ok here's the start of my Mustang story for anyone who cares to read such things. not much to post for now, but just picked up the car from the painters yesterday and now the long job of putting it all back together starts. I have to admit I am a little intimidated by some of the work. I have worked on my cars and motorcycles my whole life but no job this big. I figure I have to view it as 1,000 small jobs not 1 giant one to put the car back together. background, as brief as I can make it: Dad brought this 66 gt convertible home in 1973. It was a basket even then. front corner crunched, rust EVERYWHERE. I never understood how a car so young had SO much rust in such a short amount of time. Anyway, he and I patched it up and put it back together as best we could with our abilities (i.e. sheetmetal, pop rivets (no welder back then), roofing tar and a gallon or so of bondo. We painted it in the driveway on a cool morning before the bugs were out. I added the GT rocker stripes using a rattle can of rustoleum (hey don't judge me...lol). I drove the car off and on for 20 years after that. the car finally got so rusted I was forced to take it off the road for fear it was going to break in half in the middle. it sat like that for 10+ years. I thought it was beyond saving but did not want to part with it. My father talked to a retired mechanic friend of his who agreed to take it in and work on it as he had time. Merle spent the next 6 years replacing just about every piece of metal on the car except for the vin tag. he worked miracles and was able to bring the car back to life. then... FIRE. Merle's shop caught on fire, the car did not burn but was badly singed/melted. it was an icy night, with more ice predicted, and the fire company was afraid of flareup and not being able to get back to the scene so they foamed everything in the shop to suppress more fire... BAD IDEA. the foam ate up every piece of chrome on the car, melted in to what paint was left, and caused oxidation on everything it touched. finally got all that cleaned up but it was a major setback. long story a little shorter, Merle and I finally got the car in shape to send to the painter. Painter said 2 months, actually took 8 months due to some issues. now the bad part... a month after I took the car to the painter, Merle passed away in his shop from a massive heart attack. I will miss him, he and I worked many long hours together and became good friends. I spent a day gathering up parts from Merle's and relocating everything to my fathers garage as he has more space than I do. Merle was extremely talented on everything automotive but was terribly disorganized. my parts were scatted between 2 buildings and a storage trailer. nothing labeled. I know I have all the big stuff but small parts like screws etc may be gone forever. One of my biggest regrets is that Merle did not live to see the car finished. Due to the paint delays I debated several times about pulling the car from the shop and finding another painter for it, but in the end I decided to stick it out. Glad I did. I consider Dave a friend now and he does great work. So now my journey begins to get it back together. My brother has a 66 convertible also, a survivor car, and he and I have been planning a father/brothers road trip for a couple years now. Hopefully 2015 will be the year.