Why Modify? Or When Is a Car an Old Car? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Why Modify? Or When Is a Car an Old Car?

Just putting in print some thoughts that have been going through my head for awhile. Thoughts that are answers to many of the comments and questions I read.

It was great originally, why are you changing it?
I drive a vintage Mustang for the experience of driving an old car.
Why spend all that money to make an old car drive and perform like a new one?
If I want the conveniences of a new car, I will buy a new car.
Why go to all that work for something you will only drive on weekends and in parades?
You will never get your money back out of that.
Why in the world are you concerned with mileage?

I have been driving vehicles with modern conveniences for some time now, I have become spoiled to full climate control, power door locks, reclining seats with great support. I plan on putting serious mile on my Mustang, I want to be comfortable doing it. When I drive across a couple states to attend an event, I don't want my wife asking me to pull over because her back is killing her, I don't want to be watching the gas gauge and cringing because I know I am gulping huge amounts of expensive gas every mile I go.
I like the looks and comments that I get when driving my newer truck, I like seeing new Mustangs when I spot them in traffic or they come cruising into a car show. All that pales though when a beautiful vintage Mustang rumbles into view. Heads turn and conversations are interrupted and you can see the excitement that is reserved for very special cars.
For this car, I don't want the experience of driving an old car, I want the experience I had the first time I drove it. I think that is the big defining point between myself and a lot of vintage Mustang fans. I am old enough to remember when the car was new, when I first drove my Mustang, it was only about 12 years old. It was still a force to be reckoned with, that little high revving 289 regularly knocked off new smogged down 70s Camaros, Corvettes etc. I want to relive that experience, not one of just driving around some old car. For me, in my mind and memory, that Mustang is still a lightweight contender punching way above its weight class.
For me, if I wanted the experience of driving an old car, I would buy something like the 57 Fairlane that is for sale locally. It is older than I am...ha ha. Many of the guys fixing old Mustangs were born after their car was built, so they are truly old cars, but for me they are part of my life.
Yeah, I know I will never get my money out of it, I don't intend to. I intend to get a lot of fun and life enjoyment out of it though. What is the price of enjoying life? And what enjoyment I have already experienced building it! Yeah, there has been a lot of sore muscles, exasperating moments and times I really wish I was closer to being done. There have been many moments of doubt, wondering what made me think I could do it. But guess what? I really have enjoyed seeing it come together. I have enjoyed learning new skills and the realization that there are a lot of things I can do that I never thought of. I realize there are probably a lot of people out there that can't do some of the things I can, and a lot of them simply because they never tried it.
I am 5 or 6 years into this build and have enjoyed the experience and the best is yet to come.

Wow, I really rambled on there, carry on.

Coyote build in 65 GT Fastback in body work https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/b...e-powered.html and on Facebook @65gtmustang
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66 Emberglow Coupe first car,71 Torino GT, 82 Fastback slooooow 6 banger, 71 Boss 351, 85 GT all long gone
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 09:17 AM
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I've pretty much heard/talked about most of those before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntingky View Post
It was great originally, why are you changing it?
Wouldn't know, my car is 16 years older than me, and was 32 years old by the time I could drive. Maybe it wasn't that great new.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntingky View Post
I drive a vintage Mustang for the experience of driving an old car.
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntingky View Post
Why spend all that money to make an old car drive and perform like a new one?
Why not? People spend tons of money on a brand new 35-50K+ car to make it perform better.
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Originally Posted by Huntingky View Post
If I want the conveniences of a new car, I will buy a new car.
I have both. Why choose?
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Originally Posted by Huntingky View Post
Why go to all that work for something you will only drive on weekends and in parades?
lol, parades. I've put over 35K miles on my 65 since 2012.
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Originally Posted by Huntingky View Post
You will never get your money back out of that.
Nope.
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Originally Posted by Huntingky View Post
Why in the world are you concerned with mileage?
Because during Katrina gas went to almost $5/gal here. Could happen again. It's $4/gal in California. That and I want to be able to hear my music, I love my 5 speed. I get to rip through 1-4, then pop it in 5th and enjoy.
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1965 Mustang C Code Coupe 289/T5/3.25
1967 Chevrolet C10 350/700R/3.73
1967 Firebird 400

Last edited by 65 Pony; 06-26-2019 at 09:20 AM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 09:26 AM
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I bought my '66 in '85 when I was 17 - it was rusty and looked and drove like an antique. I loved it then and still have happy memories of driving it, fixing it when it broke and fixing it up to be better. I sold it in '90 and have always wondered if I did the right thing.


Fast forward to 2017 and I was encouraged to buy my '67. Things are very different now. The internet allows research, help from like-minded people in other countries and other time zones. I don't have to use the fax machine at work to enquire if a vendor is willing to ship parts overseas.


The knowledge base and parts availabilty has allowed me to have a classic Mustang which drives like a 20 year old car. By this I mean it runs well on unleaded, stops well enough to not be a liability, corners at least as good as my truck, is comfortable enough to use on 150 mile trips BUT still looks more or less as it did 52 years ago.


Modified? Sure, mainly with bolt on stuff which apart from bigger wheels and tyres is not obvious. My opinion (and yours may well differ) is that were my car still a 2V carbed, 3 speed C4 with manual drums, highway gears, bias tyres, factory geometry and lap belts only I wouldn't use it even a fraction of the miles it currently enjoys.


If it were historically significant - K code or something equally wonderous I couldn't have afforded it in the first place.



My preference is for standard-ish looking pony and muscle cars - but I also like bone stock and wildly modified ones too....there's space aplenty for all in the hobby.


Just my 2c - your mileage may vary
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1967 289 Coupe - AOD, Edelbrock heads, Victor Jr, EZ-Efi, roller front suspension, S197 front brakes, 3.55 gears
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 09:29 AM
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This is fun and filled with great points.

For myself, I have no interest in being a custodian of a museum piece. Modification is a big part of the fun. The planning, the creative solutions on the fly, itís all part of a long, enjoyable story.

The anvil of reality.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 11:18 AM
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I personally enjoy the time-machine aspect... I want to be able to jump in a time machine, and experience what it felt like to drive a brand-new, tight, rattle-free, and factory-assembled Mustang (or any other classic) off the dealership's lot, and what that would have felt like. I want to experience what it was like to cruise around town in that brand-new car.. I want to lose myself in another era.

So I'm pretty much a fan of stock. And when stock isn't working right, I know darned well (from my experiences in driving ultra-low-mile examples) that it ORIGINALLY worked darned-right, and the challenge is to get it dialed back in properly or tightened back up, not to reinvent the wheel.

But that's just me, and I can TOTALLY understand and appreciate the desire to modify, improve, personalize, and generally dink/dork/fiddle around with you classic!! The point is to have fun!!

So I don't begrudge anyone their right to do things their way, the way that they find to be fun and fulfilling and best. What annoys me, is when folks begrudge us "stockers" as being somehow boring, or sticks in the mud, or "snooty purists", etc.etc...

We're not that at all... You just don't "get" what winds our watch. It's a going back in time, looking at the car as a window back into history, kind of thing. Nothing boring about the thrill that gives me.

It's all good, in my book!

And P.S. - The notion that if you're 100% stock, and fully-restored, that somehow "now you can't drive it"... That it now is relegated to the garage, trailer, or a museum. Well, that's pure nonsense too.. You can drive an restored-original car daily if you've got the constitution for it. But people do what makes them happy, and if it makes them happy, so much the better. At least the cars aren't being crushed.

Last edited by 69bossnine; 06-26-2019 at 11:23 AM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 11:19 AM
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My usual answer is because I can, or because I want to.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 11:28 AM
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I like em stock. I also like em modified. If I were to buy a cream puff type car, unmodded, I'd keep it that way. It's great to see an old car that's restored to original and NOT a trailer queen. On the other hand, if something has been changed in some way I'm more likely to continue along that path. For a lot of mods that people do nowaday, EFI, overdrive, I don't think that takes away the old car experience but it does make them easier to drive. If part of the old car experience is cleaning out the float bowl because you didn't drive it for 6 month kudos and power to ya, that's not for me anymore.......

69 Mach One, 428CJ, 5 Speed, 3.91's.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
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You will never get your money back out of that.
Now this, I disagree with. Old cars are meant to be appreciated for what they are, and people are welcome to spend their money however they want-- I'm sure you agree with this. However, I don't think this money is spent pointlessly. Getting your money's worth of something doesn't necessarily mean you make money when you sell it. I never got into my '65 for profit, to flip and earn. I got into it because I wanted to learn how things work, to stay busy, and enjoy old technology for what it is. I'm rebuilding my engine, have put hundreds of hours into my coupe, and love the simplicity of the car. It's not just about getting your money's worth out in the form of compensation, but also in the joy of the hobby and the experience.
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And not nearly enough time

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 11:55 AM
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You may not get all your money back (that's why they call this a hobby), but conversely, you do not get "zero return" when you invest in new parts either... Be they stock or modified.. Any time you fix-up, improve, or restore any aspect of your car, you're increasing its value in some measure, and "all" of your money is not lost.

Which beats the hell out of most other hobbies, where there's no asset involved, nothing you can sell to get some of your money back should you need it in a pinch..
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 12:02 PM
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If you want to talk about an EXPENSIVE hobby that has ZERO payback in cash (but of course, a lifetime of memories....) my wife rode and showed horses for something like 20 years. Because of that, she doesn't bother me with what I spend on car stuff... yet... it's been a few years since she got out of it, I imagine I'll hear about it eventually.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 12:23 PM
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It was great originally, why are you changing it?
Because I want to make it even greater. People have been modifying cars for decades, it's nothing unusual. Put me in that group.

I drive a vintage Mustang for the experience of driving an old car.
I drive it because I love it, wished I could have afforded it when I bought my first car. Now that I can afford it, I'm doing it.

Why spend all that money to make an old car drive and perform like a new one?
Because I love the looks of the old car enough to shell out the money.

If I want the conveniences of a new car, I will buy a new car.
But I wanted the looks of the old car more than anything else.

Why go to all that work for something you will only drive on weekends and in parades?
I drive it whenever I can, and for me it was well worth any sacrifice, in fact I enjoy working on it.

You will never get your money back out of that.
Perhaps, but I didn't buy it for an investment. Also, the same can be said of any new car.

Why in the world are you concerned with mileage?
Because mileage = $$, I think everyone on the planet likes money. That being said, I didn't buy it for the mileage, but now that I have it, I will try to improve it.




People question everything you choose in life, including your wife, job, house, clothes, music, food, politics, religion, etc., etc. Do what makes you happy, you'll never please them all.
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t
t



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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 12:51 PM
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Unlike many, I am old enough to remember them new. In í65 I drove my fatherís í64.5 convertible to the MVA for my driverís test. I loved that car. Almost cried when he traded it in for a Country Squire wagon (with 390). I also remember simply putting in gas and checking the oil and just driving. My buddy and I went to Expo í67 in the wagon and there was never any concern about it getting there and back. It may have been 50 years ago, but cars had reached the point where they were reliable and dependable.
I want to travel the country after retirement and sought to improve the Beast. Yea, the TKO and relay headlights arenít stock, but they arenít radical either. And the eventual cruise control may be a modern design (electronic) but it was an option at the time. Same for power windows, etc. And if Carroll could tinker with and change the original, why canít I?!
And no, the car will never drive like a modern car. With completely rebuilt steering (thanks Chock), it still doesnít steer as well as my í02 Ranger 4x4 with rack and pinion. Nor will it ever have adoptive speed control, or lane change warning, or automatic braking. Or airbags. And I donít care. It has a certain personality that no modern car could ever begin to imitate.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 01:05 PM
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Short answer: Because I can.


Long answer: Because I enjoy the challenge of running a "secretary's car" on the track, safely. I have everything against me: aerodynamics, weight, power, lack of safety equipment, and just pure design flaws. Everything I modify on my car is done to improve on those things.IMHO, it also makes me a better driver, as I figure anyone can take a new Mustang out on the track and do ok (there ARE exceptions lol), but it takes a bit more skill to handle a 50+ yo Mustang out there.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 01:23 PM
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I don't think they were perfect when new....
Newer cars are always better than they were 20-30-40 years before. The nice thing about the Mustang is that a lot of more "modern" stuff fits easily and is readily/cheaply available. I have had my car since 2003, since then I added Granada disc brakes, 4-speed SROD transmission, 302 engine, Duraspark ignition and bluetooth stereo. Sure those are modifications but they make it easier/nicer/more fun to drive and driving the car is what I want to do.
It's not what I wanted when I got it (I was looking for a '53 F100) but I'm glad now I have it. And I know I'll never sell it for what I have into it. The 5-year old grand daughter has already claimed it for when she gets to drive to school.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 01:24 PM
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1.) Old cars were really not that great. Quality really sucked.
2.) That said, I do like the raw feeling of driving an old Mustang.
3.) I spend money to make the car drive the way I want... not like a new one.
4.) I realized I wanted a new car when driving the Stang to Vegas when it was 115 degrees out. I bought one shortly after that trip.
5.) I drive my Mustang when not raining or snowing.
6.) I may have similar dollars into my bicycles.
7.) Mileage? With 3.55 gears the 5 speed saves gas AND wear and tear on the engine.
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California car born an I6, now with warmed up 289 w/T-5z, 3.55T-loc, Granada Discs and 6 bolt Moto-Lita Steering Wheel. Owned since 1983.
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