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This statement is much truer for the undercarriage than for the engine bay on a classic Mustang. Restoring an undercarriage takes “detective work.” Those are Bob Perkins’ words. That’s why originality is so important to uncover that which is not yet lost.
The undercarriage on Perkins’ 1,600-mile Boss 429 seen here is one of three Boss 429s to win the MCA Thoroughbred Authenticity Award. This car is also a reference for 1965-1973 Mustangs because these models share the same factory procedure. Colors and specific parts will change from car to car, and from assembly plant to assembly plant, but the assembly line process is virtually the same.
Of course, this illustrated guide cannot fully cover an undercarriage restoration because no two cars are alike. Undercarriage restoration starts with detective work, and the more original the car the more evidence that remains, and vice versa. Finding the paint overspray patterns, colors of the primer used, finish on parts, and other details is much easier to uncover on a clean, rust-free car.
A restorer needs to research his own chassis, which means treading lightly during disassembly and paint stripping to uncover and photograph details. Once stripped, the physical evidence is gone forever, so with these cars the best a restorer can do is check out a similar Mustang built at the same assembly plant during the same time frame.
Perkins raised his 1970 Boss 429 on a lift to point out undercarriage details. The vast assortment of parts, primer, and paint on a first-generation Mustang creates a mosaic that is nothing short of automotive art.