September 1, 2008

Owner: Wesley Cernera
Location: Discovery Bay, CA
Vehicle: '67 Mustang coupe
Engine: 302/306ci V-8
Length of Ownership: 4 years
Primary Use: Daily driver

On his 14th birthday, Wesley Cernera was presented with a '67 Mustang coupe. This Mustang was no cream puff, however. Wesley and his dad, Ralph, bought the car for $200 as a basket case, with the intention of working on it as a father-and-son project.

When they found it, the car had been residing in a backyard for more than 20 years. The interior was piled full of junk, and the car was slowly returning to Mother Nature. "You should have seen it," Wesley says. "There was dirt halfway up the wheels and weeds growing around it." Although the coupe still had its original engine, being dormant for so long meant it had seized. Still, the Cerneras saw potential in the '67 and dragged it home.

Slowly but surely, Wesley and his dad got to work. Save for the bodywork, they rebuilt the car themselves, including the engine, the driveline, the suspension, and the interior. A replacement 302 block was sourced over the Internet and punched out to 306 cubes, with cam, heads, intake, and four-barrel carburetor. Plus, the original C4 three-speed automatic transmission was fully rebuilt.

The goal was to build a nice restomod cruiser/daily driver, and Wesley and Ralph spent many hours toiling to get the car ready. "My dad grew up a GM guy, but I love Mustangs," Wesley says. "But he enjoyed working on this car just as much as I did." Painting the car '06 Corvette Victory Red, while making it stand out, perhaps wasn't a coincidence.

In November 2007, the Mustang was fired up for the first time in decades. "It was an awesome feeling," Wesley says, "to see all the hard work we'd put in reach fruition." Not long after completion, he took the car to a Goodguys Rod and Custom show and brought home a trophy.

Currently attending college, Wesley makes the most of the opportunity to drive the Mustang. "I love driving a classic Mustang and the attention it gets--my friends think it's cool and always want to ride in it."

We asked Wesley if he'd consider another Mustang project down the road. "After building this one, I think it's fair to say I'm hooked, and there's a good chance I'll do another one," he says.

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