DEARBORN - You can add Joe Parker’s name to the list of classic Mustang owners who’ve shared horror stories about trying to get family heirlooms restored via unscrupulous shops. Joe’s mom got a new Mustang GT for a Christmas gift from his dad back in 1965. Joe got it in 1971, drove the wheels off of it and decided to have it restored in 1990. To hear the bittersweet ending of the Parker’s 1966 Mustang GT restoration saga, read his email to us below:
“Hi, Ford Performance! My father bought a new Mustang GT for my mother's Christmas present in 1965. It was Emberglo red with a black interior. Mom eventually gave the car to me in 1971. I drove it for years until I left it in Texas to get it restored when I moved back to North Carolina in 1990.
“The Texas shop removed the engine and painted the engine compartment . . . then let it sit for seven years and did not get around to doing any more work on it. So I had it brought to North Carolina and left it with a restorer in Waxhaw, NC, who had the car until 2013. I kept in touch with him and he kept telling me he would do the work . . . but it never got done. My mom really didn't believe I would ever get it finished.
“When we picked it up four years ago to take it to a third restorer (Barry Stone), we found it sitting in the lot behind the Waxhaw shop with all of the car’s windows partially rolled down, and worse – many parts were missing off the car.
“My new restorer sent it out to get the bodywork done, and it took three people a total of 734 hours to complete the work. The engine and transmission were sent out to rebuilders. Then Barry went to work putting it all back together. He finished it in August this year.
“Sadly, mom died in July and did not get to see the completed restoration, but she did get to see over 100 pictures we took documenting the progress. It ended up costing me over $52,000 for the complete restoration.
“The engine is no longer stock (aluminum heads, new cam, new intake and carburetor) and I had the interior color-changed plus had a Shelby GT350 Cobra style hood installed to replace the stock Mustang hood. I also had the suspension beefed up. I just love the results and plan to drive it and show for many more years to come.”
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