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My Sprint

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  • My Sprint

    Some of the guys here, Rusty and Mike65 to name a few, have inspired me to create a thread showing the history of my Sprint, from the date I bought it in December 1977 to present day, where I'm painfully slowly restoring to be a dignified old classic car. It's worn many hats, from daily driver to weekend drag car and back to just an old fun car to go cruising with. I have no delusions that it's a valuable car, '72 Sprints sell for very little money, but my car is special to me, since it's been with me all these years, and I kind of think of it it as a link to my Dad, who I lost in 1985. Money was still tight in 1977, although it was a lot lot better than what it had been earlier. I came across this car sitting on a used car lot in Arundel, Maine. The salesman gave me a BS story about it being a Virginia car, since it had a Virginia license plate in the trunk, but many years later I found it was a DSO 11, {Boston zone} car, delivered to Searway Ford right here in Sanford, Maine. and the mint underside was just covered with thick layers of undercoating covering actual cardboard in the wheelwells, and the car had rust that I've been battling and keeping at bay since day one. When I found it I was driving a brown '72 base Torino 4 door with a 250 six, and I wanted something sportier. The dealership was willing to give me $600 as a trade-in but I was broke and I asked my father for a loan of $1500 to make the $2100 asking price, and my father shocked the hell out of me by saying yes. I dutifully paid him $100 a month until he shocked the hell out of me again by telling me not to bother paying the last $1000 as my high school graduation gift. I have a few other stories that connect my dad and the Sprint but I'll save them for later on as not to bore anyone too soon.

    Here are a few pictures taken right around the time when I first got the car.

    pics 7.jpeg

    pics 9.jpeg

    It may not look it, but that's one happy and proud guy there, finishing his last year of high school and working 30-40 hours a week at a gas station at nights {child labor laws? what child labor laws? This guy was thrilled to finally have some money in his pockets for a change!} and although this was no musclecar by any means, with it's 302 two barrel and FMX automatic and 2.79 peg leg rear end, he was as thrilled as thrilled could be. It's funny to look at it with salt covered flanks but back then they were just used cars and we had no idea how quickly they dissolved in it.
    '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '05 Sable LS
    My Mach's restoration progress
    My Sprint's restoration progress
    ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

  • #2
    By the time spring came around, I had already burned off the nice Firestone 500s the car came with and replaced them with Goodyear polyglass GT bias plies. The picture of me burning rubber has a funny story to it. One day I asked my mother if she'd mind taking a picture of me in my car, and she agreed. I told her I wanted to back it out into the street and asked her to wait until I waved to her before she snapped the photo. I backed it out, got the tire spinning, and once I saw smoke I waved to her and she took it. When I drove back into the yard she was madder than a wet hen, she was sure the cops were coming to arrest us, but she snapped the picture. We laughed about this {after a while}, for many years after.

    firstphoto.jpg

    SprintBurnout.jpg
    In this photo below, the car on the right was owned by my friend and coworker at the gas station we ran. He liked my Mustang so much he went out and bought one of his own:
    image.jpeg
    pics 8.jpeg

    The last photo is of my first drag race at New England Dragway in the spring of 1978, where I laid down a pitiful 17.0 @ 88 mph. Thankfully, things got much quicker as the years went by, my best being 12.3 @ 110, after which I stopped racing altogether.
    '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '05 Sable LS
    My Mach's restoration progress
    My Sprint's restoration progress
    ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

    Comment


    • #3
      My hippie years, parked at my first home, an apartment in the big city of Portland, Maine. I moved in with my girlfriend {who later became my first wife} and her friend. {My version of 'Three's Company'} and those were wild times, lots of partying, lots of hours working, etc. Between my Mustang with it's cammed up 351C and our seemingly constant parties, our neighbors HATED us. Got to meet a lot of cops that year.

      pics 6.jpeg

      At this point the car had progressed to a 351C with 2V heads, headers, Hush Thrust header mufflers {which didn't really 'hush' very much} and Holley 500 cfm 2 barrel carb which got the car into the 14s. I later added 4V heads, 850 cfm double pumper, a bigger cam, and 4.57 gears that got me into the low 12s. The tires in the rear were Mickey Thompson N50-15s on 10" wide rims.

      7.jpg

      Thie picture below was in my stealth/sleeper phase, when my buddies and I did a lot of street racing {yes, I know it was wrong, but we often made more street racing than we did at our jobs back then. The idea was to not look fast, so it would be easier to take money from the Corvette and Trans Am guys that usually never knew what hit them until they watched the taillights pulling away.

      mystangsnose.jpg
      '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '05 Sable LS
      My Mach's restoration progress
      My Sprint's restoration progress
      ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

      Comment


      • #4
        great story Steve !
        34 FORD coupe...Cleveland POWERED

        it`s nice to be important but it is more important to be nice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Love it!!
          Steve - M&M Member #690

          1968 GT/CS California Special Candy Apple Red
          2018 Premium GT Fastback Ruby Red


          Member: Vancouver Island Mustangs Association; Owner 1990 Limited Edition Mustang Registry
          Steve's 1990 Limited Edition Convertible Website & Home of the 1990 Limited Edition Mustang Registry

          Comment


          • #6
            Good stuff, Steve. It is cool that you never parted ways with it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Great story Steve, I am glad I could be an inspiration to you. Keep the pics & the info about the Sprint coming. I love seeing other peoples projects & how they progress, it inspires me to keep plugging along & one day mine will be a running car again.
              Mike & Robin Grentus
              69 Mustang Coupe (project & future toy)
              08 Escape 4X4 (spare)
              00 Ranger Extd Cab 4X4 (my DD)
              99 Explorer Sport (wife's DD)
              14 Kawasaki Vulcan (wife's toy)
              M&M Member #- 890
              MCA #- 4549
              My 69 Coupe build album
              http://www.newyorkmustangs.com/forum...cs-t15096.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Great to see this. I wish I had of kept my second car, a 1967 Mustang Coupe, 289 C4. I really like the pic of the Sprint with the Cragars and big tires, that's the way I remember cars in the late 70's -early 80's, before the Pro street and Pro touring monstrosities came along. Be happy to see it back on the road!
                ----1999 F150 XLT Lariat Super Cab 4X4 5.4----
                -----1947 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe 5.0-----
                -----2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4----
                " Sometimes you fix the car, sometimes the car fixes you" Steve L.

                "Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America". President Donald J. Trump

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nice Steve!
                  1968 Fastback
                  90 5.0 HO
                  T-5
                  Modern leather buckets
                  Front Disc
                  2001 Bullit Green

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks guys.

                    It didn't take me long to want to up the horsepower, so I decided to swap the 302 2V to 351C power. The first was a 351C 2V I pulled from a '70 Torino wagon. I gave it a basic rebuild, and added a Comp Cams 268H camshaft and headers, then topped it with a Accel dual point distributor and Holley 500 cfm two barrel, which actually worked very well.

                    Engine1.jpeg
                    ...That is until I learned that multi-grooved valves did not like high RPMs. I dropped a valve and poked a hole through a piston. I then foolishly rebuilt the head using another multi-grooved valve and replaced the piston, and it did it again. I built another 351C, this time using forged pistons and single grooved valves and modified some 4V closed chamber heads to Boss 351 specs and my valvetrain problems were over.
                    Engine2.jpeg Then work and life dragged me in, and the car sat untouched until around 2000 or so, and I decided it was time to restore the car. We began by pulling the drivetrain, my brother Mike and I. Then we stripped the sheetmetal off the front and I got to work media blasting the rust away.
                    EnginePull.jpeg
                    StrippedNose.jpeg
                    BlastedNose.jpeg
                    '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '05 Sable LS
                    My Mach's restoration progress
                    My Sprint's restoration progress
                    ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I found a place to handle the bodywork and paint, a talented man named Tim Johnson, who owns a shop called Red Barn Classics in Buxton, Maine. I gave him a rolling shell, our having removed the interior beforehand. Once the car was at the shop, Mike went and removed the rear end and brought it back for us to rebuild and paint.

                      MovingDay.jpeg
                      '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '05 Sable LS
                      My Mach's restoration progress
                      My Sprint's restoration progress
                      ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great story Steve, once again confirms that some folks buy and sell cars like candy, others like you, and me the car becomes a part of the family. Kind of a 4 wheeled time machine....
                        1970 Mach 1, my wife's first car purchased for $1800 in 1977. .30 over 351 Cleveland 4V FMX tranny. Best ET with 3:00 to 1 gears 13.9 @ 102 mph

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah, I never understood the guys that spend years and money restoring their cars then sell them afterwards, usually at a loss.

                          I forgot to mention that you'll notice a big gap of time between when we started the disassembly and the resuming of it's restoring a couple years ago, the reason being that in 2001 I bought my Mach and became wrapped up in it's restoration and put the Sprint on the back burner. The Mach was the car I've wanted since I saw them new in the showroom when I was nine years old, and I couldn't wait to fix it up.
                          '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '05 Sable LS
                          My Mach's restoration progress
                          My Sprint's restoration progress
                          ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Steve, this is great, and there is NOTHING BORING about this saga, at all. I love your writing style. It sure keeps the reader interested for what is next. And any item, car or otherwise, that connects a son with his father is a priceless piece of family history.
                            Keep it going buddy...
                            Eddie "D"
                            '70 Sports Roof, 351 W, 13.1 @ 107: Maple Grove.
                            "The deadliest weapon in the world is a U.S. Marine and his rifle." Quote by General John J. Pershing U.S. Army.
                            M&M Member #339.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Steve, I love the pic of the Sprint with the Cragars & the very wide rear tires, it remnds me of the 68 GT Coupe I had back in the 80's. I miss that car.

                              Mike & Robin Grentus
                              69 Mustang Coupe (project & future toy)
                              08 Escape 4X4 (spare)
                              00 Ranger Extd Cab 4X4 (my DD)
                              99 Explorer Sport (wife's DD)
                              14 Kawasaki Vulcan (wife's toy)
                              M&M Member #- 890
                              MCA #- 4549
                              My 69 Coupe build album
                              http://www.newyorkmustangs.com/forum...cs-t15096.html

                              Comment

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