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Northwest Classic Rally 2014: Back Home

Mustang back in Boise

In case you were wondering, we made it back home! The drive from the Oregon coast to Boise on Sunday may have been the biggest challenge of our whole adventure. The triple digit temperatures made things a little uncomfortable at times, but the worst part of the trip was the hot exhaust blowing directly into the cabin right behind the passenger’s seat. I had questioned the location of that muffler when the guy in the shop started welding things up, but he assured me that it wasn’t too close to the shock. Well, unfortunately I was right.

Mustang's damaged Shock

The heat from the muffler baked the rear shock on the passenger side. We knew it was starting to fail as the rally progressed and a good bump was all it took to knock some welds loose on the exhaust. At first it just caused an unpleasant buzz at low rpms, but by the time we were ready to head home fumes were leaking into the cabin. We had a long way to go though so we crammed some plugs into our ears, rolled down the windows, and headed out.


I don’t want to sound negative here though. This rally was undoubtedly the most enjoyable automotive event we have ever had the privilege of attending. These little hiccups only made the journey more memorable. We felt like the underdogs at this prestigious event. There were a handful of million dollar cars in attendance and many of the drivers were experienced in the ways of rallying. We on the other hand, were first timers in a bottom rung car. Eyebrows raised when we arrived, but by the end of the event we had proved ourselves and even made quite a few friends.

Monte Shelton Rally Sticker

We didn’t do too bad on the rally either. Before the event started we felt very overwhelmed with all the new lingo contained in the route book that the organizers handed us. There were lots of abbreviations and numbers to decipher, but once we got underway we started to figure it all out. On the first day we made some big mistakes and finished with 13 minutes worth of penalties. The second day we were determined to improve on that and ended up being only 5 minutes off pace!


So, even with 18 penalty points we finished 16th in the vintage class and 32nd overall. Not bad considering that there were 75 cars competing and ours didn’t even have a trip meter! Sure, the top couple of guys had less than a minute’s worth of penalties, but we could still leave the resort with our heads held high. It was even enough to earn us a shiny bronze grill badge for our beat up old Mustang! It will serve as a small reminder of all the great memories made at the Northwest Classic Rally.


This event would not have been so enjoyable without all the time donated by over 60 volunteers! We are grateful to all of them and all of the other participants. The future of our Mustang is still undetermined, but we do need to repair a few things before it can make any long journeys. A breakdown of all our expenditures up to this point are included below. It feels good knowing that we were able to purchase a car, fix it, and attend an event for less than some of the high dollar rallies cost just to enter! So, what do you think we should do next with our trusty little pony?

Project Budget
1965 Ford Mustang – $2,800
Midas (exhaust, control arms, brakes, tires, gasket, fluids) – $900
Master cylinder – $70
Brake line – $15
Tires – $100
Battery tray kit – $26
Tray install kit – $5
Gauge feed wiring loom – $33
Shift lever rebuild kit – $33
Shift knob – $15
Gearshift boot – $10
Horn contact kit – $29
Horn spring – $6
Arm rest kit – $25
Pedal pad kit – $17
Pedal spring – $3
Kick panels – $28
Dash pad – $125
Seat foam – $98
Seat upholstery kit – $204
Upholstery installation kit – $24
Door/window handle kit – $53
Floor mat set – $70
Trunk mat – $22
Trunk extender – $4
Misc. hardware – $15
Total – $4,730


Recent Project Updates


  1. sunbeamdon

    Well done – having participated in many TSD rallies in British Columbia, I’m impressed with your low scoring for a novice!

    I was immediately reminded of one husband and wife team in the Columbia (Sports Car Club) Rally – they had a modest odometer but no calibrated time-piece of any sort – so they improvised and used an alarm clock. As they say – “close is good enough”

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  2. Brian

    Somehow, I’m thinking the Mustang won’t be in the stable too much longer, based on past observations. Hopefully, my instincts are wrong because I’d really enjoy watching this restoration project through till completion.

    Either way, my best to you guys! Glad you had fun and made it home safe. If you do decide to sell, I know I will enjoy seeing the next one, too.

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  3. Dolphin Member

    Raised eyebrows at the beginning but only 18 penalty points for first timers in a vintage Barn Find Mustang—-that’s an impressive outcome that I’m sure convinced everyone that you two guys are the real deal.

    Congrats on a terrific rally and some great writeups on BF.

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  4. paul

    Ah my old Alfa buddy’s the Oregon chapter was always very active. Were to go from here? Well if you stopped the oil leaks would you be ok with oil or do you think it’s burning oil as well. So first I would stop the oil leaks & see where you are with that. Hows the gear box? Then I would take it back to midas & say replace the shock & install the muffler correctly after all that then you can decide how to move forward. If the engine is smoking & the gearbox is weak, you may want to cut your loses, if it isn’t bad move onto the body, if you want, many ways to go from here if you want to do more rally’s in it you might consider disk brakes & suspension tweaks, wider wheels etc.

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  5. DT

    Are you guys working on our stickers? You guys are making us stickers,right? Barn find stickers!right?

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  6. stanley stalvey

    Not bad. Impressive actually. I’m sort of fond of the old girl now. This was much more fun than the typical restoration snore.. Good job, guys..

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Thanks Stanley! I figured I would be ready to move on after this trip, but I’m actually growing attached to this one too!

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  7. Marc Lawrence

    I remember when my mom was selling our 66 6 cylinder automatic mustang that I hated. My dad had brought home a “used” 65 289 model with most of the bells and whistles I liked. I had just turned 16. She told him to take it back because she was tired of driving used cars. We ended up with a pretty stripped 6 cylinder automatic for the same price but new.

    Anyway, it was probably 1984 and she wanted a $1,000 for the car. I told her good luck – U guys should have bought it – lol

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  8. Mark Jacobson


    Mark, Queensland, Australia.

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  9. Gary Fogg

    Way to go guys ! Great showing !

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  10. Clay Bryant

    All you needed was one of those big round window coolers and you’re good to go.I’ve had one stuck away for years and need to dig it out.(They make a statement!)

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Hey Clay, that is not a bad idea actually! It’s pretty dry up here in Idaho so it would probably work well enough.

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  11. JP

    Great job! Really enjoyed following the story.

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  12. Ron Kelly

    It’s great reading about the old mustang my aunt had a similar car back in the late sixties

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  13. Rancho Bella

    Rule o’ thumb…………..never weld an exhaust system together. I clamp and am able to remove the system in thirty minutes or less.
    Place the muffler where the engineers designed it…………not where the muffler guy thinks it should go………………….
    What to do with the Mustang………….hmmm……….I got nothin’

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      I originally wanted to order a kit with a stock style setup and now I am really wishing I would have. My ears especially wish I would have…

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  14. Barry Thomas

    Well done! Interesting to see your old ‘Stang amongst all the expensive rolling stock, but also kinda neat due to its patina. I’d definitely keep the old dear, but would still paint it and replace the wheels.
    Barry Thomas’ “Wheel to Wheel” blog

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  15. Chris

    How close was the muffler to the shock? I’m supprised that the heat killed the shock.
    I used to aim for at least an inch off clearance ‘twixt any part of the exhaust & any other component.

    Never had a problem.

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  16. bizfinguy

    Bravo! Congrats for having the guts to try it.

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  17. John

    I still think that the exterior should be left as-is (well maybe eliminate any rust). But the mechanicals should be made proper and the interior may need some work just to keep it comfortable for the next long trip/rally. You may want to look for some 5.0 Mustang four bolt wheels. They are relatively inexpensive and readily available. And you owe the little car a new set of tires. Definitely keep the door marker — it makes the car. It also needs a light bar on the front with HUGE rally lights.

    The Midas guy should fix his mistake, and he owes you a new rear shock, too.

    Well done guys.

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      The reupholstered seats really did make the trip more enjoyable and the tires were an almost new set we picked up for $100. I dont think the newer four lug will fit our old Mustang so we will just have to keep our eyes out for a set of a Datsun or something.

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  18. John

    … and if you decide to part company with the little car in favor of your own BF 300SL, the Mustang MUST be offered here first.

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  19. jim s

    glad you made the trip , had fun and a did great. the cost break down looks good. once the repair are done, for free by the shop, you can keep going as a daily driver or test the waters and list it with a starting bid higher then what you have in it then move on to another BF project car/truck. either way works for me as this is FUN. thanks

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  20. gunningbar

    Yeah! Thanks…great story!

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  21. Smitty

    Problems with Midas. Who would’ve thought?

    I went to Midas once when I was a broke college student in the early 90s. They said all the brakes on my 64 Dart GT needed to be replaced for a bit over $1,000. It was too much for me so I said no. They said too bad and if I didn’t pay the $1,000 they’d keep my car. I had no money for a lawyer and didn’t know that the university had legal staff to help students, so I had to borrow money to pay.

    The good thing was, it motivated me into taking auto mechanic courses at the local junior college after I got my degree.

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Yeah, we knew better, but were short on time. It didn’t really help though because now we have to go back through most everything they touched. Too bad because the owner is a real nice guy.

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  22. Mike B.

    Great story, and good job on your Rally!

    What to do with the Mustang? Well, given the nature of this site (i.e. Barn Finds), you could put it back in a Barn for a few more years for the next carcheologist to discover… Oh wait, no.

    1. re-repair the muffler / shock / exhaust leak issues
    2. track down the loss of oil issue to either resolve it or reveal to the next owner.
    3. sell the car as a project driver.
    4. resume barn finding operations and apply previous sale proceeds toward the next worthy candidate!

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  23. TonyD

    Glad you had some fun with this. You know how to find me if I can help with anything further.

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  24. RickyM

    Well done guys! Great first time position. Really enjoyed reading all about it.

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  25. Nicolas giguere

    Congrats to you guys, love to hear the sound while you were driving. Love that little poney, it s a real road warrior. Thank for the great story.

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  26. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    Guys, the rally looked like a blast, I’m jealous we don’t live closer. My wife and I just did the Vintage Pittsburgh Grand Prix TSD rallye, and we had a great time running our MGB. Next year we plan to run the new project “75 BMW 2002.

    Smitty…I’ve had several Darts, and one large for the brakes does seem high. Especially if they just changed out the shoes all the way around, without cylinders, hardware kits, and drums. Super simple brakes to work on.

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    • Smitty

      Hi Rex, I knew it then and I know it now. Just weasely that a dishonest manager would do that. The BBB said they’d get right on it and nothing happened. I joined the MML (Mopar Mailing List) and learned that for a grand, I could’ve had disk brakes put in from a 70s Dart.

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  27. ConservativesDefeated

    Nice job guys! Nothng like making steak out of hamburger!

    What your experience makes clear is that its better to buy someones elses work and bills paid then to put your own money into it. At almost five grand it seems like the little pony is going to need some paint etc to recapture your investment.

    Though I’m sure the experience cant be calculated in dollars

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  28. Chris A.

    I had a problem similiar to your exhaust clearance problem and until I could get it fixed, I sprayed frame rails and floor with adhesive and stuck aluminum foil to the glue. It helped a little, but it did have to be fixed with a real heat shield and a rerouted exhaust. As for the Mustang, I’d sure leave the Oregon Rallye 62 on it when it goes up for sale. The sticker and especially the story are a great part of the car’s value. Truly another “Caballo de Hiero”, Ak Miller and Ray Brock would be proud to know you and your “Iron Horse”. Good luck with the sale.

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  29. Christopher Harwell

    Glad she made it guys! And I’m glad you had fun! I’m glad i sold her to the right guys and glad you are enjoying her as much as I always did! Here’s to many more enjoyable rides, Cheers! If you ever decide to sell her let me know i would always love to be Audrey’s owner again! Chris

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  30. Nova

    Definitely an interesting journey! Albeit a little humdrum in a little less than impressive road car.
    As far as ” What to do with it ”

    I’m willing to donate a complete 2007 P71 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.

    Which would yield 4 wheel disc brakes (suspension may be a little too much?), A/C, 3.27 disc brake rear end (40kms), 4.6l CVPI drivetrain (190kms) ++. The makings of a budget build.

    You can drive it home, only issue is first gear in the transmission is not working, so the trans will require attention.

    I think it would ” perk ” that little pony up big time and Definitely raise a few eyebrows @ the Northwest Classic Rally 2015.

    I’m sure it would put smile on your face to run as well.

    Let me know if your interested.



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