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November 21 , 2009

Project Mustang

The Step-by-Step Restoration of a Popular Vintage Car


Project Mustang is a complete guide to restoring America’s favorite muscle car, written by auto-restoration guru Larry Lyles, a regular contributor to Auto Restorer magazine. In this detailed 23-chapter volume, Lyles walks the car owner from the in-depth inspection of the vehicle and the beginning of the teardown to re-covering the seats and replacing the frame rail…and every step in between. The car restored for the project in the book is a 1968 California Special Mustang. The chapter titles themselves speak for what a straightforward DIY manual Lyles has written, as he details the step-by-step procedure of bringing a very cool rod back to life. Beginning the teardown, exterior and interior; repairing the sheet metal, door, and deck up; removing the major parts (driveshaft, engine, transmission, front suspension, steering system, etc.); removing old point and replacing rust floors; no-weld rust repair; perfecting the metal; working with plastic body filler; priming and sanding; refinishing the components and underside, the door, interior, trunk, and body; wiring the car and installing the doors; applying the coatings, rebuilding the suspension, and installing the brake lines; installing the vinyl top cover, the headliner, and the glass; rebuilding and installing the engine; installing the front sheet metal, emblems, bumpers, stripes, carpet, and console; re-covering the seats; and replacing the frame rails.
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Each step in every chapter is photographed as the author progresses along, with captions to spell out exactly what has to happen. The book offers helpful advice about choice of tools and tips to make even beginners feel confident about tackling the many steps involved. With nearly forty years experience in repairing, rebuilding, and restoring classic cars (and lots of non-classic ones!), Lyles emphasizes the reader’s need to organize his or her project by determining the course of the project, researching suppliers, making lists of parts and their conditions, creating spreadsheets of estimated and actual costs, and photographing each component as a reference for later in case the restoration goes off track. Each chapter ends with a “notes” page for the reader to record his or her progress, making this manual a practical workbook as well. When the reader gets to the final pages of the book and reads the sections “Start the Engine” and “Test Drive the Car,” there will be a true sense of accomplishment. An appendix of part suppliers and an index complete the book.
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