A road trip home of 1000 miles after buying my 1971 429 SCJ Mustang.
I came across this special car on Ebay while looking for a top loader gearbox in June 2007. My 1971 Mustang 429 SCJ Sports Roof was born on 14 Aug 70. Wasn’t even thinking about buying a Mustang, but knowing how special SCJ’s were, I became interested. She immigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1987, and was converted to right hand drive and registered in 1988. She was painted yellow at the time but sometime soon after was rebuilt and painted her original Light Pewter Metallic. She is the 2254th 1971 Mustang built overall, so is a very early SCJ. Order details are: 429 SCJ engine/drag pack, ram air, 3.91 traction-lok, 4 speed, Light Pewter Metallic paint, black interior, AM radio, consol. Currently runs an 850DP Holley, 3.5:1 gears & 8 x 15 Magnum 500’s and a little bit of bling under the bonnet. This You Tube link shows her on the dyno. The induction sound is awesome on the second run to 6000rpm;
The trip home.
It is a bit of a leap of faith deciding to drive a 1000 miles home in an unknown old car. (That turned out to be an understatement!) Firstly, the coil cried enough before I even got to take the car on a test drive! New coil, test drive, overall check over and the dollars were exchanged. Problems on day one of the trip home consisted of square tyres (well that’s what they felt like), an intermittent miss in the engine and leaking extractors. Being a clever mechanic, I took some tools with me on the flight down, so the problems were all fixed by the end of the first day. We were eating up the miles & rounding up semi trailer and “B” double trucks (a long double trailer truck here in Aus) in very quick time. Love that torque!
Second day started at 5.00am at 23 deg F. No heater and no demister made it very hard to see, particularly when it was still dark. When it rained later in the day, we discovered that the wiper blades were stuffed, as well as the washers. Then, in the evening, after seeing numerous dead kangaroos on the side of the road, (they’ll stuff a car if you hit one) the head lights went out at 60 mph! Again, all fixed on the road. What was I saying about old cars?
Home & the final let down.
Arriving home after traveling 1000 miles with numerous small problems, the clutch just smoked up and we went nowhere. Where? In my driveway! It was the final straw! Had dinner, then I drove the Silver Jet (as she was now known) round the block to get a run-up the somewhat steep driveway. Phew! I made it up and into the garage!!!
Clutch & gearbox were out the next day. Well, I hadn’t lost my enthusiasm. New clutch was ordered, I rebuilt the original gearbox while it was out, and after a month she was again on the track. Well, for a while, until I hit traffic. And then the overheating started. The final fix was twin thermo fans and a 170 deg thermostat. On the first club run, the alternator gave up. The result was a flat battery – and we were towed home. Since then, the Silver Jet and I have enjoyed many happy miles of muscle car motoring.
Thanks to John Blair and all the contributors to the site. I could & would not have purchased the car without your help.
Russell Mc Dowell
(Note: Click thumbnails below to enlarge photos)