Hey everyone, after a year and a half of tinkering with my '68 Ford Fairlane 500 (complete new 306 engine, new C-4 tranny, new 9" posi rear end w/3.50 gears, along with new wheels/tires, bucket seat conversion along with a tree-shift to floor shift conversion), my Beast is ready....or will be shortly (continue reading to find out details).
Now I understand prices vary depending on where one may be at in the US, but I feel a I scored big time. About 3 1/2 years ago, I posted a pic here that showed my Fairlane in the driveway and in the background was my '77 MGB. Some of the comments I received on the pic I posted stated I should be fixing up that MGB. As I mentioned in the past, I bought the MGB back when I was in high school (way back in 1985) and owned it till November 2015 when I sold it to my step father (he is a retired engineer needing a project to work on). Since then, my step-father has rebuilt the motor completely with a new upgraded cam, dressed up engine with new paint, and new accessories (like new valve cover, alternator, smog pump, carb, motor mounts, etc), rebuilt the transmission, rebuilt the rear brakes, did a front brake job, replaced the master cylinder and brake booster, installed new radiator with electric fan, replaced exhaust from exhaust manifold to exhaust tip, replaced cracked windshield and windshield frame (no easy task), replaced cracked dash, fixed all electric gremlins, finished interior (mostly carpeting, rear bulkhead panel, repaired center console, and window felts), replaced the wheels and tires (more period correct), repaired dent in front fender, repainted entire car (driver quality), fixed trunk issue (trunk lid did not want to close properly) and even carpeted the trunk. Then to top it all off, he got it to pass smog (damn California) for the first time in 30+ years. When he was done, he offered the car for sale to me. I offered him $7,000 (as per Hagerty, that was a fair price for a very nice driver quality restored '77 MGB, I sold it to him in 2015 for $2500 needing everything as it had sat for 25+ years) and he accepted the offer.
Now if that were the end of the story, I would still consider it a win, as I essentially paid $7,000 for a full driver quality restoration of a classic British sports car (where nothing is cheap or affordable on this car). I note that I have spent approximately $17,000 in building the Fairlane (not counting the $10,000 purchase price), so I know restoring a car is not cheap, even for a solid driver-quality car.
However, with all that said, my step father then surprised me. He then offered to finish Beast, my '68 Ford Fairlane 500...included in the price I paid for the MG restoration. So now my step-father is going to: install radiator, install carb, hook up throttle linkage, hook up all fuel lines, hook up all coolant hoses, hook up all vacuum lines, and hook up all electrical connections (including electric fan, alternator, starter, battery, electric choke, ignition, etc). He is going to install the cooling lines for tranny, install the floor shifter (cut the hole in floor, and physically attached shifter assembly), remove old steering wheel and column, then replace with new wood Shelby style steering wheel and tilt column for floor shifter, and replace the gauge cluster with a new gauge cluster that includes a factory tach, hook up shift linkage (from floor shifter to tranny) including kick down cable, neutral safety switch and speedo cable. He is going to add tranny fluid to tranny, oil to engine, coolant to radiator, then fire it up, fine tune it and break it in. While he is at it, he is finishing off all electric issues (ensuring all gauges work) and getting the AC up and running.
Now, I know that most of you well mechanically skilled folks can do most of what I just listed in a weekend or two. However, for me, although I can do most of them (except the electric work, fine tuning of the engine and installing the exhaust), it takes me a whole lot longer as my mechanical skills are still lacking. I was prepared to pay a shop to do all that and was quoted around $1,500 assuming no surprises, and not counting installing exhaust (which will be done later). So to get all of this included in the $7,000 I paid to get my British sports car restored, sounds like a pretty damn good deal for me. As my step-father knows what he is doing (I have seen 3 other cars he has built, including a special built tractor pull truck with over 800 HP, a gorgeous Jeep CJ with a built Ford 302 and a '65 Thunderbird) I feel pretty confident that Beast is in good hands. So now I will have both my convertible sports car and my hot rod (as well as my motorcycle) for the summer. My step-father picks up Beast over Memorial weekend and said he should have it ready around the 4th of July weekend.
I grant, neither car will be a show car as both are driver quality, but is that not the point, to drive them?
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, since I am in the process of buying a house, my step-father said I could pay him the $7,000 after my new house closes.