Dad Finishes What His Son Starts

            Back in 1999 Jerry McGrath’s son bought a 1972 Mach 1 Mustang in Pennsylvania. As Jerry put it, “The car was a project.” So much so that Jerry took over the job.
            “I’m retired now so I put money into when I can,” Jerry said. “It’s been a struggle.”
            But it’s a struggle that is paying off. While there are still some things to be done, Jerry’s Mach 1 is really starting to take form. The first time we saw the car was a couple of months ago and it hadn’t been painted.
            “I just got it painted,” he said of a task that took him over a year to complete. The Viper Red color, beautifully put on by Southern Ohio Collision, is a little lighter than the original color but Jerry picked it because he liked it. And it adds to the “turn your head” quality of the car.
            It may be true that the color of the car is eye-catching, it’s growl, when he fires up the 351 Cleveland and pushes it through its four speed Hurst shifter that really makes you notice this car as it flies down the road.
            The car has the original interior but Jerry pointed out that he needs to do a few more things to get the car where he wants it. “I still need to get the air conditioning done,” Jerry said. “I need to find a new tach and get a steering wheel” to replace the original one that now sports a crack.
            Even as the car is coming together nicely, Jerry is able to talk about some of the problems he encountered along the way. Having to straighten out all the seams was just the first of many challenges he’s encountered. “The hardest part was getting the sway bars in,” he said.
            “While I was driving it I heard this clunk,” Jerry said of another difficult time in the car’s restoration. “The left rear brake just came apart.” As he fixed that, other parts started shaking loose or coming apart. “Basically we had to take it all apart and put it all back together again,” he added, grinning at the situation now, unlike when it happened.
            Despite all of the problems, Jerry wouldn’t trade it in for anything. And even though it isn’t in show condition yet, he still likes to take it shows, like he did at the recent 31st Annual Tri-State Mustang Club All Ford Show.
            Car shows and his friends he sees at them aren’t the real reason Jerry enjoys the car. “I drive it a lot,” he said, a wry grin forcing itself on his face. “Every chance I get.”


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