Ford releases unpainted bodies for classic Mustang convertibles

October 30, 2011 http://detnews.com/article/20111030/AUTO01/110300304

Ford releases unpainted bodies for classic Mustang convertibles

ALISA PRIDDLE
/ The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. has the perfect body for classic Mustang aficionados.

The automaker is offering unpainted body shells that can be made into 1964 1/2, 1965 or 1966 Mustang convertibles, depending on the restoration parts and powertrain that the buyer installs during the rebuild.

But unlike a restoration, the metal is new and the welds solid, making it a durable template for those wanting an alternative way to relive their youth.

The body shell for the original Mustang convertible is now in production and is sold as a Ford-licensed restoration part by Dynacorn International.

Ford will display a new 1965 Mustang body shell Nov. 1-3 at the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association show in Las Vegas — parked beside a restored 1965 convertible for comparison.

“The 1964-66 Mustang is the most restored vintage vehicle. But the number of original 1964-66 vintage bodies is shrinking every year,” said Dennis Mondrach, Ford Restoration Parts licensing manager.

“Most of the original Mustangs left in scrap yards are rusted or wrecked beyond repair,” Mondrach said. “The new body shell is made of virgin metal and uses modern welding techniques. It comes rustproofed, and after final adjustment and finish preparation of the body panels, it is ready for painting and final assembly.”

Jim Christina, vice president of Dynacorn, said, “We use a modern universal automotive-grade steel that is actually stronger than the original.”

The ’65 Mustang body shell starts at $15,000. It includes the doors and trunk lid and all the sheet metal from the radiator support to the taillight panel, except the hood and front fenders, which are available separately.

Those who buy a shell can choose to buy new a powertrain, suspension and brakes, electrical systems, interior and trim — or transfer original parts from another car.

Original parts that can’t be reused from an old Mustang can be replaced with Ford-approved restoration parts that are certified as true to original technical drawings, blueprints and specifications.

Mondrach says that nearly all the parts needed to build a complete new 1964-66 Mustang convertible, except for some minor body hardware, are now available from Ford-approved classic parts suppliers.

Customers can find parts at www.fordrestorationparts.com.

The Mustang debuted in April 1964. The original pony car sold more than 1.2 million units, including about 174,000 convertibles, before the first redesign in 1967.

apriddle@detnews.com

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