Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS
 
 
 

World's oldest Mustang on display

Austintown restaurant hosts classic car

January 24, 2013
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Last week, a rare 1964 Ford Mustang was rolled onto the display rack at Quaker Steak and Lube Restaurant in Austintown. The car is the oldest known Ford Mustang in existence and is valued at $1 million.

Ken Jakubec from Quaker Steak and Lube said he was proud to have the car displayed in Austintown.

"I try to rotate six or seven cars during the year," Jakubec said. "This one is the cream of the crop."

Article Photos

Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Austintown Quaker Steak and Lube general manager Russ Custer checks out the latest display vehicle, a pre-production 1964 Mustang that has been appraised at $1 million.

How the car got to its high thrown of honor in the automotive world is a Cinderella story about a local car collector who simply wanted a fully restored original Mustang convertible. According to Nate Miller from Buckeye Classic Car Restoration in Canfield, Bruce Beeghly of Youngstown, had purchased the car and brought it to the Millers - Nate and his father John Miller - to have a normal restoration done on it.

The Millers are nationally recognized Mustang experts. Besides belonging to a Mustang owners club, they had rebuilt a good deal of Ford's pony car to understand the nuts and bolts of it.

As they started dismantling Beeghly's Mustang, a lot of things weren't adding up. The convertible top was obviously flat, which just wasn't right. Mustang convertibles all had a curved top that allowed water to run off and prevented puddling. Beeghly's car had a perfectly flat top.

Another giveaway that this wasn't a regular assembly line model was the fact the opening for the instrument gauge in the dash was cut out with a torch. Normal production models are stamped to house the speedometer.

"Bruce originally wanted just a paint job and normal restoration," Nate said. "We looked at it and said this car needs a full restoration."

The car's production number ended in 140, meaning it was vehicle number 140. But what the Millers found was it was number 140 of a line of 180 in 1964 Ford Mustang pre-production models that were built before Mustangs hit the assembly line. Nate said the 180 were hand built and given to Ford executives to drive around to stir up excitement for the new pony cars.

When the Mustang hit the assembly lines in 1964, the original 180 pre-production models were ordered to be scrapped, Nate said. He said roughly 170 were found and crushed, but eight escaped the wrecking ball.

To research Beeghly's Mustang, the Millers had to travel to the Ford Museum and begin going through records, and that wasn't cheap.

"They charged us $200 per hour to look at numbers," he said.

They obtained close to 200 photos of the car but aren't allowed to show them as they are still listed as Ford property. They did find out that Beeghly's machine was built between Feb. 1 and 5, 1964 at the pilot plant in Allen Park, Mich.

Nate's research continued at home as he tried to find out about the other surviving Mustangs.

"We found a report out of England that numbers 171 and 173 had been purchased by an English car collector," Nate said. "He reported the cars were a disaster and had stress cracks in the chassis."

In looking at Beeghly's car, similar signs were discovered.

The other known pre-production models all had higher numbers that the 140 did, meaning the Mustang in Nate's shop was without a doubt the world's oldest Ford Mustang. That fact alone made it worth doing a full restoration, to which Beeghly agreed.

Following more than 1,000 hours of research, work began on the Mustang. One thing Nate and John noticed was the fact the parts on Beeghly's car would not fit a production model. When the car went into production, a lot of the parts were changed from the 180 test cars.

"We looked in the trunk [of Beeghly's car] and found the wheel well top had been hammered flat," John said. "In the production models, it is stamped out flat to accommodate the convertible top."

In restoring the car, the Millers had to take into account the fact this was, in essence, a trial model that would be used to make sure the right parts and design was in place for the assembly line. That meant a lot of the parts on the pre-production model were retooled for the production line.

John said the grill was also different and stuck out further than the 1964 production model. One other interesting aspect was the fact the chrome horse symbol had eyes. When the Mustang came off the assembly line, the eyes were gone and it was more of a horse silhouette.

As for the restoration, Nate said it took over $100,000 in parts, many that had to be found from collectors across the country. The parts were located and the car was put back together in great detail, right down to the preproduction stickers that can be seen on parts such as the rear leaf springs.

"We found the preproduction stickers and had them reproduced," Nate said.

The project took over a year to complete, and when it was done, the car was taken to a National Mustang show where it was judged by a panel of experts. The car had a maximum of 700 points it could receive. The judges completed their 2 1/2 hour inspection and gave the car 697 points.

The car had one point knocked off for the tires. The vintage tires cost $10,000 for the set. Nate said they were the right tire but the wrong size whitewall.

"They were original Mustang tires, but should have been one-inch whitewalls," he said. "Instead they were 3/8-inch whitewalls. The one-inch type had long been out of production and none were available."

Another point was taken off for the trunk matt, which was from the wrong year Mustang. That part was not easy to find and ended up costing $6,000.

The third point off came from the battery. Nate said it was not the original battery that came with the car. He said if it were an original, it would have been for looks only, which he calls a dry battery. No functioning batteries exist to power the car. He did say an original battery was found and the owner wanted $20,000.

"It's a lot of money to pay for a battery that won't work," he said.

The Beeghly Mustang was appraised by professionals who valued it at $1 million and gave it the distinction of being the world's oldest surviving Ford Mustang.

The Mustang will remain on display at Quaker Steak and Lube through St. Patrick's Day.

Last week, a rare 1964 Ford Mustang was rolled onto the display rack at Quaker Steak and Lube Restaurant in Austintown. The car is the oldest known Ford Mustang in existence and is valued at $1 million.

Ken Jakubec from Quaker Steak and Lube said he was proud to have the car displayed in Austintown.

"I try to rotate six or seven cars during the year," Jakubec said. "This one is the cream of the crop."

How the car got to its high thrown of honor in the automotive world is a Cinderella story about a local car collector who simply wanted a fully restored original Mustang convertible. According to Nate Miller from Buckeye Classic Car Restoration in Canfield, Bruce Beeghly of Youngstown, had purchased the car and brought it to the Millers - Nate and his father John Miller - to have a normal restoration done on it.

The Millers are nationally recognized Mustang experts. Besides belonging to a Mustang owners club, they had rebuilt a good deal of Ford's pony car to understand the nuts and bolts of it.

As they started dismantling Beeghly's Mustang, a lot of things weren't adding up. The convertible top was obviously flat, which just wasn't right. Mustang convertibles all had a curved top that allowed water to run off and prevented puddling. Beeghly's car had a perfectly flat top.

Another giveaway that this wasn't a regular assembly line model was the fact the opening for the instrument gauge in the dash was cut out with a torch. Normal production models are stamped to house the speedometer.

"Bruce originally wanted just a paint job and normal restoration," Nate said. "We looked at it and said this car needs a full restoration."

The car's production number ended in 140, meaning it was vehicle number 140. But what the Millers found was it was number 140 of a line of 180 in 1964 Ford Mustang pre-production models that were built before Mustangs hit the assembly line. Nate said the 180 were hand built and given to Ford executives to drive around to stir up excitement for the new pony cars.

When the Mustang hit the assembly lines in 1964, the original 180 pre-production models were ordered to be scrapped, Nate said. He said roughly 170 were found and crushed, but eight escaped the wrecking ball.

To research Beeghly's Mustang, the Millers had to travel to the Ford Museum and begin going through records, and that wasn't cheap.

"They charged us $200 per hour to look at numbers," he said.

They obtained close to 200 photos of the car but aren't allowed to show them as they are still listed as Ford property. They did find out that Beeghly's machine was built between Feb. 1 and 5, 1964 at the pilot plant in Allen Park, Mich.

Nate's research continued at home as he tried to find out about the other surviving Mustangs.

"We found a report out of England that numbers 171 and 173 had been purchased by an English car collector," Nate said. "He reported the cars were a disaster and had stress cracks in the chassis."

In looking at Beeghly's car, similar signs were discovered.

The other known pre-production models all had higher numbers that the 140 did, meaning the Mustang in Nate's shop was without a doubt the world's oldest Ford Mustang. That fact alone made it worth doing a full restoration, to which Beeghly agreed.

Following more than 1,000 hours of research, work began on the Mustang. One thing Nate and John noticed was the fact the parts on Beeghly's car would not fit a production model. When the car went into production, a lot of the parts were changed from the 180 test cars.

"We looked in the trunk [of Beeghly's car] and found the wheel well top had been hammered flat," John said. "In the production models, it is stamped out flat to accommodate the convertible top."

In restoring the car, the Millers had to take into account the fact this was, in essence, a trial model that would be used to make sure the right parts and design was in place for the assembly line. That meant a lot of the parts on the pre-production model were retooled for the production line.

John said the grill was also different and stuck out further than the 1964 production model. One other interesting aspect was the fact the chrome horse symbol had eyes. When the Mustang came off the assembly line, the eyes were gone and it was more of a horse silhouette.

As for the restoration, Nate said it took over $100,000 in parts, many that had to be found from collectors across the country. The parts were located and the car was put back together in great detail, right down to the preproduction stickers that can be seen on parts such as the rear leaf springs.

"We found the preproduction stickers and had them reproduced," Nate said.

The project took over a year to complete, and when it was done, the car was taken to a National Mustang show where it was judged by a panel of experts. The car had a maximum of 700 points it could receive. The judges completed their 2 1/2 hour inspection and gave the car 697 points.

The car had one point knocked off for the tires. The vintage tires cost $10,000 for the set. Nate said they were the right tire but the wrong size whitewall.

"They were original Mustang tires, but should have been one-inch whitewalls," he said. "Instead they were 3/8-inch whitewalls. The one-inch type had long been out of production and none were available."

Another point was taken off for the trunk matt, which was from the wrong year Mustang. That part was not easy to find and ended up costing $6,000.

The third point off came from the battery. Nate said it was not the original battery that came with the car. He said if it were an original, it would have been for looks only, which he calls a dry battery. No functioning batteries exist to power the car. He did say an original battery was found and the owner wanted $20,000.

"It's a lot of money to pay for a battery that won't work," he said.

The Beeghly Mustang was appraised by professionals who valued it at $1 million and gave it the distinction of being the world's oldest surviving Ford Mustang.

The Mustang will remain on display at Quaker Steak and Lube through St. Patrick's Day.

 
 

 

I am looking for:
in:
News, Blogs & Events Web