An inside and outside glimpse at a time capsule 1973 Mustang convertible
This spring, Sue Eldred bought the car of her dreams: a convertible. With just 37 miles on the odometer, the 40-some-year-old convertible turned out to be much more special than what she originally considered. It was a true time capsule "barn find" with significant historical value.
Eldred's 1973 Mustang was originally bought by Judith Blohm from Stocker Ford-Mercury in West Bend, Wis. When Blohm learned Ford would stop building Mustang convertibles after the 1973 model year, she hopped in her 1968 Mustang convertible, drove to West Bend and ordered a new 1973 Mustang convertible in Dark Green Metallic with a 250-cid six-cylinder and a three-speed manual transmission. There was no way Blohm was going to be without a convertible pony to drive.
It turns out that Blohm is still driving her 1968 Mustang convertible, as well as a 1966 Mustang convertible. Since she never wore out those earlier Mustang convertibles, she decided in late 2014 to part with the unused '73 Mustang convertible she had kept in reserve. Jody Stuck of Midwest Classic Restoration & Body Works in Oneida, Wisconsin, was the lucky purchaser. Stuck had barely begun to touch the Mustang when Eldred walked in his shop doors last winter looking for a convertible.
We caught up with the low-mileage 1973 Mustang convertible this spring as Stuck was preparing to deliver it to Eldred. We photographed the car shortly after Stuck made it drivable, at which time it showed 37 miles on the odometer and some 40 years of dust on the exterior. After it was detailed by John Eckrich of J&J Detailing in Neenah, Wisconsin, we photographed it again. The dust was gone and the odometer was up to 38 miles.
Readying the Mustang for the road was a relatively easy process for Stuck. He replaced the fuel tank and master cylinder, and rebuilt the carburetor. It fired right up. Stuck also put new tires on the original green steel wheels, but gave all the original parts to the new owners. Included in that box of parts was the original oil filter, which is shown still in place in these pictures). For safety, Stuck ran a hone through each original wheel cylinder and reassembled them with the original parts. As another safety measure, Stuck replaced the brake hoses, but kept the originals with the car. Even the clips that hold the brake drums to the rear axle are still present, although they were usually tossed during a Mustang's first brake job. The battery is also (obviously) not original.
Enjoy these images of this rare time capsule — perhaps they'll help you restore your own 1970s Mustang.
This Mustang will be at the 2015 Iola Old Car Show in Iola, Wis., July 9-11.
If you want to learn more about Mustangs or Fords in general, here are links to publications I trust on the topic:
Standard Catalog of Ford 1903-2002 The ultimate source on Ford facts and data
Nothin' But Muscle A fun read with plenty of info muscle Mustangs