Jerry Heasley
January 25, 2016

Hidden behind a horse barn in rural Pennsylvania, this 1969 Mustang SportsRoof still wore its original Groovy Green paint, enhanced by artistic patches of surface rust. An excavated shale ledge upon which the adjacent barn was built is probably what saved the body from ground moisture and severe rust. This American classic had been parked outside since about 1995 but had not run since 1980, when Randy Kuhn went into the military and parked the car in a garage. The stock 250ci six-cylinder engine did not help the car’s chances of survival—being a “Limited Edition 600” did.

Don Hughmanick says, “Randy Kuhn was the second owner and bought it from Rothrock Motors in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1979. He concluded after all these years that his plan to restore the car was more of a dream than a reality. He just wanted to sell it as a project car, for parts, or just take it to the scrap yard.”

In July 2015, Don got an email from Judy Kuhn, the wife of the car’s owner, stating that her husband was ready to sell his old Mustang. Judy’s mission was to find out the car’s value and find a buyer. In her research she stumbled upon Don’s website devoted to the Limited Edition 600 Mustang, limited600mustang.net.

The SportsRoof was hidden from sight, and even the owner didn’t realize that the Mustang he bought in 1977 was a Limited Edition Mustang “600” of special interest.
The stock six-cylinder engine reveals that there was a sentiment for fuel economy in the peak of the muscle car years. Was Ford making overtures to the hippie generation? Flower Power Red and Groovy Green obviously appealed to America’s counterculture. The six-cylinder is the big six, 250 ci, rather than the 200-1V. The 250-1V had not been started since 1980.

Oddly enough, neither Judy nor her husband knew the car was a Mustang special edition. Her search included the hoodscoop, weird green paint, the DSO number of 162787, and other oddities that linked her keystrokes to Don’s Limited Edition 600 website. Hughmanick is a longtime owner of a 1969 Flower Power Red Limited Edition 600 SportsRoof that Mustang Monthly ran a feature on in 2010. At that time, Don explained that 600 was the number of Mustangs the Philadelphia sales district would sell as part of their national “Mustang Stampede” in the spring of 1969.

Standard features were either the Flower Power Red (WT5185) or Groovy Green paint (MX8241928), a unique side stripe, full wheel covers, whitewall tires, a hoodscoop, a chrome remote driver-side mirror, an AM radio, and special “600” fender emblems. The 200-1V was standard, with the 250-1V and 302-2V optional. Incredibly, Randy Kuhn’s Limited Edition 600 was in Lehighton, an hour and a half north of Don’s home in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania. Don said he might be a buyer and asked Judy if he could look at the car. Of course, he is also the leading expert in the world on this special edition, so if he didn’t buy, he might be able to assist in a finding the right buyer.

Judy agreed, but didn’t get back to him until two weeks before Thanksgiving 2015. By then, Don had a Marti Report so he already knew the car’s heritage before his trip. He was intrigued that the car sold new from T.F. & Leh, Incorporated, a very small dealership in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. He wondered how many people realized there were dealerships in those days that held just a few cars in their showrooms.

The interior is stock except for the aftermarket Stewart-Warner gauge on top of the steering column and the wrap on the steering wheel.
The surface rust created a high contrast with the original paint.
How many Mustangs reflect the 1960s in their paint with such an appropriate color of Groovy Green? Hippie dress and grooming would be apropos at a car show.

Don found what he called “typical rust” in one quarter-panel, while the other was OK, but dented. The framerails were pretty good, and only the driver-side front floor pan needed to be replaced. One front fender and the passenger door had been replaced early on, as was evident by the side stripe and a repaint to those panels. Don found the original body buck tag with the paint code mix number for the special-order Groovy Green. Overall, the car was complete with the original engine and transmission, scooped hood, and interior intact, though the stock driver-side mirror was long gone. Don felt the car had not been “bastardized” and was well worth saving. He had always thought it would be nice to have a Groovy Green 600 to complement his Flower Power Red 600, both SportsRoofs. The run of 503 cars consisted of SportsRoofs and hardtops. They didn’t end up making 600, apparently.

Don wasn’t overly anxious to buy, so he did not follow up from the earlier emails. The seller was still ready to sell, but Judy had waited four months to make that follow-up call. “First of all, they asked me what the car was worth. I said it was worth anywhere from 15 to 22 plus. They wanted to know how much I would pay.”

Don’s 15-22 refers to $15,000 to $22,000-plus for a restored six-cylinder 600. Buyer and seller negotiated what Don feels was a very reasonable price for the Mustang in its current condition, but since this 1969 SportsRoof was part of Randy’s teenage years, he found it a little difficult to let go. As part of the sales agreement, Randy wanted to see the car when Don finished the restoration. “Heck, I’ll even let you drive it,” Don said. With that, the deal was sealed.

The Mustang hovered over a shale surface that was much drier than moist Pennsylvania turf.
The body buck tag decodes as follows: 358 is the Rotation Number (the chassis consecutive number down the production line); 6 means Welding Bay; 23D stands for April 23; 63A means SportsRoof with standard interior; 9T02L194321 is the VIN; MX8241928 means Special Mix paint Groovy Green (also the same as 1971 Bright Lime); PS stands for Power steering.