Doane Yawyer: Cars

January 23, 2014

My Favorite Ride: 1968 Ford Mustang convertible in Merced needs attention, attracts it

Leslie Fiedler's classic 1968 Ford Mustang convertible still needs work but remains an attention-getter in Merced.

The car: 1968 Ford Mustang convertible

The owner: Leslie Fiedler, Merced

1. What are the key features of your vehicle? It has the 289-cubic-inch engine and a bright-yellow color. It still runs really well.

2. What did you have to do to get it in its present state? Tune-ups and other “crisis management” odds and ends at several shops, a paint job, and tires and brakes since I am kind of hard on them.

3. What else do you want to do to it? Replace the top, dash and seat covers since they need it. Two days after I got the top fixed years ago, the tree out front dropped a branch and put a small hole in it. I also need to get under the dash and have all the unused wires taken out – Chef Boyardee did the wiring on all the stereos.

4. How did you acquire your vehicle? I saw it at the Turlock Swap Meet in 2000 or 2001 and bought it from a family that was expecting a child.

5. Why did you pick that particular vehicle and what do you find appealing about it? I have always loved Fords, and the color and shape drew me to it.

6. What started your love affair with cars? Friends of mine liked cars.

7. What advice would you give others about starting such a project? Mine was pretty well done, but my other one is constant money and work. But once you get them done, it will be worth every effort. Follow your dreams when you want your toy car.

8. Do you have any other collector vehicles or project cars? I have a 1967 Ford Mustang coupe and a 1970 Ford F-250 pickup, which my friends swear will be a set of tires with blue rust shavings around them one morning when I go out to start it. But, boy, it sure is useful when people don’t want to put long dirty loads in their pretty new trucks.

9. What’s your favorite memory about this ride? A drive in the mountains on a nice day or when I took it up to Oregon to visit friends. I am also surprised it still gets attention because I have had it for a while — it is old news to me.

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