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1964 1/2 Ford Mustang Convertible - Rolling Reference
Gordon and Helen Vokey's 1964-1/2 convertible still documents its assembly-line genetic code.
It's difficult for us to adequately stress how meticulous the Vokeys were as they took the classic apart, piece by piece. Their efforts to document and replicate all assembly markings border on the fanatical. Gordon took no less than 146 rubbings of the various factory stampings he found on disassembly, and documented these with accompanying explanations and notes. He also has an inch-thick stack of handwritten notes and sketches on 8 1/2x11 paper, and took more than 700 photographs during teardown to ensure accurate reassembly. As if that weren't enough, six onion-skin tracings were made of the factory scribblings found secreted away in places such as the front right radiator support. Each and every grease-penciled or painted marking was exactly replicated upon reassembly. This car was a rolling reference when they got it, and the Vokeys were bound and determined to keep it that way.
While the 260 was undergoing rebuild by Toronto's Affordable Performance, the C4 automatic went to K-D Transmissions in Belleville, Ontario, and the disassembled body was trucked to Greer Restorations, of Cobourg, Ontario, for refinishing. In the meantime, the Vokeys were spending those devalued Canadian dollars on as many N.O.S. parts as they could find in preparation for final reassembly, which, like the teardown, was all done by the couple in their little garage-well, OK, except for reupholstery, which they did in their dining room. In all, approximately 4,000 hours were invested in the project.
Those familiar with early convertibles will have noticed the lack of the long cowling-to-fender-apron braces (not to be confused with the normal export braces) that were standard on later ragtops (built after 11/11/64) in an effort to eliminate cowl shake. Because Ford Technical Service Bulletin No. 5, Article 86, made these braces available for retrofitting to earlier cars, Gordon has managed to locate some originals and will soon install them, since he has noted the shake on the car's good-weather cruises.
The Vokeys did make a couple of other minor diversions from the window sticker as their hard work neared completion. They located an N.O.S. set of the optional and rare 13-inch Rotunda simulated wire wheel covers for use in place of the original knock-off spinner-type covers, and added an N.O.S. luggage rack. Gordon is also a fan of the hard-to-find Foxcraft fender skirts that were often dealer installed back in the day. Hey, this may be a rolling reference, but it's their rolling reference.