Happy New Year although we’re almost half way through the first month of a new decade. We had a relaxing time enjoyed the alcohol we were supplied and ate to much as we all do. What we wasn’t expecting was to have a couple of emails from customers asking us about stock levels. A couple of points to note here; 1) the WebShop clearly states that the item is in stock or not. 2) It’s Christmas day they should be enjoying time with their families. To make things worse, yes we looked at the email and yes we did respond! How’s that for customer service?
Since our return we have not been sitting idle, Yogi has been working on a project which are not blogging the details about. Not that we are hiding anything, it’s just that it’s not our normal remit of projects and we are doing this as a special for a very close friend of ours and exceptional customer too. If we show the project we will no doubt be getting requests to do similar work on other cars. Which we won’t be doing of course.
Our bread and butter is Mustangs of course, but in some cases it can be Beluga Caviar if you have the money, like $3.4m to be exact. We are talking of course about the ’68 Mustang hero car of the film Bullitt, which Steve McQueen drove. The car was owned by Sean Kiernan who’s father Robert bought the car in 1974 for a grand total of $3,500! He saw the car advertised in the magazine ‘Road & Track’ and has been in the family for 45 years, and was even used as a daily driver up to 1980 when the clutch gave out. The auction for this iconic car was held at Mecum Kissimmee, Orlando Florida on 10th January 2020 and reached an astonishing $3m within the first minute. Total time for the sale was eleven minutes with the highest bid going to an unknown bidder via telephone. We borrow these pics from the Mecum auction house.
We have been asked about the “Onion Mustang” over the Christmas holidays so we thought we would give a nice update and things have suddenly moved up a gear. This is going to be stunning car when it’s completed. The levels of detail applied we have seen before with a few of our very own OCD driven customers, and this car is way up there too already.
Work has been slow and used as a filler work, but at a steady pace (as it’s not a priority at the moment from the customer), since the last instalment on the onion a good few months ago. Much of the work such as wiring you can’t really see anyway.
The interior of the car was thoroughly covered in sound deadening material then it was rewired using our standard off the shelf solution of the American Autowire kit.
Not only has the car got a new modern wire loom now, but the car also benefits from two auxiliary fuse boxes, both located behind the passenger dash for a special purpose. This car has a little secret, well two actually, which are not quite so secret anymore. She has been fitted with throttle body fuel injection (EFI) as well as an electronic overdrive transmission. The auxiliary fuse boxes handle their delicate electronics. All subtly hidden away behind the plain stock C-code dashboard, well except for subtle little tell tale display which shows a digital representation of gearbox’s status. The over drive can be activated or deactivated by a hidden switch.
The motor has now had all its ancillaries fitted including a later model serpentine system and a third generation higher output alternator, to cope with the additional load of the electronics now being used. The plumbing has also now been completed with a little help from a nice shiny aluminium radiator.
A new driveshaft was also a ‘one off, bespoke hand crafted’ item made to carry the power from the later model trans to a rebuilt 8.8″ axle with a 3.55 Trac-Lok differential, and some nice option rear disc brakes too. All of which are sitting below a 69′ twenty two gallon fuel tank with our new stock of an in-tank fuel pump, all plumbed in place with some custom Yogi hard line pipework up to the business end.
After the wiring and running gear was attended to, the exterior trim started to get some special attention, but no ordinary trim. The customer had taken the shiny parts away and made a few changes. All the polished stainless steel and polished aluminium trim pieces were first chrome plated for a deeper and more robust lustre, not to mention less polishing as the owner is a self confessed ‘lazy b******d’ when it comes to his cleaning. His very own words we must add, not ours. 🙂
The rear light panel was also embellished with a rather special ‘Dealer’ plaque as the “Onion” was a genuine ‘Tasca” Ford car. “Tasca” are a huge Ford dealership in East Providence, Rhode Island who played a pivotal role in Fords “Total Performance” programme of the 1960’s. They were considered to be the home of the legendary ‘Thunderbolts’ and ‘Cobra Jets’ of that era.
The owner’s original brief for the car was “try and make it as subtle and classy as possible, but to keep it recognisable as a no frills 67 C-Code convertible”. A challenge we couldn’t possibly ignore. So that means, no deluxe dash, standard seats, no GT spot lamps or even the ‘S’ code tachometer. There won’t even be a centre console fitted either as this particular car was originally ordered new with a rare bench seat option. The bench seat will be fitted back to the car after re-trimming and the carpet has had a chance to settle down from the packaging and has now been laid out permanently.
The next step was to get the 2.5″ inch stainless steel exhaust system fitted so that the motor can be started and the modern day EFI and transmission can be configured using something called a ‘laptop’, not using proper tools like a screwdriver and a pair of ears, old school style.
The owner has a self confessed ‘disease‘ as he puts it, before the exhaust could be fitted he took the parts away and done this with it! All from somebody who don’t like cleaning!
And then this to the hanging kit and some clips;
But before the exhaust could be fitted, a small modification had to be made to the reinforcement plate under the car to provide enough clearance for the slightly larger ‘one off, bespoke hand crafted’ exhaust system.
Wheels and tyres haven’t been decided on just yet, (although he has his eye on another customers wheels), but there is plenty of time for all that later. Next up the car requires the roof frame to be reconditioned and a new mohair roof made for it and then fitted, all of which will take some time.
Only Mustang Maniac can turn a green “Onion” into a “Black Pearl”. Like we have said many times before, although most of the car was peeled away, leaving not a lot to be honest, what we are now looking at is an exceptional car.
If this car doesn’t win trophies, we don’t know what will!