Jim Smart
August 1, 2000
Photos By: The Mustang & Fords Archive

Step By Step

V-8 coupes in dry climates can be snapped up for a song because they are plentiful. This one in solid, running condition sold for $1,000. It will be a completed restomod in a few months.

When you’re dreaming about building a restomod, it’s easy to get stuck on the details, like which Mustang to build. It seems like a no-brainer. Build your favorite Mustang, right? But what if your favorite Mustang is a ’69 Boss 429 or a ’68 Shelby GT500KR? These choices present huge challenges, mostly in the area of affordability and political correctness. Boss Nines don’t come cheap nor do KRs. These facts all by themselves get us focused quickly on something more affordable.

So, what should you buy and build when budget constraints become your ever-constant companion? The most common vintage Mustang is the mainstream ’65-’73 coupe. Ford built more of these than any other type. Fastbacks can be pricey. So are convertibles, unless they’re in really poor condition. This is not to rule out fastbacks and convertibles because they make some of the best restomods. Just be prepared to spend more getting into one in the first place.

Despite the ’69-’70 Mustang coupe’s underdog status, they make attractive restomods when properly executed. The ’71-’73 coupe is least popular of the pre-’74 era. The best approach to take with a ’69-’73 coupe is one of luxury touring, with less focus on performance.

We chose five Mustangs as the best to modify. Why? Because they make the most sense in terms of budget and taste. The most common restomod we see is the ’65-’66 Mustang hardtop coupe followed by the ’67-’68 coupe. Although ’65-’66 Mustang convertibles are often costly, we see many of them modified as well. The ’69-’70 Mustang SportsRoof is a natural restomod because it can be built any way you desire. Slam it, fill the wheelwells, and pump up the power for Street Trans-Am. Ditto for the ’65-’66 Mustang fastback. Hot peppers in this potent burrito make for sizzling feedback.

Check out the sidebars below for our selections--and those you shouldn't choose.