Jerry Heasley
June 14, 2017

When Jeff Krueger yelled, “April Fools!” his friend Neil Thompson didn’t immediately realize what was going on. The two were standing in front of a 1970 Mustang SportsRoof, basically a project car that had been parked in the grass behind Jason White’s restoration shop for the last 15 years. What did this Mustang have to do with a prank on Saturday, April 1, 2017?

“It’s yours!” Jeff said.

Neil had been hunting for a project 1969-1970 SportsRoof for at least 10 years, but every time he got close, the price was either too high or the car was too far gone. In fact, Neil’s pursuit of a project had so many failed attempts that he began to think that finding one, even a project car in need of literally everything, just might be unobtainable at an affordable price for Neil.

“That’s Neil’s unicorn,” Jeff said.

The 1970 SportsRoof might look like junk to most people, but this one is rust free and a great start for a project. “It’s finally Neil’s time,” Jeff said. “He’ll build the coolest thing that ever hit the road. That’s what Neil does. Did you know, he built a spoiler from scratch using an old computer desk thrown away by the car dealership where he works?” This SportsRoof already has a name— the Mustang Unicorn. Now, Neil is dreaming of a 427 small block with a six-speed transmission, Shelby side scoops, rear window louvers, and more.
Neil Thompson (middle) got the surprise of his life on April Fool’s Day, 2017, from his friend Jeff Krueger (right). Jason White (left) made it all possible by agreeing to sell the 1970 SportsRoof for two grand.

In the last couple years, we have been photographing how-to articles in Jason White’s shop in Hereford, Texas. We attend the Lubbock Mustang Club’s annual car show every year in Lubbock and have featured many cars from this area over the years, including two of Jeff’s restorations, which had help from his friend Neil, of course. Neil shows a 1966 hardtop that has been his daily driver for the last 20 years. But, he has wanted to step up to a SportsRoof for more than a decade.

“Neil just gives so much, to all of us,” Jeff said. “He’s always helping people with their cars. He’s so good at what he does. It was time for him to get the car of his dreams!”

Jason White started laying out the parts, including the front fenders that went with the 1970 SportsRoof.
Under the hood was a 351 Windsor that had been rebuilt about 15 years ago. The original engine was a 302, also seen here. Neil also got the original FMX automatic.

One day when we had been photographing Jason White media blasting a 1966 hardtop outside his shop we noticed a 1970 SportsRoof parked in the yellow Texas grass. Hmm, could this car be bought? Could this car be Neil’s unicorn? Jason had listened to Neil’s story, which resonated with him. Jason is much more than a restorer. He’s a collector who does his own work. He agreed to let the 1970 go to Neil for the killer deal of $2,000. Then, when Neil and Jeff arrived to pick up the car on April Fool’s Day, Jason unexpectedly threw in an authentic 1970 shaker hood scoop and a 1970 shaker hood. Now, Neil was even more overcome with his April Fool’s rare find and didn’t know what to say. “This is a shaker,” he blurted out like a child. And that set Jeff to laughing for about an hour. “Yes, this is a shaker,” Jeff said. We all laughed out loud.

Neil had thought he was riding the 100 miles with Jeff from Lubbock to Hereford, Texas, to help pick up a 1966 hardtop. The prank was no joke, which made the surprise all the more difficult to believe.

The body buck tag is still hanging on the radiator support.