Miles Cook
February 1, 2003
Photos By: Jeff Ford

On her way to work one day, Ronda Bell came across this now-sparkling '68 J-code 302 convertible, which has been in her and her husband's possession for eight years.

After a cold winter and "a lot of patience," as Ronda put it, the Candyapple Red convert emerged one spring a few years ago like a freshly-minted gem from their Gypsum, Colorado, garage. "Although the color isn't original," Ronda tells us, "there's nothing like a red Mustang convertible."

Now back on the road, the '68 serves double duty as a weekend cruiser and a show horse and has won a number of class awards at a few local shindigs.

Any other Ponies in the stable? Jim and Ronda report three additional fillies in the form of a '68 Shelby GT500 nine-year resto project, a show-quality '69 SportsRoof, and a '73 Mach 1 that Jim bought for Ronda on her 19th birthday. Jim was the first one to get the Ford ponycar bug with a '66 coupe. This was his foray into the Mustang hobby.

The '68 convertible shown here sports the aforementioned J-code 302 four-barrel mill, backed with a C4 trans and a 3.50:1 8-inch axle. Options on this fun-in-the-sun machine include power steering, a power top, and an AM radio. The car rolls on its original Styled-Steel wheels and BFG 215/70R14 skins. Jim credits his buddies Dan Rice and Danny Higgins for helping with the majority of restoration work.

The coolest thing about the role of Mustangs in the Bell's lives is that not only do they still have the '73 Mach 1, but they also dated and drove to their Rocky Mountain honeymoon in a Mustang.

"We were both born in 1964," Ronda adds-the first year of Mustang production no less. "And we've always liked Mustangs," she continues. "And if we're lucky, Jim and I will be able to spend our golden years tooling around in our oldy-but-goody '68 convertible."

We'll certainly drink to that.