1969 Ford Mustang Convertible - Reader Ride

By: Jason Woods

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Jason Woods likes the old-school feel of his '69 Ford Mustang Convertible, but he calls it 'Raven' for a reason...


Jason Woods' 1969 Ford Mustang Convertible

I got it at the start of this year, down in Melbourne. I’d been looking for one for ages. I was watching this one, so I went down one weekend to have a look at it. It was a little bit exxy in terms of price, but it had a lot of stuff going for it. So I bought it, got it sent up here, and then the fun began – working out what’s what in it.

For example, the steering column isn’t an original Mustang column, it’s a hot rod column. So someone’s done that, upgraded the brakes, upgraded the clutch; it’s got more modern technology to stop it and change gears and whatnot. It was an automatic, and now it’s a 5-speed. Those are the main differences I can find in the car, just those mechanicals. Everything else is pretty original. The engine is a 302 out to a 347. I believe it’s the original engine, but I can’t get anywhere near the engine number. The paperwork has the engine number on it though, and the chassis number, so that’s what I’ve been going off.

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I’m now going to call it Raven because it’s being an utter bitch. It doesn’t like being called a pony. Let’s go through the issues: We’ll start with the clutch. The clutch went and we changed the master cylinder, but it got air trapped in there somewhere. Then the pedal; there was a pivot point with a few linkages – we replaced it with a tie-rod to have a more constant clutch. The Holley was shot, so it has a new one. The extractors, too – they were for a 302 engine but that wasn’t the issue, the issue was the different steering column change, which meant they had to get extractors from a completely different car. So they put them on, which meant the car has about 30mm clearance from the ground. The steering column meant the original extractors wouldn’t fit, so I have to get the new ones cut up to give me some more clearance.

The there was the ignition problem; it was getting hot, and didn’t want to start, then sometimes it would, then it wouldn’t. Then I wanted to burn the bloody thing. So we put a new coil in it, and electronic ignition in it.

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The guy who brought it into Australia went to the US on a working holiday – he was a car enthusiast. He already had a high-end Range Rover and an Aston Martin and some other cars. He went to Mecum Auctions not planning on buying a car. But he did. He brought the Mustang back to Victoria but I ended up buying it from a prestige car sales joint – it was parked amongst all the Ferraris and Lamborghinis. It was registered in Texas not long ago, so I’ve kept the Texan sticker on, as well as the Victorian one. I like it as a bit of history for the car. We don’t have the stickers in Queensland anymore, though.

What I like about the car is that it’s old school. I wanted something that looked different. It’s not like a Ford or Holden today where you could buy either and they look similar. You also haven’t got all the electronics on it. It’s a car. It’s a classic. Sometimes kids walk up to it and ask me, "How do you open the door?" Even the windows, they look at the winder and you get, "Where’s the button?"

I hope to be able to use it for special occasions too, like formals or as a wedding car. Not to be paid, just for people I know.

Valuation guide: Good original examples range into the $50k-plus zone. 


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