My '63 Unibody (Integral Cab)


My dad had one of these new 1967 Burnt Amber Brown Mustang.
When he would take us to school , he would try try to set his styrofoam cup
of coffee on the center console behind the shifter and would always spill a bit.
I think thats when I heard my first cuss words. He only kept it a year giving
in to a big comfy Delta 88.
Wonder what a decent one is worth these days?
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My dad had one of these new 1967 Burnt Amber Brown Mustang.
When he would take us to school , he would try try to set his styrofoam cup
of coffee on the center console behind the shifter and would always spill a bit.
I think thats when I heard my first cuss words. He only kept it a year giving
in to a big comfy Delta 88.
Wonder what a decent one is worth these days?
I can remember when the coupes were undesirable and inexpensive.
The classic car market is out of control right now. I’ve seen those for asking price upwards of $20k.
My dad paid $900 for my 67 390 Fastback in the early 80s.
Man, I'm kinda bummed :(
I took two weeks off to strip my truck. I had it perfectly planned out in my head...blast the hood, doors and fenders and get them in epoxy primer, pull the engine, transmission, core support, master cylinder/booster. Remove everything from the cab; seat, gas tank, instrument panel, wiring loom, wiper motor, windshield, back window...and flat bed it to Doug's for paint.
I went to see Doug today. Half of his crew quit during the pandemic and never came back. He can barely get his collision work completed on time.
I'm screwed 😢
I'm in plan-B mode. So hard to find old school body guys that understand and know these old cars. There's a lot of seam seal on these Unibody trucks that inexperienced, new collision guys know nothing about. There's procedure for sealing drip rails that needs to be followed. My plan is still the same for take this truck apart these next many days, I just have to find an old school body shop. It's going to cost crazy money to paint this truck, I'm expecting $20-$30k. 😐
I can’t even sleep. I know parts of this truck bed need to be blasted. I have a guy that has a booth that the truck will fit into. He can blast the back half of the truck for me.
I’ve been up the past few hours searching for vintage car body shops near me. I have a few picked out. I’ll go tomorrow and talk to some of the shop owners. I don’t need my truck to be apart for a year. I need to get some sleep.
It will all come together. For some reason every time one of these situations arise, sleep and a mind racing to come up with solutions can really wear you down. I'm a champion at doing that. Not so much anymore but when we had our businesses it was almost a constant. Then, one day, after a good nights rest, everything suddenly comes together and I would sit there and wonder why I let it bother me so.
Hang in there.
Yesterday I was at a friend's shop hoping for a lead. This guy is on a new car resto show on cable and has a lot of contacts. Actually saw a 66 Mustang that they restored on the show. Nice little car but not as nice as it appeared on the show. I got some good leads on a machine shop that knows FE motors but I came away with no solid leads on a classic car body shop.
I got up early today, drank three cups of coffee and set out to consult with my friends and find an old skool body shop where I can get my truck bodyworked and painted.
I went to Chino'z first. He's been doing quality paint and resto for 40 years. Turns out he too took a hit during the pandemic in terms of shop help. Many employees left when the economy shut down, never to return. He even moved his business to a smaller location. He said he'd like to do my truck for me but he's backlogged at least six months. :(
Next I headed to my buddy's high-end fab shop to see if he had and ideas. This guy does amazing work. He's been on Monster Garage and has been featured in many print publications. I've known him since he was 21, he's in his 40s now. Probably as good a metal fab specialist as anyone on any of the restoration shows on TV. Seriously. I spent at least an hour listening to him tell me things I didn't want to hear. It's always awesome to go there though just to see what's in his shop. Really, some of the most amazing cars you'd ever see in person.
Today, I saw a done car that I had seen a couple of weeks ago. I was surprised to see this car taken apart. The car was bought at a popular televised auction. Sooooo much wrong with this car. It was truly unsafe to drive. My buddy is repairing the car and documenting the repairs.
This is the car...
Kevin Hart paid $825,000 for this 1959 Chevrolet Corvette convertible restomod (
I should have taken pics but I didn't think about it until after I left. My hood and doors are at the blaster that is located in the same industrial complex as Mark's fab shop.
Anyway, Mark never tells you stories. I told him what I was looking to do and he told me what I knew was true; I can't and shouldn't do this truck the way I had planned. There aren't really any local old body shops around here anymore. It's a dying profession, giving way to fast money, late model, collision repair shops. Because of the classic car auction shows and the high end resto shows as well as the fewer number of classic car shops, it's basically pushing prices up out of range for the average classic car hobbyist. A decade ago a basic full paint job with bodywork and jambs started at $10k. With less shops doing this type of work and the increased cost of paint and other supplies, the cost today is about $20k for quality paint in California. I was already prepared to pay the increased cost but after talking to Mark today I came to the conclusion that I need to take it a step farther for just a little more time and money.
I left Mark's and headed to Paul's 😆 I know Paul owes me a paint job but I couldn't just let him park on this truck for a month and make no money. We talked and decided to rotisserie this truck. We're going to take the body off the frame, put it on a rotisserie and send it to Freddie's to be completely blasted, top and bottom. Then trailer it back to Paul's, seal and undercoat the bottom, put it on the new frame, bodywork the top, then take the frame to get powdercoated. I'm going to pay Paul whatever he wants and we will work the difference out on my other two cars. So that's the plan. Not really what I had planned initially but now I'm not running around trying to make things happen.
Prolly gonna sleep good tonight.
Didn’t do anything but hang out with Paul in the shop today and mess with cars.
I’ve been so relaxed now knowing I’m going to have complete control over getting my truck done.
It would’ve been so difficult to just leave it at a body shop hoping they did it right.
It’s been a great day.
I’ve never seen those carburetors before.

Any idea what they are?
Man, it’s so nice to see the car world coming back to life. Covid has been brutal.
I’m glad things are getting back to normal.
Another Trip Down Memory Lane

It is great to look back at the older cars. I grew up in the forties and recall we had a large spruce tree in our front yard with the lower branches removed so they could see oncoming traffic when pulling out of the driveway. I used to play under that tree with my toy cars and listen. I listened to the cars as they came up the street and could tell the make of every car or truck before I saw it. There was not much traffic back then - the war and rationing kept many off the road - and for there to be two cars coming or going at the same time was a rarity.
I could listen and tell who was coming in some cases. And I could tell which make a car was by the sound of the starter. Traffic increased after the war and more and more cars were on the road, but by then I was 10 years old and no longer playing under the tree having different pursuits, but I could still tell some of them although with the increased volume of traffic it got harder. Besides, by now traffic was on the rise and there might be two or three cars in a cluster or approaching but separated in distance which it made it more difficult to tell what brand of car was on the road.
In 1946, my father, a country veterinarian, got one of the first new Fords sold. He had a 1939 Ford business coupe and early in the '40's he had rolled it over into a ditch when going down High Point Mountain, a steep road covered with ice. They repaired that car as there were no new cars available. After the body was repaired he continued to drive the car all over as a country veterinarian treating farmers livestock until the war ended and automobile manufacturing resumed.

My Dad needing a new car was considered a priority because of his occupation and his order had been in since the roll over accident. It wasn't too long after the war ended that he learned his new car had come in.

He was at the post office one morning and in a small town like the one where we lived, the postmaster said, "Hey, Doc! I hear you're getting a new car." The Ford dealer was immediately across the street from the post office and they had seen the car carrier drop off one car and being a small town, the postmaster had to investigate. It was big news back in the day and it didn't take long for the word to spread. It was a time when good news for anyone was welcome because of the war.

Dad admitted the new car was his and after chatting with the postmaster, a young fellow who was also picking up his mail asked my father if he was he going to sell the car he had rolled over. Dad said he planned to trade it but would sell it and they negotiated and the sale completed with Dad getting what he felt was a decent price and to top it off, the guy threw in a heavy coat of G.I. issue. So Pop sold that wrecked Ford for $80 and a military overcoat the young man had kept upon his discharge.
For the record, that new 1946 Ford Business Coupe my father bought cost a little over $600.00 and I still have the receipt for it. Radio and heater cost extra.
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Is Bob's Big Boy good? I looked it up, and the fries look good. Very cool cars.
Finally got the firewall trimmed enough and got the body back on the frame on the ‘57 LS swap. Got the trans crossmember and brackets drilled and bolted in.
We need to weld in the firewall while leaving enough room for the Vintage Air heater/AC system under the dash.

…back to my real job tomorrow.
Is that a Chevrolet in the first photo? If it is, I never remember they made a torpedo style Chevrolet but at my age the memory does become a little foggy.
The “Little Bastard” went home this week. This car has been at Paul’s for over a year.

You can see it here in the foreground. It’ll fit in nice here…
My ‘72 short bed is being done with a Mustang theme. Gonna be Grabber Blue with a real 1969 Mustang shaker hood scoop. I bought some used ‘69 Mach 1 racing mirrors. The mirror heads aren’t adjustable and the mounting angle on the truck door is a little different from the ‘69 Mustang.
I made some angled pads out of metal to fit under the mirror base and level out the mirrors.
This is just a mock-up…
We got this to do a little work on. I’ve got to figure out what’s wrong with the brakes. Paul is going to paint the dash blue and the deck lid white. Plus the hood needs to be repainted. A lot of the trim and molding needs to be adjusted.
The owner paid $65k. The owner has never driven this car. If we get the brakes fixed by Friday we’ll drive it to Bob’s Big Boy on Friday night.

Not my kinda wheels but the owner likes them.
Crap, the longer we look at the 59 the more stuff we see. I can definitely make the engine compartment look better. The wire looms are terrible, brake lines and trans lines look like they were bent by a high school kid. Pretty sure I’m going to pull the engine for a reseal and repaint. I’d like to get the owner to commit to a carbureted crate motor. The frame to body mounts are loose, some are missing. Rear half of the brake master is empty, haven’t determined yet how the brakes are plumbed but I’ll get the brakes fixed. Center grille is missing hardware. There is absolutely no heater plenum, core or fan motor under the dash.
I hope I can talk everyone into a crate motor. If not, I’ll reseal and paint the motor…fix or replace all the hardline while the motor is out.
Prolly going to install an electric fan/shroud combo with a digital fan controller.
My buddy now has a TV show. He told me he’s so tired of the LS swaps. Anyone can do an LS swap.
I’d just like to do a carburetor crate motor in the Impala…maybe add a OD transmission. The owner is gonna flip this car so it’s up to him.
Whatever labor I do on this adds to what paint and body I have coming on my stuff.
What is an LS swap? Sounds to me like this buyer bought a bag of rotten apples. Is the rest of the car solid? No major body work? Mechanically it sounds as if it is a start from scratch car.
What is an LS swap? Sounds to me like this buyer bought a bag of rotten apples. Is the rest of the car solid? No major body work? Mechanically it sounds as if it is a start from scratch car.
LS is a fuel injected small block Chevy, first introduced in the C5 Corvettes.
Yes the rest of the car is solid. It was a frame-off restoration but somewhere along the line someone got bored or lost direction.
Still, these cars are hard to come by. You rarely see them at car shows.
So if the guy bought it with the intent to resell after all this work is done, added to the fact they are an endangered species, he really didn't buy a pig in a poke.
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