ddavidv UltimaDork
7/3/21 6:39 a.m.

I've been browsing for what may be my last project car. My goal is to have something that will evolve over time that I can drive in between upgrades. The main criteria is that it can't need rust repair aside from a small patch or two or some floorpans. I'm not interested in hanging panels or doing structural repairs. Not really wanting something that needs painted, but I'd be happy with 'tatty' or a good 10 footer because I use my cars more than stare at them. But, I also don't want to be embarrassed by how bad it may look.

I want to do a small block Ford/T-5 build. Hardly original, but it's what appeals to me and I've never worked with the SBF before. I've essentially narrowed my selection down to two cars.

65-66 Mustang coupe:  this is the Easy Button choice. I can mail order the entire car and there are plenty to choose from, although they seem to either be complete rotten basket cases or expensive, nicer cars I wouldn't want to butcher. The Mustangs seem to run about 2x what the other choice goes for. Narrower engine bay, crappier front suspension (that will get tossed anyway), rattly frameless windows and donors that are typically much more used up at my price point. Everyone has one, so they don't really garner attention at shows. Not really important to me, but it does factor. Easy to sell should I tire of it. This would be the 'smart' choice.

66-67 Falcon:  this is the 'Dare To Be Different' choice. Kind of stodgy and mostly unloved, these are half the price of a comparable Mustang. Or less. Much harder to find, though often in decent shape because grandma cars. Reproduction parts are mostly nil for the body and interior. Larger engine bay and marginally better stock suspension. I like the boxy, plain jane, underdog look and having something more unique. Tougher sell when the time comes. Much smaller numbers out there, probably 1/20th or less than worthy Mustangs. Full frame door windows that don't rattle incessantly. Used parts are not plentiful and if it gets hit and needs a hood or quarter panel it could take years to find one. Little demand means the aftermarket isn't interested. I've developed a real affection for these turds and can picture in my head exactly what I'd want it to be.

I've done several non-mainstream cars in my past (Fiats, Audis, Mk1 Fiestas) and also the easiest vehicles on the planet (old F series pickups). The joy of just being able to order any part from multiple vendors is a big plus. The Falcon driveline is the same as a Fairlane so there isn't much you can't get to make it go, stop and turn. But aftermarket upgrades to the suspension are limited, because not the same as Mustangs. And not being able to get simple things like the retainers for the hood edge molding on the Falcon make me cringe.

Spend 2 to 3 times as much for my second choice, but have an easier life?

Hold out for that one unicorn that needs very little for the car I really want?

7/3/21 10:52 a.m.

Dont have a feel for what you consider "too much project for resources" but here goes.


My vote is Fox body with a 4 valve mod engine. Could be a Coyote, but for much much les a 4.6 out of a Lincoln Mk8 will do just fine. Pretty much all of the bits will transfer including wiring and controller. Afordable 5 speed that will plug righ into the Mustang cable clutch mechanism if that is the path selected.

Get it running and spend the rest of eternity with the Fox body catalogs to fix what you dont like or want to be better. 


Anyways, just a thought, have a good day.



californiamilleghia SuperDork
7/3/21 11:26 a.m.

how about the same year Comet ?

iansane HalfDork
7/3/21 3:21 p.m.

I will choose unique every single time and 4 times on Sunday. Yes it's really cool to be able to order any part you want from umpteen million catalogs but I enjoy making things fit where they aren't supposed to and redheaded-stepchild community coming up with solutions to specific niche problems. Neither of those cars speak to me but I'd pick the Falcon, no question.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/3/21 4:21 p.m.

Unique doesn't matter at all in your own garage. Build the car you want to own, that's all that matters.

ddavidv UltimaDork
7/3/21 4:44 p.m.

Comets don't do it for me. Besides, those parts are even harder to find.

Fox body, meh. Wife doesn't much care for them either.

The choices I listed are the only two in the running.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/3/21 6:54 p.m.

The '65-66 Mustang that "just needs floor pans" will also need a cowl, because that's how these cars eat floor pans. And that's not an easy fix. Probably the same for Falcons and Fairlanes too. 

ddavidv UltimaDork
7/3/21 9:15 p.m.

Yeah, I know about the cowl issue. Already priced those plexiglass covers for the vent. smiley

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/12/21 8:49 a.m.
californiamilleghia said:

how about the same year Comet ?

Came to say the same thing but go earlier say 63 or 64. They started to get bigger in 65

NOT A TA SuperDork
7/12/21 10:44 a.m.


ddavidv UltimaDork
8/12/21 6:33 a.m.

I've been shopping for probably a year. The number of 65-66 Mustangs far outweighs the handful of 66-67 Falcons I've come across. By multiples. If I consider 67-68 Mustangs too I've got plenty to choose from, though at twice the buy-in vs a car that is proving to be non-existent.

Buying the more expensive starting point (comparing similar donor condition) will set back the actual build process significantly. But, with each passing year holding out for the unicorn I'm also getting older. Wouldn't be as much of a factor if I were still 30, but with the AARP sending me junk mail constantly it's a different perspective.

Did CM ever do articles on early Mustangs (not counting the current vintage racer build)?

MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
8/17/21 9:39 a.m.

What's the difference in suspension? I though the Falcon would have used mostly the same bits as the '67-'70 Mustang, except possibly sway bars.

I'm in favor of the Falcon here - similar mechanical bits and performance potential, less buy in, more unique.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
8/17/21 9:53 a.m.

They're not so easy to find anymore, but a mk1 Ford Maverick might be worth thinking about.  I think there's a lot of shared platform between these cars and the earlier Mustangs and Falcons.  I really like the styling with the earlier bumpers.

Appleseed MegaDork
8/17/21 10:31 a.m.

Do you like driving more than building? Easy every time. You're the kind of guy that will loose interest in a car that is in pieces for too long.

Do you like the prosses of building in addition to driving? Unique is for you. The prosses of figuring it out is satisfying.  You can spend years on a car and not regret it. 

ddavidv UltimaDork
8/23/21 9:41 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

What's the difference in suspension? I though the Falcon would have used mostly the same bits as the '67-'70 Mustang, except possibly sway bars.

I'm in favor of the Falcon here - similar mechanical bits and performance potential, less buy in, more unique.

They share less than you'd expect. Some of the brake/spindle parts can swap around but not much.

I spent about a week going down the early Mustang rabbit hole. Lots of cars to choose from, but affordable beginning point cars (not really 'donors') that aren't piles of rusted garbage are pretty scarce. Most of the Mustangs have been passed through dozens of owners, many who have done questionable things to them. The Falcon, being more of a grandma car, seems to turn up in better shape. There just aren't nearly as many of them that turn up.

I do like early Mavericks but they are at least as hard to find. And they are different yet again from Mustangs and Fairlane/Falcons. Share some parts but not enough to be very helpful.

I think sticking to the original plan is still the best plan. I just hate waiting for something to turn up.

ddavidv UltimaDork
10/3/21 7:08 a.m.

I was able to go with 'unique'. Persistence and patience do pay off.

I'll start a build thread in the appropriate section when I do more than just stare lovingly at it.

10/3/21 7:30 a.m.

It is a bit more work, but you can stuff the Ford Modular engines into the Falcon chassis. Been done enough times that you don't have to invent the wheel. Both mileage and performance are moved up an order of magnitude compared to the 302/t5 combo.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/3/21 7:34 a.m.

In reply to ddavidv :

Congrats! That looks like a pretty straight starting point!

ddavidv UltimaDork
10/4/21 1:39 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

Electronics -- screw that. Carb FTW.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/4/21 2:06 p.m.

In reply to ddavidv :

Where'd the photo go?!? It was such a sweet looking car!

ddavidv UltimaDork
10/5/21 4:21 p.m.

FB photo hosting. They nuke the links for some reason. I'll have YouTube videos soon.

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