The Ford Mustang, introduced in 1964, has a devoted collection of advocates. Many vintage car collectors hold the older ‘Stangs in high esteem. Some collectors maintain their vehicles in the original condition as far as possible. Others, however, desire restoration to factory-freshness. To accommodate the latter group, Ford Motor Co. rolled out a licensed reproduction body shell for a 1967 Mustang convertible shortly before Christmas. The 1967 shell marks the fourth vintage Mustang body the company has licensed; it joins the 1965 convertible, 1967 fastback, and the 1969 fastback.
Ford’s goal for the production of the new shells is to provide restorers with a more solid, reliable foundation for a rebuilding project than they would find in the used-car market. However, note some automobile aficionados, the new bodies might make it more difficult for muscle-car fans to tell an original classic Mustang from a less-desirable reproduction. Inasmuch as more than 90% of the parts for a 1967 Mustang convertible are currently available through aftermarket suppliers, a skilled rebuilder could just about build a new one from pieces found in catalogs.
At present, many restorers rebuild vintage vehicles with a number of modern parts, including engines, transmissions, and brakes. This type of modified vehicle has been dubbed a “resto-mod”; the result is often a safer, more reliable, and more practical vehicle than the original for everyday driving; older components, such as brakes, transmissions, and engines, are subject to failure. However, a well-maintained original vehicle has more value to the astute collector.
The new 1967 convertible body shell is now available to order with a starting price of $15,995. According to Ford said, the shell had to meet or exceed the quality standards of the original to qualify it for a Ford-licensed part. Some enthusiasts note that exceeding the original standards should not be difficult because the originals were known for crooked joints and uneven seams.
The manufacturer of the new shells, Dynacorn International, reports that it uses slightly thicker steel than the original vehicles and adds reinforcements to increase strength and rigidity. Dynacom also assembles the body using modern welding techniques not used when Ford was producing the originals.
The bottom line: If you want a vehicle to truck to classic car shows that is well-maintained with mostly-original parts, either restore a vintage vehicle or purchase a restored one for big bucks. However, if you want a safe, reliable, and pristine vehicle to tool around the neighborhood blaring tunes from the sixties, look into a resto-mod.