Most car guys dream about the ultimate car deal but reality is a cruel master in the old car game.


These dreams often center around mint, well-stored barn finds with less than 1000 miles on the clock.


The mint, barn find scenario is found within the range of “possible” but this is what happens in most ultimate car deals.

Curt Barton knew about this 1970 Mustang Mach 1 since he was a kid and one day car guy fate rang the doorbell as Curt’s son John reported, “in the summer of 1998 Doug came to the door, proposing a trade of the tool box for his project Mustang. Curt didn’t hesitate to say yes as it was a car he grew up seeing as teenager”.



This wasn’t a pristine car and Curt knew that it would be a major job, so he did what most car guys do… he jumped into the project with both feet as John explained, “The restoration started shortly thereafter as the passion to get it on the road was never ending”.


The easiest part of any restoration is the beginning but as anyone experienced with a major project realizes, the road to completion is long and arduous as John reported, “It went through its ups and downs everything from shortage or parts and funds, to the lack of employment and a place to work on it”.




Eventually circumstances tilt towards the car guy in any successful project and this Mach 1 was no exception as John reported, “Becoming self-employed at least worked out the problem of somewhere to work on it”.


Despite the stock look of this Mach 1,Curt wanted to make this Mustang his own personal statement so he started to design the finished product to suit his own vision for the car. John explained this process, “The search was on for some rare options to add to the car as Curt didn’t want this to be just another 1970 Mach 1. To finish off the list of the rare options, a special order color was chosen to go with the ivy green interior”.




Measured by car project standards, this car was nearly a basket case but eventually an abundance of talent, perseverance, hard work and of course, money can make a car look like it just came out of the showroom. John went over the details on this facet of the project,” The finished product came about 6 years later almost to the day Curt received the car”.




The fun begins long before the project ends in many cases but ultimately the goal is simple – put the car back on road and drive the wheels off it. John was pleased to report that his Dad has this covered after all the work on the Mach 1, “From that day on Curt has put on many miles including trips to the United States for car shows and all around Western Canada”.




Curt is still in the auto body business and he’s recognized as a serious talent in that arena but his favorite project will always be the “toolbox for a Mach 1 Mustang”. This true-life ultimate car deal couldn’t have happened without a lot more hard work and talent than luck.




The lesson is simple…without that kind of skill and work ethic,ultimate car deals are more myth than fact.

Jim Sutherland


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