A Big Birthday, So A Big Birthday Present! (Part One)

I tell ya, you know you’re getting old when your insurance company only sends you half a calendar. –Rodney Dangerfield

On January 16, 2017, I turned 60 years old.  Unbelievable.  But hey, there’s always the lesser-desired alternative.  So for this (somewhat) joyous occasion, I am taking an opportunity to buy the car that was my high school Class of 1975 dream car — this 1975 Mustang II Ghia:

mustang-ii-profile

This deal has taken months to finally happen, and I’ll spare you the boring details.  But now the deal is done, and hopefully in a couple of weeks, a bright and shiny 42-year-old car will grace this place.

I bought a new 1974 Mustang II as soon as I could, but the ’75 had some updates, including the addition of a 302 V-8 as an option.  So I have always wished I had waited a year (actually only 3 months, since I got my new car in June) to get the car with the changes.  The ’75 models were also the first year to require unleaded gas.

Fullscreen capture 7102017 25609 PM.bmpThe original 1975 Mustang II brochure I drooled over back then is still in the living room.  Back in 1974 and ’75 I would scrutinize that little magazine at the options and colors and “build” my dream Mustang over and over.  I always liked the Hardtop and Ghia’s formal profile and the hope of a quieter ride from not having an open trunk compartment, though many folks like the look of the fastback/hatchback over the hardtop.

There are also a couple of coincidental connections of the car with at least two other folks here at It Rolls.  Anthony Cagle has a very similar car, though it is a  fastback… it’s even the same color and also has the V-8.  And Mr. Virgil Exner, Jr., actually even helped design the thing.  I mean… how cool is that!  Heck, I may even send him a piece of it and ask for an autograph.

mustang-ii-1I saw this car on a Facebook Mustang II group and immediately asked if it was for sale.  It was.  A second owner had it; the original owner was a little lady who rarely drove it, witnessing the mere 58,000 miles on the odo.  The car had sat for 8 years in a garage, so its present owner replaced the gas tank, radiator, and tires (Though I wish he had bought whitewalls, darn it!).  He then drove it from Harrisburg, PA, to Dearborn, MI, to attend a Mustang II rally at Ford’s headquarters, shown above, proving the car’s roadworthiness.

mustang-ii-4The car is an all-original survivor.  It still has the factory paint, pin stripes, half vinyl roof, and an amazingly undamaged luxury interior with shag carpets.  And I plan to keep it stock.  I want the car for memories, car shows, and driving it around just for those “What the heck is that?” looks and questions.  I’ve said before that sports cars never go out of style, so maybe a sport/personal luxury car will stay in vogue as well.

ghia-drivers-seatThis pony’s dimmer switch is on the floor.  Its wiper and washer control is on the dash. There is still a factory AM-only push button radio with one speaker.  But that will change, as Ford factory period-correct stereo units, with either cassette or 8-Track players, are easy to find… and they are cheap.  I haven’t decided which tape format yet… probably the 8-Track just for conversation.

Of course the car is not perfect.  It needs a heater core which the seller is providing, and the A/C system is on the fritz.  We’ll see what’s needed to get that going again.  But imperfections are expected on a 42-year-old car, and I’m surprised and pleased that this II is as complete as it is.

I may change a couple of things though. This Ghia comes with a universal tan Ford steering wheel; the “sportier” Mustang II models had a black steering wheel with three spokes.  These cars had metal dash inserts instead of fake wood, but the black wheel still might look good in the Ghia…  That, or replace the wheel with a real wood one.  Second, a console would be nice, but good ones are very hard to find these days.  And finally, what Mustang II Ghia would be complete without one of these?

mustang-ii-3Will this car take me back to being 16 years old when they were introduced?  No.  Will it refresh memories of my late teen years?  I hope so.  Will it draw attention in my home town that now features late-model Lexii, Mercedes-Benzes, Cadillacs, and Range Rovers as the norm?  I think so.  In fact, I plan to get a vanity plate that reads 75 GHIA to help explain to those folks just what this car is.

This post is running long, and the car isn’t even here yet.  So I’ll save any driving impressions, surprises (both good and bad), and stories of any other needed repairs for next time.

Let’s hope for a good report!

Chuck Lynch

Image Credits:  All photos of the car were taken by the seller.

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One thought on “A Big Birthday, So A Big Birthday Present! (Part One)

  1. Excellent. I sure hope it goes through. Kind of amazing that the color scheme is identical to mine, too. (‘Chamois’ they called it).

    Heater core: The bane of my existence. You have to remove the entire dash and drop the steering column to get it in. P.I.T.A. (which is why I never did it myself)

    Like

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