Don’t throw those old Mustang parts away. That’s what Bob Perkins of Perkins Restoration (www.perkinsrestoration.com) in Juneau, WI told many Ford dealers back in the 1970s. Perkins somehow came up with a list of every Ford dealer in the country and whenever he traveled around, he would visit them and try to buy up their obsolete parts. Perkins acquired quite a collection of Ford hardware and today he uses those parts to build ‘just-like-they-came-from-the-factory’ Mustang restorations.
Although Perkins’ collection of parts, engines and cars covers all Ford Motor Co. cars – not just Mustangs – his specialty is super-authentic restorations of six-figure Mustang Boss 429s. If you know your Mustang history, you’ll remember that 500 of these cars had to be built as “production models” in order to qualify the Boss 429 engine for use in NASCAR stock cars.
Perkins Restoration does just about everything other than machining. “We do things no one wants to do, like putting the cylinder heads with o-rings on,” he told Engine Builder. “We don’t have a dyno and we don’t do chrome plating, but we do all the engine assembly work right here in our own shop.”
According to Perkins, it’s hard to justify a professional restoration on a regular Mustang because time and materials will cost more than the car is worth when it’s done. However, a Boss 429 with a $500,000 restoration can be worth $900,000 when finished. “It’s still a good investment for the guy who’s laying the money down for the restoration,” Perkins explained. “That makes the high-end Mustangs like Shelbys and Boss 429s worth doing.”
Perkins’ collectibles include dealership signs that promote different Ford engines and literature and memorabilia, as well as a number of rare engines including drag racer Hubert Platt’s ’69 “Canted Valve” 429 Mustang engine that appeared on the cover of Hot Rod magazine’s February 1969 issue. Hot Rod described this engine as “Ford’s answer to the Hemi Mopar Barracuda.”
Perkins does sell some of his rare parts and often lists items on his website. Some of his recent offerings include a new, old stock Boss 302 engine, a new, old stock Boss 429 8-barrel inline induction setup and a new, old stock 1950s Ford engine dress up kit.
Bob Perkins is also a contributing editor and technical advisor to the Mustang Club of America’s Mustang Monthly. He writes the “Resto Roundup” column for that magazine and serves as MCA’s Authenticity head judge. He is also head judge for the Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC). He has been a Bloomington Gold Survivor Zenith Judge for Ford products and serves as a Ford answer man for the “My Classic Garage” expert panel. ν