Father-Son Project

1970 Mustang

Eric Kaminsky - January 29, 2014 09:00 AM


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Bruce and Chris DeJarnette shared garage time rebuilding this pony. 

“When my son and I were looking for a father/son car to restore in 2002, we found a 1970 Sportsroof Mustang outside of Washington, D.C. When we went to look at the car, the owner tried to start it and promptly set the engine compartment on fire. Luckily there was no damage since we quickly put the fire out.

“Knowing the car would need a lot of work, we bought it. After having a friend trailer the car home to Baltimore, we started to do a restoration to stock condition. Chris spent every evening after work disassembling the car. We built a rotisserie to mount the car on and proceeded to replace all the rusted sheetmetal. We found that the car had quarter panel skins riveted over the original rusted quarter panels along with ¼-inch of Bondo. After doing the sheetmetal replacement in all the usual areas, we started thinking about the engine.

“While talking to a friend about the car, he told me he had several DOHC 4.6 engines. After thinking about never seeing a modular motor in an early Mustang, we decided to take the most complete engine. At the time, I felt we might be lowering the value if we ever decided to sell the car, but we installed the modular motor for the WOW factor we thought it might have at car shows.”

A simple restoration turned into a 2½-year project, with a long list of additions and upgrades, including rack-and-pinion steering, a T45 transmission and eight-inch rear with 3.80 gears, aluminum driveshaft, Accel Gen 7 engine management system and MSD ignition. The engine was topped off with a functional hood scoop and custom-made air filter.

Inside, white face Auto Meter gauges replaced the originals, and a Hurst shifter was added. The entire car got re-wired, and a custom sound system features an Aiwa head unit and CD player. The new seats came from a 2003 Mach 1.

All the work was accomplished in a home garage, including building a paint booth to spray the 1970 T code Candy Apple Red paint in basecoat/clearcoat. Finishing off the exterior are side stripes from a 1970 Grabber Mustang, rear window louvers, rear wing, a front spoiler, and 1970 Mach 1 lights and grille. It rides on 15-inch Magnum wheels (with 235/60 tires up front and 245/60 ones in back).

“The best part of the restoration was the time we spent in the garage, solving problems that came up as we were working on the car together. It was fun to pass along my mechanical knowledge and watch Chris learn how to weld and do body work along with his first attempt at painting a car. Chris is the proud owner of the car and I am a proud dad.”



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