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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1973 Ford Mustang convertible

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What do you prefer: a numbers-matching car with low miles and lots of original parts, or a clean restoration that deviates from original for the sake of enhanced performance? If you’re of the latter mindset, this 1973 Ford Mustang convertible, for sale on, may be the wind-in-your-hair summer cruiser you’ve been looking for. The car’s service and build history are known, it’s been with the current owner since 2004, and it’s got a warmed-up 351 mated to an upgraded C6 transmission, which sends power to the ground through a nine-inch limited-slip differential. The performance mods won’t necessarily make the stock-only crowd happy, but as a fun summertime driver, this car appears to check the right boxes. From the seller’s description:

351 H Code Engine (many upgrades including 4v conversion)

C6 Automatic Transmission
Ford 9” Rear End with limited slip 3.50 ratio gearing

This car has very complete documentation, dating back to the original bill of sale from the originating Ford Dealership in Grinnell, Iowa, where it was purchased by a Navy Doctor and promptly driven to Portsmouth, VA, his base assignment. My Father was the local Ford Dealer in Portsmouth, VA, where several warranty repairs were made in our service department, giving this car a special meaning to me. It has remained In the Tidewater area since new, where its second owner, a Navy Pilot, repurchased the car from its third owner and began restoration. Very detailed records of maintenance repairs and the restoration process are included. The following is a quick outline of that restoration process and upgrades that have taken place since 2003.

2003 under previous ownership:

Complete strip and repaint by Jesse’s Rod Shop in Chesapeake, VA, to its original color using a base-coat clear-coat system. The car has been garage kept since then- copies of the repair order are very detailed and included.
Complete replacement and restoration of convertible top including a glass rear window. Detailed invoice included.
New interior including carpet, dash pad, door panels, underlayment and deluxe “comfort weave” seats. Invoice included.

Under My ownership since 2004:

Current engine is a period correct 351 Cleveland H code that was installed as a remanufactured swap in 1994. I subsequently had the engine removed and completely rebuilt by Aerodyne Machine, in Portsmouth, VA, in 2011. The engine block was cleaned, magnafluxed and determined to be very solid. Previous bore of .030 over had been performed on the original rebuild so current bore is .040 over. The following includes the highlights of the upgrades performed at Aerodyne Machine:

-Speed Pro Forged Aluminum Flat Top Pistons

-Crane 272 H10 Camshaft with 524 Lift/272 Duration

-Comp Cams valve springs and retainers

-Scorpion Roller Rocker Arms mounted to enhanced 7/16” rocker studs

-2 Row roller timing chain

-Melling 70 PSI oil pump with added oil line to rear of engine

-Hardened push rods

-Complete engine assembly balanced

-Edelbrock Performer 4v intake and Edelbrock 600 CFM 4v Carburetor installed

Transmission is a C6 which was rebuilt by a Ford Motor Co Master Tech. We upgraded the C6 internals with a TCI shift improver kit and a B&M 2100 RPM stall torque converter. Very clean shifts now
Rear End is a Ford 9 Inch, recently completely rebuilt by Fantom Works in Norfolk, VA. It is a 3:50 Ratio, limited slip differential with virtually every part new, including the axles
Fantom Works also did the following very quality work:

-set up a new ignition system using OEM style distributor with Pertronix ignition

-Converted A/C to R134 and serviced/sealed entire system

-Painted underside of hood with matching color base- coat clear-coat, and sealed “insulated” areas with black urethane coating- looks amazing!

-Replaced brake master cylinder and booster, ran new brake line where required

-Replaced damaged starter

Notable Parts I Have Replaced

-Radiator and all hoses including water pump and thermostat

-Fuel tank, Fuel Pump and tank sending unit

-Shock absorbers (KYB) and larger diameter front sway bar

-New grille, lights, rear tail light assemblies and new front spoiler

-Magnum 500 original style 14” wheels

-New BF Goodrich Radial TA tires

-Heater core and blower motor

1973 Ford Mustang convertible 1973 Ford Mustang convertible1973 Ford Mustang convertible 1973 Ford Mustang convertible

Location Marker
Suffolk, Virginia
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