Missing R-Code: 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback

Sitting out exposed to the elements is a special 1968 Mustang Fastback. Its Marti Report is enough to make you go weak at the knees. However, a lot of water has passed under the bridge for this classic, and the buyer will have some decisions to make before it sees the road once again. The Mustang is located in Manahawkin, New Jersey, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Most 1st Generation Mustang project cars will attract their share of interest, and this one is no exception. There have been 31 bids submitted to this point, which has pushed the price to $29,739. The reserve has been met, so a new home is in this car’s very near future.

The march of time can be kinder to some classics than to others, and it has been pretty hard on this Mustang. That isn’t to say that it is beyond salvation, but it is not a car that will be returned to active duty quickly. It originally wore Highland Green paint, but it appears that it has received at least a couple of changes during its life. Externally, it shows rust in all of the usual spots, including the rear quarter panels, lower fenders, and the doors’ lower corners. There is also Bondo visible, which suggests that this might not be its first battle with the dreaded tin worm. The rear frame rails and trunk pan are said to be good, although the front frame rails will require some repairs. The floors will need replacing, and there is also rust in evidence around the inner rockers and torque box region. Any trim and chrome that is present will need to be restored or replaced, but the tinted glass looks to be okay.

Lifting the hood of the Mustang is enough to make grown men weep. What we find is a 351ci Cleveland V8, which is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. As a drivetrain combination, there isn’t a lot wrong with this, but the fact that the vehicle isn’t a numbers-matching classic is a tragedy. What used to call this engine bay home was a 428 Cobra Jet V8, backed by a 3-speed automatic transmission. This monster would have been pumping out an “official” 335hp, which was enough to fire the Mustang through the ¼ mile in 13.8 seconds. Power steering and power front disc brakes would have taken the hard labor out of this high-speed motoring experience. It isn’t clear what sort of health the existing V8 is in or when it last coughed into life. If it turns freely, it might be possible to coax it back to life with patience.

The condition of the Mustang’s interior is in keeping with the rest of the vehicle. That means that while it is virtually complete, it will require a full restoration. I think that the door trims and rear seat could respond to cleaning, but the remaining upholstery and trim will need to be replaced. However, the Mustang’s beauty is that all of these items are readily available, and interior trim kits are reasonably affordable. Finding complete kits for under $2,000 is not a difficult assignment. At that sort of price, the quality is generally very high, and they contain everything required to have it looking factory fresh once again.

When it was new, this 1968 Mustang Fastback would have been quite a car. Its glory days seem to be well behind it, but it does appear to be a sound proposition as a project car. That isn’t merely my opinion, as the bidding seems to confirm this. The fact that the original Cobra Jet V8 is missing is something of a tragedy. That begs the question as to what path to follow with this one. Would you attempt to perform a faithful restoration, or would you transform it into something entirely different?

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Comments

  1. William Shields

    Restore it!
    Never mind a clone here we have a factory original (or as close as you’re gonna get) Bullitt Mustang.

    Like 2
  2. Steve

    A fool and his money are soon parted

    Like 7
  3. MrBZ

    Just don’t understand how a $30k buy-in for an original R-code 428SC/C6 is justified when there is no original R-code 428SC/C6. And Bullitt was a 390/4 spd, so you don’t even have that.

    Like 22
  4. Steve Bush Member

    Agree with MrBZ about the $30k plus price. Are people that nuts/stupid or are they looking to do a VIN switch?

    Like 12
  5. JoeNYWF64

    I think even a std ’71 pinto steering wheel would look better than this one.

    Like 5
  6. Steve Clinton

    It amazes me how much more Mustang fastbacks demand, compared to the regular Mustang.

    Like 4
  7. gaspumpchas

    Agreed with all u guys. By the looks of the inner fender, this beauty was rotten when it was parked in the dirt. The seller did himself no favors by listing tne first pic. sitting in the weeds doesnt add metal. Description says “rust in the usual places”..on a rustang thats everywhere. Can be saved but at what cost? 30 large?? I’ll have what he’s drinking. Good luck and stay safe.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 9
  8. K Gun Offense

    The bidding is right around 30 grand which in my opinion makes this a 30 grand hun k of junk. The original motor is gone and from what I can see in pictures the quarters need to be replaced, floor pans, trunk pans, around the back window and if you notice the back light on the driver’s side does not line up with the quarter panel. Just those north eastern cars and especially sitting out like that, I don’t see any metal that can be saved. Finding a period correct motor is also not an easy task if that what you want to do. Almost starting from scratch and who knows how high the bid is going to get! Great potential but way more money than I am interested in spendi.g.

    Like 4
  9. Timothy Phaff

    WINNER TAKES THE CAR
    Not me. Someone has money to throw around. I do have a fresh 428CJ & C6 but no way am I buying a rot box that needs 1/2 the sheet metal replaced, all the interior, all chrome, all the all, and let’s not forget get the ?. Might as well buy one of those complete bodies & switch the numbers.

    Like 3
  10. Kenn

    Been in a flood, and if it was salt water the wiring is also shot. 30K seems like a “more money than sense” gamble.

    Like 4
  11. Joshua Mortensen Staff

    I wish I would have posted this link sooner, but this Mustang was posted as a Barn Finds Classified on October 27th and sold a few days later. The seller didn’t have an asking price and was taking offer, so we don’t know how much it went for. You can take a look at it here: https://barnfinds.com/classifieds/1968-ford-mustang-r-code-fastbacks/.

    Like 1
  12. karl

    And you guys thought only Mopar guys were crazy !

    Like 2
  13. Mark P

    30 large and the motor is missing? That’s a lot for a VIN.

    Like 1

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