1968 Ford Mustang Convertible – Dick Rowe
I bought this car after seeing photos of it on EBay in January 2010 and finally got it to Canberra in June. At the time of purchase it was owned by an elderly lady in Riverside in Los Angeles, however she was not the original owner. It was shipped from Long Beach to Melbourne and then trucked up to Canberra. There is always a risk associated with buying a vehicle based on photos and more so with a convertible, as apart from the possibility of rust from the salted roads in the USA, sometimes convertibles were parked with the top down and were rained in with the carpet soaking up the moisture, thus increasing the corrosion problem.
The original owner’s manual and dealer’s order form were included with the car. These documents show that this Mustang was ordered from Westside Ford in Seattle Washington on 4th April 1968 by a Helen Hauck and she traded-in a 1959 Chev convertible and was allowed $600 on the Mustang, (the Chev still had its original top and paint). The total cost of the Mustang was $3,680.73 plus she was charged $165 tax and $50 licence (registration). The price of the car included all standard equipment with the following accessories: 289 V8 engine, Cruise-O-Matic transmission, glass back lite, push button AM radio, wheel covers, white sidewall tyres, power steering, power top and undercoating on the body. The paint colour is diamond blue with two tone blue trim, bucket seats and black soft top.
This vehicle was actually built at the Ford plant in Dearborn on 25th April 1968. Of the 25,376 Mustang convertibles built in 1968, 961 had this paint code, 697 had this paint/trim codes, 12,236 had these engine/transmission combinations and 16,139 were ordered with power steering.
Since I have owned this car I have repainted it, there were three different shades of blue as a result of repairs from previous accident damage. The only rust repair needed was a small section on the lower part of the left rear quarter panel. I replaced the trim on the back seat and a lot of the exterior bright metal. To upgrade and improve the safety of driving I have added LED taillight lenses, electronic ignition and after-market head rests, replaced the front drum brakes with power assisted discs. I have installed a dual exhaust system to improve the power output and fuel economy, it also sounds a lot better than the single system. I changed the factory wheels to the optional styled steel wheels for 1968 which are known here as 12 slotters.
Should any member of CACMC be considering buying a Musty Tang to restore, almost every part is available as a direct replacement and the costs are relatively low.
These “Classic” Mustangs are comfortable to drive and are easily able to keep up with modern traffic. However, I’d still like to own another Packard.