I think very few Mustangs can fully justify the cost of a Concours restoration: Shelby, Boss, big block Mach 1 and a few others. But based on the prices I've seen for the CS Mustangs, no. The potential selling price would not justify the cost of a Concours restoration.
Of course, almost everyone on this forum has spent more on their cars than the selling price could justify. So, it's purely up to you. If you really want a Councours California Special, go for it! Just don't expect to recoup the investment should you sell it.
These cars were mass produced just like the ramblers of the day.......many of which were delivered to dealers with trunk lids placed in the back seats because the panel alignments were so bad the factory could not easily fit so the dealers had to install......and back then, the dealers had a pre-approved budget & fixed things like this almost routinely.
Up through the 60's & early 70's, vehicles were not ordered as they are today. Yes, if you ordered package "X" it would come with 1, 2, 3.....but, you could also delete specific items within the package. As an example, our mustang (which has been in the family since it was new), when ordered as a GT, my parents really didn't like "trumpet tips" through the rear pan so the dual exhaust was a "delete" (as shown on the original order papers which we still have) and upon delivery, it was off to the muffler shop for a set of pipes.......a very common practice- which because of this it is not impossible, but I will say it is much more "challenging" to not so much verify something is a factory GT by having all of the items listed, but more difficult to verify it is not..and Ford was not the only one doing this either, a very common practice by the Big 3.
My neighbor worked for GM in Long Beach, Ca back in the 70's, and clearly recalls special order deletes, hand carried orders to install "X" cylinder head on a particular car- he also recalls there was seldom more than a week went by that the cylinder heads didn't change (as far as port matching/sizing/shape)- as it was all dependent on the supplier and that varied by each shipment….or someone wanted their pickup painted the color that was offered on a particular car…..not a problem as long as it was built at the same plant (for an extra charge of course)- which also explains a few very, very ID pates.
While it is a wonderful thing to have a variety of people who have done such exhaustive research on these and other vehicles, and granted, the GT/CS packages were more "standardized" we must also remember that the customer service and deliverables of the time were much, much different than today and paperwork, was, well, not the focus. This has lead to benefit us (especially in Calif) who became exempted from smog testing/cert because of the absence (disposal/non-retention) of documentation of our cars, but in all reality, even if all the paperwork did exist, it wouldn't do little to validate much more than is known today about the cars- because the paperwork was not a priority, delivering what the customer wanted was.
IMHO, if you have the $ and it's burning a hole in your pocket to create a "concours restoration", that's fine, if you just want to do a ground up rebuild, that is certainly appropriate as well. Some will grin, some will sneer......but it's all OK in my book- whatever "makes you happy"!
I believe that these cars beg to be modifided and it's up to the owner as to how mild or wild they will go. I prefer subtil changes that the factory could or should have done either back in the day or if the ar were still in production today.
(I'm referring to if the classics 65 thru 73 were still in production).
There is something to be said for a concours restoration, but as mentoned before, it can be expensive undertaking.
I say modify.
If you went to an all mustang show with 100 cars, more than likely you would not find 2 that are exactly alike even if all 100 were the same color.
Further, as one poster pointed out to me: it's my car, do what I want with it. It can always be put back to form as you see so many on this forum doing with rusted purchases. From the purist perspective, which I support way too much, most Mustangs purchased today have been monkeyed with. This could include removal of resonators, body repairs from accidents, replacement parts from aftermarket, non Ford suppliers, and high school mods performed in the 70's and 80's. All this tends to make the car difficult and expensive to make Concours ready. Also, how can you justify to your wife that you have a $75K piece of art in the garage that can't be let into the house for her tea party to look at, won't sell but for $45K and can't drive to the supermarket for goodness sakes!
Where do I begin?
First off, Concours is more than a new paint job and replacing the faded carpet. Go look at a new a car in a show room. Open the hood. THAT is the standard. The restored car is supposed to look like the first day the new owner drove it off the dealers lot. So, I can understand why others would rather drive and modify their cars.
And, its heartbreaking. Some part you just bought a couple of months prior is now obsolete because somebody now produces a more correct part. And there is the constant NOS-Factory installed-Ford Service parts- Reproduction - correct reproduction, refurbished thing. Choose your parts wisely because there are judges that study this. No, they live it.
And, nobody is winning any huge money doing Concours. It is more of a personal satisfaction thing.
OK, you have an X code 68 GT/California special. I would be surprised for see if more than 5 were built. Likely yours could be the only one. It would be nice to see it correctly restored, that will be up to you. I see you have 4 other 67's/68's. Many of us have more than one Mustang. It's nice to have a restored un-modified one. And god bless those who restore a Mustang that might never repay them in money. They also get their own satifaction out of it for whatever reason.
67 GT 350
67 S code GTA coupe
If you like painstaking attention to detail and something that will sit in your garage most of the time, go concours.
If you want to drive you car 5-10k miles a year like me, make it your own. My personal approach was to keep the outside and visible interior looking almost stock, as the lines of these cars is nearly perfect as is, and then I made the car run and handle how I wanted it to. EFI, disc brakes, T5 transmission, etc.
Let's face it, and I mean no disrespect, but these cars were borderline POS's when they rolled off the line. I would argue most concours restorations are more what the factory was hoping for, not what actually came out.
But generally doing any work on theses cars is a money losing proposition. As far as which has the most value, it's going to totally depend on the buyer. If I was looking at the car, I wouldn't pay extra for a concours restoration, but that's because I always look for cars I can drive and have fun in. But if you modify it, then someone looking to do a concours won't factor in extra value because it's not what they want.
Personally, I like to see modified CS's. I think my next mustang project will actually be a CS clone.
1) The car is desirable (RARE DOES NOT = DESIRABLE) and will be worth far more that way.
2) You really, really, really are in love with the specific car for whatever reason (like your dad had one, you used to have one, you always wanted one, you saw it in a magazine when your were 13, etc. etc. etc.) and you just have to have that car exactly as you first saw it. Most people aren't in love with a 390 2V Mustang... Just saying.
3) You see doing it as a challenge that interests you.
That's it. There's no other reasons to. You can do a near concours resto on the mechanics and get the full driving experience, if that's what you're into, without doing every nitpicky thing. So the driving experience isn't a reason.
I question but have no way to prove...some came from the factory with trunk lid in the back seat area. AFAIK the body was painted with the trunk lid and doors installed.
So the unpainted lid would have been in the back seat?
In some cases yes....my neighbor has pics of Nova's from Long Beach (IIRR) with side windows so far out of adjustment they could not be rolled up...so they wrapped the open area & shipped as is....
Dealers typically had a budget of $300 per car (remind you the cars only sold for up to 2K new) from the factory for authorized repairs...it was not considered unusual for a dealer to almost have to "rebuild" a car back in the day.
Heck in 1985, my dad ordered a new F150 (from a dealer our family had bought from for years)......12 weeks later it came in...the dealer called me because he really didn't want to tell my dad, but despite the order sheet, it had wrong differential, stereo, AC compressor was there but just resting on the fender held with plastic, the wrong mirrors (with 3 extra pre-drilled holes in the doors, it was a 50's style bed, and the sheetmetal extensions that are installed on the outside lower corners on the back of the cab were unpainted and placed on the passenger floor, mis-matched bumpers (the rear was actually for an F250- and I won't even go into detail on the bumper brackets), the cab was dented (golf ball size -2 dents if I remember correctly).
Ford could also not locate any truck close to the build spec...so they asked what I thought my dad would want to do......
They then called my dad to affirm but Ford shipped 2 F150's to the dealer who literally tore the original truck apart, repainted the entire truck, pieced together the truck from the 2 others ....and 5 weeks later the truck was delivered to my dad's house.
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