"All this time, from the day I purchased the car...and still now, I'm buying SVO-specific parts. I needed an entire interior. I bought an SVO leather kit from E&G Classics in Maryland. [The car] had cloth originally, but that stuff is long gone and impossible to find...and the car looked like it needed leather anyway. I had Ray's Upholstery in Scranton, Pennsylvania, rewrap my steering wheel. Auto Custom Carpets in Alabama [supplied] the carpet, and I found the N.O.S. dashpad at the PFCA Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Wheel Worx from Maryland reconditioned the wheels, and anything and everything that could still be found at Ford was bought."
With his eye set on entering the SVO in the '98 MCA Grand National in Franklin, Tennessee, Bud realized that he was in a bit of a time crunch to complete the restoration.
"I got the car back from Calloway's in June or July 1998, set the motor in, and found myself with no time to reassemble the car prior to the Grand National on Labor Day. I made a deal with a friend and carried the car to Anthony Davidson of Georgetown, Ohio. He reassembled the complete car (I took it to him completely disassembled) in nine days! I mean everything! The car had nothing on it from the cowl forward, and the interior was still bare. Nine days...back together!
"[When it was completed], I drove the car home from Ohio. That was 400 miles one way. I finished some of the detailing and made it to the Grand National, where I took First place in the Occasionally Driven '79-'88 class.
"The hard thing about restoring one of these cars is that everything is obsolete. No one is making reproduction parts for them. If you find parts, they're double the price (sometimes more) than a regular Mustang part. Then there's the question of the condition of the part. Is it worthy of being put on a restored car?"
Yes, SVOs are tough customers when it comes to restoring them. Little wonder that we see so few on the roads and show fields in factory-fresh condition. But for those enthusiasts with the grit to tangle with such a project, the result usually justifies the means-at least it did with Bud Morton's ex-Hertz Pony.