Last week I bought an engine hoist and stand from Harbor Freight. This weekend’s plan was to go get my engine that’s sitting at the office and bring it home so it’s not sitting outside in the elements.

Well, Nate and I spent the morning putting together the hoist (after two trips to the hardware store to get bigger sockets) drove down to the office only to find that the engine had been buried behind TWO TRUCK loads of packaging material. There was no way we were getting it out today. Hopefully next weekend.

So instead I came home and decided to try and take apart some of the body to see how it’s looking underneath. Got the two front fenders off and the hood.

Here’s the lights, there’s 6 bolts holding each one on (A bit excessive!) These won’t be going back on, but you can see where the 6 bolts go

Driver Fender
Here’s the drivers side fender. There are 5-6 bolts on top, one in the door jam (top), two in the underside near the body, two in the front of the wheel well.

Here she is all naked!

The Fenders
Here’s the fenders. They are looking pretty good from the back, doesn’t look like many dents, etc.

Pass Fender Removed
Here she is with the pass fender removed.

Tomorrow I’ll try and work some more on it. Not sure where the next step is!

Vince’s Top 10

Top 10 list for restoration
1. Don’t completely disassemble the car the first weekend! Make a plan
a. Make a decision on what kind of project this is. Resto mod? Nut and
bolt resto? Nice driver? Your budget, time and resources will dictate this.
b. Create a working timeline that allows you to visualize the order in
which you will complete the car. Body before paint, engine rebuild before
decals, etc.
c. Every time you go into the garage to work, have a list of what you
want to accomplish. You will dream about this stuff…helps to get it on
d. Repair one part at a time. This keeps the project small and feasible.
Rather than looking at the engine bay and passing out….take on the
windshield wiper motor, then the wiper fluid tank, and so on.
2. Buy a set of shop manuals specific to your car. This is key to
understanding how parts go together and apart:
3. Get Organized:
a. Buy a Good DSLR camera, and take lots of photos…you never have enough.
Document the before, during and after. Organize them on your computer.
b. Plastic divider boxes for hardware. This is a better way to keep and
organize parts. Sandwich bags are only good when you are doing the initial
deconstruction. Clean them up and get them into the plastic boxes:
c. Get Shelves: in your attic, garage, closets, etc. Label boxes, group
parts and shelve them. A disassembled car takes up way more space than an
assembled car. I liked to use plastic totes…as they don’t fall apart and
stack easy.
d. Take Notes/drawings. lots of them. Keep questions together.
e. Keep a binder. Put all your questions, notes, drawings, vendors,
receipts, etc, in a binder.
f. Keep a list of vendors, with notes about each. Network locally for
guys who know what they are doing. Ask around at car shows about painters,
engine builders, etc. Do lots of interviewing. NPD is a Mustang parts
supplier…many of their parts interchange with Torino and are much much
h. Start a Spreadsheet with expenses/source. Nice to see what you’ve got
into the car and also a running list of what you have and haven’t bought
4. Don’t rebuild the drivetrain too early: these parts come with
warranties…which run out if your project drags on. My engine sat rebuilt
for 3 or 4 years. That’s not good.
5. Bench fire/tune your engine. I didn’t do this…as I didn’t want to mess
with it. Would have been much easier and less of a headache in the long
run. For many reasons…
6. Tools: Some really nice tools to have include; Quality Air compressor,
Sand blasting cabinet, ratcheting box wrenches, dremel tool, bench vise,
good socket set, shop to work in. Harbor Freight is great for the
expendables: sand paper, rubber gloves, zip ties, etc. take your chances
with tools.
7. Learn how to paint. “Spray bombs” (spray paint) are ok…for some things.
But using a spray gun or powder coating is preferred for high impact/use
items. You can do this with a good compressor and gun…and some trial and
8. Cheapo: Sometimes going cheap is not good. I learned this the hard way
with a distributor. Pay a little more for key components that are rebuilt
9. Use the TC Forum: ask lots of questions; refer to past posts, etc. I
learned so much on there!
10. Have fun: easy to get caught up and frustrated. Take breaks, work on
easy stuff and come back to the hard stuff. These projects are not easy,
cheap or perfect…otherwise everyone would do one.

How AAA Left us to Die.

This past weekend I took a trip to Death Valley and ended up with two flat tires just outside of Scotty’s Castle. We made it to a park ranger station called “Grapevine ranger station”.

Thankfully there was a pay phone located at this ranger station, which is miles from anywhere and along one of the least traveled roads in Death Valley. I pulled out my trusty AAA card and gave the number a ring.

Got a helpful lady on the phone and told her that we were at the Grapevine ranger station, I made sure to tell her we didn’t have cell service and that we were at a pay phone which didn’t accept incoming calls. I explained to her that we were parked at the ranger station, that we had two flat tires, that I was driving a 2013 Jeep Liberty which was silver.

She said there was a tow truck 45 minutes away and that she was dispatching it right then. I was relieved that again AAA would be so handy to have and that we’d be saved in a quick 45 minutes. We started discussing our options of where to be towed too. I explained to her that the closest city was Beatty, NV. About 60 miles away. She told me that since we were calling the SoCal AAA that she would have to transfer us to the Nevada group and they could find us a shop then transfer us back to the SoCal group and they could update the driver with that information.

Great! No problem. Seemed so easy. She transfered me right over and I talked to another very helpful person in the NV call center. She explained that they didn’t have any shops in Beatty, but thankfully she was able to google the city and find me a 24 hour tire shop! Things were really looking up! 24 hour tire shop, everyone being so helpful the tow truck was already on the way!! I asked her to transfer me back to SoCal so I could give them the information.

I got back to SoCal and that’s when things started to go down hill. The person we talked to now said that our truck has been cancelled because they couldn’t reach us. I explained to her again, we were at a pay phone and could NOT accept incoming calls. I again gave her our exact location and she looked it up. Then she said “Oh you are not in SoCal, i have to transfer you to Northern California”. Great, what the hell. She transfered me over and we had to REPEAT EVERYTHING.

AGain they said they knew where we were and that a tow truck was on it’s way. I hung up and waited 10 minutes, then called back just to confirm. Again the truck was cancelled because we apparently gave them the “wrong address”. I’m not sure how much more detailed I could have been, we were a the grapevine ranger station on scotty’s castle road just south of scotty’s castle. If you knew how to google you would easily know where we were.

At this point, the exact details get a little confusing for me. But over the next 5 hours we called back countless times, we talked to countless people and talked to two different supervisors.

One person even argued with me that I was in Nevada and I have to argue with her that “No, Death valley is IN CALiFORNIA”. I know where I am exactly, why was this so difficult for them to find out where I was.

Another person said they were going to send a tow truck from BISHOP, then transport us back to independence a 3 hour drive EACH WAY.

Another person we talked to insisted that we WERE already in independence and that a truck was coming from bishop.

EACH and every time I called in I had to explain to them over and over again that we didn’t have cell phones and that we were at a pay phone.

It seemed as those NONE of the people we talked to put that in the notes, NONE of the people we talked to seemed to know what the problem was with our vehicle.

Finally around 11pm someone finally realized that a company from NV had been trying to contact us since we FIRST talked to the NV AAA group at around 7:45pm. They patched us through directly to the tow company to confirm our location and get the driver on the way.

This is not the type of service I expect from AAA, we felt abandoned and helpless, in the middle of death valley, in the 5 hours we were on the side of the road we only saw ONE other car the entire time.

AAA was unable to communicate between each other, they were unable to take notes and ended up costing us hours and hours of time, we had to get a hotel in a city that we weren’t even expecting to be in.

Had someone READ the notes that this NV tow company was actually trying to contact us we could have had a tow by 10pm, got our tires fixed and been on our way. Instead we didn’t get to Beatty, NV until nearly 2am and ended up having to get a hotel.

This was a horrible horrible experience and an example of some of the worst customer service I have ever had.


I’ve been looking for a 1970 Torino Convt for a while now. I found one on ebay from this dealer in WV:

Classic Cars of Huntington, Chuck Runyon , srnyn924r, 304-633-7768

We had exchanged emails, phone calls, etc I had money IN HAND ready to send to him…. Well.

I had cash in hand to buy a car long distance and had an inspection service to go out and look at the car AT MY EXPENSE. He REFUSED to let them drive the car at all, refused to have HIM drive the car and them ride in it.

How can you sell a car and not allow someone to test drive it! That’s crazy.

This guy is clearly a scam and doesn’t actually want any money. I was ready to pop on this car!