In July, Stan Lloyd finally felt comfortable enough to put the 1970 Ford Mustang convertible that he bought in 2003 on the road.
Three months later, Lloyd, a Lenexa resident, has put only 374 miles on it. Lloyd wants to make sure everything is in complete working order before he drives it more.
“For right now, I am still in the nerve-racking stage,” Lloyd said. “I want to make sure all the bugs are out. I don’t want to get to a parking lot and somebody is looking at the car and say, ‘Hey that is a great car.’ But it won’t start.”
For 12 years, Lloyd, with help of friends Pat Bailey and Jim Thomas, has been working on restoring the Mustang convertible that was originally sold at Cutter Ford in Aiea, Hawaii.
So how did a car sold in Hawaii end up in Olathe, where Lloyd made the purchase in 2003?
“The only thing we can figure out is this was probably a Naval officer’s car because they would only ship back officers’ cars back from overseas,” Lloyd said. “Out in Olathe, what is now the Industrial Airport, it used to be the Naval air station in Olathe. It went from Hawaii to Gardner and then the Olathe area.”
By the time Lloyd saw the car, it was no longer in running condition. A fire had scorched the hood, the interior, the driver’s side all the way back to the trunk.
Bailey, who owns Bailey Auto Services in Olathe, thought it was a perfect car for Lloyd to work on. They went to high school together when there was just one high school in Olathe.
“Pat called me and said here is this car, are you interested. I said sure,” Lloyd said. “Two weeks later, Pat called me up and said, ‘I bought you a car today.’”
Pat bought it from an insurance agent who declared the car totaled. Pat thought it was the perfect restoration car for Lloyd because of how much Lloyd likes the 1970 Ford Mustang.
Lloyd looked at it and bought it, knowing it would take years before it would be ready for the highways.
“On TV, they can do it on an hour show,” he said.
In real life, when you are working a full-time job like Lloyd, it was going to take much longer.
“We started from the ground up,” Lloyd said. “I had taken the interior out and thrown it away. We tore it completely apart.
“I don’t do paint and body work. I don’t rebuild engines. I had people do it and then I assembled the car with the help of Jim Thomas and Pat Bailey.”
Lloyd took it to Southeast Kansas and had it painted its original color of light blue. Somewhere along the way, his Ford Mustang had been painted red or as Lloyd calls it, resale red.
“That’s the color they paint Mustangs when they want to resell it,” Lloyd joked.
Originally, the interior was standard. Lloyd decided to upgrade it to the deluxe interior of a 1970 Ford Mustang convertible.
“I tried to use all the original parts, but the interior is a reproduction,” Lloyd said.
Over the years, the car slowly transformed from the burned-out red Mustang to the way it looks now.
Sure, Lloyd had many moments of frustrations.
“On a restoration, there are times you just want to throw your hands up and walk away,” Lloyd said. “There are times you get motivated where if you can do one thing like put the seat belts on the car.
“The thing that I found that helped me complete this project the most is if you continue to work on it, even if it is a small project, it helps you eventually complete the big project.”
Lloyd, though, found enjoyment in restoring the car. It was the second one he has done. He knows with the technology in cars today, it would be impossible for him to do this kind of work.
“I reassembled the car, everything from putting the engine in it, the wiring back in it,” Lloyd said. “I am a shade-tree mechanic. I tell my wife, technology has passed me by. I couldn’t work on a car (today) like I can work on one of these cars. It makes you appreciate the technology of today versus what we drove in 1970.”
But when summer of 2016 rolls around and Lloyd is behind the wheel of his 1970 Ford Mustang, expect him to have as big a smile on his face as somebody driving a new Ford Mustang. Lloyd put in a lot of work and time to get his car on the road again.
“I tried to put it back as close to original as I could,” he said. “It is not what I consider a show car. I like to drive it.”
Do you have a car, truck or motorcycle or other vehicle you would like see featured in Make It Yours? If you do, email your idea to David Boyce at Drive@kcstar.com