Meet Jolene. This is what the colour, stripes, and spoilers would have looked like when it is all done if she was salvageable. Read Update #3 below to learn why.

Its pretty, but what is it?

 A 1971 Ford Mustang Mach1 powered by a high compression 351-4V (5.7 litre) Cleveland V8, 3 speed automatic transmission, power steering and brakes.

Special thanks go to the previous owners and dear friends Greg & Siony Thompson, my brother Todd for providing the truck and trailer to get it here, my ex-daughter-in-law Melissa who has agreed to let me use her garage for the restoration, and of course my son Mark for providing his skill and expertise to restore the body and frame.

Since the rust is too bad to consider fixing her, we thought about finding a rolling chassis to transplant the powertrain, interior and VIN into. There are a few around, just none in Canada that I can find. The logistics and costs of bringing one back from Arizona or nearby States are simply too daunting.

So, what now. Since I am not the only person out there with a ‘71-’73 Mustang, I plan to sell the salvageable parts and scrap the remaining empty shell of rust. No doubt this will take a while but there’s nothing else to be done.

October, 2023

A new project is born! Mark and I drove to Genelle, BC where the car was in storage. My brother and his lady met us there on Saturday and we loaded the car and assorted spare parts onto Todd’s truck and trailer.

Once everything was securely tied down and tarped over, we ate pizza, drank beer, and visited. Between the 10 hour drive, all the work involved in loading, and our rapidly increasing ages, we were done by 9pm and crashed.

We were up at 7 on Sunday morning, double checked the load, said our thank-yous and goodbyes and headed east along Hwy 3 about 8am, BC time.

An uneventful 11 hours later the work to unload got underway. By 10pm that was done and we headed home excited about our new project.

Over the next couple of days we organized the garage, beefed up the locks, added lighting, and started actually doing something on the car. Nothing exciting, just changing a flat tire, removing the hood, cleaning out the leaves, squirrel poop and the assorted detritus from the hood, interior, and trunk.

There are large sections of the firewall and flooring that are simply rusted away to nothing. I can see from under the hood straight through the floor in the back seat to the ground. I guess that’s why they are sometimes called “rustangs”.

Update #1 - October, 2023

My brother Todd simply ripped out the hood hinges!

Loading up the Mach1 for its trip home.

Yes, it has the optional flow through ventilation system in the trunk floor

Yes, it does have an engine!







Update #2 - December, 2023

December, 2023

Rustang, indeed! The more I opened it up and the more pieces I removed, the more rust I found. Worse, significant portions of everything are simply gone. That’s not as bad as it sounds because all those parts that are gone were on the list of things to be replaced anyway. It will complicate the process though because I am not sure exactly what is holding it together right now.

Mark has a plan: start at the back where there is not too much rust damage (but most stuff has to be replaced anyway) and slowly work towards the front by replacing all the metal you can’t see from the outside of the car. Each new piece will be bonded and riveted and perhaps welded to the piece behind it, keeping things straight and true. Mark is a professional so I trust that if he says it will work, then it will.

It is a family project! Megan is removing the door card. Note the missing floor on the passenger side!

Fred Flintstone would feel right at home in this floor-less car!

It is December in Alberta now and so the car will sit, alone, until spring. The garage is unheated, in fact, the entire Province is unheated right now. Even though we don’t have any snow yet, it is just too cold to do anything more.

I do have a few bits and pieces removed and on those few days when the temperatures get above freezing, I will turn on the heat in my garage and do some grinding, priming, and painting. I’ll then add the shiny bits to the pile in my office until the day comes when we start to put it all back together.

I hope to get back at it in early April and start ordering parts then. A bit of good news - I found a supplier in Calgary! I can order a bunch of stuff then run down there and save on shipping costs.

I bought some well used tires in the right size and the aluminium rims, some coasters for under the tires to make it easy to move around, more tools, shelving, high intensity garage lights, and the list goes on.   




Update #3 - July 2024

The bad news kept getting worse the more I dug.

So, what to do? It is not realistic to try and sell it as a project. I am going to sell the salvageable parts, some of which are excellent, and scrap the shell. Hopefully I will get enough to cover the costs I have put into it so far. Sigh.

RIP, Jolene


Front sub-frame rusted away

All structural sheet metal is bad

Dash being removed revealing more bad news.

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