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Old 02-08-2013, 10:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Convertible Project cost

What's a reasonable price for a '67 or '68 convertible project? I'm ideally looking for something complete but obviously I'm willing to find parts as need if the price is right. I have a '67 coupe now and since a fastback is pretty much impossible to find under $10k, I'm thinking a vert might be the next best thing. I've seen a few for around $1500 that are basket cases. Is that about as good as I can expect to start with or is it likely that if I wait for a deal, I'll find a fairly complete car for say $3500? Ideally an A/C car.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's tough to say. Just be aware that the more body damage and rust it has, the more expensive it's going to be to fix.

Of course, the optimal project car has a relatively straight and rust free body with a worn engine. Those are almost impossible to find. So, aim as close to that optimal situation as possible.

Don't settle for a cheap rust bucket. It's not worth it. Look long and hard for a clean body. Your efforts and patience will be well rewarded. Travel to California or Arizona if you have to. That too would be worth it to get a car that isn't rusted out, as almost everything else most certainly will be just that.

I would also not recommend buying a car that's been stripped. All those little accessory and interior parts add up to BIG dollars.

You might look for a car with an older restoration that's getting long in the tooth. With such a car, you could simply tear it down, do some minor body work, paint it, then reassemble it with fresh parts. You'll be better off paying more money up front for this type of car rather than getting a cheap basket case, rusted out car or a stripped car.

Last edited by Klutch; 02-08-2013 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds to me like you really want a 67 or 68 fastback but a 67/68 convertible would be ok. Right?

Here are my unsubstantiated comparison. Assuming equal condition at each point and similarly equipped.

Fastback Convertible

$10,000 $5,000 Project

$15,000 $18,000 Resto cost

$20,000 $15,000 Driver quality value


People will say the numbers are meaningless, I agree. My point is an equivalent condition project vert will be less than fastback. The cost and effort to resto the vert will be higher than the fastback. The finished value of the fastback will be higher.

Lastly a vert is NOT a cheap/low maintenance date. Been a vert lover since a teen ager.
To me verts are like women. If you like em you can't live without em. If you don't like/love they can be a big PIA!


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Old 02-08-2013, 11:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I feel that I got pretty lucky and found a convertible that had already been through the Rust and Body repair. Just needs a drivetrain and interior.
$5000 here in Connecticut
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you're looking at projects and you're quibbling about the $ difference between a $1500 and $3500 starter, you're in for an education. $2K will disappear faster than you can imagine for problems that you will not have even considered when you purchased the thing. If $2K represents any kind of pain threshold for you, take my advice and buy the best already-completed car you can afford.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you can find a project car for around 5k or less youre doing good...but then pandoras box opens up

...there are so many variables - how much work are you willing to do yourself? Also, how much will be replaced (ie entire suspension, electrical, brake system, interior, etc), engine /tranny/rear end (sky is the limit). I spent around 16 -17k (6 k was for paint) for my restoration for new parts, equipment/tools, rebuilt tranny/rear, engine work, metal repairing, and bodywork/paint (PPG). Is it a driver vs concourse (god help you if the latter). I tried to do as much as I could myself but didnt hesitate to get pros involved when over my head..

I got suckered initially...spending too much for a project car. But thats water under the bridge.

Local body shops have quoted me about 35k for the work that was done to my car if they had to do it themselves - so I saved a chunk of $ and got to keep all the tools. Good deal for me.

So it really matters because its like a black hole once you start -seriously.

Find the most rust free solid body that you can & if you have the gumption to try it yourself... you'll save a bundle.

Take your time - find the right deal, if youre not up on all the trouble areas on these cars - bring someone along to help you. Besides their own cars, Mustang folks LOVE to talk about other mustangs - so find your local mustang crowd/resources.

Have fun - there's always a deal to be found if youre patient...
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slim View Post

Fastback Convertible

$10,000 $5,000 Project

$15,000 $18,000 Resto cost

$20,000 $15,000 Driver quality value


Slim's numbers mirror what we have in our '68 Convertible. We paid just a hair under $10K 2 yr ago. It was a Northern car with all body/paint work done to it. T code car converted correctly over to a 302. It started and drove but nearly all the electrics did not work--we installed a complete AAW harness. I've attached a few pics of what it looked like the day I bought it. I probably had close to $15Ktotal in it (wiring,some interior,total underhood resto and suspension stuff) before I did a HCI swap--more of a want rather than a need. The car appraised at $18K. I might be dreaming but I feel it would sell in the $13-$15K area now so, it's right in Slim's zone. Just my .02 expereince.





As it is today:


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Old 02-08-2013, 02:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just wondering, why is A/C so important to a vert? I mean, if it gets hot you drop the top, right?
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jims68GTCS View Post
Just wondering, why is A/C so important to a vert? I mean, if it gets hot you drop the top, right?
I know that when we have the car out on a cool day/night (spring or early fall) , we can crank up the heat, with the top still down and it takes the chill off--is it a similar thing with AC if it were crazy hot out with the top down?? For us, the only time we drive the car is if we can keep the top down--to us, that was the purpose of getting a convertible.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Just wondering, why is A/C so important to a vert? I mean, if it gets hot you drop the top, right?
When you are in traffic on a 90+ degree day with the top down you are going to bake. A/C takes the edge of but make sure you have a hat on hand. I have had some of the nastiest suburn on my neck and top of head(I still have my hair) driving around in a vert.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have had some of the nastiest suburn on my neck and top of head(I still have my hair) driving around in a vert.
X10 on that.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel Racing View Post
I know that when we have the car out on a cool day/night (spring or early fall) , we can crank up the heat, with the top still down and it takes the chill off--is it a similar thing with AC if it were crazy hot out with the top down?? For us, the only time we drive the car is if we can keep the top down--to us, that was the purpose of getting a convertible.

+ right on!
When our 68 was my regular daily driver it was often driven with the top down...if it was getting too hot the side windows went up and the A/C on full blast. On a humid day moisture would be dripping from the outlet chrome grills.

Later the sun goes down it gets chilly...windows up top still down but now the heat is on.
This is a common procedure for vert people!


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Old 02-08-2013, 04:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Heres some ballpark prices of parts you may / will need.

fuel tank with units (140$)
full floor pan (399 - 699$) patches (40$ piece - 200$ kit)
front frame rails (55$ for outer and inner) (191$ a piece complete)
rear frame rail repair kit (136$)
dynacorn fender apron kit "engine bay" without shock towers (176$)
torque boxes "lots of options" (70 - 100$) a piece
rear quarter panel patches (60$)
chrome bumper kit (200$)
msc chome/stainless (if needed) trim pieces (350$)

and hope to god you don't need a new top frame. (1000$)
get a new top and put it on the frame yourself or have someone at a shop do it.. up to you.
the plumbing for the top may need work.. new top motor (250$) new hydraulic cylinder(120$ a piece)

New A/c system upgrade 900-1200$

New wiring harness 500- 700$



this isn't really needed but I recommend you get a body fastener kit.. It has every bolt labeled and new with no rust and are exactly like the originals. (80$) saves a lot of trips to the hardware store.

these are just common parts used in restorations of these cars
now as far as suspension goes the price of that is up to you... if you have the car apart I recommend just upgrading to a coilover setup.. unless you're going to a vintage feel while driving it?

engine/trans combo are up to you aswell... the stock 289/302 with a C4 both the rebuild kits will cost about 2000$ if you're going for bone stock. if it's for the best street performance it can run you about 4000$ or you can get a running junkyard type engine.

Interior is also up to you... the brushed aluminum interior trim looks nice.. it's what I went with but it costs ALOT more than stock.. the stock repo trim is cheap when it comes to prices. the most money you'll have in your interior are the seats..

these are just based on my experience of the half way done restoration of my 67 vert

It adds up fast.. sometimes it's almost better to save up and just buy a complete car for a good deal but you also have a great time learning and such while working on these cars.

Oh yeah and paint... (DIY 800$ I only recommend this if you know what you're doing.) professional 1800-4000$ remember if you're taking it somewhere prep work is most of the job to great paint I recommend researching and make sure a lot of the prep work is done when you take it somewhere. it will save you money.

hope this helps a bit
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Last edited by Zimbo; 02-08-2013 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Some of you guys are answering questions I never asked. My question was about the price range for a decent foundation to build on. I know what standard mustang parts cost, I do have one and I know what motors and paint work costs. My only question was what is a reasonable price range to look for a solid car to work with. I ask you guys because some of you have a pretty good handle on the values of these cars right now. I don't want to buy a $5k project that I should've got for $3k.. I appreciate the responses but it's not what I was after..

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Old 02-08-2013, 05:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jims68GTCS View Post
Just wondering, why is A/C so important to a vert? I mean, if it gets hot you drop the top, right?
In Illinois it might not be that important but here in VA the humidity is brutal in the summer and I'm not the skinny guy I once was so I need all the help I can get. Sitting in traffic or just times where I didn't want to put the top down. I have a T-Top Camaro and I run the A/C with the tops off all the time.
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