The Heat Is On

We have spent many hours sitting in the office catching up on correspondence, stock orders, emails, stock sales etc, we seem to have one of those offices that has hot or cold extremes with not a lot of variation in between. So as a treat for our customers and nothing to do with our own comfort of course, we’ve had Air Conditioning fitted to the offices to replace the manual air conditioning we have had for the last few years – opening the window! These new units are cold air as well as heating and lots of options in between. So now the argument is just what degrees we want the offices to be. The units are so quiet and neat and you don’t even notice them. The units have only been in a few days and already the conversation is “How did we get by without them?” If you want to know the best place sit for the full benefit – move the dogs out of the way, if you feel lucky that is. 🙂

Our good friends at Scott Drake have seen what we have done to our cars using their new line in wheels, so they have decided to feature it on their posts as well:

Scott Drake

Our Mustang Maniac Forum

We have had some requests for section on the forum to be dedicated to the sale of second hand parts. This has now been added as requested. Visit our forum to see what other Mustang Owners are selling or posting on the wants list.

Customers Cars:

The week has seen a heavy repair to a great looking car that had a side impact from right to left. The big gun tools were pulled from storage and used to straighten this chassis out almost where we want it before the jig does the rest. A hydraulic ram is used to pull the back of the car round to point forwards instead of to one side.


You can see the gaps are opened on the right hand side and closed on the left

The tool we used is quite  solid bit of kit:

The car is clamped up to the chassis and the brute force will pull the car back front back into position. With most of the work done we could start to think about aligning the panels back up and getting the gaps back to where they should be. Geo  and suspension set up will take a little time to make sure the car is as good as new if not better.

As you can see from the new wing’s dry fitting the hood is now aligned up, the hinges back in place, the support braces now sorted out along with many other bits. So far so good, plenty of things to be done yet before we are close to being happy, but the project has got of to a great start.

We often get asked about our Falcon truck, “It’s just for show right?” in actual fact we use it quite a lot, 51 years later it’s still working and used almost on a daily basis. We have some pictures of a late pick up for some parts to be fitting on the cars younger siblings sitting in various workshops. Yes we do use it, a lot!

History Lesson on Recycling from Henry Ford:

The Benson Ford was originally a cargo ship for the Ford Motor Company. The interior was designed by Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison was a passenger. From the time it was built  in 1924, the boat was used to  transport coal and iron ore across the American Great Lakes.

Ford house1After being decommissioned in 1981 it was left to rust for four years before the front part of the ship was removed and perched on top of the 18-foot cliff shown below to serve as a really lovely home. The ship’s forecastle was removed, and then that portion of the boat was positioned on a great piece of waterfront property, with its bow extending out over Lake Erie for a water-going effect, and then used by its owner as a vacation home.

The  ship  still contains the beautiful wood-paneled state rooms, dining room and lounge designed by Henry Ford.

The four-deck, 7,000 square foot getaway home is made out of the ship’s forecastle, and includes the walnut paneled state rooms, dining room, galley, and passenger lounge designed by Henry Ford for his own personal use while on board. The  ship-house was originally owned by Frank J. Sullivan, but after trying and failing to turn it into a hotel in 1992, Sullivan  eventually auctioned the building to father and son, Jerry and Bryan Kaspar, who still enjoy relaxing there while taking time  off from work. It has now been modernized with a garage, a game room, a bar, a state-of-the-art kitchen, and four bathrooms. The 90-year-old US cargo ship is beautiful, as she sits there looking out over her former waterway.

Ford house6

Don’t look down – visitors may need a head for heights if they take a tour out onto the bow of the boat, and see the water way down below.

Ford house7

The four-story, 7,000 sq ft home has maintained the historic and beautiful interior, which has been updated with modern technologies.

Bryan Kaspar said, ‘Everyone who sees our home from the outside, is intrigued  to look inside. Everyone who sees this beauty, is amazed at the gorgeous woodwork throughout our beautiful ship home.

This impressive getaway is large, as it includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a captain’s office and living room with  panoramic views out across Lake Erie . The deck on the fourth floor is a great place to enjoy a cocktail overlooking the lake and the nearby cliffs, and to watch the sunsets is amazing from there. Videographer Nick James, who conducts  tours of the home, said, ‘The most incredible part is standing at the helm with the way the boat hangs over the  cliff. It actually feels like you are out on the open water.’  I love the history that remains all around the Benson Ford. In the parlor, you can just imagine Thomas Edison and Henry Ford sitting there puffing on their cigars.’ When  you’re there, it  feels as though you are stepping back in time, and that those two famed gentlemen could appear at any moment.’ An incredible beauty of a long-ago ship, still available for water lovers to see.

Ford house13

About Mustang Maniac

A business dedicated to restoration of Classic Mustangs. We supply parts for all ages of Mustangs 1964 to present day, servicing, restoration and custom builds. Anything your Mustang needs, we can help.
This entry was posted in Articles, Customers' Cars, Forum, News, Repairs and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Heat Is On

  1. Amazing story and pics about that Benson Ford ship.


  2. camerapacker says:

    The Benson Ford ship is awesome and the demo of the frame straightener was informative.


  3. Gary W says:

    When you see a lovely car like this so bent out of shape most people would think it was finished – indeed most ‘moderns’ would be taking a short trip to the skip. But most people are not part of the Mustang Maniac team – amazing to see the car come back to shape – that level of understanding and skill is mind boggling, great job fellas! I certainly don’t plan on my old car taking on that rumpled look but if the worst happened its next journey would be to the metal magicians at Mustang Maniac.


    • Thanks Gary for the kind words. We know what these cars mean to our customers and we like to think that while they are in our care, we treat them as our own. We certainly hope not to have have your business with a crummpled car, we hope you keep yours as it is. But, if it does come to the worst we will sort it out for you. You are so right though, Modern day cars would be in a scrap yard by now, but these cars we built properly, and you can fix them. There is plenty to do on this little lady, but already taking her first steps to being back on the road.


  4. Debbie says:

    Loved the great pics and history!


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