- The Washington Times - Friday, December 1, 2000

From 1964, when the first Mustang rolled off the Ford assembly line and out the factory door, Gary Bloss has been a fan of the sporty car from Ford.
His allegiance never wavered as the nimble little Mustang matured into a larger, heavier car in the early 1970s.
By June 1977 he had graduated from the University of Baltimore and was living in Annapolis. He thought about buying a new Mustang, but fiscal reality soon brought the recent graduate to consider a more affordable used Mustang.
He recalled how thrilling the slope-back Mustangs of 1971, 1972 and 1973 had appeared. That's the era where he would find his Mustang no squared-off coupe or convertible for him.
The search began and soon led to a one-owner, 5-year-old, 1972 Mustang with 92,000 miles registered on the odometer. Although the mileage was high, Mr. Bloss was assured the miles were mostly of the highway variety.
He bought the car, one of 15,622 such models manufactured, in July 1977.
Mr. Bloss found that his new-old Mustang had been ordered equipped as if he had ordered it himself.
The 2,952-pound Mustang came with accessories including
AM radio
Tinted windows
Air conditioning
Windshield washers
Automatic transmission
Day-night rearview mirror
Dual outside sports mirrors.
After a year of driving bliss, Mr. Bloss decided to have the Mustang repainted in its original light blue color. The dark blue interior remains virtually original, the floor-mounted automatic three-speed transmission lever protruding from the mahogany-lined console with gears from the front to rear of:
By 1979 Mr. Bloss discovered that his 302-cubic-inch V-8 engine that produced 141 horsepower had begun smoking. The malady wasn't fatal and was easily remedied by a ring job.
With the engine bored out and the installation of oversize rings and hydraulic lifters the problem was solved. The valves were also ground during this exercise.
When all the work was complete he mounted FR-70x14-inch radial tires on optional Cragar wheels set on the 109-inch wheelbase. The new tires provide superior performance and ride over the original bias-ply tires.
Since the refurbishing more than 20 years ago Mr. Bloss has driven his refreshed car to several local Mustang shows as well as on trips to Atlantic City, N.J., and vacations to the Pocono Mountains. The odometer now has recorded more than 110,000 miles.
With a 20-gallon gasoline tank to feed the V-8, Mr. Bloss reports overall mileage of about 17 miles per gallon.
Of course, that mileage figure doesn't apply when the high end of the 120 mph speedometer is challenged. "I know it'll do at least 110 mph," Mr. Bloss said.
Mr. Bloss, now married, has moved his family to Alexandria, Va. He has made a few alterations to the car for his personal pleasure but none that can't be easily undone.
The personal touches were made with Mr. Bloss' preteen son, Gary Junior, in mind. Both father and son like the long, chrome side exhaust pipes that permit a healthy rumble to roll out.
After more than two decades of work, Mr. Bloss has his Mustang in the condition he has long sought. Additionally, the engine is running strong.
Mr. Bloss has every intention of maintaining his sleek Mustang with the assistance of his son. Eventually, Mr. Bloss said, if Gary Jr. is receptive to the idea, the Mustang will be his.

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