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1968 Ford Mustang GT - Convertible Caretaker
With but 44,000 miles on this big-block four-speed GT, Nick Consiglio preserves its history for others to enjoy
Ford has built over nine million Mustangs over the last five decades. That’s an average production of 180,000 Mustangs a year. That production of course ran the gamut from six-cylinder hardtops with no options to highly optioned big-block convertibles and fastbacks (when focusing on the first generation of Mustang production, naturally). Over the years these Mustangs have been used as daily drivers, drag racers, college transportation, second and third family cars, and more. We have to stop and remember that back in the ’60s, as cool and popular as the Mustang was, people didn’t consider a car to be a collectible item back then. In this day and age where every McDonald’s Happy Meal toy is considered a collectible and sold for big bucks on eBay it’s often easy to forget this fact. As such, people for the most part simply used their Mustangs as you would any other form of transportation.
Thankfully though there were owners that, for one reason or another, limited the miles on their Mustangs. Whether it was used sparingly as a second car, or perhaps parked during harsh winters, whatever the reason, it is a happy day for a Mustang enthusiast when one comes across an original example with low mileage. Now we’re not talking Bob Perkins or Daniel Carpenter low-mileage here (often in the single or double digits), but a Mustang with several thousands of well cared for miles. Such is the case with the ’68 GT big-block four-speed convertible you see on these pages.
Nick Consiglio purchased the convertible, sight unseen, from a good friend in July 1998. Nick’s friend, who lived in Eastern Pennsylvania, agreed to drive the car to Nick in Michigan. The car arrived in Nick’s St. Clair Shores driveway with just 33,033 miles on it. Today, the odometer reads just 11,000 miles more. Nick uses the Mustang mainly for show duty and parades, which keeps the mileage low and the wear to a minimum, as his GT is all original except for a repaint a year after purchase due to the original Tahoe Turquoise finish fading. George’s Collision in Eastpointe, Michigan, deftly handled the base-coat/clearcoat refinish in the original color.
If the topcoat hue isn’t interesting enough, Nick’s GT is but one of 91 GT convertibles built by Ford with the 390 big-block and four-speed combination according to the Marti report he has. Even stranger still is the fact his convertible rolled off of the Metuchen assembly line sans the GT package’s front disc brakes for some reason. Perhaps an inventory delay on the assembly line? Whatever the reason, Nick’s GT is wearing drums at all four corners to this day, just like when it was delivered new to a Boston-area Ford dealer.
Nick is no stranger to Mustangs too, having owned a ’66 convertible as his very first car. The fun continued with a ’68 hardtop when he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force back in 1968 and then a ’72 Mach 1 with a 351 Cleveland upon his return from Vietnam in late 1971. While he enjoys the classics, Nick is very much a late-model fan as well, having owned a ’79 hatchback, an ’85 GT convertible, a ’92 5.0L LX, and an ’11 GT. His current daily driver is a ’14 GT. While we’re sure the miles are racking up on that 5.0L Coyote-powered GT, it’s nice to know that Nick’s ’68 convertible is safely tucked away to keep the mileage and collectability intact on such a desirable Mustang.