While cleaning my house on Saturday, I took a peek under a tarp in my garage, and rediscovered a car that I hadn’t really thought about in years: my “secret” 1966 Ford Mustang. It’s a vehicle that’s just been sitting for nearly a decade, and I think I need to do something about it.
Between my house cleaning endeavor and Jalopnik’s recent story about a low-mileage Neon SRT-4 stuck in a bubble, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Jalop-morality of storing a car for long periods, and not actually driving it. It’s a topic that readers bring up all the time in our comments section, whether in reference to a mint-condition 62 mile Mercury Marauder or a cherry 4,400 mile Jeep Cherokee XJ: Is it acceptable/cool to let a car sit for years at a time?
Obviously, the answer, here, is “You can do whatever you want with your car.” Still, I understand why some Jalops get so upset about it. Just take the idea to the extreme: Imagine if all rare or classic cars were tucked away in garages, and never made their way to America’s boulevards and avenues. First, our streets would be boring, and second, how would we inspire the next generation of car enthusiasts?
After all, I myself gained my love for cars by gawking at beautiful automobiles out of the back window of my parents’ Chevy Astro. Would I still love cars as much as I do today if I only saw rare cars in magazines? Probably not.
Anyway, my point here is that I need to help get this 1966 Ford Mustang prancing around the Detroit metro area. Hopefully I can convince my brother to visit from Hong Kong so we can do it together, but either way it needs to be done. And it doesn’t have to be perfect, for heaven knows I don’t have time for that given my current projects, but just getting it running, driving, and stopping, and allowing it to stretch its legs a bit isn’t going to hurt it. If anything, it will prevent internal rust buildup, and keep the seals from cracking.
I had good intentions by keeping the Mustang in the garage untouched: I wanted my brother to cut his wrenching teeth on it, and build the bond that only resurrecting a vehicle from the dead can forge. But this thing will still be a hell of a project even after I get it on the road. The interior is toast, the paint needs to be touched up, the rear fuel tank flange needs to be cut out and welded back in, the transmission shifter linkage bushing makes getting the thing into gear a pain in the Arsch, and I could go on and on.
A car like this doesn’t deserve to act as a shelf for AMC 360 rocker arms and pushrods, and it shouldn’t have to sit in a cloud of whatever noxious fumes are in my garage for years at a time. I need to let it breath the air on America’s lovely roads, and to use that air to make sweet, sweet power.