It’s not the rustiest car I’ve seen, but it’s probably the most banged up of any car I have owned. There’s not a straight panel to be found on it, but from a rust standpoint, it’s not too bad, or so I’ve been told. That’s the initial assessment of this ’69 Mustang SportsRoof that I picked up for a mere $1,700.
Thanks to a treasure trove of receipts that came with the car, I can tell you that the guy who kept all of these records purchased the car in 1983 with 97,000 miles on it while residing in Arizona. I’d love to know what happened in those first 97,000, but the Mustang’s second life started with a bang, or rather a collision with a ’79 Honda not long after purchasing it—I suspect the Mustang faired better than the Honda given the considerable size difference of the two models.
U-Haul receipts from May 1985 in Phoenix suggest that said owner loaded up and moved to the Sunshine state, and there is a copy of an application for a Florida vehicle registration from October 1985. It noted there were 111,000 on the clock at the time.
In 1987, an appraisal was performed by the Florida Mustang Connection, stating value for the SportsRoof at just $4,500. Pretty cheap by today’s standards for a SportsRoof in good running condition, but then the muscle car auction market wouldn’t hit the big dollars for years to come.
An interesting receipt for a cylinder head R&R in Houston suggests that the Mustang saw a bit of cross-country travel. That would certainly suck to break down in the middle of your 2,000-plus mile journey, and no doubt be stranded for a few days there while your ride is being fixed and your vacation money is drained.
Plant City, Florida, seemed to be where the Mustang spent a bit of time—a receipt in 1988 for a ball joint and stabilizer bar bushings showed the odometer read 131,000. There are a number of minor receipts taking the Mustang through to 1994, where a brake job was performed with a stout 226,000 miles on the clock. The U-joints took a dive at 227,000, and a tune-up followed at 230,000.