Jim Weigle combined a 1969 and a 2014 Mustang is an exercise in pairing old and new to create a stunning Mustang.
When it was shown the 1969 Mustang Sportsroof in all-black Jim Weigel at Carlisle Ford Nationals in 2017, it caught attention because it was straight as an arrow and with paint as deep as an ocean. under the hood. the Cobra four-cam engine and it looks factory.
This engine was not a dream in the eyes of any engineers in 1969. The deeper we looked, the clearer it became what we were looking at. Jim skillfully paired the 1969 body with the full body and running gear of his 2014 Shelby GT500, complete with the full 2014 interior, accessories, and even fuel filler. And some grit in the network proved that he drove her to Carlisle from his home in Parkersburg, West Virginia. We had to know more.
Jim describes himself as an “eccentric old man” and has said he’s loved cars all his life. He has done so well in many areas of business, that he has the financial means to buy any car he wants. But this is not Jim Weigel. He has a passion for building things that blow people’s minds rather than just writing a check for a Eurotrash luxury car. For example, he showed us photos of a Bugatti Veyron that a prominent auction company begged him to let him sell. When the secret was revealed that it was a complete fake, it was a fiberglass body (if memory tells us correctly) that was on the chassis of a Chevy Monte Carlo but outside and inside it looked 100 percent like a $2 million Bugatti – even the engine visible under the rear window was Made of fiberglass – the auctioneer won’t believe it until a thorough inspection is done. When asked why he built it, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know, it looked like a fun thing.”
About the Mustang, Jim says, “I had a 302 trainer and it occurred to me that I wanted a 1969 prime. So I bought a 1969 rust free body from California and measured, and thought, ‘Wait in a minute, I can cut the body of the [GT500] ] for 2014 there and body parts from 1969 so it goes like a brand new car and looks like an old one. “
This is exactly what he did. Jim did all the measurements and engineering to pair the two cars together and had a friend who was good at metalwork doing the manual work that Jim wouldn’t let him do. For the base chassis, he bought a 2014 GT500 with a 5.8-liter six-speed convertible and chassis parts. That alone would make most normal people stop and rethink, but Jim isn’t what you call “normal” in any sense of the word, so he kept working, cutting the body off the floor on the 1969 sports ceiling he bought.
Over the course of 14 months, the two intermarried together, Frankenstein-style but without a single stitch or scar. It wasn’t easy, but nothing drastic at all. For example, wanting to keep the power windows and door panels for the 2014 meant that the 1969 exterior was mated to the 2014 interior door body, making the door significantly wider and thicker than the 1969 but with all modern interiors that worked as Ford wanted . In fact, just by looking inside the car, you’d never know you weren’t on a stock 2014 Mustang. The interior rocker and plastic rear panels actually took most of the time and rework to finish and maintain a factory appearance. We didn’t have a lift on hand to get to the bottom of the car to take pictures, but looking at the design photos it’s clear the car is as nice underneath as it is on the top.
After we filmed and videotaped with Jim and his son after the Ford Nationals, they packed their bags and drove back four hours or more to West Virginia. But at the conclusion of the shoot, we asked Jim what his favorite thing about the car is. He said, “There’s nothing particular that I like about her. I love horsepower and she has a lot of that.”