Sonya Clark
March 1, 2000
Photos By: Tom Rounds

When one kid sees another kid with a new toy, he wants one just like it. That's how it was for Floyd Wallace of Petersburg, Virginia, when he started attending car shows. Looking at all those shiny, like-new cars made him want to have a car to show off, so he added this '71 Mustang convertible to the bunch of show cars. For the past 17 years, this ragtop beauty has received more than 100 trophies, plaques, and honorable mentions, including three Second Place awards and one Third Place award in MCA Grand National competitions.

Initially, the car started out as a daily driver, but after a few years, Floyd thought it was time for the convertible to take a step up to show-car status, so a paint job was in order. Terry Mott performed the bodywork, while Hailey Pontiac repainted the car its original Dark Green Metallic. The car is all original-including the spare tire-aside from the paint, and the console, which Floyd added after he purchased the car, and the top, which was replaced in 1977 after a hailstorm damaged the original top the same year. The car is already concours correct, but "By spring, I might put speakers in the doors since the car didn't come that way," Floyd said.

He bought the convertible-his first-ever Mustang-new in September 1971 for his wife, Maybelle, to replace her '61 Falcon Futura coupe. "I traded it for the '71 convertible because my wife wanted the Mustang," he said.

Floyd bought the car for his wife, but admits that he drives it more than she does. "My wife won't drive the car because she's afraid something's going to happen to it," he explained. "The last time she drove it was in August 1999."

The standard fare of a C4 automatic tranny, a 2.79 rear gear, and the original 86,651-mile 250ci six-cylinder-with no modifications or factory optional engine equipment-makes this drop-top run on 205 F78-14 tires with a two-piece hubcap with trim rings. For the '71 model year, there was a major restyling of the body, including a new one-step locking feature that enabled the doors to lock from the outside by simply depressing the inside-door lock knob, and then closing the door.

Take a peek inside and you'll see high-back bucket seats decked out in standard white vinyl, and an optional AM/FM radio.

When Floyd isn't serving as a delivery driver, he can be found driving the convertible in local parades and to car shows. The car has never been trailered, which means Floyd has driven the car to shows held during the winter months-despite the wicked weather that is sometimes cast upon Virginia.

Floyd's love for Mustangs grew from attending car shows, and throughout the years, he managed to add four more Ponies to his stable: a '66 convertible, a '69 Mach 1, a '70 hardtop, and a '73 Mach 1. The '71 convertible might win all the awards, but Floyd's heart belongs to the '69-'70 Mach 1. In fact, his '69 Mach 1 is 95 percent restored, and once it's completed, he would like to show it. He also is restoring the '70 hardtop and '66 convertible, which he might show, depending on their outcome. Floyd thinks it's a lot of fun bringing an old, rusty, bent-out-of-shape Mustang back to life, so he spends his afternoons and weekends working on his cars. "I enjoy driving Mustangs, and I've never sold one," he said. "My wife has been very nice about me having all these cars. She never hassles me, so I'll keep busy redoing my Ponies until space runs out, or until she says no more junk in this yard."