Perry and Ramona Sorenson's 1968 GT Mustang
Our 1968 Mustang History
We purchased our 1968 GT Mustang #8R01J169231 F 74 from Vivien Tabor of Seattle on March 13, 2008 for $7200.00. She had purchased it from the original owner, Robert E. Hamer of Tacoma on July 30, 1970 for $2,100.00. Robert had purchased the car from Westside Ford Inc. of Seattle, and the sticker price was $3,492.04. The car's final assembly point has been San Jose, CA. One other point of interest in this car's history, is that it appears that the car was also transferred over to a Carol S. Tabor on July 17, 1970 by original owner Robert E. Hamer. Then on July 30th, 1970 the car was transferred over to Vivien M. Tabor. Maybe Carol could not come up with the money, and so a few days later it was sold to Vivien?
Vivien had records on everything she had ever done to the car - Battery purchases, oil changes, brake jobs, gaskets replaced, starter, flywheel inspection, power steering pump, leaking hoses, fuel pump leak, and many more things. It is fun to have records like this. We thought since she was in her 80's that we were finding a real deal. I am not aware that we saw before the purchase that she had had the car appraised at Drager's Classics in April of 2007and it was rated as a #4 driver. The appraisal stated that there were issues on both side rear fenders, torn front drivers seat, but that it had no rust, ran good and drove good and that the dash was good but the car did need restoration. It was appraised at that time at $7,500.00.
We found out about the car from a friend of ours who is Vivien's mailman and one day she told Kevin she was ready now to sell her car. It had always been garaged and she hadn't driven it for a year or so because she was now in her 80's and had decided to give it up. Our friend Paul, an avid Mustang (Ford) kind of guy, wanted me to go along with him to look at it, and I ended up coming home with it. My wife and I had driven it only a couple of times on short rides when our friends told us we should take it to the Yakima Car Show just for a nice drive. So we got up early the next day, packed our old cooler, and set out about 6 a.m. We had had a long dry spell and that evening it had rained so the roads were wet. As we were taking a hairpin curve to get onto 405, the back end of the Mustang swerved sharply to the right. I turned into it, (maybe more than I should have) when we swerved sharply to the left heading right into a three-foot cement barrier. They were doing construction in that area, and we were able to slow the car down, but not enough, and we went right into the barrier, taking out the front bumper, grill, and hood. We had a lot of prayers said for us, and we had prayed before we left home that day. We were truly protected from any other cars, and there was not a single car around us as we restarted the car and were checking it out. We were even able to drive it home and get it put back into the garage. Now what to do?
We called our insurance company and they sent us a check for 7300.00 for the repairs. We figured since we had to have the front end all done, we might as well bite the bullet and have the whole car painted. We had heard Vivien mention that she had been rear-ended once but little did we know how bad it had been. When the body man was checking out the car, he noticed that the back fenders had something going on with it so had the boys strip them down, and low and behold, both back fenders were loaded with holes and bondo. He said we would have to replace both of the back fenders as well as the piece below the trunk lid. We actually found out that the trunk lid had been replaced because it had white under the Gulfstream Aqua color. We had purchased an option hood with the turn signals in the hood from a fellow in Redmond shortly after purchasing the car because we knew down the road we would want to put this type of hood on it. However, when the body man started stripping it, he found out it had two coats of red paint and two coats of white paint, and the whole center was filled with bondo. He then told us that we would need a different hood. At the time, we were thinking, "What else can go wrong with this car?" It ended up costing us another $10,000.00 out of our pocket and the insurance money of $7,300.00 to get the car back.
We now have a great looking Mustang with a lot of history. We had replaced the two front seat covers, carpet, instrument panel, steering wheel center and of course cleaned her up before we wrecked the car. So now we are looking forward to time with the Mustang Club and getting to know more about our car. We now know about the short wheel base and the light rear ends of this type of Car. Now we just will have to learn how to handle it!
- Perry Sorenson