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G-Dub

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Hello all,

   Name's Gregg and I live in NH with my wife, 2 kids at home still and 3 - 4 legged kids, a backyard full of poultry and 2 goats. I'm here because I still own my first car, a '69 Mustang convertible. Seen better days at this point but it's been in dry storage for nearly 20 years and it's finally time to start the restoration. Not too sure what I'm going to do with it yet but my tastes have changed since my youth where I always wanted to keep it original. Nowadays, the appeal of a restomod is in the front of my mind but I'm still deciding whether or not I'm going to do that, mainly because I'm not sure what I've got exactly...

   Strange question from someone who's owned the car for 36 of its 51 years you say? Well, I've never really done my homework with it and went with everything I'd been told from when I was a kid. See, the long story is that I inherited it from my mother when she passed away in 1984 so it's actually been in the family for another 7 or so years before I got it and I "thought" I knew most of it's history. But, as with anything you get used, it had a history before us/me that I'm only beginning to learn the truth about as I disassemble it for restoration.

   I've always heard that this car was special and it wasn't until I got it from my mother's estate that folks started to explain what they knew about it being "special". The rumor that I grew up with was that it was a Grande convertible prototype, built in '68 as a '69 model. I've read about everything I can read and google online and there's absolutely no reference to any Grande convertibles being designed, prototyped, built, etc. In fact, everything I've read states that Grandes were ONLY hardtop coupes. In inspecting the car best I could over the years, there were no Grande fender scripts, no interior badges or anything else that swayed my suspicion. The skepticism in me has grown ever since I questioned the rumor and started looking into it so now, as I pull it apart to restore, I'm looking for whatever prompted ANYONE to think this car is anything but a base convertible. Door tag and paperwork are long gone but I did find the buck tag on the passenger side shock tower under the fender and it's interesting decipher so, now I think I might have something else...

   When decoding the buck tag, everything jives with what I thought I had but, I noticed that on the bottom of the tag there's a line that says "EX S VIETNAM". So, I started doing more digging about FoMoCo's export programs in the 60's and learned that they exported Mustangs under the program code name, "T5", mainly through the military PX where personnel could buy cars and trucks and have them sent overseas. From everything I've read so far, T5's were sent to Europe because Ford didn't own the rights to the Mustang moniker there but I've read nothing about exporting Mustangs or T5s to Asia and what they were called. I'm waiting on a Marti report that hopefully clears up some of this history but, has anyone here heard more about this and what you may know about Mustang, or T5 exports to Asia in '69, namely South Vietnam for the soldiers there?

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Welcome from a fellow convertible owner. What is the interior code?  Perhaps the misperception of a Grande (there were no convertible Grande's) is that it has Deluxe interior.  Here are the data (warranty) plate codes for Deluxe interior:

Blue, convertible, deluxe 7B  
Red, convertible, deluxe 7D  
Ivy Gold, convertible, deluxe 7G  
White,  convertible, deluxe 7W  
Nugget Gold, convertible, deluxe 7Y  

Visit this site to decode the warranty plate: http://www.mustangdecoder.com/

Regarding the export to Vietnam, that is also not the case.  It was likely ordered from a military member while in Vietnam through the Army Air Force Exchange Service overseas sales for pick up in the states. I have done the same while stationed overseas.

Also, pictures please.

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You have done your homework, you get an B+ so far.  I also have a 69 vert loaded with options, including deluxe interior.  All the features of a Grande can be ordered as separate options, except the Grande emblems.  I think they had a unique vinyl top, but that is all.  Yours obviously does not have the vinyl top.  

Another place to look for evidence is under the carpet. In mine, I found the original factory build sheet.  It is in rough shape, but I have it. You need to take the seats out and I think it was under the carpet in the back seat.   Otherwise, the Marti will tell a lot. 

The restomod vs original is a tough choice.  The only reason for keeping it original is to win contests and car shows.  If you want a fun and safe car to drive daily, go for the modifications.   I went with the modifications, including the best one, power rack and pinion steering.  Good luck, reach out to us with questions.

Danno

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15 hours ago, rmarks said:

Welcome from a fellow convertible owner. What is the interior code?  Perhaps the misperception of a Grande (there were no convertible Grande's) is that it has Deluxe interior.  Here are the data (warranty) plate codes for Deluxe interior:

Blue, convertible, deluxe 7B  
Red, convertible, deluxe 7D  
Ivy Gold, convertible, deluxe 7G  
White,  convertible, deluxe 7W  
Nugget Gold, convertible, deluxe 7Y  

Visit this site to decode the warranty plate: http://www.mustangdecoder.com/

Regarding the export to Vietnam, that is also not the case.  It was likely ordered from a military member while in Vietnam through the Army Air Force Exchange Service overseas sales for pick up in the states. I have done the same while stationed overseas.

Also, pictures please.

Marks,

   Until I get the Marti report, the buck tag is all I have left. Door tag and build sheets are long gone...thought I kept them but I've moved around so much in my earlier life (I'm also a vet..Navy), they could be anywhere but where I can find them now...or they were circular filed at some point.

 

570117811_MustangBuckTag.jpg.581a840b248e0e2ae429fe22815003ca.jpg

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13 hours ago, danno said:

You have done your homework, you get an B+ so far.  I also have a 69 vert loaded with options, including deluxe interior.  All the features of a Grande can be ordered as separate options, except the Grande emblems.  I think they had a unique vinyl top, but that is all.  Yours obviously does not have the vinyl top.  

Another place to look for evidence is under the carpet. In mine, I found the original factory build sheet.  It is in rough shape, but I have it. You need to take the seats out and I think it was under the carpet in the back seat.   Otherwise, the Marti will tell a lot. 

The restomod vs original is a tough choice.  The only reason for keeping it original is to win contests and car shows.  If you want a fun and safe car to drive daily, go for the modifications.   I went with the modifications, including the best one, power rack and pinion steering.  Good luck, reach out to us with questions.

Danno

Danno, thanks for the info and support. I'm not really a social media kind of person so I dunno how active I'll be here but, for technical advice or to share experiences, I'd like to think I'll be asking folks here if I can't figure it out myself! 

I'm still leaning heavily towards the restomod depending on what I find out about the history of this car. If my old sentiments towards my mother's wishes reappears or if it turned out it's actually a T5 or some impossible-to-exist prototype as I was told it was (not happening...I'm convinced), I might keep it original. Otherwise, I want something I can enjoy and trust taking to meets, drive-ins or small, local shows without fear of some 50+ year old, production line value built car not getting me there. In my forget-the-budget dreams, a fuel injected Coyote powerplant (maybe supercharged, maybe not...dunno yet) pushing an optimized AOD tranny and sitting on top of a TCP suspension system with 4 wheel Wilwood disc brakes is where I'd like to see this going...front clip is getting replaced regardless so, if I'm gonna do it, now's the time!

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15 hours ago, TexasEd said:

Welcome!  I still have my first car, 69 SportsRoof I bought from the neighbor across the street in 1985

Thanks TexasEd,

Blows folks minds when you say your first car was a convertible Mustang AND you still have it...used to hearing the sob story from folks who talk about the car they used to have as a kid AND wish they still had it...

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G-Dub,

Here's what I can make out on the Buck Tag:

           9 = Year (1969)

           T = Plant (Metuchen, NJ)

           F = Engine (302 2v V8)

           147946 = Unit

           566 = Rotation number-body and paint

           05M = Buck completed date (5 December 1968)

           76A = Body and trim (Convertible Standard Interior Bucket Seats)

           2A = Trim code (Black Vinyl)

           Maroon = Paint code (Code B)

           PS = Power steering

           Looks like it says TOP as well but can't make it out.  Assuming it would indicate black power top but can't be sure.

Regarding the EX S Vietnam, it may actually have been shipped to S Vietnam directly from Ford.  The Marti Report would be more definitive.  Check out this thread on Vintage Mustang Forum (VMF) about a 1967 T5 fastback shipped to Vietnam: https://www.vintage-mustang.com/threads/need-help-with-a-t5-buck-tag-decode-please-67-fastback.1149252/.  Suggest you contact the owner Mike as he may have further info on the Vietnam Mustangs.  Here's a note from Kevin Marti on it:

                                         1380198045_67Export.png.1e7de03b93018e40a26deb00cafd83c2.png

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15 hours ago, rmarks said:

G-Dub,

Here's what I can make out on the Buck Tag:

           9 = Year (1969)

           T = Plant (Metuchen, NJ)

           F = Engine (302 2v V8)

           147946 = Unit

           566 = Rotation number-body and paint

           05M = Buck completed date (5 December 1968)

           76A = Body and trim (Convertible Standard Interior Bucket Seats)

           2A = Trim code (Black Vinyl)

           Maroon = Paint code (Code B)

           PS = Power steering

           Looks like it says TOP as well but can't make it out.  Assuming it would indicate black power top but can't be sure.

Regarding the EX S Vietnam, it may actually have been shipped to S Vietnam directly from Ford.  The Marti Report would be more definitive.  Check out this thread on Vintage Mustang Forum (VMF) about a 1967 T5 fastback shipped to Vietnam: https://www.vintage-mustang.com/threads/need-help-with-a-t5-buck-tag-decode-please-67-fastback.1149252/.  Suggest you contact the owner Mike as he may have further info on the Vietnam Mustangs.  Here's a note from Kevin Marti on it:

                                         1380198045_67Export.png.1e7de03b93018e40a26deb00cafd83c2.png

rmarks,

   Thanks for the lead...I'll reach out to him to see if he learned anything else. The "TOP" you see is actually "OPB" if that help...

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Goll durn convertibles and coupes are taking over I tell ya! Where be the Mach Ones?

Kidding ya G-dub, welcome to the club. 

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16 hours ago, 69RavenConv said:

Welcome to the forum G-dub. I've owned my convertible since 1974 so I can relate to your story. I started fixing mine up around 1985 and finished around 2011, LOL!

Thanks! No shade thrown but, I hope it doesn't take me that long! I'll probably always tinker and improve but I'd like to be behind the wheel again sooner than later!

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16 hours ago, RPM said:

Goll durn convertibles and coupes are taking over I tell ya! Where be the Mach Ones?

Kidding ya G-dub, welcome to the club. 

Thanks, I'm excited to share what/when I can and learn/do as much as I can myself!

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I've had my Mach 1 since April of 77.  It sat for years at a time and just became that much cooler to own.  When I did have it running it wasn't a great driver until I upgraded to a rack-n-pinion about six years ago.  Now I look forward to every minute driving it.  Just wish it had air conditioning this time of year.  Oh, I did manage to drive it to lunch today to meet an old friend that hadn't seen the car in 20 years.  She was blow away.

Moral of the story is that finally going restomod brought back the thrill of driving the old beast.  

Kyle T  

 

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On 7/22/2020 at 3:57 PM, G-Dub said:

Thanks! No shade thrown but, I hope it doesn't take me that long! I'll probably always tinker and improve but I'd like to be behind the wheel again sooner than later!

No offense taken - it took me a while to find a place with the space where I could work on it.

General restoration rule-of-thumb - make your best time and money estimates. Then triple them. :)

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1 hour ago, 69RavenConv said:

General restoration rule-of-thumb - make your best time and money estimates. Then triple them. :)

Yup. I multiply my estimations by pi.

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2 hours ago, Mach1 Driver said:

Whoa Dude, that's circular man!

Yes it is. And as I once heard Jerry Van Dyke say on Carson, pie are round, corn bread are square. 

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