1983 GLX Convertible 5.0 5-Speed 4BBL 'Barn Find' - 82,000 original miles - Restoration Motivation Needed

Exactly like the title says: 1983 GLX Convertible 5.0 5-Speed 4BBL barn find. (Got it for free).

I know the full history of this car going back to when new, and certainly since being stored in 1996. It sure doesn't look like it but it has only 82,000 full documented miles, starts, runs, drives and sounds like new. NO RUST anywhere as you can see in the photos. Body very straight other than a slightly smushed rear fender lip and line. Everything works other than the A/C is no longer cold. All original, no modifications except that reverse hood scoop from what appears to be off an 1978-1982. Even has all its original smog/emissions equipment though there are a lot of micro-vacuum lines and wiring that will need replacing due to dried-out cracking, brittling, and decay.

I need some motivation here to get going and get it done.

I already have things like a new top, new AC firethorn carpet, mint tail-light lenses, the headlights, plenty of other new odds and ends and some NOS pieces. I recently replaced the heater-core and fuel-pump as both were leaking on start-up. Otherwise, all other seals/gaskets seem to be solid and holding vacuum - maybe some leaking from the valve cover gaskets, but minor.

The car was owned by a notable 1980s Hollywood actor/celebrity who has long since passed away. Documents and details found in the trunk after his life took a turn for the worse. Not a big name now, but was for a time back then until he pissed it all away.

I suspect the most difficult chore of this venture is going to be obtaining the white/red interior door panels, white/red convertible rear interior quater panels, and white front/back seat covers - all that would be NOS, Repro, or look as new. Everything else appears that it can be reconditioned or there are NOS or aftermarket Reproduction options available. The TRX wheels are long since gone, but I'll be utilizing the 5-Star 90's Pony wheels it now wears anyway and I DO have the center-caps as well.

I want to keep the white on white top with white interior with red-trim arrangement; that is not negotiable, though I know that may make this the toughest part of this undertaking. Additionally, the intent is to do everything stock/original look (other than the hoodscoop it now wears - that will stay, and be painted red.)

I've restored a LOT of cars since the 1980s.... currently finishing up a 1969 Mercury Cougar (351W and FMX) with custom elements I've added (some slick body modifications and custom interior I made). So I'm not green at this and I know what I'm in for, but I haven't done such a car with so many unique and esoteric trim-aspects like this car that appear to have not reproduction pieces available.

The Cougar is nearly done, just about to lay on the paint and this Mustang is on deck for attacking a next project.

So what am I looking for by posting here? I don't know really, other than sharing these photos and hoping for some encouraging motivation to get started, mainly. Positive reassurance, hearing from others it's a diamond in the rough even though it's got a lot of rough edges.

What do the lot of you have to say? Foolish endeavor or worth the while? Keep in mind, I got this for free. I have no money into it yet other than a few low-cost replacement pieces I've bought like the carpet and some little doo-dads.

lvAXhbAl.jpg


G3JFEqXl.jpg


FVicTSol.jpg


GznBStCl.jpg


uJGgkWql.jpg


UL5LgdRl.jpg


VptE4Nxl.jpg


FmQ0a3Zl.jpg


VvIS7gZl.jpg


93Rb3zal.jpg


Ohdt7S0l.jpg


2uoCfAQl.jpg


gOmZoj6l.jpg


73jc90sl.jpg


---
 
  • Sponsors (?)


This is where I'd start:

1696733975373.png


It looks complete! :nice:

Amazon product
View: https://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-271903-Automotive-Spray-Paint/dp/B07GL3CDCB/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=black%2Bspray%2Bpaint%2Bautomotive&sr=8-2&th=1

 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
How much of a budget do you want to set aside for restoration? Do you like this car? Would you drive it?

Only reason I ask is because it’s not going to be cheap. For the moment I would put elbow grease into it to determine what you have in terms of rust and overall condition. Power wash, vacuum, degrease etc.

From there, skys the limit if you have enough $$$. Question is is it worth it to you to spend it?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
How much of a budget do you want to set aside for restoration? Do you like this car? Would you drive it?

Only reason I ask is because it’s not going to be cheap. For the moment I would put elbow grease into it to determine what you have in terms of rust and overall condition. Power wash, vacuum, degrease etc.

From there, skys the limit if you have enough $$$. Question is is it worth it to you to spend it?

Thank you. Fortunately, money/budget is the least of my concern, the reason that went without mention. Another fortunate ideal is there is no rust. Hard to believe, but true. Absolutely none, the reason I posted those photos.That is a real driving point as to why I may dive into it.

However, getting older now, and this would be one of the last cars I may see through. At this age, if I just want a nice collectible classic car, I can simply go out and buy low-mileage one that looks showroom new - cash - without a care in the world. I see a couple on Ebay right now, and I could easily buy them without blinking and have them shipped to me. But... they aren't this car.

It's THIS car that is the question. I have a personal affection for this particular 1983 Mustang. I would certainly drive it even if only to weekend car shows. Drive it daily? No, I don't need it for that. I have a several other cars; 2 modern, 6 classics, this Mustang, and 2 motorcycles (1 modern bike, 1 classic). Thus this is just a itch to scratch. I've always thought those early Fox body Mustangs with there small, lithe size were underappreciated. ( It goes without saying, that even though this car is 40-years old, I still see it as being a 'modern' car. )

Therefore cost-wise, whatever it takes, it takes, and I've got a good round idea of what that will be. Regardless, I'll be doing 99% of the work, whereby I've restored more than 30 some odd cars since the early 1980s.

However on this Mustang, obviously needing so much, it's more a matter of will I be able to find the esoteric white/red interior pieces unique to this trim style at all? Some of the existing pieces are fine, even look new; the console, dash-main, and I can get a rero red dash-top.

Yet the white/red interior door panels, red/white rear interior quarters, and some nice white repro original-style upholstery are proving elusive. Most other parts are interchangeable with other early Fox bodies and there are plenty of repros available for those.

So far, I've checked LMR and other sources for those panels and upholstery; seems nobody has them,. I have an old catalog from a couple of sources, Texas Mustang Parts and 50Resto.com, which appears to have had them, and it looks as if TMI made them at one point - but I can't find anyone with these key interior components now.

What to do, what to do....

---
 
However on this Mustang, obviously needing so much, it's more a matter of will I be able to find the esoteric white/red interior pieces unique to this trim style at all? Some of the existing pieces are fine, even look new; the console, dash-main, and I can get a rero red dash-top.

Yet the white/red interior door panels, red/white rear interior quarters, and some nice white repro original-style upholstery are proving elusive. Most other parts are interchangeable with other early Fox bodies and there are plenty of repros available for those.

So far, I've checked LMR and other sources for those panels and upholstery; seems nobody has them,. I have an old catalog from a couple of sources, Texas Mustang Parts and 50Resto.com, which appears to have had them, and it looks as if TMI made them at one point - but I can't find anyone with these key interior components now.


They won't have them. The repops are going to favor the high demand parts now, hence why TMI is whittling down it's offerings. A lot more choices 5-6 years ago but it seems the marker it slimming since a lot of folks like black or some of the restomod stuff. You'll have to get lucky and find good used or even luckier and find NOS

In the grand scheme of things, the '83 cars don't rank up there highly in the fox body hierarchy. The 87-93 cars tend to be the big focus, with a strong crowd of 85-86 cars. From there, the 79-84 cars tend to have a smaller following. Convertibles in general tend to not be well-loved, which means many (and I mean many) are sacrificed for donor vehicles for coupes or hatchbacks. Lots of those cars got stripped and sent to the junkyard and the chances of someone squirreling those panels away is slim. Those particular panels are convertible specific, and with black interiors being all the rage, many got trashed or even painted for black. Lots of them now wear 87-93 parts on them because parts for thier years are hard to find.

Once you get a feel for the sort of resources and work it will take to find the correct parts, you may need to make some concessions in your resto. May not be 100% correct, but you can make it your own. For instance (just using this as an example) sourching a nice clean 85-86 GT gray interior (very popular) and installing that instead of searching for the panels from your car.


Depending on your skill, you can even strip the panels and recover them, or even dye them.
 
Nice car ,Great price.
As far as restoring her , man you have got to do it.
She's in great shape and mileage for her age.
Plus she has history, Hollywood history!
So you can't find the interior panels, so what!
Get them done at an upholstery shop.
You have done many cars before and with this baby you have the best forum to help you.
So roll them sleeves up and get her done.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
The best thing you have going for you is you have a complete car... Even if you need to replace something, at least you know where it goes and what it looks like..
I have been doing an 83 convertible I also got free and it has not been that bad getting parts... Yes, some are going to be unobtainable, but you can always find something that will work....
You said Hollywood so I " ASS U ME " you are in California so you might have emissions to sort through.... I removed the spider web of pollution devices that are on the pass side of engine, alot of them attached to the exhaust manifold, as getting those working again would be a nightmare....
I have a Blue and white interior and I am changing all of the FUGLY blue to Black and will retain the white seats, door panels, and qtr panels with a charcoal/dark grey carpet... At least that is plan A at this point....
Personally I am glad I have a carb as I understand them and Fuel injection is a black art to me.. I am sure it is mainly due to my age...
And when the Rooskies light off an EMP, you and I will still be driving while the FI guys will be dead in the water.....
DSCF0014.JPG
 
Mustangs have to be one of the easiest and least expensive cars to restore right now. The interior parts are easy to dismantle, clean, and dye. An interior shop would make quick work of those door panels. With gentle care the door panels can be repaired. Being a convertible repair guy I'd recommend doing the convertible headliner kit as well. It really cuts down on noise and heat.

I'd like to know who owned it. Makes a big difference on potential value. Even if it wasn't a " Hollywood " car I'd still bring it up to par. Seems like a very solid foundation. Like all the rest of the old cars the convertibles will be more sought after. Fox mustangs are still in the modify and race stage. Once people realize how slow and clumsy these cars are compared to newer vehicles this fad will fade. More and more people are going for the basically stock cars now. Knowing that it takes big money to make these cars even keep up with moderately powered cars. 300+ hp seems like the baseline for everything. That's 75hp more than a stock fox gt. I think it's 100hp more than that fox.