I had my first conversation with Fred Glazier in 1979, just three years after he launched Glazier's Mustang Barn in Souderton, Pennsylvania. At the time, I lived in southwestern Oklahoma. I had a small garage, two well-worn vintage Mustangs, and a tiny U.S. Air Force enlisted man's salary. Fixing up old Mustangs was something I did in short sound bites. In the following years, Fred would sell me plenty of parts.
It was no accident that Fred and his wife, Sue, started a Mustang parts and restoration business in 1976. Working on a promising career in the pharmaceutical industry, Fred let his passion for Mustangs win out over practical thinking. A Mustang parts and restoration business in the sticks of Pennsylvania? What would Donald Trump have thought of that? He might have fired Fred for unrealistic decision-making. But he would have been wrong.
Twenty-eight years later, Glazier's Mustang Barn has churned out untold hundreds of restorations, with Fred and his talented staff producing some of the finest Mustangs you'll find anywhere. Inspiration to please his customers comes from a Mustang passion that dates back to the beginning in 1964.
In the spring of that year, Fred fell in love with Ford's new Mustang. He was 20, living at home, and convinced he could afford a Mustang. At the time, he owned a '34 Ford sedan and a '54 Corvette, which was always in need of repair. When the Mustang debuted at his local Ford dealership on Friday, April 17, the car and the name got into his veins. He even went to the New York World's Fair to visit Walt Disney's Magic Skyway, where new Mustangs were on display.
When Fred returned home, he was hell-bent to buy a new Mustang. He tried to order one, but was told it would be four to six months before he could take delivery. Determined, he started calling nearby Ford dealers, eventually locating a Rangoon Red '6411/42 hardtop. As luck would have it, the original buyer's financing fell through, and Fred and his father were there with financing and the '54 Corvette for trade-in. According to the paperwork Fred still has, the dealer gave them $757 for the Corvette.
"I don't think I've ever felt that excited about a new car," he told us. But after thinking a minute, he added, "Well, except for the '05 Mustang I just ordered." We're betting it's a red coupe.
Fred married Sue eight months after purchasing the Mustang, and it's symbolic of their 40-year marriage. They went on their honeymoon in the car, and used it later to bring each of their two children home from the hospital.
In 1978, the Mustang was a little tired with 138,000 miles on the odometer, so Fred parked it before its condition worsened. At the time, he envisioned restoring the Mustang in the near future, a notion that turned into 25 years. Think of it like you would the plumber with leaking pipes or the auto mechanic with an ailing car. Fred couldn't get focused on his Mustang because he had so many others to think about. But with the Mustang's 40th Anniversary (not to mention his wedding anniversary) looming, Fred and his team at Glazier's went to work. It took a year to restore the hardtop.
Behold that "Mona Lisa" Mustang hardtop we fell in love with 40 years ago. This is the profile that swept the nation, driving people who didn't need a new car to buy Mustangs. All pretty in red, with a 260-2V V-8, three on the floor, 3.00:1 conventional cogs, and full wheel covers, Fred Glazier's original-owner hardtop showcases the silhouette that transfixed a nation and created an automotive subculture.
A Barn For MustangsFor the past 28 years, Glazier's Mustang Barn has been restoring '65-'73 Mustangs in an 18th-century Pennsylvania bank barn, which was relocated to the Glazier family property in 1918. Today, Fred and his "Barn Folks" are still churning out top-quality Mustang and Shelby restorations. For more information, check out the Web site at www.mustangbarn.com or contact Glazier's Mustang Barn, 531 Wambold Rd., Souderton, PA 18964; 215/723-3722.