Thursday, April 1, 2021

10 Years? Really?

It's April 1st.   It's also April fool's day.  I wonder if there's a hidden meaning there?

It was 10 years ago that I started this blog.  I fully expected that I'd be driving my fastback by now putting copious miles on it.  Well, that obviously didn't happen.  The other sad part is that as of April 17, this girl has been in my possession for 16 years!   Oh man.

I've missed personal deadline after deadline.  The Mustang was supposed to be on the rotisserie for a year.  6 years later, yes, 6 years, it finally came off.   I can give countless times other planned completion dates for other work has bitten the dust. 

Yes, I can give the excuse that for 5 years my work outside the US, especially over summers put a dent in the schedule.  I can blame a number of projects around the house for more delays.  I can point the lazy finger at myself for not getting after it more often instead of watching TV shows of other cars being built.  But the endgame (which I watched last night) is not anywhere near in sight.  And I currently have 3 part-time jobs I'm doing that all together add up to more than a full-time job.  So by the time supper is over, it's 7 PM and I'm tired.  In the next couple of weeks, we're starting a cabin remodel in Michigan which will occupy more of my time away from home.  It seems like it never ends.

I guess I'll be one of these guys that will either take another decade to finish it, or get to a point of just selling it (of which the market is White-Hot for it in it's current condition) and buying a running driving later model Mustang.

But it wouldn't be the same.

So... I am soldering on by having components sent out for restoration.  I figure when I do get to the point after body and paint of putting it all together, I will have things already lined up without needing to wait for restoration or new parts.  So here's the current list of activity...

The T5 transmission is at the shop for evaluation, which isn't looking good.  That's what happens when you buy a used transmission that the guy says, "It's in great shape".  The wrong fluid was put in it as one point and got very hot.  I may just end up using it as a core and buying a new one.  I'll see what the shop says.

The gauge cluster is currently at Auto Instruments in Virginia for the gauge refresh.  I got the quote and they are moving ahead with a nice non-concours restoration with the odo set back to "0" miles.

I'm looking at either purchasing a complete AC system or having the original in-dash unit redone.  I'll still need the other under hood components though.  I'm contemplating just buying a complete wiring system even though mine is "OK" but needs a little help.  I may send parts of it off to Midlife Harness Restoration for them to refresh.

I have 90% of the interior components I bought a year ago.  I need to look at the rear axle and decide what needs to be done there beside a bearing and seal refresh in the axles and center section. 

There are other parts, such as the radiator, exhaust system, and carburetor to be rebuilt (Holly 600 CFM), but for the most part, I'm probably done until I can get further on the body work and paint.  Yeah, I could farm it out, but I don't have an extra $15,000 sitting around doing nothing.  So it's all on me.

Once I get past a few of my job commitments which I hope will end sooner than later, the fastback will become my new part-time job.  I've come to far with too big of an investment of time and cash to pull the plug on it.

So stay tuned and we'll see what happens.

Until the next time....


  1. Hang in there Dennis - you are still miles ahead of me! I've had SusieQ since 1986!!! But it's not about the destination, its about the journey. So don't beat yourself up too much. I sent out both my center diff and Holley carb to two guys who did a great job on them. The center section actually went to a guy in Indiana I believe. I'll check through my records and see if I can get you a name/address. You'll get it there!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement RJ. I guess we all need to hang in there together and encourage one another. :-) I'll have to do something with my diff as well. It's a stock 3.0:1 which I think I'll keep, especially if the T5 ends up with a 3:35 first gear. BTW, I hear Mustangs Plus is going out of business and is selling their inventory at 25% off. I'm making a list and will call them next week. Take care, my friend.

  2. 8" differential rebuild:

    Terry Todd
    315 Vine St
    Oakland City, Indiana 47660


    1. Thanks! Let me know how it goes and what the final bill is. That's about 2.5 hours from me in southwest Indiana.

  3. Dennis! Great seeing an update! I truly hope you will not consider this an unrealized project and instead consider it a remarkable journey. You are doing extremely well and with the satisfaction that the bulk of it is the creation of your own hands and mind and THAT is something extraordinary indeed.

    About mid-2019 I kinda hit a funk on my personal car as well. So many other projects and demands eating away time that I felt I would never get it done. I had even slipped off into doing a lot of work on other people's cars at the expense of my own. Then came the dumpster fire of 2020. And as if a sign from HIM, I started working from home, and before I knew it, I was making the conscious decision to prioritize my time quite differently (by choice and necessity) and making huge progress before I knew it. I even started documenting my work on an entirely different format (Instagram) and found a better connection to a larger audience. Sadly, it means that folks don't like to read much anymore, so blogs are rather "unpopular" as one of my daughters made me realize (pfft). Admittedly, I have neglected my blog but that's another story.......

    I really feel you will find a similar catalyst soon and you will be off again! Sometimes, even getting a few bits added to the "done" list like that instrument cluster or the harness can have significant positive motivational effects. Consider also that you are doing something that not everyone can do. And in that, you never know who may find inspiration to explore something inside themselves based entirely on something they learned from you. At the end of the day, we are teachers in a way. Even if the lesson is in perseverance alone. Keep digging my friend! And besides, I'm just giving you a little of the same sauce you've passed along to me over the years on this road we travel.

    1. Sven, good to hear from you. I guess we've both been in a similar boat. I have noticed that the number of "Mustang guys" I used to see on blogger is much less recently. I may need to check out Instagram. Hopefully, I'll find you on it. I am going to have a break in my responsibilities for the next 6-8 weeks. So I'm hoping to get back on the fastback. You are correct. It's been a 16 year on-and-off-again journey. We often forget about the work we do and that it's not in everyone's talent bucket. Being considered a "teacher" brings a new light to what we do in our restoration projects. And yes, getting a dose of the same medicine is a good incentive. Thanks again!

  4. Dennis, the diff was done a about 5 years ago but looks like the guy is still in business. My car had 2:78's in it but I had an old 3.00 Torino 8" here and that's what I had him rebuild. He pulled it completely apart and put all new seals/bearings in it. As I recall, also painted it inside and out. $201 + shipping.

  5. Thanks RJ. I'll check him out and see what the current cost will be.

  6. Hi Dennis. Been a long time. Sorry that you haven't had the time lately to finish but don't sell it. You will literally never be able to replace it anymore. Pass that bad-boy down like a family heirloom worse case.

    Sven's blog is still active and interesting so I watch his progress on instagram (

    Take care and enjoy life!

  7. I started posting on Instagram at Sven's suggestion. (@1968_fastback_resurrection)
    I'll still post here as I can't provide the detail of the work that's done all the time. I'm hoping to get out from underneath some of my current responsibilities in the next month or so which will give me more time to get back on the fastback. I do have a major course change on the restoration. More news at 11....