Heading Down the Wrong Project Path | Project Vintage Race Mustang

Update by Tim Suddard to the Ford Mustang Fastback project car
Dec 31, 2020

We needed a Mustang.

Initially, we weren’t too fussy regarding the year and body style. We kept our options open but with one rule: no rust. 

An early Mustang fastback in even deplorable condition is worth at least $10,000 these days. A coupe in the same shape is worth less than half that figure. 

We found a car that seemed promising for our vinage racing dreams when a buddy offered a 1968 Mustang coupe for the seemingly great price of just $2500. It was painted–barely well enough– and had a seemingly decent roll cage in it. It was a roller that had been prepped for NASA’s American Iron class. 

We jumped on it. 

Then we looked closer. (Lesson to be learned here, folks.) Upon closer inspection, we found that the car had been modified beyond the HSR rule set. The doors had been gutted, the decklid was formed in fiberglass, and the rain gutters shaved. 

The cage was also too extensive, as it went all the way from the front shock towers to the rear wheel wells. HSR frowns on this extensive of a cage.

Our expert, Curt Vogt at Cobra Automotive, told us that while we could use this car, we’d be better off with an earlier Mustang: more available race hardware and, if we bought right, a car that wouldn’t have to be reconfigured to meet the HSR racing rules. 

We decided to clean up the coupe, fit an early 302 that we had found, and sell it all on eBay Motors. It brought in a little more than $4000. We felt that price was fair, especially since we grabbed the coupe’s 15x7-inch American Racing Torq Thrust wheels for later use–once we find the correct chassis, of course. 

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View comments on the GRM forums
noddaz GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/29/20 12:27 p.m.

So you bought a racing 1968 Mustang for $2500, decided that it did not meet your needs and sold for $4000 and kept the wheels.  (Minus tags, taxes, auction charges ect, ect, ect)  

Whatcha getting next?  laugh

And aren't you guys racing a vintage Mustang already?



pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
12/29/20 1:25 p.m.

Engine not blue enough.

350z247 New Reader
1/22/21 8:13 a.m.

Not a bad turn around.

Tom1200 SuperDork
1/22/21 10:00 a.m.

This is why I like the Mustang project; I would have put this car together because it could be done cheaply and simply ran in whatever class HSR or other vintage race club put the car into. I suspect I could have put this car on track for 7-10K. It would be woefully uncompetitive but it would be loads of fun.

By contrast the whole point of this was to build a competitive car and this car needed a lot of work to undo things, so I get why it was sold on.

Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter)
Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter) Reader
1/22/21 11:30 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

I agree with you.  I would have completed it on the cheap (but safe!) and would have run it just for fun.  Its a lot of car for under $10k.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/27/21 10:41 a.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

Yeah, the green Mustang did look good at first--and I admit that I'm a sucker for a black hood. But the more that Tim looked at it, it needed too much. The white car is going to be cool, and look for more updates very soon. 

Tom1200 SuperDork
1/27/21 11:01 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

This is the catch 22 of working to a rule set versus just simply wanting to put a car, any car, on track.

While I have 0 interest in ever running this type of car I am really enjoying the project. I said it in the beginning I'm very keen to see what the final cost will be.

For those of us vintage racing on not much more than challenge money it's fascinating to see what things actually cost.

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