Congratulations to Darran and Jackson Teather and their 1979 Mustang Coupe as the winners of the July ride of the Month. Darran (FEP Username: 82GTforME
) and Jackson (FEP Username: 79TangerineMachine
) bought the coupe back in September of 2013 as Jackson’s first car. Darran had just finished getting his 1982 GT back on the road after a long 11 year period. Obviously He chose to look for a Fox for Jackson’s first car as that way they could do most of the work themselves. Besides a father/son project on a Four Eye is just plain COOL! The coupe was located on the local Kijiji and was only ten minutes from the house. They lucked out and were able to pick up the coupe for the low price of $1000 as it sat.
The original plan for the Mustang was to rebuild the engine, fix the sagging headliner, replace the carpet, and touch up some paint issues and then it would be Jackson’s daily driver for school and work. The Mustang work began in January 2014 and almost immediately the basic repairs become much more involved. By the summer of ’14 it was decided the entire car needed to be repainted as there were just too many “spots” and too many paint match issues that needed to be addressed. There was also the issue of mice damage to the interior due to the car sitting long term before the second owner purchased the car. Darran decided that due to budget reasons he would have to do the majority of the work himself. Other than some component sandblasting, rim powder coating, engine block honing, related machining and short block assembly, Darran performed all of the work himself and in-house, including the full paint job! Practically every component, and exterior fastener he touched was cleaned/refinished/refurbished along the way. Darran gives much of the credit to the internet in general and to the FEP forum for help on his journey. He would also like to thank his digital master parts book for help searching for hard to find items.
The coupe is very close to 100% stock including the glass and only has 60,000 km on the odometer (~40k miles). Darran and Jackson were surprised how original the car was during the initial tear down. The car still had the original shocks, springs, brake shoes and plug wires on it, so they decided to redo the car as original as possible with just a handful of tasteful, minor factory upgrades. The entire car ended up coming apart with the exception of the rear end and the glass. NOS Ford parts were used as often as they could be found and within the budget. A few small items are reproduction due to no other options being available at this time.
Although most of the coupe is original, a few Interior upgrades were installed that included replacing the headliner with a custom homemade piece and a custom package shelf. Sound deadener was installed throughout interior with additional jute pad insulation to quite the interior. Darran and Jackson added the OEM three spoke sport wheel, Black engine turned dash bezels, map light, an 8K RPM tach, and reproduction carpet. They also installed an OEM AM/FM cassette stereo with four speakers to replace the original AM mono speaker setup.
Darran and Jackson did a great job keeping the stock original look for the coupe, but they did add a couple of upgrades along the way. Those include an OEM hoodscoop and new emblems/decals which include both NOS and Reproductions. All of those parts add the “Bling” to the basecoat/clearcoat paint job applied by Darran that he also cut and polished. The final finishing touch for the coupe is the hand painted pinstripes.
The drivetrain and suspension received the rebuild attention as well as a couple of factory upgrades. The stock 13” steel wheels and hubcaps were upgraded to the 14” K option wheels with RWL tires. The engine was completely rebuilt including cylinder hone, three angle valve grind, polished crank, resized rods, new rings, all new bearings, new timing set, water pump, hoses, and gaskets. The heads were home ported and polished by Darran. The rebuilt engine now exhales through a dual exhaust setup that includes a BBK H-pipe, a pair of Flowmaster mufflers, and chrome tailpipes.
The 2150 OEM carburetor was overhauled; the C3 transmission received new filter, tailshaft seal, and shifter. The suspension received a rebuilt TRW rack, new ball joints, sway bar bushings, end links, and tie rod ends. The front brakes were upgraded from the original 9” to the factory 10” and the rear drum brakes rebuilt. The coupe was lowered using the Eibach Pro Kit lowering springs.
There were many challenges for Darran and Jackson along the way with this car. The biggest hurdle was doing most of the work themselves. Darran had never pulled an engine before, never really done bodywork, and never painted a car before. Needless to say there was so much to learn and research along the way! First time jitters and some apprehension slowed Darran down along the way (so did things like building a paint booth in his garage!). Mistakes and do-overs made him take steps backwards at times. Ultimately perseverance and determination got them to the finish Mustang you see today. Needless to say they are very happy with the end results, and they should be! The Mustang looks great and is a perfect example of what can be done with hard work and persistence for anyone wanting to rebuild/restore their Four Eye.
The hope for this Mustang Coupe is that Jackson will keep the car for a long time and enjoy it for many years to come. The car’s unique appearance and orange paint are quite an eye catcher and it gets a lot of looks while out on the road. The car is very fun to drive and has been very reliable so far! Darran and Jackson do plan to take the Mustang to a couple of bigger local shows this summer to show it off. They also plan to attend the International Mustang Meet (IMM #37) in Canada on Labour Day weekend. Although the car is road worthy, it has been a long journey and a lot of hard work to get it to this point as with so many project cars they are never really finished. Darran and Jackson future plans include an Offenhauser 4 barrel intake, a Holley 390 4 barrel carburetor, and a custom camshaft to add a few extra ponies to the Mustang. Convert the C3 to a SROD 4 speed manual once all the parts are collected for the swap. Replace the current non posi-traction 7.5 3.08 gears rear axle with a Traction-loc and maybe a set of 3.73 gears for a bit more fun. While the rear axle is out they also plan on replacing all the rear suspension bushings and detailing the undercarriage.
That wraps up this month’s feature on Darran’s and Jackson’s 1979 Mustang Coupe. FEP would like to thank them both for long hours of hard work and taking the time to share their Mustang with us. Darran’s thread on the coupe was an exciting journey for all of us through this whole process and we know that many other members benefitted from Darran’s successes as well as hardships. We wish them the best with their Four Eye and hope they enjoy it for many miles to come!