A brand new 1966 Ford Mustang ? It might as well be.
willingly admits to a long-standing fascination with the car that spawned a whole new
generation of copycats on its release back in the sixties.
He has taken it far beyond a mere interest, establishing and running American Auto
Parts, the Western Australia-based company specialising in the import and supply of hard
to find parts and components for the Mustang. (He also does the same with parts for the
Falcon GT, Australia's own legendary musclecar - but that's another story
pristine condition Mustang seen above was located three years ago in a wrecking yard in
Los Angeles, California, during one of Vince's trips to the USA in search of parts.
It had obviously seen better days but Vince and his son Paul, who shares his dad's
fascination with the `Stang, could see a restored classic waiting to gallop free.
By the time it arrived on the docks at Fremantle in WA, the neglected hulk had already
cost them $20,000.
The goal is set
and son set themselves a high goal, intent on restoring the car to original factory
appearance, so it was completely stripped down and bead-blasted to bare metal.
Over the next two and a half years, it became the centre of Paul Shervington's
the 289 cubic inch 4-valve Windsor V8 himself, then father and son worked together as a
team, rebuilding the entire suspension, brakes, fuel tank and lines, wiring, and the
almost microscopic detailing of all the badges.
At the same time, every electrical component was completely stripped down and rebuilt,
while all chrome-work was re-plated to factory specifications.
interior was completely renewed - even the seats were stripped down to bare framework,
then reconstructed using new foam - with new carpets and underlay, new scuff plates on the
doorsills, a new convertible top. The only part that could not be replaced was the
steering wheel, so Paul spent countless hours restoring it to as-new condition.
While all that was happening, the bare-metal body was painstakingly rubbed, re-rubbed
and rubbed again, then finished in Glasurit oven-baked 2-pack enamel. The colour, as
any Mustanger will probably know, is Signal Flare Red.
It was decided at the beginning of the project that, in the interest of originality,
the car would remain left-hand-drive, especially in light of Western Australia's more
relaxed attitude nowadays to licensing of left-hookers.
all door and boot seals are new, and towards the end of the restoration, when it became
apparent that the car would indeed look `factory-fresh', the decision was taken to have
the speedometer completely rebuilt and zeroed.
Not on any Sunday
The completed car, which needless to say breezed through its licensing examination,
is not driven for pleasure on even the sunniest of Sundays.
Ford recommended that it be driven "25 feet or more every 21 days" to keep
all moving parts lubricated, so that is just what happens. It goes everywhere by truck or
trailer, and at this point has a mere 78 miles up.
with its new car look (and smell - amazing what completely new trim and paint will do),
Vince utilised all his resources and came up with some real finishing touches.
The car carries faithful reproductions of the original owners manual, and starting
instructions on cardboard slip-ons over the sunvisors. Under the hood, replicas of the
original fitment tags hang off things like the windscreen washer reservoir (like
everything else, it's a brand new one), and the floor carpets are protected by Autolite
`first service' courtesy mats.
First impression of the car is of a 1966 Mustang convertible that has been caught in a
timewarp, and close inspection only strengthens that impression.
It seems almost weird to examine it so closely and find no traces of wear and tear at
all, so perfect and dedicated has been the effort devoted to it.
Would it be for sale ? Not likely.
Vince and Paul turned down an unsolicited offer of "$70,000 - cash" for the
car at Perth's Castrol Motorvation `98 car show, and believe its true value to be more in
the vicinity of $100,000.
But even at that price, it is not for sale - they created their own
showroom condition 1966 Mustang, and intend to keep it firmly in the Shervington family.