No Reserve: 1968 Ford Mustang Convertible

If you’re like me, you will look at a classic like this 1968 Ford Mustang Convertible and find that your heart aches a bit. Once upon a time, someone walked into a Ford dealership wide-eyed with excitement at the prospect of driving away in this car when it was shiny and new. Today, it has been reduced to a shadow of its former self, but that begs the question of whether it has deteriorated beyond the point of no return. If you think that you have what it would take to breathe new life into this icon, you will find the Mustang located in Rosedale, Maryland, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $2,075 in this No Reserve auction.

When you scrutinize this Mustang, you soon realize that its faded Highland Green paint is the least of its problems. It has rust and plenty of it! Externally, it has impacted all of the areas that we have become used to. These include the rockers, lower front fenders, rear quarter panels, and the doors. However, that is the tip of the “rust-berg” with this classic because the floors are, if anything, worse. The owner says a set of replacement floors is sitting in the vehicle, but he suggests discarding them and sourcing a one-piece floor pan. That might sound a touch dramatic, but since they sell for under $400, it won’t represent a significant outlay in what is likely to be a costly restoration. The frame rails look like they might be okay, but we don’t get much of a look at the torque box region. If I were buying this one, I would probably brace for some potential pain there as well. Most of the exterior trim is beyond salvation, although it looks like the glass and the frame for the soft-top might be okay.

If you’ve read to this point and wondered whether there is any good news with this Mustang, I might be able to furnish some for you. The vehicle looks to be mechanically complete, although it isn’t clear whether it is numbers-matching. Powering the Convertible is a C-Code 289ci V8 while shifting duties fall to a 3-speed automatic transmission. The original owner wanted a touch of comfort with this one, so they ticked the box on the order form next to power steering. This V8 was the least potent in the 1968 Mustang range, but hey, it is a V8. It would have produced 195hp in its prime, which would have been enough to send the Convertible through the ¼ mile in 17 seconds. It isn’t clear when the 289 last coughed into life or whether it turns freely. These little engines are as tough as old nails, so if it does turn, it might be able to be revived. The buyer could choose to follow a couple of paths if they want to maintain a certain degree of originality. The engine could be left in its standard configuration, and the buyer could decide that 195hp is enough for them. Alternatively, it doesn’t take much work to extract considerably more power from a motor like this. If it is rebuilt as part of the restoration process, that would be the perfect time to fit hardened valve seats, bore the engine, and install new pistons to boost compression, fit an upgraded camshaft, and bolt on a better intake and carburetor. None of those things will cost the earth, and there’s no reason why an owner couldn’t find themselves with a figure well north of 250hp for relative peanuts. It’s certainly an option that would be worth considering.

When I first looked at the interior photos, I considered referring to it as tired. However, I decided on reflection that it is far closer to being dead. The back seat is missing, but sourcing a replacement will only be the first of many tasks awaiting the buyer. There is not a single piece of upholstery that could be salvaged, while the dash pad and most of the trim are well past their use-by date. This is one area that makes the 1st Generation Mustang an attractive alternative as a project car. An entire industry has grown around providing high-quality reproduction parts, and interior trim is not exempt. It is possible to source a trim kit that could return the interior to a factory-fresh state, and they start from as low as $850. However, it is worth spending extra on a really good kit. The price could top $2,000, but it will leave no stone unturned. The restorer won’t be left to sort through old screws and clips to piece things together. Kits in that price range will include everything and remove the heartache from this part of the project.

I know that our Barn Finds readers are an intelligent group of individuals, and I know that they will be aware that reviving this Mustang will be a significant undertaking. There is nothing that won’t require cleaning, repair, restoration, or replacement. That begs the question as to whether it is worth the time and money involved. There are plenty of factors to consider here, and chief among these is how much of the work the buyer will be able to complete themselves. That is a factor that some potential buyers will not think about, but it’s worth remembering that every hour of disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly that you perform yourself is an hour that you won’t have to pay someone else to perform. An hour here and an hour there soon adds up, particularly if you are paying a specialist to do the simple things you could do for yourself. If properly restored, this Mustang should be capable of commanding a sale price of $25,000 without raising a sweat. However, that figure could jump considerably if the work is completed to a high standard. It is also worth remembering that Mustang values have only been heading in one direction in recent years, meaning that this one could become more valuable with each passing year. If you are interested in the vehicle, I can’t definitively tell you whether it is financially viable. You might need to sit down and consider it carefully. The owner seems approachable, so he might be willing to provide some guidance. This restoration will potentially cost a pretty penny, but it will cost nothing to ask the seller those vital questions.

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Comments

  1. Ted-M

    It’s to far gone ! Send to crusher!

    Like 6
  2. Mike

    Can’t complain about price. It’s no reserve.

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      Sold with a high bid of $3,550.

      Steve R

  3. Gland

    The Mopar rallye wheels might bring 500 bucks

  4. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    I like the Cuda/Challenger wheel(s). Gotta be worth a couple Benjamins right there! LOL

    Like 2
  5. Kurt

    Scary rust, has this car been submerged? Pass, at any price.

    Like 4
  6. JoeNYWF64

    I would think somethin was chewin on that driver’s seat. lol

  7. Dayle Gray

    Im in Az, a car like that on the West coast is worth about $800 lol

    Like 1
  8. gaspumpchas

    The whole bottom side of this rustang is gone, upside down pics confirm this seller is a pro. Looks like the flooor pans are hanging in the breeze where they would connect to the inner rockers. You could fix this but you would need to be ambitious and rich to take it on. sad to see in this condition. By the mud on the tires looks like its been laying on the ground. Good luck and happy motoring!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 1
  9. Pat P

    C’mon, unless you lost your virginity, with twins, in this car, there would be no other reason to restore it.

    Like 1

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