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Original 302/4-Speed: 1968 Ford Mustang

This 1968 Ford Mustang is proof that some excellent classics are still waiting to be discovered in sheds and barns across the country. The owner found this car in such a location, and thankfully for him, it hadn’t been parked for years. He has coaxed it back to life, and returning this rust-free survivor to a roadworthy state should be an easy task for the buyer to tackle. If you think you could be that person, you will find the Mustang located in Panama City, Florida, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $8,700 and has already sailed past the reserve.

Barn finds tend to cover the entire spectrum from good to bad and the downright ugly! This Gulfstream Aqua Mustang would seem to fall into the first category because while the paint looks tired, it is a remarkably healthy vehicle. It is a long way from perfect, but it is a car that seems to have solid bones. There is no evidence of any external rust, and the floors and frame look to be in excellent condition. I don’t think that the buyer will need to break out the welder and grinder, but they will need to do some work before applying a fresh coat of paint. It looks like there is some Bondo present in the front fender and door on the driver’s side, so that might require some investigation. I can’t spot it anywhere else on the car, so it could be there due to a minor fender bender. The glass appears to be in good order, although some of the chrome will need to be restored or replaced. The owner has fitted aftermarket wheels which some of our readers won’t like. However, there are some original hubcaps in the trunk, so with a bit of luck, there could be a complete set if the buyer is seeking a faithful restoration.

The seller only supplies this single photo of the interior and, once again, we are looking at an area of the car with both good and bad points. The upholstered surfaces such as the seats and door trims look fine, but the carpet is badly faded, the dash pad has deteriorated, and the dash fascia is beginning to look tired. We can’t see the rear seat or the headliner, so it’s a case of crossing our fingers on that one. The first plus point here is that there have been no aftermarket additions. The second is that if the unseen areas are as clean as the visible upholstery, returning the interior to a presentable state won’t cost a king’s ransom. A carpet set will cost under $160, while a dash fascia and gauge bezel will add a further $150 to the total. When you add a dash pad at $210, that would have the interior looking pretty presentable for a driver-quality restoration for under $650. There will undoubtedly be a few smaller parts like armrests that will need replacing, but this looks like a very affordable proposition.

The Mustang is a numbers-matching classic that features a J-Code 302ci V8 and a 4-speed manual transmission. That V8 should bring 230hp to the table, which is enough to launch the Mustang through the ¼ mile in 15.6 seconds. When the owner purchased the car, it had been sitting for just over a year. The elderly previous owner had parked the vehicle in a shed, but only after treating the 302 to a rebuild. The current owner has a list of the parts that have been replaced, and they seem to gel with what he had found when he inspected the vehicle. He says that the engine starts and runs, but it refuses to idle. He believes that the carburetor would benefit from a rebuild, and he suggests that the buyer send the car for a thorough inspection before hitting the road. That sounds like a smart move to me. However, when the 302 is running, he says it sounds crisp and clean through its shiny new dual exhaust.

Finding a structurally sound 1st Generation Mustang project car is always a battle. Their vulnerability to rust problems can lead owners on a wild goose chase to secure parts and find someone suitably qualified to ensure that the finished product is structurally sound. That can add a significant amount of money to the restoration costs, and it will see some enthusiasts throw the whole idea in the too-hard basket. The person who buys this Mustang may not be facing those sorts of traumas, but only an in-person inspection will confirm this. If this is as healthy as the photos and listing suggest, it should be a fairly straightforward project. The bidding hasn’t been frantic up to this point, so there is a possibility that someone could score themselves an affordable project. This is an auction that might be worth watching closely.

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Fastbacks notwithstanding, the notchbacks are good looking cars. Ditch the boat trailer wheels and this car could join the club. Nice engine/transmission package. One of those “just right”cars.

    Like 9
  2. CCFisher

    I thought this might be one of the “Rainbow of Color” cars, but it’s not.

    The data plate decodes as follows:

    65A – Hardtop, standard interior
    F5 – Gulfstream Aqua with black hood/cowl stripes
    2A – Black vinyl upholstery
    29H – August 29, 1967
    72 – San Jose sales district
    5 – 3.00 open rear axle
    5 – 4-speed manual

    Assembly plant – San Jose
    Engine – J-code 302 4bbl
    Sequence # – 100330 (very early production for 1968 Mustangs)

    I have a convertible in the same color, with the same engine, but an automatic transmission. This will be a nice cruiser for the next owner.

    Like 5
  3. Troy s

    I look at those wheels and F150 comes to mind instantly, but thats easily changed to whatever an owner may want. For me old school black Torque Thrusts, 15 inches in diameter.
    The four speed makes it a neat car to run around in, stone reliable time tested 302 should have no issues once the idle problem is sorted out, but…this combonation will never run through the traps in 15.6, then or now.

    Like 2

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