This rare X-code 1968 Mus­tang fast­back was found in a ware­house, with a few more sur­prises

Mustang Monthly - - RAREFINDS -

“THEY KNOW I LIKE MUS­TANGS AND FORDS, SO THEY CALLED ME,” SHANE FOWLER SAID.

Fowler was ready to go on the hunt from that first call, but they made him wait three weeks while they cleaned around the Mus­tang, buried 25 miles away in a ware­house in the tiny town of Branch, Texas—Fowler de­scribes it as, “no red light and one cau­tion light.”

“I had a ’77 Mus­tang Co­bra II be­ing painted and the painter called me and told me that friends of his, their dad had died. In clean­ing out his ware­house they found an old Mus­tang.” While dig­ging through “junk,” they also found a 1-ton truck. That’s how clut­tered the ware­house was.

When he ar­rived, Fowler found a 1968 Mus­tang fast­back in pieces. The en­gine and au­to­matic trans­mis­sion were out of the ve­hi­cle, the fend­ers were laid to one side, and the seats were in­side, but they were 1969 Mach 1 buck­ets. The fold-down rear seat was in­tact. Most of the parts were on shelves. Shane fig­ured the re­man­u­fac­tured 390ci big-block on an en­gine stand came out of the Mus­tang. The fifth digit of the VIN was an X for the ex­tremely rare 390 two-bar­rel, one of a mere 189 fast­backs built with this en­gine. (For the record, X-code pro­duc­tion, unique to the 1968 model year, was 733, di­vided be­tween

477 hard­tops, 189 fast­backs, and 67 con­vert­ibles.)

“The two daugh­ters were there and peo­ple were just com­ing in and out and go­ing through ev­ery­thing and buy­ing any­thing they wanted,” Fowler said.

The owner had lived in the back of the ware­house, which at one time had been a Corvette restora­tion shop. Fowler saw five to six Corvettes cut in pieces in the woods and in­side “a ton of Corvette T-tops and parts, which the Corvette guys wiped out.”

De­spite the two-bar­rel en­gine, this car shared the same model year (1968), body style (fast­back), big-block (a 390), and color (High­land Green) of the fa­mous Steve McQueen Bul­litt movie car. Fowler’s find had Styled Steel wheels, man­ual steer­ing, man­ual drum brakes, and air con­di­tion­ing, which he said was “a lit­tle dif­fer­ent way to or­der a big-block.” In the trunk, Fowler found a space-saver spare, which he knew was not stock for a ’68 model. He thought it was a reg­u­lar

7.35 Mus­tang spare. He cleaned it up at home and found it was a 7.75, which is a Boss 429 spare—a real gem he sold to off­set the price he paid for the car.

Fowler added, “We spent two days dig­ging through parts. I’m sure the head­light buck­ets were there, but we could not find them. The rest of the parts were there.” The floor­pans were rusty, as were the rear quar­ters and trunk floor, which Fowler says is typ­i­cal for south Louisiana.

Shane fig­ures this clas­sic Mus­tang is best suited as a resto­mod project that would make a great Bul­litt build, al­though the rar­ity of the X-code would also make it very in­trigu­ing to re­turn the ’68 to stock. What do you all think he should do to the car?

Shane Fowler be­lieves the fast­back had been stored at least 20 years in this ware­house.

The space-saver spare tire turned out to be a gem, stock for a Boss 429.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.