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  1. #1

    Default Yellow DSO Mclaren M81 in WV

    Hi guys. I've been playing with Mustangs for years, but I'm new to the forum. Just picked up a new project I need help with. This car was built from a 1979 Pace Car at Gallagher Ford in Huntington, WV in the early 80s. It was a factory V-8 4spd car. A guy had crashed a new Pace Car test driving. Insurance totaled due to fact it could not be sold as a new car. Dealer bought from insurance. Car sat while they decided what to do with it. About this time the DSO Mclaren body kits came out. Car was rebuilt with one of the kits and painted white. An acquaintance of mine bout the car and had it for years. Eventually pulling it off the road to redo. Like a lot of projects it went down hill from there. I tried to buy the car multiple times, with no success. Last time I went, the car was gone. He had got into a bind and sold. I then tried to track that person with no success. The next time I saw the car was probably early 2000s. It was the eyesore you see here, but was freshly done. Someone had spent a ton of money to ruin the car. Fast forward to last month. I found the car for sale in Chillicothe, OH and bought it. After 30 yrs I got it. It is a basket case. Has a 4.6 2v mod motor. 94-98 dash. I want to get the body and interior back to original and then either single turbo a SBF or Coyote with 6spd and pro touring style suspension and wheels/tires. Main problem is factory hood is gone and front nose and all belt moldings have been shaved. Then rear quarter flairs and tailights were frenched. This may be more involved than what I want to tackle, but for now I think it can be done. My concern right now is to try and find a hood and nose. Hood more so. Does anyone know of where I could locate either. Thanks.

    Cliffs: Anyone know where I could get a M81 hood and nose for this.Name:  IMG_1568.JPG
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  2. #2
    FEP Senior Member
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    I'm not one to back away from a challenge, but this one is going to be a lot of work to undue everything done. If you could put the front and rear back to stock, but leave the bodyside alone, what would it look like? I am a fan of widebodies and Pro Touring, and it may look pretty good if you can break up all the frenched edges. It's a boxy car, and breaking up the edges would make it look better to me.

    I can't help with M81 parts unfortunately, but I'll be watching to see what you come up with.

  3. #3
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    Good luck with it, sounds like you have some good ideas.
    Kendal

  4. #4
    FEP Supporter 4-barrel Mike's Avatar
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    '79 Pace Cars are a dime a dozen while this car seems to be a unique piece of Fox history. Leave the body as is and buy a unmodded PC if that is what you're looking for.

    Just an opinion, as, of course, YMMF.

    Mike
    1985 ascMcLaren 5.0 SC Roadster
    My '78 Fairmont build - http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthre...539-78-Big-Red

  5. #5
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Funny I don't remember this car. I grew up in Huntington and even worked right across the street from Gallagher Ford. I do remember a nice gt350 there. Must have been owned by one of the employees because I think it was there for a couple years... parked near the entrance of the body shop, iirc. That would have been early or mid 90's.
    79 Pace Car - 331, t5
    79 Cobra - working on 351w, t5
    86 coupe - rotbox roller
    86 coupe - working on 408w, c4
    88gt - 302 efi, t5

  6. #6
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Had to go back and re-read your post. I take it you don't have any pics of it before it turned into this?

    And where do you live now? Did you live in/around Huntington back then? My cousin owned a pace car in the 80's and lived just across the river in Proctorville. I still live near Huntington...in Barboursville,.
    79 Pace Car - 331, t5
    79 Cobra - working on 351w, t5
    86 coupe - rotbox roller
    86 coupe - working on 408w, c4
    88gt - 302 efi, t5

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the comments. Just for clarity 4 barrel Mike, I'm trying to get it back to looking like an original Mclaren, not a Pace Car. Broncojunkie I'm in Proctorville. This car was originally built approximately 1981-1982. No pics, but it looked identical to a true Mclaren, except all white and they left the Pace Car spoiler on the back. It was on blocks out back of Chesapeake, OH by the mid 90s.

  8. #8
    FEP Supporter 4-barrel Mike's Avatar
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    Got it!

    Mike
    1985 ascMcLaren 5.0 SC Roadster
    My '78 Fairmont build - http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthre...539-78-Big-Red

  9. #9
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trent View Post
    Thanks for the comments. Just for clarity 4 barrel Mike, I'm trying to get it back to looking like an original Mclaren, not a Pace Car. Broncojunkie I'm in Proctorville. This car was originally built approximately 1981-1982. No pics, but it looked identical to a true Mclaren, except all white and they left the Pace Car spoiler on the back. It was on blocks out back of Chesapeake, OH by the mid 90s.
    My cousin's pace car he owned in the 80's had a nasty 351c in it (c4, saleen wing, and gold mesh wheels.) He lived over near the Rome fire dept. When he got older, he bought a house in Chesapeake and bought another pace car (302, nitrous, t5, draglites) in the late 90's. His name is Duane. His brother-in-law (Shawn) still has the clevo car, I believe. Just wondering if you know them by chance.
    79 Pace Car - 331, t5
    79 Cobra - working on 351w, t5
    86 coupe - rotbox roller
    86 coupe - working on 408w, c4
    88gt - 302 efi, t5

  10. #10

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    I don't know them, but I'm pretty sure I've seen the second car you are talking about. Did he live in a yellow sided house? If that's the one, seemed to be nice from what I could tell from the street.

  11. #11

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    Great story and good job bringing it home finally! Awesome blank canvas to work from. You get to do what you want with whatever budget you have. I like your plan but finding a good m81 hood could prove very difficult and probably would need to be modified to work with a v8 but if you come up with a source let us know as Id love a replacement! Id suggest you just find a good fiberglass body shop and sharpen the kit up a bit. Im not a fan of those taillights so maybe reinstall factory style? Find some e51 BBS wheels and wide meats and go nuts with the engine!

    How's the interior look?
    Last edited by m81mclaren; 09-16-2019 at 09:31 AM.
    Current FEP:
    1980 M81 McLaren Carb Turbo 2.3T #003P ... IT'S ALIVE after a 22 year slumber thread!

    Past FEP:
    1986 Capri GS 5.0- very missed but in goods hands
    1985 LTD SSP- quick little fox 5.0

  12. #12

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    It's shot. I guess when they butchered the body, they installed a 94-98 Mustang dash and console. Has a set of yellow tuner style seats. Rear interior panels are missing. I'm going to get some good photos off internet of original m81s and take some similar angled shots of my car. Take to a couple of the better body men around here and see what kind of estimate I get to try and get back to original look. I may be better off finding a solid 79-82 Mustang that everything is there and switch body panels over and try to re graft quarter flares. Just trying to find a 79-82 rear bumper and taillights has been a lost cause so far. I have always fulled with the 87-93 cars. I'm finding that opening the catalog and order whatever parts you need doesn't work on the 79-82 cars. Can't believe how little is available for them.

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