Episode 16. A tale Of Three Mustangs... And A Mercury Capri.

A tale of two Mustangs, erm, plus a Mercury Cougar, and, um, another Mustang. Back at the end of 2008 my good woman, Mrs Clint was at the time knocked up (again!) and still a bit ticked off from my previous car buying effort when I was asked to prepare for the arrival of our first daughter, by buying a suitable car for a small family with a baby, and I came home with a brand new (2005) Mustang! Which apparently wasn't what she had in mind! Anyway moving on, I had been promising her a Mustang of her own, since the arrival of our little monster #1, so I decided that before our #2 monster arrived, I'd pull my finger out, and stay true to my word! This resulted in this thing of beauty arriving outside BelongaClint...





Please excuse the imagery, these were taken on a cheap camera!


Oh, and did I mention that I was shooting a lot of film back them, and when I wasn't doing that I was using a very cheap digital compact, or the camera on my phone which wasn't up to much. So don't be expecting brilliant photographs, they're gonna be worse than my usual efforts! Now then, I know what some of you might be thinking, thats not a proper Mustang, I got a lot of that from my friends at the time! To that I say PAH!! It is a proper Mustang, says so on the bumpers, the bootlid, the quarter windows, the V5c, and the brochures from the Ford dealership at the time! There also may be a few of you who are thinking, ok, so you get a 2005 Mustang, and Mrs Clint gets a 1993 'fox' Mustang with a 2.3 litre engine, thats not a very good deal. Well, I did offer her my 1966 Mustang coupé, but she didn't feel that would be a very good daily driver for her (no seatbelts!) Plus, I showed the 'fox' to her, and she liked it, so I went for it and got it for her. Personally I have always had a soft spot for the 'fox' Mustang, they were the Mustang of my youth, and I've always thought that they were cool. An opinion that was shared between few at the time, which worked in my favour, because this made them cheap! Anyway, it looked a little frilly around the edges, particularly the wheel arches, so we went home, and started to work on it. Before too long I thought I'd put it in for an MOT, just to see how bad it was. It was bad, and I was pretty gutted, mainly because it was quite a nice car to drive, and I liked it. After thinking about it, I decided that what I should do is import a good rust free one from Americaland, and do that one instead. The search was on, and it didn't need to be too special, as long as the bodywork was good and solid, and the engine would run for long enough to drive it on the boat, then that would be good enough. I figured that I had a good interior, and a good engine, all I didn't have was a good body to keep it all in. Pretty soon a doner was located, and it was a good solid California car, with a rough interior, flat, sunbleached paint, and a V8 that was healthy! I put my bid in, and won the auction for just $200!! That was the starting price and I was the only bidder! I paid the guy straight away, he asked for Paypal, and he got it! Then he complained about how much Paypal had taken from him for using their payment service, anyhoo six weeks later I was stood at the docks collecting my second 'fox' Mustang.






Yep, a 1985 Mustang GT with a T-top, and a 5.0 V8 engine! That will do I thought, and hauled it home to introduce it to what was now the doner car.



I thought that what I would do was make one good car from the two of them, and sell what I could on ebay to try and top up my bank balance! First thing...


That V8 engine needs to go! I know you're probably wondering why I wouldn't keep the V8, well two reasons, they drive better in my opinion with the smaller 4-cylinder engine, and the other thing was that this was going to be Mrs Clints daily driver, so it didn't need to have the economy of the V8!


Bodywork was stripped...


The V8 was extracted, and put on ebay where it sold without any dramas for more than it cost me to buy the whole car, and ship it home! Horaaah, free car... Ish! I'll never forget that the two fellas showed up in a Transit van to collect the engine. One got hold of the front of the engine, and one got hold of the back of the gearbox, then they just lifted it up, walked to the back of the Transit and plonked it inside, like it didn't weigh anything at all! They didn't even look like contenders for the "Worlds Strongest Man" they just looked like regular guys! I'm guessing they worked out! As I remember it was going to find a new home inside a Cobra replica, well, good on them, I wonder if they ever finished it... Hmm... No matter...


Before too long I had the front end from the '93 Mustang on the '85 Mustang body, I thought it looked ok, and I'd probably have the only '93 T-top as they only came with T-tops from 1981 until very early in the 1988 model year.


Figured that I might as well put the other front on the doner car as it stopped me having to move it out the way all the time! Shortly after this I did something even more foolish, even for me!



I treated myself to a 1986 Mercury Cougar which was basically the same as the Mustangs, just a different front, back, and bootlid, plus, flared arches a bit like a Porsche 944... (if you really want to see it, and squint really hard!) Cool! My plan was that this was going to be my little toy, it was giong to be used for nothing but blezzing along the country lanes in, on my own. It was going to be rough, I mean patina'd, and just a fun little car with crap paint that I didn't have to worry about. I was going to sell off the good bits, and replace them with the not so good bits from the Mustangs that I couldn't sell! It was all about being a cheap fun car for me. It quickly became known as the 'Rustang'. Pretty soon I had loads of bits stipped off it, and I was selling them all on ebay...


At the time you could've said I was at the fore front of 'fox' Mustang recycling! No? Ok then, moving on...


The extremely heavy rear hatch, and the front and rear ends of the Cougar were removed, and it started to look more "Mustangy" The front and rear of the cougar were dispatched to a friend of mine who had a hankering to build himself a Mercury Cougar convertible.


The 'Rustang' got itself the nose and bonnet from the '85...


I was really liking how the 'Rustang' and Mrs Clints Mustang were coming along, but I was about to get too busy to play with them. I was out of time to prepare Mrs Clints Mustang for her because monster #2 had arrived, and at the same time, work picked up... A lot! I went from having loads of time to play with Mustangs to having next to no time. My drove needed to be thinned out.


My 'Rustang' was dispatched to a friend of mine, that still has it to this day, and works on it slowly. This, I thought would give me more time to work on the Mustang for Mrs Clint! But in the meantime she found herself armed up with a 1990 Ford Thunderbird instead. Anyhoo, during all this my Dad retired, and as a bit of a retirement gift we decided to get him a present. He likes his classic cars, and has several stored in garages, but they're nowhere near ready to be driven, so, as he had been interested in what we were doing with our little Mustangs, we bought him this...


Also, before we bought him his own Mustang he had said that he liked a set of wheels that I had in my stash, and that he preferred the rear hatch from the Cougar to the one on the Mustang. So...


We put new tyres on the wheels, then had the Cougar rear hatch cleaned up, and re-contoured by Aunt Fanny to follow the lines of the back of the Mustang. I thought it would be an easy job, but it took me and Aunt Fanny quite a lot of phaffing to make it look right! Then it was painted to match the car. I went up to his house one day in it to see him, when he came out to see me off, he saw it sitting in the street, and said to me, "Whos is that?" I said, it's yours Dad, we bought it for you for a gift, and handed over the keys! He was chuffed to nuts about it. He drives it about quite frequently and loves it, although my Mum doesn't care for it, infact he's had it since about 2011 and she's only been in it a couple of times!

Anyway, time marches on, and I'm not getting any less busy, (or any younger!) so I'm spending less and less time working on the Mustangs, and by now monster #2 is seven years old, and I'm not getting any time to myself, let alone time to get to do anything on the Mustangs. Plus, by now I'm kinda at saturation point with cars (19 at last count I think!) and struggling to find a place to put the two Mustangs...


I stood there, and looked at them...


and looked at them...


aaaaaaaand looked at them...


I want to fix them, I want to make one good car from the two, but seriously, I was never going to get around to doing it. They needed to be stored somewhere else, I couldn't find anywhere else, so the decision was made to sell our Mustang projects! Photos were taken, an ad was drawn up for the red one, but stating that the blue one would be included in the sale as a spares car. They were ready to go!


When I  put the wings and doors back on the '85 for the first time in about five years I really wondered why I was selling my Mustangs. Surely I could find a way couldn't I? Somehow re-capture the enthusiasm, and magic up some sort of mechanical talent for myself from somewhere!


But the thing was, I was fast realising that I am becoming the guy who started out with loads of cool cars in a field, but now has a field full of iron oxide, and not enough time and talent to do anything with it all. I really have enough crap, and they needed to go, I knew that, but admitting it to myself was hard. People came to view them, one guy, a banger racer seemed very interested in them, but was only prepared to give me £100 for the pair, I didn't want to sell them to him really, I think the blue one would've just disintergrated, but the red one was too good in my mind to just get beaten up at a banger meet. But eventually an entusiast from the Mustang Owners Club GB Forum bought them to restore. £400 later he had two 'fox' Mustangs, I had two less cars to try and re-home... Everyone was happy.


First he took the blue one, which he said is really not beyond repair, and he plans to restore that one first of all...


And away it goes! An hour or so later, and he was back for the red one...


Which he said will be used to give his 5.0 V8 one a new body!


And away that goes too! Still, not to worry, atleast three cars in this photo still belong to me! As it happens I am a bit disappointed that I haven't done anything with them in so long, but for me, there came a time when I had to admit defeat, I had to admit that I couldn't do it because I don't have either the time, nor the talent to do it, and struggling on would've just meant that I was doing that (and probably not enjoying it) when I could be doing something else that I do enjoy! I've thought about it since they went, and I don't really miss them, and I'm fairly sure I will have another one, but it will be after I've thinned my collection out into a more suitable number, or atleast, until I'm into single digits again! And yes, it will be a 2.3, and not a V8!

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