Tony Gill - Personal Web Site

HomeWho Am I? Curriculum Vitae Photo Album And Another Thing...Site Info Any Questions?

Back to main cars page

My '69 Ford Mustang

This page contains more information and pictures about my last car, a 1969 Ford Mustang 302 'Grande', than would fit on the main cars page.

I sold this car on eBay Motors for $6,400 on 2 June 2004. I also made a special sale website with image gallery to help me sell it.

I miss the car from time to time, but at least it seems to have gone to a good home in Ohio.


Background

When I moved to America in June of 1999, one of my ambitions was to have a big old Detroit V8 -- but I never dreamed I'd end up with a 30+ year old classic muscle car!

I was able to obtain this car partly because cars are cheap and last forever in California due to the climate, and partly due to the smog laws -- cars manufactured before 1973 are exempt from the stringent pollution controls in the state.

It took me about 6 weeks to find a suitable car, during which time I spent a huge amount of money renting a Toyota Tercel with 60k miles already on it. Before I bought this Mustang, I looked at a 1971 Dodge Charger with a 440 ci (about 7.3 litres!) engine, a mid-eighties Pontiac Firebird (see below) and quite a few other Mustangs.

Before buying this car, I got it checked out by the AAA Car Clinic. Their report suggested that there was nothing major wrong with the car, although there were a large number of minor problems that would require immediate attention if I was going to use it as a 'daily driver'.

Since buying the car, I have spent several thousand dollars on garage bills, replacing components such as the radiator, the power steering regulator, the horns, the carburettor, the timing chain, the water pump, the shock absorbers and their mountings, and the loudspeakers... Not to mention various bits of wire, rubber bushes, hoses, belts, spark plugs and switches that needed replacing.

Mustang Facts

Make: Ford
Model: Mustang 302 Grande
Year: 1969
Engine: V8, 302 cubic inch (about 5 litres :-)
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Colour: Black exterior with black vinyl roof, light blue interior
Purchased: 1999

The 'Grande' derivative of the Mustang was introduced by Ford in 1969, and at the time was considered a 'luxury' variant:

"This was Ford's answer to the buyer who wanted T-Bird luxury in a smaller, sportier package. Available as a coupe only, it provided as standard equipment the Deluxe Decor Interior, plus simulated woodgrain instrument-panel trim, deluxe three-spoke steering wheel, special door panels, padded interior quarter panels and special cloth-inserted bucket seats.

"Outside, wire wheel covers, dual mirrors, C-pillar logo, duo-toned paint stripe under the fender line, and a chrome trim molding along the fender well set the Grande apart from other Mustang Coupes."

Taylor, Don & Wilson, Tom, Mustang Restoration Handbook, HPBooks 1987

My car has retained most of these 'luxury' features, although today it's difficult to see how a fake wood dashboard could be construed as luxurious.

Quirky aspects of the car are the horn switch, which is activated by squeezing a rubber strip running around the inside rim of the steering wheel (this is known as a 'rim-blow' wheel, which sounds kind of smutty to me), and the switch for the full-beam headlights which is a little press-stud operated with the left foot on the floor.

Recently I had a new dual Glasspack exhaust fitted, which has made the car MUCH louder.


Mustang Pictures

.

Parked on a steep road on Potrero Hill, San Francisco.

The bonnet, or 'hood', is so long that often I have no idea what is in front of me when going over the many sharp hill crests in the city.

Summer 1999

Taken on my commute home from work one day on Highway 280, otherwise known as the 'Junipero Serra, the World's Most Beautiful Highway'. It is actually very lovely in places -- note the clouds rolling in off the Pacific and 'pouring' over the mountains.

Summer 1999

 

Under the bonnet (or 'hood') lives a large, simple 302 cubic inch (5 litre) V8 engine. Incredibly by today's standards, this was part of Ford's 'small block' family of V8 engines, which went up to 351 ci (~5.8 litres). Mustangs fitted with various 'big block' engines were also available, up to the monster 375HP Boss 429 (~7 litres).

Autumn (Fall) 1999

Fully-loaded. Muir Woods in Marin County.

Autumn 1999

 

My friend Scyld kicking up some dust pulling donuts in the desert, somewhere off Highway 15 on the way to Las Vegas.

November 1999

 

Pulled off Highway 15 in the desert on the way back from Las Vegas.

November 1999


What Might Have Been...

.

I did seriously consider buying this limited edition Pontiac Trans Am Firebird from the daughter of one of my work colleagues, but it's poor condition, plus the fact that it was not exempt from smog testing, made it unsuitable. It had a 4.9 litre turbocharged engine, and was originally designed as a racing variant.

RLG's offices in Mountain View can be seen in the background

Tony Gill 1999 - 2004 -- Disclaimer