November 18, 1997

Well, here it is. The worst part of the car. I've got to say, it didn't look this bad until I took the picture! Never use flash on those missing body parts! :)

I'm planning on picking up the quarter panel this week, and I have the fuel filler hole being shipped to me from CT Mustang II Salvage. As you can see, my fuel filler hole is below the body line. 1974 was the only year for this location, so all the aftermarket quarters have the hole higher up. Rocco (CT MII) tells me the hole is actually different (?) so..... It's also possible I might be able to get a NOS outer wheelhouse, so keep your fingers crossed on that one! The bodyman says that will help things quite a bit if I can find one.

The shot of the engine (specifically the radiator area) didn't come out well, perhaps because I was using a drop light and the flash. I'll try again later on this week.

January 27, 1998

Not much more progress, I'm afraid. I've got a repro quarter, a NOS outer wheelhousing and some sort of NOS rear extension piece that fits along the bottom back of the quarter, perpendicular to the bumper. Main problem is, I ran out of money! The race car body work cost more than I anticipated; luckily the cage was right on target. And to top it off, the rear defrost on the street car went, I walked into it a month ago with a piece of wrought iron and scratched & bubbled the paint, and it appears the windshield is leaking. So that's in the shop now. Still working on ideas to give the water pump and alternator a bit more room - in the meantime the Ghia is sitting in the backyard under a cover. Sigh....

September 15, 1998

How time flies when you're having fun - NOT! <G> The Ghia project is shelved for the time being. This is what happened:

We relocated the radiator (Griffen 4-core) to the front of the radiator support.

An electric fan was placed behind the radiator and actually worked great at cooling at idle - it never went over 180.

Tranny and oil coolers were placed on the front of the radiator. The PS cooler sort of sits on the support (that whole room issue again).

Problem was it had a wicked vibration! We replaced a u-joint which helped a bit, and spent a good part of the summer trying to figure the rest of it out. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about Ford engines, that's for sure! I had an 85 block with a 79 C4. We looked at the balancer, and it traced back to a 75 part number (thanks for helping with that, Lee!). In early August, Tim and I pulled the engine and tranny, and discovered the early flexplate along with the early balancer. A friend came over to confirm we had the late-model crank. We put the whole thing back together again with the matching parts, and it still didn't sound quite right. :( Appears that when it was driven previously, it was damaged due to the wrong parts being on it. So it's coming out for a full rebuild this winter. Then that quarter panel will be finally done (and hopefully I can get another year or so out of the passenger side).

So once again, it's sitting under a cover in the back yard. I'll pull the interior out over the winter and do some detail work on it that I hadn't been planning on, but at least I won't have to do it later.

Now that I'm not dumping money into the Ghia, it's time to work on the ITB car!

October 10, 1999

Did I mention how busy I've been? Yes, it's been over a year since I updated this page. <G>

Last November we pulled the motor and tranny again. The motor went out for a complete rebuild. The tranny went out in the spring to J & B Automatic Transmission in Glastonbury, CT. They had already done a clutch on my street car and a little bit of work on my ITB car. Jim has been incredibly helpful to me, and willing to learn this strange beast that I am trying to restore. I highly recommend them. Motor and tranny are now sitting in the garage waiting for the car.

And the car? It's at a bodyshop. It was a very good spring for me. Throughout the winter I had started to gut the interior of the car. A mouse living inside it really pushed that project to the top of the list. I found the remnets of the nest in the last place I had to remove - the headliner. You couldn't have paid me to take that out under normal circumstances, but you also couldn't pay me to drive the car smelling the way it did!

In March I came across a 1974 NOS quarter for the drivers side. Those of you with 74's know how rare this piece is! It had been worked on a bit (C-pillar extension was cut off) but the price was right so I picked it up. Now I've got the quarter, outer wheelhousing and rear extension for the drivers side. That whole section will be new with factory metal when done!

In April we went to a swap meet and I stuck gold again. This time it was a door and fender for the drivers side. Not perfect, but straight and less rust than I already had. I added them to my pile.

I spent the entire spring tearing the car apart. The interior is removed, vinyl top ripped off, engine compartment cleaned up. All of the upper moldings are off. Bumpers are off. Hmmm.. based on the amount of time and the excess of parts kicking around the house, it seems like that should be more of a list!

After gutting the car, the real fun began - prepping it for the bodyshop. I sanded the whole top down to get rid of the glue and painted it with POR-15. All of the parts I gave them have also been prepped with POR-15. They are being nice enough to let me in the bodyshop to touch up the welds and the bottom of the door after they sandblast it, before it's trimmed in paint.

About the bodyshop: I finally found someone, through another message exchange member, who isn't afraid to work on an old car. It has taken much longer than I had hoped for (ie I don't have it back yet) but I've been told the results are worth the wait.

What they are doing: patching the engine compartment and painting it in the stock color. This is one place I don't want to have to touch for years. They are patching the few holes I found in the floor. Replacing the driver's quarter and all its extra pieces. Hanging the "new" door and fender I got, and trimming them in the stock color. Patching a hole in the passenger rear wheelhouse - time to start looking for the quarter for that side. Then the roof and the drivers side of the car will be primed only. No sense wasting money on half a paint job.

In the meantime I'm pretty burnt out from working on it. It was hours and hours of work, and we had a really hot and humid May-June. As hard as it was to take apart, putting it back together should be no treat. I've got boxes and baggies full of parts. Hopefully my memory, notes and pix will help me to get it back together again!