Jeff Ford
November 1, 2001
Contributers: Jeff Ford

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The Concours/stock market has never been better in terms of stuff. There are more parts out there to make that '65-'93 Mustang a gleaming jewel in your Mustang crown than ever before. And more people are getting into the act of restoration-even on the late-model Fox chassis front. Though many, as of this writing, are complaining about the slowing economy, many resto shops are two and three years out on restorations. Plain and simple, sometimes a restored Mustang is a good investment.

They're coming. No, they're here. The Modified market is growing by leaps and bounds, whether you like it or not; heck, an entire cottage industry has sprung up around the modified late-model. In fact, unless you live in a rusted-out fastback in Abudabi, you'll have noticed the subtle shift toward this in the vintage market. This change has come about because the average person wants the Mustang he or she drives to be an extension of him or her. Therefore, some in the hobby are more interested in personalization than a correct nuts-and-bolts restoration. But the problem we see in the hobby is not so much the modification of cars, but the fact that many don't go far enough and some, well, some go too far.

The question is, where are you? Are you a resto person or a modified person? This article will help you figure that out.

What kind of Mustanger are you? Are you the modifying kind? Or do you just stick to the way Ford did it? Take our quiz and find out. Answer as many as apply.

1.Lots of chrome
a. lets me know it's a stock, high-performance Ford V-8, and that's OK.
b. turns my crank.
c. does nothing for me.

2.Torq-Thrusts belong on
a.a '65 Shelby.
b. anything.
c. the new Bullitt car or maybe an '01 GT.

3.Mustang II front suspensions should be
a. on a Mustang II.
b. anything with a running horse.
d. what do I care, I own a late-model.

4.Fuel injection for those late-model guys.
b. is what all modified cars should aspire to.
c. is the only way. Carbawhat?

5.Bias-ply tires look good on
a.all vintage cars.
b. a trash heap.
c. Bias what? Gimme some sticky Yokees or BFG Z-rateds on some Cobra Rs, baby!

6.Flames are cool when applied to
a.burgers and dogs.
b. my car.
c. the exhaust of a twin-turbo 5.0

7.Stock suspension
a.was good enough back then and good enough now.
b. belongs on a trash heap.
c. makes me think of high-water pants aka geeky; drop that bad boy on some Eibach springs and we'll talk.

8.Driving my car not an option, too many new old stock parts could be damaged on the road.
b. is the best way; when and where.
c. Is it; trailers are for race cars.

A-type personality. If you answered only A to all of the questions, you're a Concours guy and can never be cured. Anything other than stock is a waste to you.

A/B-type personality. If you answered with a split between A answers and B answers, you're an A/B type. A/Bs are a happy lot that likes it all-almost. You can enjoy the entire show, but shy away from the "young guys and their 5.0s."

B-type personality. If you answered with almost all Bs, you're a B type. Bs aren't happy with what Ford did and typically can't see why anyone would suffer with the factory equipment. They can appreciate the stock stuff, but aren't interested in having one that way.

C-type personality. You look at life and figure old cars are for old farts, which makes us wonder why you read this mag in the first place, since it's mostly geared toward the vintage market. However, we would like to thank you for buying our magazine.

A/B/C-type personality. If you circled all of the answers, you're a Mustang enthusiast who is the happiest of all. You live and let live and like the whole shootin' match.

Bonus credit if you photocopied the quiz and answered the questions on the copy so as to not sully your magazine. If you did, we'd like to see your answers just for fun. Send them to Mustang Monthly, c/o Stupid Quiz, 3816 Industry Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33811. We can't give you anything for this except the honor of having the names of the first 10 people printed in Pony Tales. Coool, huh?

Top 5 Concours Cars
1.Shelbys. Without a doubt, the Shelby Concours market is blazing right now.Folks want them just as Carroll created them back in the day. The money is good for these when they're bone-stock. Modified cars are bringing in a bit less.
2. Boss. All of these cars are still a perennial favorite.
3. GT anything. Though the '65 and '66 fastbacks and convertibles are at the top of the heap, any GT can make magic.
4. SVO. What's surprising to us is these specialty cars are seeing a surge in popularity in the resto ranks.
5. Mach 1. Particularly the '69-'70 428 Cobra Jet cars.

Fastest-Growing SegmentThe Modified market is, without a doubt, the fastest-growing segment of the hobby. Whether it's due to younger buyers who have no recollection of "how it was" or older buyers wanting the creature comforts of their daily drivers (be that late-model Mustang or Crown Vic), people have become more willing to lay on the aftermarket accessories. Want power windows? There's a bolt-in kit. Want speed control? What kind, hidden or obvious? Today, as never before, there are numerous trick accessories for the modified owner. It's now easier than ever to build a slick modified car that performs well on the street and still delivers air conditioning and power steering.

What About Concours?
When we say the Modified market is growing, we're not saying the Concours cars are dying. In fact, the quality and quantity of Concours cars is at an all-time high. We can go to any given show and see several supercars that would do well in any show nationwide. This is due in no small part to the wealth of parts available to the buying public. So the bottom line is the Market, in general, is doing well. So pat yourself on the back!

Nip And Tuck
Wayne Nipper of Cordele, Georgia, is one of those who took the Mustang II plunge with his '66 fastback. "I just love the way this car handles," Wayne told us as we drove the supercharged sequential fuel injected (SEFI) 5.0-powered red beauty. "It's so precise, it goes where you point it." Indeed, the car handles better than the stock Mustangs of yore, and with the five-speed and 3.73 rear gears, the little fastback just rocks. Wayne hasn't taken the red rocket down the quarter yet, but just from the seat of the pants, we can tell he has a winner.

This winning status has been confirmed time and time again with Wayne's driver. What do we mean? Well, the car wasn't built for show. Wayne wanted something he could scoot around in every day, so the engine bay is less than pristine. After all, he has a beautifully restored '70 Mach 1 for show duty. But when he took the red fastback to what he called a Red Chevy Show, he took home a Best of Show trophy. The show was even held by a Chevy club that catered to the bow-tie boys. Guess we'll have to give them some credit for good taste.

Nip And TuckFaux PasFive Biggest Faux Pas: Modified
5. Mudflaps that are screwed to the car. Think binder clips. These will hold the flaps and can be removed from the car at a show.

4. Failing to check the tire size with any of the available charts. The new hottie is to put 16- and 17-inch wheels all around the car on low-profile tires. Right now, this is "in" and jacked-up cars are out in the hobby.

3. Nonmatching components. Think of the car as a package when you're building it. Pink plug wires are tacky on a car that has no other pink items. Tie the wires to the car if you want; black is classic but if the car is blue, you could have blue wires; yellow car, yellow wires. Also, try to pick up this detail elsewhere in the engine bay. Don't go overboard-too much just isn't right.

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2. It seems that wild graphics are out now as well. Clean and simple is what everybody's into. Le Mans stripes are cool, but only on a car that comes from the era that had them. For example, they work on a '65 but not on a '71.

1.Knowing when to stop. The Mustang is like a canvas and you're the painter. Too much of anything is just that-too much. You have to know when to pull back and say you're finished. This is especially true in the Modified classes.

Five Biggest Faux Pas: Restored
5. Some modified parts on an otherwise stock car. This gets us every time. We believe you should either go all the way or not go at all.

4. Overrestored. Though it's not easy to do, we find solace in the idea of someone who actually researches his or her car and brings it back to its original state rather than making the Mustang perfect.

3. Mudflaps at the show. Get those binder clips and use them! So many cars miss being in the magazine because of the mudflaps.

2. Doodads. Clear them out; the car is the star.

1.Dirt. You can do something about this with little expense!

Five Best Mustangs to Modify
The Modified market is growing according to what we see on the show field and on the street. Younger drivers are getting into the vintage hobby and don't remember what the car was. They only know they like the way the Mustang looks and that it can be converted into a really cool car with a few choice parts. Below are the five best and five worst Mustangs to modify.

1.'65-'66 hardtop. They're dirt cheap compared to their convertible and fastback siblings.

2. Six-cylinder anything. Much cheaper initial investment. Plop a V-8 between the shock towers and go to town.

3. '67-'68 fastbacks. Dunno why, but these trip our triggers every time. Some of the cleanest modifieds we've seen are built around the fastback. Be sure to stay away from the 289 4V -and-up engines. The cost is higher and these are typically worth more as resto cars.

4. '71-'73 SportsRoof. We've seen one of these as a stock outside configuration and modified engine bay. It rocks!

5. Any late-model. These are in open season right now. You can do anything you want here.

Five Worst Mustangs To Modify
There are certain things you shouldn't do in the immortal words of Jim Crochey: tug on Superman's cape, spit into the wind, pull the Lone Ranger's mask, and don't mess around with these Mustangs. OK, maybe he didn't say the last one, but it's true. The following cars represent the top of the Mustang heap. When we say modify, we're talking surgical mods (fender flares, Mustang II front suspensions, parts such as these); we aren't talking open-element air cleaners and chrome. These things can be removed. Just remember, if you do this and have the original parts, keep them.

1.Boss cars. Particularly the 429. A little judicious lowering is OK as well as foregoing the smog, but how do you fix a car Larry Shinoda made so stinking cool?

2. Saleens. These cars come from the Saleen

factory just fine. They're also worth a heck of a lot more in stock form than in modified form. To many, they're the Shelby of the future. Also, see No. 1 above, but say "Steve Saleen" where you see "Larry Shinoda."

3. Shelbys. The values on Carroll's originals have gone sky-high since being "rediscovered" with the recent film Gone in Sixty Seconds. Restore this one and you'll have a piece to drool over. Modify it and you might make it out of the show or cruise night alive.

4. '6411/42 (early '65s). Hey, it's the original. There are skads of late '65s and '66s to hack and cut to your heart's content, so why muck up something so many people seek in its original condition?

5. The ultrarare. Movie cars, Carroll Shelby's own personal cars-these cars should be left just as they were/are.

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