Ford Rustang: Car SOS embarks on its biggest salvage yet (2024)

There are car restorations and there are car salvages... and this is certainly a case of the latter.

Set to star in tonight's episode of popular motoring show Car SOS is this 1965 Ford Mustang, which the presenters say is 'officially the biggest project to rebuild the most knackered motor' it has ever featured.

Having sat under covers in a garden in Charlton, London, for the last 33 years, every part of the sixties Fastback had rusted through, with its doors hanging on by a thread after more than three decades of dilapidation.

The episode on National Geographic at 8pm charts the team's efforts to return the American pony car to the road. But there are controversial decisions made that could make Mustang enthusiasts and collectors - especially those in the US - wince...

Ford Rustang: Car SOS embarks on its biggest salvage yet (1)

Ford Rustang: Car SOS embarks on its biggest salvage yet (2)

Slide me

From wrecked to restored: This Ford Mustang had been sat under covers in the front garden of a terraced house in London for 33 years. Rusting to the brink of nothingness, the Car SOS team rebuilt the 1965 Fastback in 65 days - but there is one controversial change to the vehicle...

For those who don't know Car SOS, the show follows a format: find a deserving petrolhead who has faced a struggle in their life; collect their cherished motor that's fallen into a state of disrepair without them knowing; complete a full restoration in a matter of weeks; present the vehicle back to its rightful keeper with plenty of fanfare.

Tonight's episode features a car that presenter Tim Shaw described on first sight as 'comedy scrap'.


  • Previous
  • 1
  • Next
  • Prince Harry makes surprise appearance on Car SOS to send a... A restoration like no other: Car SOS faces its biggest... Saving an eighties rally icon: Championship winning MG Metro...

Share this article



  • How to save on car insurance: Ten top tips to cut the cost in just a few minutes

The extremely rusty 1966 Mustang belongs to 76-year-old John - a former mechanic, caretaker and handyman from Charlton.

John has owned his Mustang for over 40 years, but when tragedy struck his family over three decades ago, its upkeep was neglected.

John's wife Lynn died in 1988 at the age of just 32 following a battle with cancer.

She passed away shortly after giving birth to a third child, Jon Jr, which left John as the sole parent to three children, forcing him toimmediately give up his job and receive benefits.

The much-loved Mustang - understandably - was put under covers in his garden, where it remained for the following 33 years. Though John always had the intention of fixing it back up, both he and the Ford have gotten older and rebuilding it had become a lost cause.

The extremely rusty 1966 Mustang belongs to 76-year-old John - a former mechanic, caretaker and odd-job man from Charlton who bought it 40 years ago but in the late eighties was left no choice but to take it off the road...

John's wife, Lynn (pictured here on their wedding day) lost her battle with cancer in 1988, leaving John as a single parent to three young children. He was forced to quit work to look after them and couldn't afford the upkeep of his much-loved Ford

John had stored the Mustang on grass in his garden under covers for 33 years. Over three decades of British weather took a major toll on the vehicle, with it reduced to almost nothing but rust by the time the Car SOS team collected it

Car SOS Fuzz Townshend during first inspection of the car. He can barely hide the trepidation from his face as he considers if the much-adored classic car is even salvageable

LEFT:John's sons, Floyd (pictured second left) and Jon Junior (right) posed alongside Fuzz Townshend (far left) and Tim Shaw as the Car SOS hosts picked up the stricken '65 Mustang. RIGHT:Tim and Fuzz had to enlist the help of Sid (pictured), real name Nayan Patel, the owner of Sid's Paint Shop in the West Midlands which specialises in Ford Mustangs, to take on the bulk of the work to restore the car

John's son Floyd wrote to Car SOS asking if they could repay his dad for the years of selfless devotion by surprising him with his four-wheeled pride and joy ready to be driven on the road once more.

But, as viewers will witness tonight, the car's dilapidated condition after years of neglect had put the Mustang on the brink of being binned rather than salvaged.

Having been parked on grass under sodden sheets in John's garden in London for decades, the British weather took a significant toll on the car.

'It was no different to dredging it from a canal. A scrapyard wouldn't have wanted it - they want steel, and it was almost entirely rust. It was just brown with nothing to it at all,'explains Tim Shaw - the co-host of the show alongside mechanic Fuzz Townshend.

Once in Sid's workshop, the car underwent a tyre to roof restoration, with any salvageable parts retained in order for the Mustang to legally retain its identity

With every panel of the car - and almost the entirety of its underside - rusted away, Car SOS says this was officially the biggest project it has embarked on in over a decade on TV

The car was returned to the colour it had left the factory in 1965 - a cherry red. Shelby-style racing stripes - in grey - were added, while the suspension, steering and brakes were all upgraded to make it easier - and better - for John to drive

With the engine not started for 33 years, it had seized and deemed beyond repair. Fortunately, a new - larger - powerplant was sourced and upgraded with fuel injection to increase performance

'Almost everything needing to be replaced,' Tim says. However, many of the component parts required reconditioning and retained in order for the car to legally keep its original identity.

Fortunately, Tim and Fuzz enlist the help of Sid, real nameNayan Patel, the owner of Sid's Paint Shop in the West Midlands which specialises in Ford Mustangs, to take on the bulk of the work.

The team had just 65 days to completely rebuild it before it was due to be revealed to John in front of a packed O2 Arena, London, at a Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live event.

'This by far THE worst car we have ever seen on Car SOS and thebiggest restoration we've taken on to date, as well as the biggest risk and biggest reveal,' Tim tells us, estimating that around 1,700 man hours were spent sourcing, fabricating and reconditioning parts for John's much-loved Ford.

The controversial decision that will make some classic car collectors wince

In order to make the Mustang fit for the road, many of its major components - including the engine - needed to be replaced.

It also underwent some modernisation, including adding fuel injection, fitting wishbone suspension, replacing the old steering block for a more precise rack and installing disc brakes in place of the drums that the car left the factory with 58 years ago.

Making such wholesale changes to a car of this vintage might irk some enthusiasts and collectors, who will debate if a vehicle retains its originality with so many new parts.

Though there is one major change to John's Mustang that will do more than raise eyebrows among the classic-owning fraternity.

That's because Tim, Fuzz and Sid embarked on moving the steering wheel across the car to convert it into a right-hand drive.

'I doubled the workload for us because I had an idea because I have an opinion on left-hand-drive vehicles driven on our roads,' Tim explains.

'The UK is obsessed with keeping cars "factory" or "standard" while the rest of the world points and laughs at us in the face asking why don't we admit there is better engineering out there so that we can actually use it rather than leaving it in the garage and polishing it because you know truthfully that it doesn't drive well.'

Shaw, who owns a Mustang, went on: 'I've said it before and Fuzz said it after driving one on the show; a 1965 Fastback is one of the worst classic cars to drive - it's massively underpowered, the brakes are crap and it only wants to go in a straight line.

'And one of the reasons why the classic Mustang - one of the most iconic cars of all time - isn't seen much on UK roads is because they weren't sold in right-hand drive.'

Most controversial of all was Car SOS's decision to convert John's classic Mustang from left to right-hand-drive. While collectors and enthusiasts will say this devalues the vehicle's classic credentials, Tim, Fuzz and John's family were adamant the Mustang should be something he could drive and enjoy for years to come

As Tim points out, the decision went against what the UK Mustang owners club and classic car collectors recommend, with such significant adaptations to the Ford believed to be equivalent to 'burning money' but devaluing its originality.

We asked classic car experts at Hagerty UK about the impact of a vehicle's value when the steering wheel is moved across.

John Mayhead, editor of the Hagerty Price Guide, tells us: 'Everyone expects that a LHD to RHD conversion will reduce a classic car’s value, and in many cases that is correct. Lots of buyers really put a premium on originality, and swapping the steering wheel over can compromise the interior of a car and cause complications with steering, wiring and suspension.

'Some cars – like American muscle cars – are also supposed to be left-hand drive, and feel a bit odd if converted.

'That said, there can be good reasons for conversions and some cars seem to suit it, especially if the work was done in period.

'What Hagerty would say is that the quality of conversion is absolutely key. As a specialist classic car insurer, we need to know that the car continues to be safe and that the modification has been carried out properly.'

You can make your own mind up about whether converting from left to right-hand drive was the correct choice by watching the episode this evening...

Ford Mustang: A brief history

Henry Ford II gives the world its first look at the all-new Mustang on April 17, 1964

When you think of American cars, the Ford Mustang is probably the first that comes into mind.

It’s been around since 1964 and went through six generations that spawned all sorts of models and trims.

It debuted as an affordable sports car and it quickly evolved into a powerful muscle car. It then became a not-so-powerful compact in the 1970s and switched to turbocharged performance in the 1980s. It rebounded once again as a muscle car in the 1990s and became a full-fledged sports coupe in the 2010s.

The ‘Stang’ comes with an incredibly vast history and it’s arguably America’s greatest automotive legend. Even those who dislike American cars have a soft spot for the Ford Mustang – and why not?

To this day it remains the fastest selling car of all time.

Ford initially predicted sales of 100,000 cars in the first year but the heavily marketed all American Mustang actually tripled that and by the end of 1965 one million of them had been sold. Launched with a 2.8 litre inline six-cylinder engine it could reach 0-60mph in 13.5 seconds and had a top speed of 96mph.

However, Ford quickly noticed a demand for higher performance versions and teamed up with race supremo Carroll Shelby who lightened the car, dropped in a 4.7-litre V8 and took it up to 120 mph and over 300bhp. By 1967 Shelby went even further with his GT500 model and a mighty 7-litre engine that could now reach 0-60 in 6.5 seconds.The muscle car was truly born.

Multiple re-inventions over the following decades: The Boss, The Mach 1 , the King Cobra, the Bullit and many more have given the Mustang a longevity other manufacturers can only envy.

It is no wonder that the original Pony Car has a place deep in the hearts of all flag waving Americans and car lovers all around the World.

<!- - ad: - ->


Ford Rustang: Car SOS embarks on its biggest salvage yet (10)


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Watch video Peugeot 205 Turbo T16 could sell at auction for around £300,000
  • Watch video Pair of rare 1980s Ford Sierra RS500 Coswotths head to auction
  • Watch video Rowan Atkinson limited edition heritage Defender up for auction
  • Watch video Limited Edition Land Rover Defender stars in James Bond trailer
  • Watch video German sports car brand Porsche unveils new Macan EV
  • Watch video Lexus LBX crossover SUV is winner of WhatCar? of the Year Award
  • Watch video Donald Trump's 1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT up for auction
  • Watch video King Charles' 2007 Range Rover is put up for auction for £30,000
  • Watch video Honda launches 'Honda 0 Series' and presents Saloon concept model
  • Watch video Space-Hub concept model for Honda as it launches new 'Honda 0 Series'
  • Watch video Kia introduces new electric van that can be converted to a camper
  • Watch video Volkswagen unveil robots that bring mobile charging to electric cars
  • Watch video Car giant Stellantis to offer car battery swapping service
  • Watch video BMW rolls out its new electric i5 super-car in an executive saloon
  • Watch video New Kia EV9 family SUV is big, bold and bountiful
  • Watch video German car giant BMW launches its first ever M3 Touring model
  • Watch video Bentley launches its first motorcycle in collaboration with Ducati
  • Watch video Dacia unveils its new and improved third generation Duster SUV
  • Watch video Ad spoofing! Trick fraudsters use to know who you are calling
  • Watch video Rare 1988 Ford Escort XR3i with 2,800 miles auction estimate £30K
  • Watch video This stunning 1962 Ferrari GTO has sold at auction for $51.7 million
  • Watch video Range Rover once owned by late Queen Elizabeth sells for £132k
  • Watch video Volvo's first MPV: Tour the EM90 electric people carrier
  • Watch video BMW unveil new Level 3 automated driving system available from 2024
  • Watch video Ambulance turned into pub wins eBay's best van conversion award
  • Watch video Croatian supercar company sets speed Guinness World Record in REVERSE
  • Watch video British Leyland's Morris Ital TV advert in 1981
  • Watch video New Volvo EX30: 'green' SUV looking to rival Tesla
  • Watch video Discover fifth-generation of the Toyota Prius expected to cost £40K+
  • Watch video Motor company unveil Madza Iconic SP concept at Japan Mobility show
  • Watch video Nissan Hyper Force is the new electric supercar concept of the brand
  • Watch video Toyota shares FT-Se with the world at the Tokyo Mobility Show
  • Watch video Nissan Hyper Tourer comes with a flat screen display on the floor
  • Watch video BMW Series 3 is named the BEST second-hand car by experts
  • Watch video New Mini eMastered released but with an eye-watering price tag
  • Watch video A look inside Jaguar Land Rover's new EV test facility
  • Watch video Nissan Qashqai e-Power advert banned by the ASA
  • Watch video French car firm Citroen unveils 'highly-affordable' new e-C3 EV
  • Watch video Tinie Tempah presents new motoring show 'Bangers: Mad for Cars'
  • Watch video TOOTHBRUSH shows if motorists are still over limit the morning after
  • Watch video China's all-electric BYD Dolphin lands ashore
  • Watch video BMW invest in production factory to make new electric Minis in Oxford
  • Watch video Lotus Cars debuts its sleek new all-electric Emeya Hyper-GT sportscar
  • Watch video Mercedes-Benz unveils Concept CLA car with illuminated glass roof
  • Watch video Volkswagen ID.GTI, the new electric hot hatch concept car
  • Watch video The BMW Vision Neue Klasse signals the start of a new era
  • Watch video Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is its last combustion supercar
  • Watch video Rolls Royce's brand new model is the most expensive car in the world
  • Watch video Sotheby's NYC plans to sell 1962 Ferrari GTO for an estimated $60M
  • Watch video Lamborghini Lanzador will be the brand's first fully-electric model
  • Watch video Check out the incredible Pininfarina B95 electric hypercar
  • Watch video Vauxhall launches a Electric Streets Initiative for electric cars
  • Watch video Aston Martin release new advertisem*nt for DB12 Volante
  • Watch video Fisker Ronin is a super-EV car with 1000 bhp and range of 600 miles
  • Watch video Toyota debuts 2024 Land Cruiser with new features
  • Watch video Listen to the sound of Jaguar's last petrol sportscar
  • Watch video 'Mega pricey van!': The new £113k Lexus multi-purpose vehicle
  • Watch video Range Rover believed to be Queen Elizabeth's sells at auction
  • Watch video Eric Morecambe's 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow up for auction
  • Watch video Collection of 20 vintage Ferraris discovered in barn to be auctioned
  • Watch video Petrolheads complain ULEZ expansion ruining historic London Ace Cafe
  • Watch video Caterham announce new all-electric cabriolet, the Project V
  • Watch video Pair of Ford Capri's from The Professionals to go under the hammer
  • Watch video Farewell Fiesta: Ford announces discontinuation of the iconic car

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

As an expert and enthusiast, I don't have personal experiences or opinions, but I can provide you with information on the concepts mentioned in this article. Here's what I found:


Car SOS is a popular motoring show that follows a format of finding deserving individuals who own cars that have fallen into disrepair. The show's team then completes a full restoration of the vehicle in a matter of weeks and presents it back to the owner. The show aims to surprise the owners with their restored cars and provide them with a vehicle they can enjoy once again.

1965 Ford Mustang

The 1965 Ford Mustang is a classic American car that has become an iconic symbol of American automotive history. It was introduced by Ford in 1964 and went through several generations, evolving from an affordable sports car to a powerful muscle car. The Mustang has a rich history and is highly regarded by car enthusiasts worldwide.

Car Restoration vs Car Salvage

Car restoration involves the process of repairing and refurbishing a vehicle to bring it back to its original condition or improve its overall appearance and functionality. It often includes repairing or replacing damaged parts, repainting, and reupholstering.

Car salvage refers to vehicles that have been deemed damaged beyond economical repair by insurance companies or other entities. These vehicles are typically sold at salvage auctions, where buyers can purchase them for parts or attempt to restore them.

Rust and Dilapidation

Rust is a common issue in older vehicles, especially those exposed to moisture and harsh weather conditions. Over time, rust can cause significant damage to a car's body and structural integrity.

Dilapidation refers to the state of disrepair or decay that a vehicle can experience when it is not properly maintained or stored. In the case of the 1965 Ford Mustang mentioned in the article, it had been sitting under covers in a garden for 33 years, resulting in extensive rust and damage.

Controversial Decisions in the Restoration

According to the article, there were controversial decisions made during the restoration of the 1965 Ford Mustang. One of the major changes was converting the car from left-hand drive to right-hand drive. This decision goes against the recommendations of classic car collectors and enthusiasts who value originality. However, the Car SOS team believed that this modification would make the Mustang more enjoyable and practical for the owner to drive.

Additionally, the restoration involved replacing major components of the car, including the engine, and modernizing certain aspects such as adding fuel injection and upgrading the suspension and brakes. These changes may be seen as compromising the car's originality and could be a topic of debate among classic car enthusiasts.

It's worth noting that the impact on a vehicle's value when the steering wheel is moved from left-hand drive to right-hand drive can vary. Some buyers place a premium on originality, while others may appreciate the practicality of a right-hand drive conversion. The quality of the conversion is also crucial to ensure the car remains safe and the modification is carried out properly.

Please note that the information provided above is based on the search results and snippets available.

Ford Rustang: Car SOS embarks on its biggest salvage yet (2024)


Who pays for the car restoration on car SOS? ›

“The setup of the show is quite simple and it makes a lot of sense. Basically there is a production company that pays for the people at the garage to restore the car. There is a budget of sorts and we try to stay within that budget. But we do whats necessary and if that means going over, well there's no helping that.

What year Mustang is best to restore? ›

The 1965-1970 model of Mustang is the premium option for first-time restoration due to their mass production. Because of their mass production, there are plenty of them to go around for restoration projects.

What is the most sought out Mustang? ›

The 1968 Ford Mustang Bullitt, the 1969 Mach 1, and the 1967 Ford Mustang GT500 are among the most desirable Mustangs, each with their own unique features and performance statistics.

What happened to Phil on car SOS? ›

Car SOS - He's still alive! It's Workshop Phil's Birthday today. Seen here back in Victorian times. Happy Birthday Philip Palmer!

How much should I budget for car restoration? ›

An overall restoration done by one shop is going to cost you anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000. Most of this will be billed monthly or with considerations made between you and management for payments. Some will finance the work at a percentage, while others work on a cash up front basis.

What is the easiest Mustang to restore? ›

1964.5 – 1970 Ford Mustang

Also, on the list of the easiest cars to restore is the car that started the Pony Car Wars and that is the 1964.5 – 1970 Ford Mustang.

Which Mustang engine is best? ›

If you're looking for a reliable engine that can deliver excellent performance, the Ford 302 small block or Ford 351 Windsor are great options. If you're looking for a high-performance engine that can deliver raw power and acceleration, the Ford 390 FE big block or Ford 428 Cobra Jet are excellent choices.

What year Mustang has the least problems? ›

The 2008 year is one of the standouts of the fifth generation Mustang and deserves to be called the most reliable Ford Mustang year. For starters, the 2008 Mustang received a perfect reliability score of 5.0 out of 5.0 from Consumer Reports.

Is an old Mustang a good investment? ›

Overall, classic Mustangs are a strong investment. Classic car values increase over time, making them worthwhile purchases. Mustangs also have unique traits that improve their investment value, like: Easy maintenance: Mustangs are known for their durability and simple maintenance.

What color Mustang is sold the most? ›

While white is the most popular new-car color in the United States, only 10 percent of new Mustangs sold wear that hue, Ford says. Black has accounted for 12 percent of Mustangs sold over the last 50 years. According to Ford, it's currently the most popular Mustang color.

What is a rare Mustang? ›

1967 Ford Mustang 289 HiPo (or K-Code)

K-Code, or Hi-Po, refers to the engine offered in the Mustang — a 289 cubic inch, with 271 horsepower, but only 489 of the '67 model year Mustangs were equipped with this engine. If one were to keep paring down options, even rarer versions of this car exist.

How does a car restoration work? ›

A complete auto restoration could include total removal of the body, engine, driveline components and related parts from the car, total disassembly, cleaning and repairing of each of the major parts and its components, replacing broken, damaged or worn parts and complete re-assembly and testing.

What does car restoration include? ›

Car restoration involves restoring a vehicle to its original working condition. This includes restoration of the exterior, interior, and possibly the engine as well.

Who does the work on car SOS? ›

The series is presented by motor vehicle and engineering enthusiast Tim Shaw and musician and mechanic Fuzz Townshend.

How much does it cost to revive a car? ›

A decent restoration starting point for a car would be $2,500 – $6,000. The lower end would refer to the car not being driveable, but still having good bones. The higher end would be a running car, but possibly in need of tuning, interior/exterior work or some missing detail pieces.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lilliana Bartoletti

Last Updated:

Views: 5651

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lilliana Bartoletti

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 58866 Tricia Spurs, North Melvinberg, HI 91346-3774

Phone: +50616620367928

Job: Real-Estate Liaison

Hobby: Graffiti, Astronomy, Handball, Magic, Origami, Fashion, Foreign language learning

Introduction: My name is Lilliana Bartoletti, I am a adventurous, pleasant, shiny, beautiful, handsome, zealous, tasty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.