Down-Un­der De­tail­ing

THE FINE POINTS OF US­ING RE­SEARCH AND AT­TEN­TION TO DE­TAIL WHEN DE­TAIL­ING A MUS­TANG’S UN­DER­CAR­RIAGE FOR A THOR­OUGH­BRED RESTORA­TION

Mustang Monthly - - CONTENTS -

The fine points of us­ing re­search and at­ten­tion to de­tail when de­tail­ing a Mus­tang’s un­der­car­riage for a Thor­ough­bred restora­tion

THIS STATE­MENT IS MUCH TRUER FOR THE UN­DER­CAR­RIAGE THAN FOR THE EN­GINE BAY ON A CLAS­SIC MUS­TANG. Restor­ing an un­der­car­riage takes “de­tec­tive work.” Those are Bob Perkins’ words. That’s why orig­i­nal­ity is so im­por­tant in un­cov­er­ing that which is not yet lost.

The un­der­car­riage seen here on Perkins’ 1,600-mile Boss 429 is one of three Boss 429s to win the MCA Thor­ough­bred Au­then­tic­ity Award. This car is also a ref­er­ence for 19651973 Mus­tangs be­cause these mod­els share the same fac­tory pro­ce­dure. Col­ors and spe­cific parts will change from car to car, and from as­sem­bly plant to as­sem­bly plant, but the as­sem­bly line process is vir­tu­ally the same.

Of course, this il­lus­trated guide can­not fully cover an un­der­car­riage restora­tion, be­cause no two cars are alike. Un­der­car­riage restora­tion starts with de­tec­tive work, and the more orig­i­nal the car the more ev­i­dence that re­mains, and vice versa. Find­ing the paint over­spray pat­terns, col­ors of the primer used, fin­ish on parts, and other de­tails is much eas­ier to un­cover on a clean, rust-free car.

A re­storer needs to re­search his own chas­sis, which means tread­ing lightly dur­ing dis­as­sem­bly and paint strip­ping to un­cover and pho­to­graph de­tails. Once stripped, the phys­i­cal ev­i­dence is gone for­ever, so with these cars the best a re­storer can do is check out a sim­i­lar Mus­tang built at the same as­sem­bly plant dur­ing the same time frame.

Perkins raised his 1970 Boss 429 on a lift to point out un­der­car­riage de­tails. The vast as­sort­ment of parts, primer, and paint on a first-gen­er­a­tion Mus­tang cre­ates a mo­saic that is noth­ing short of au­to­mo­tive art.

“The best cars, when they’re done, were the bet­ter cars to start with.” —Bob Perkins

Perkins used this orig­i­nal 1970 Boss 429 un­der­car­riage as a gen­eral guide to de­scribe fac­tory pro­ce­dure on a 19651973 clas­sic Mus­tang.

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