear to be a lot to fault inside the car, and I can’t see anything that would need to be addressed or replaced. It’s original, and while it couldn’t be called pristine, it is certainly in good condition for a survivor-grade car.

This is one of those incredibly frustrating moments that we sometimes get with cars like this Mustang. The owner does say that the car features its original drive-train, which includes the numbers-matching 289ci V8 engine, and 3-speed manual transmission. However, the only photo that he provides from above would require binoculars if you want to even glimpse the engine. This photo actually tells us more, because it looks so clean, with no sign of any leaks or problems. The owner says that he holds all of the original purchase documentation and service records for the vehicle, and these confirm that the Mustang has a genuine 38,800 miles on the clock.

This 1968 Mustang Convertible truly is a mixed bag of a car. The original drive-train, the comprehensive records, low mileage, and the tidy interior all score big points in my book. The rust issues that appear to be present undermine it, and while they are not beyond being addressed, they appear to be more severe than I would have expected given the claims made by the owner. Those issues make me wonder whether the owner might be being optimistic with his BIN price, or am I wrong?

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Comments

  1. 71FXSuperGlide

    Looks like rot, but anyone serious would do well to look at this person.

    No reserve, so one bid will win it.

    1
  2. Dovi65

    At first blush, this Pony looks to be a real honey. Once you get closer … the red flags start waving. That ‘rust’ on the underside looks more like swiss cheese to me. Then there’s the rust popping thru the doors. What else is lurking under the surface? I’m not seeing a $29k value here. $17k is more like it, depending on what else is lurking under the skin.

    2
  3. CCFisher

    Sure looks like rust-through on that rear frame rail, but it’s in an unusual place. The rear frame rails generally rust out on the bottom of the channel first, and closer to the rear bumper, where water would naturally collect. A frame rail that’s rusted on the side of the channel at the driveshaft hump and nowhere else is very unusual.

  4. Bernie H.

    If it has rust in the doors, then better check the torque boxes and inner frame rails. They deteriorate rapidly from the inside out (bare metal internals, no paint). This car has seen several New England winters to have rust like that. Remember the “TEN” rule on Mustangs- rust is always ten times more than first seen on the first impression. I think that $17K is about right for this one, considering you’ll have to spend another $8-10K on body/frame work. 38,000 miles means little, its the age of the rubber parts that count, bet there all hard,cracked and some completely gone. Nice project car.

    2
  5. ken tilly

    My favourite Mustang of them all. To me any convertible built before 1970 is a great car, it’s just that a ’64 – 69 Mustang is the best of the bunch.

    3
  6. Matt steele

    That is rot

  7. Matt steele

    Metal swiss cheese

    1
  8. Boatman Member

    Florida car. They will rust away to nothing in places you would never expect. Look very closely and thoroughly.

  9. Fran

    2 words, door gap.
    look at the top rear of the door and where the quarter panel meet, (doors shut). As they say, close, no cigar!

    Needs a real metal Mustang guy to weld in new inner / outer rockers, tourque boxes, front frame rails, rear frame rails, and most likely everything else.

  10. Steven Ligac

    That’s rot, for sure! If this is what the seller shows, then what the rest!? And from a Gulf-Coast town in my native Fla…
    Just kickin’ in 🙂

  11. Barry L Klotz

    This could be a nice cruiser. Repair the frame, leave the rest of it alone.

  12. TimM

    I don’t like that frame rail at all looks good on the outside but replacement of a frame rail could be costly and if the rail is that bad what does the rest of the underside look like???

  13. Mountainwoodie

    That’s some serious Connecticut rust. Looks like its been through 4 owners or so. The lack of bidding combined with the high opening price might indicate others see more problems. But then it is a convertible and a 3 speed. I long for the day when these were $2500.00 cars, all day every day :)

    1
  14. Francis

    You are correct in longing for those days! My first 67 Shelby was 2250.00!

    2
    • TimM

      We pay more in tax on some cars then what they were bought for new!!

  15. Bob McK Member

    The black interior makes for a horrible driver in Florida. Hope someone takes her north and does a proper restoration.

  16. Bill McCoskey

    The photo of the rear frame above the axle suggests a body man with a pick-hammer has already been poking around there, those holes look like craters that form when corroded flat metal is hit with a pointed tip of a pick-hammer. That method is the quickest way to check for metal that may have not yet rusted thru from the back side, but will be too weak to provide the structural stability required, especially for a drop-top unit-body car. [But get permission from the owner first before you attack the frame or sheet metal!]

  17. Joe DiPaolo

    Joe DiPaolo

    I purchased one with the same issues and after getting into it was going to cost more to make it correct then I could sell it for. for anyone out there who is planning on purchasing this project I have quarter panels and I believe the new frame rails. great car if your looking for a project to do with some friends or children.

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