Restoring a 1970 Ford Mustang Convertible: A Classic Muscle Car Revived

At the V8 Speed and Resto Shop, we recently completed the restoration of a remarkable 1970 Ford Mustang convertible. This classic car holds a rich history and has remained in the same family since 1972. In this article, we’ll take you through the restoration process and highlight the modifications we made to enhance its drivability, reliability, and overall performance.

The History of the 1970 Ford Mustang Convertible

The ’70 Mustang convertible has been a cherished possession of a family for several generations. Originally equipped with a Ford 302 V8 engine and an automatic transmission, this car came with air conditioning from the factory.

The first owner, who is also our customer, drove this Mustang as her first car back in 1972. Over the years, it was driven by subsequent family members until it was unfortunately involved in an accident in 1993 and subsequently parked. After decades of hibernation, we were thrilled to restore it to its former glory.

Disassembly and Paint Stripping

Our skilled team at the V8 Speed and Resto Shop carefully disassembled the entire car, ensuring every component was taken apart. We then stripped the paint to reveal the previous damage and rust repairs. By starting with a clean slate, we could address any hidden issues and lay the foundation for a comprehensive restoration.

To bring the Mustang’s body back to its original shape, we replaced several key sheet metal components. The quarter panels, rear tail panel, doors, and floors were meticulously replaced with new steel. While we aimed for an appearance faithful to the original, we made specific modifications to improve drivability, reliability, and overall enjoyment.

Upgraded Front Suspension and Brakes

To enhance the handling and road feel of the Mustang, we made significant upgrades to its front suspension system. We opted for an enhanced front suspension system from Rod and Custom Motorsports, which included the installation of a tubular upper and lower control arm assembly. This system not only improved the structural integrity of the suspension but also provided better handling capabilities.

Additionally, we incorporated an oversized sway bar, allowing for more precise and controlled cornering. To further enhance the driving experience, we replaced the stock steering system with a rack and pinion steering unit. This upgrade resulted in more responsive and accurate steering, giving the driver a modern Mustang road feel.

To complement the enhanced suspension and steering, we also installed improved front disc brakes. These brakes provide superior stopping power, enhancing safety and overall performance. Furthermore, we replaced all the plumbing and brake lines to ensure optimal functionality and reliability.

Overall, these upgrades to the front suspension, steering, and braking systems of the Mustang significantly improved its handling, responsiveness, and overall driving experience.

Engine Rebuild and Fuel Injection System

The 302 small block Ford V8 underwent a comprehensive rebuild to ensure optimal performance. We topped it with a modern Fi-Tech fuel injection system, providing reliable and efficient fuel delivery. The electronic distributor and ignition timing were also controlled by this system, enhancing overall engine performance.

Although the Mustang originally had air conditioning, we opted to install a more efficient system from Vintage Air. This system offers improved cooling capacity and better reliability. Additionally, we upgraded the front accessory drive with a black serpentine system from CVF Racing, which includes a high-flow water pump and a higher output alternator.

Interior Restoration

The interior restoration of the Mustang was a meticulous process aimed at bringing back its original charm and comfort. Our skilled team at the V8 Speed and Resto Shop dedicated their expertise to reviving the interior to its former glory. We started by meticulously rebuilding the stock bucket seats and the rear seat. Each seat was carefully upholstered in the original white parchment hue, paying close attention to every detail to ensure an authentic and high-quality finish. The result is a beautifully restored seating arrangement that captures the essence of the Mustang’s vintage appeal.

To complement the seating, we installed new black carpeting throughout the interior. This not only provided a fresh and clean appearance but also added a layer of sound deadening to enhance the overall comfort and driving experience. Attention was also given to the convertible top frame and hydraulic system, both of which were meticulously restored. The top frame was carefully inspected, repaired as needed, and then fitted with a new white convertible top. This attention to detail ensures that the convertible top operates smoothly and looks stunning when in use.

The final touch in the interior restoration process involved the replacement of numerous trim pieces. Classic Industries provided us with a wide range of new trim pieces, allowing us to rejuvenate the interior with crisp and clean finishes. These trim pieces, when combined with the restored seats, new carpeting, and fresh convertible top, brought the interior of the Mustang back to life.

The interior restoration not only enhanced the aesthetics of the Mustang but also revived its comfort and original appeal. Whether cruising with the top down or enjoying the ride with the top up, the interior of this Mustang offers a nostalgic and enjoyable experience.


The engine of the Mustang underwent a comprehensive rebuild to ensure optimal performance and reliability. Our team at the V8 Speed and Resto Shop left no stone unturned in restoring this powerhouse to its former glory.

Starting with the 302 small block Ford V8, we carefully disassembled the engine, inspecting each component for wear and damage. We then meticulously cleaned and reconditioned the parts before reassembly. This process ensured that the engine would operate at its best and deliver the power expected from a classic Mustang.

To bring the engine into the modern era, we installed a Fi-Tech fuel injection system. This upgrade not only improved fuel delivery but also provided enhanced reliability and drivability. The fuel injection system controls the electronic distributor and ignition timing, resulting in better overall engine performance.

In addition to the fuel injection system, we incorporated other upgrades for increased performance. We rebuilt the engine with high-quality components, including new gaskets, seals, and bearings. This ensured optimal compression and minimized any potential leaks or issues. The result is a robust and reliable engine that is ready to deliver power on demand. To enhance the engine’s cooling and overall efficiency, we installed a more efficient air conditioning system from Vintage Air. This system not only keeps the cabin cool on hot summer days but also reduces strain on the engine, resulting in better performance and longevity.

Completing the engine restoration, we replaced the front accessory drive with a black serpentine system from CVF Racing. This system includes a high-flow water pump and a higher output alternator, improving both performance and reliability. The upgraded accessory drive not only looks sleek but also ensures proper functioning of vital engine components. With the engine restoration complete, the Mustang now boasts improved power, reliability, and modern features while retaining its classic appeal. It’s ready to hit the road with confidence and provide an exhilarating driving experience for years to come.


The 1970 Ford Mustang convertible restoration at the V8 Speed and Resto Shop showcases our dedication to preserving and improving classic cars. This family heirloom has been transformed into a stunning vehicle that exceeds its original factory specifications. We are honored to have had the opportunity to bring it to a new level of excellence, ensuring many more years of family enjoyment.

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