Jim Smart
November 1, 2002
Photos By: Miles Cook, Jeff Ford

Few societies on the planet are like North America's. North and south of the border, and everywhere in between, we like to travel. We also like to move. That's our nature-never allowing grass to grow beneath our toes. So we're not surprised when a classic Mustang has a lengthy service history compiled in several states.

Fran Cosentino's Silver Jade '69 Mustang convertible is a case in point. It has held titles in at least three states-Georgia, California, and Delaware. Assembled at the Metuchen, New Jersey, assembly plant in November 1968, 9T03F133038 was shipped way down south to the Atlanta area as its original point of sale. It eventually trekked west to California. Fran discovered it in Delaware, yet the same distance back across the land between the shining seas.

The Internet has shrunk the world even more than the Concorde, making it easy for Fran to find a ride like this '69. Two double-clicks of the mouse and saddle up. Have cash, will travel. Fran laid down the cash and motored home to neighboring Pennsylvania, yet another state in this Mustang's title history. Convinced the Mustang could use a facelift, Fran turned it over to Russ Turack of RST Restorations. Restoration work was performed and only as necessary. Anything in good, original condition was retained. Because the body was solid and unmolested, it needed minor prep and paint. The outcome is quite striking.

Think of Fran's convertible as a ride for anyone in 1969. The snappy 302-2V V-8 provides plenty of power for the interstate. Ford's C4 Select Shift channels the ponies to a conventional 2.79:1 8-inch axle carrier. The message here is clear: for cruising and enjoyment only. Custom Autosound punctuates this message with terrific vibrations and a six-CD changer. Let's hit the American road.

When you take the wheel of a ride like this, it's memories aplenty. A warm summer evening in Pennsylvania takes us back to a simpler time when we would have laid down in the back seat and watched streetlights, trees, and stars go by. In those days, there wasn't as much to think about. No personal computer to get home to, no answering machine to listen to. My, we've come a long way. And so has a slippery drop-top that has paced the firmament from sea to shining sea.