Muscle Car of the Week: ’67 Ford Mustang

Today we’re going to be checking out the specs on an extremely popular auto restoration choice – the ’67 Ford Mustang.

There were few changes in the overall appearance of the Mustang between ’66 and ’67. The main difference was that Ford decided to make the body a few inches wider and longer, to compete with the ‘bigger’ muscle cars of the day like the Camaro and Firebird. They also made the side scoops deeper and the front and rear styling more pronounced. The result was a slightly ‘beefier’ body that still managed to retain it’s original sleek appeal. In our opinion, this was one of the best looking Mustangs of all time, and a very good choice for your muscle car restoration.

Inside of the car saw a few minor tweaks as well. The manufacturer added a added a brand new ‘twin cove’ design for the instrument panel, that brought with it a bigger crash pad and gauges. Other updates included SelectAire Conditioning, optional shoulder belts for both front seats, and a ‘Tilt-a-way’ steering wheel.

Besides the appearance of more power, Ford actually delivered it as well with its’ engine choices in 1967. For the first time in the Mustang’s luminous history they offered a 390 cubic inch V-8, called the “Thunderbird Special”. This bad boy was powerful indeed, delivering 325 horsepower during chassis dyno testing! Even with this new engine, however, the Mustang was one of the slowest cars of it’s type in the quarter mile in 1967. This speaks volumes about the state of the muscle car industry at that time!

One thing that didn’t change at all with the Mustang from ’66 to ’67 was the price tag. In both years you could get the base model for about $2500. Nowadays you can get a junker that’s ready for restoration for about the same or less. Fully restored though, they can go for anywhere between $12K to $40K depending on it’s options and condition!

Muscle Car of the Week: ’71 Firebird!

If you’re familiar at all with muscle car restoration in Los Angeles, then you definitely know your way around the inside of a Firebird. This might be especially true of the 1971 models, as in that year there were over 53,000 produced!

This is one reason that the ’71 Firebird remains a popular auto restoration choice in Los Angeles, as well as the rest of the country – there are just a ton of them still available in decent, ‘recoverable’ condition.

Another reason though, is that the 1971 Pontiac Firebird was marked as maybe the last generation of ‘true pony cars’ of it’s type. As of 1972, the government would begin regulating engines and emissions for autos, ruining performance stats and sales numbers for most manufacturers of the day. As a result, the pony class of cars would all but vanish by 1975.

In fact, the regulation began to take shape in 1971 when all cars manufactured were required to be able to run on unleaded gas. This forced Pontiac to scrap two of it’s Firebird engine types from the previous year and replace them with a 455 cubic inch V8 option. There were two versions of this new engine. The bigger of the two was the so-called “H.O.” model that produced 335 horsepower during chassis dyno testing. This came standard in the Trans Am model, which was by far the ballsiest, although it didn’t sell exceptionally well in ’71 (probably due to it’s high price tag).

The other three models available were the Coupe, the Espirit, and the Formula 400. Most likely, if you’re looking for a ’71 Firebird to restore, you’re going to come across either the Coupe or the Espirit as both of these models had over 20,000 produced that year.

With four models to choose from, you’re going to find the Firebirds ranging from all sorts of asking prices. Depending on the model and the specs, we’ve seen fully restored FB’s go for up to $40K at internet auction.

Muscle Car of the Week: 1969 AMC AMX!

The ’69 AMX has quite a bit of street cred in the muscle car restoration circles of Southern California. This is namely because, in 1969, AMC decided to release one version of the car strictly for it’s West Coast dealerships! These specially equipped models came with several options that included “trendsetter” sidepipes and brass plaques on the hood blisters. Add 70 degree weather all year long to that equation and you can see why it’s good to be a California native, right?

Overall, the cosmetics of the AMX changed only slightly from ’68-’69. Leather seats were now optional for a couple more bucks, and the 5-spoke wheels went from chrome plating to stainless steel. Additionally, the tachometer was moved to match the speedometer, and in mid 1969 a hood was placed over them in front of the driver. One really cool option offered that year was from a selection of “Big Bad” paint jobs. There were three of them: neon blue, green or orange. Less then 700 of these were ordered from the factory so if you can find one of them somewhere you shouldn’t hesitate to make it your auto restoration project.

There were three engine sizes available in 1969. The biggest was a 390 cubic inch beast that delivers around 315 horsepower after some chassis dyno tuning. There were, however, 52 ‘Super Stock’ AMXs built in ’69 as well. These were mainly built for the drag strip and came stocked with a 390 cubic inch engine and twin Holley carburetors in order to maximize their quarter mile performance. These 52 automobiles are extremely rare and highly sought after in every auto restoration circle around. If you find one, let us know!

Today you can get an average AMX for around $6000 and, in excellent condition, sell it for around $23K!

Muscle Car of the Week: ’56 Thunderbird!

Today we’re going to be taking a look at a car that’s been a staple in every auto restoration shop for decades – the 1956 Ford Thunderbird!

Named after a mythical Native American creature, the Thunderbird (or T-Bird as it came to be nicknamed), was introduced in 1955 as Ford’s very first ‘personal luxury automobile’, putting an emphasis on it’s comfort and convenience options rather than it’s sportiness. It was only offered as a two-door convertible model. The stunning exterior featured circular head beams and stylish tail fins.

Not much changed aesthetically for the 1956 version, except that Ford offered optional porthole windows in the fiber glass roof. These were extremely popular among consumers so if you’re thinking about choosing the T-Bird for your auto restoration, you may want to look for that has them installed. This will definitely up your re-sale value.

The biggest change for the Thunderbird in 1956 was an optional upgrade in engine size! Ford was now offering a new standard 4-barrel 312 V8 which got 215 horsepower during chassis dyno testing. In addition, you could get even more power if you opted for the Ford-O-Matic transmission. This bumped the horsepower up to 225.

In ’56, the cost of the base model T-Bird was just over $3,000. Nowadays we’ve seen them listed in the local Los Angeles car restoration circles for upwards of $39,000 fully restored! We’ve even seen the asking price as high as $100,000 for one! (although that seems rather steep to us…)