Daylight Saving is back with us again, meaning that there are now more opportunities to take that sporting or classic car out of the shed. Our regular monthly meetings at the Drouin Golf Club are such opportunities and if you are able to arrive early enough, there’s space on the road outside the clubrooms where you can park your special vehicle. This month’s curb-side display featured an interesting range of old and newer models.
Of course, it’s inside the dining room where most of the attention is usually focussed, and this month we were pleased to showcase Merv Deppeler’s recently completed 1966 Mustang coupe. Merv is a Building Inspector, and he spied this Mustang for sale, under some trees on Phillip Island on the way to a job. He called back later for a closer inspection, found that it was a right-hand-drive conversion, driveable and could be delivered to Drouin, so a deal was done and Merv had bought himself a present for his 60th birthday. That was three and a half years ago, the car then sat in his shed for about 18 months before the serious restoration began.
The 289 ci V8 and the cream interior are as they were found. The diff was rebuilt with help from Bill Petschack, the auto transmission and radiator also needed rebuilding after discovering that coolant was leaking into the transmission oil and turning it into a milky sludge! The front suspension was also rebuilt, some rust removed and a rusted section of the right-hand-side floor was replaced. The chrome wheels were found on a Falcon Panelvan sitting on a nature strip in Drouin. $100 cash and a swap for a different set of wheels, procured them for the Mustang.
Traces of the original green paint can be found under the bonnet, but when Merv purchased the car it was orange all over. After much deliberation, it was decided to paint the roof and C-pillar in cream to match the interior. New door and window rubbers, chrome trim, carpets and underlay were also fitted. To help with the tuning, a new carburettor will be installed soon. Merv is pleased with the way it drives, although the 8” rims on the rear do scrape when there’s a couple of adults in the back seat. It is certainly a stunning looking car with the cream hardtop looking much like a convertible roof from a distance.