Mustang’s look, sound the lure


A Ford Mustang has a distinctive look and sound — which was just what Jon Houston wanted in a classic car.
Mr Houston said he liked the fact that Mustangs had history, a great shape and styling and most importantly, a big engine.
He was looking for a 1965-67 Mustang and when a friend was in the United States, Mr Houston asked him to look at several he had seen online.
In Arizona, a 1967 model in springtime yellow with a saddle interior was found, bought and shipped to New Zealand.
Mr Houston owns and is chief mechanic at Port Chalmers Motors, so once the car arrived he started the restoration.
The 302 block engine was reconditioned and stroked out to 347, he rebuilt the transmission and diff and installed disc brakes because the original drum brakes were not suitable for hilly Dunedin.
He also replaced the suspension along with the wheels and tyres.
The body and interior were in original condition and he hoped to get the body stripped and repainted and have the interior redone.
He still needed to replace the seals around the doors because there was a bit of wind noise while driving, Mr Houston said.
Finding parts for the Mustang was not a problem because many of them were made new and available in New Zealand.
Mr Houston has been a mechanic for 25 years and this is not his fist restoration, nor will it be his last.
Next in line for a redo is his nan’s 1969 Ford Cortina, which has been in storage for the past 16 years.
Mr Houston said he was a member of Stateside Streeters Dunedin and really enjoyed going on drives and participating in events with other members.
‘‘The people in the car club are good social types and they help each other out.’’
There were ‘‘lots of little things you learn as you go’’ when restoring a car, but he was really happy with the way his Mustang looked and drove, he said.
‘‘People notice the sound of it and the look of it,’’ he said.
Mr Houston says while his four children love going for a ride in it, his wife Anna is not as keen because she does not like sitting on the right side — especially when passing another car.