1973 Ford Mustang Recovered from River Bottom in Video04/02/2020
It probably took only a few minutes for this 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 to sink to the bottom of Oregon’s Tualatin River decades ago, but it took the volunteers with Adventures with Purpose a hell of a lot longer than that to pull it out. The same boat launch where the Mach 1 was fished out has a handful of other derelicts, and this is the second car Adventures with Purpose has extracted. (The first was a first-generation Mazda RX-7.) But, boy, this Mustang really makes you cringe.
The river isn’t kind to cars, and the once-desirable Ford Mustang is basically Swiss cheese. By the way, that means the biggest challenge in extracting it—or any other riverbed-dwelling ride—is finding something solid to grab onto. For an idea of how complex and intricate the extraction process for a rusted-out hulk living underwater is, watch the video below. It also shows how dedicated the AwP volunteers are to stick with it.
To raise the S.S. Mustang, the team uses inflatable float bags (each capable of lifting 1,500 pounds), but encounters an issue when it becomes apparent the Ford is so completely full of silt that it adds thousands of pounds to the total. Add in random rocks and the car’s disintegrating structural crossmembers, and this becomes a surprisingly dramatic recovery. And no, there’s nothing left to salvage. Don’t blame the recovery team, blame whoever dumped this car into the river in the first place.
The AwP YouTube channel is full of interesting vehicle recoveries, from the aforementioned RX-7 to ski boats, scooters, and even a classic Jaguar sedan. It’s amazing what people dump in the water, but it’s even more amazing what these volunteers go through to get it back out.
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