Mustang Restoration

Work Worth the Effort

John Gunnell - July 14, 2014 03:17 PM


This Mustang was restored from a “behind-the-barn” car find.

Courtesy of John Gunnell

Though it may have been challenging, the comments make the effort worth it.

Courtesy of John Gunnell

A lot of effort wnet into getting the bodywork just right

Courtesy of John Gunnell

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      “I should not have even bought it,” Lance Masshardt said.
     He was talking about the ‘67 Mustang hardtop that he restored five or six years ago. “I got it from a relative. It was sitting behind his Wisconsin barn, rusting away. By the time I was finished, I had welded in new floor pans, new rockers, new rails and even new torque boxes. I learned how to put stuff together and gave it my best shot.”
     He says that when he started the Ford, he thought it would be much easier to do than it actually was. “It was harder than I thought it was going to be for sure,” the Waupaca, Wisconsin, enthusiast admitted. “I was constantly getting out the shop manual, hopping on the computer and asking people for help.”
The Mustang was a pretty basic model with the 289 two-barrel V-8 and automatic transmission. Bodywork was the hardest part of the owner restoration to deal with. “I had a garage to work in, but I had to buy a welder, a torch and a plasma cutter,” Masshardt explained. “What I wound up with is not a perfect Mustang, but it’s OK; it was fun to do and I gained from the experience. It was worth learning new skills and having the satisfaction of doing it myself.”   
     Masshardt didn’t have a rotisserie to hold the Mustang’s unitized body. “I did have one of those things that works with an electric drill and turns the car upside down,” he said. “That was a big help when I welded in the floor pans.”
     The project didn’t scare him away from Mustangs. “Now, my latest new project is a 1966 Mustang convertible. It also needs rockers and floor pans and it has a lot of the same features and issues as the ’67. It’s a 289 car with a two-barrel carburetor and it looks like I’ll be doing many of the same things I did to restore the ’67. The convertible top works well.”
     When we asked Masshardt if he does a little work on the car every night, he laughed. “I work on it from time to time and sometimes I stay away from the job for so long I forget I’m working on it. That’s especially the case when I go to Florida in the winter. For those months I forget about almost everything except relaxing. It’s when my wife gets the thing she wishes for most—no more cars!”