A Very Special Guest

As this is the first post of the year; Happy New Year to all our readers and followers and we hope you all had a great Christmas. Thanks to those of you who dropped us gifts into the office all of which was very much appreciated. We thought we would that we would start the first post off with a bang, it doesn’t get much better than this:

Adam had kept it quiet that there was going to be a very special guest coming to the UK over Christmas to visit him for a stop over before they went back to the USA. That special guest is his friend Cleo Shelby. Cleo landed in the UK before Christmas and Adam was there to pick her up and take her back to his home while Cleo finalised arrangements for what she needed to do while over here in the UK. As Adam is a private person he fully respects Cleo’s privacy and the need to get away from it all now and again. With that in mind the visit was kept quiet to stop any unwanted attention which would allow Cleo to just get on and do her thing. Cleo would stay at Adam’s home before she returned to the USA where she was treated just like one of the family. It was a time to relax and not have to worry about anything except just being yourself, a pub visit, meals out and of course the catch ups late into the night.

Adam had asked Cleo to sign the odd thing or two for him. Cleo kindly agreed and wrapped up warm in a borrowed coat and was then taken out into the British cold weather. Cleo was shown around Adam’s vast parts stores and car just as big a car collection. Cleo was impressed by the number of cars Adam had and realised why Adam has so many guard dogs to protect his premises. Cleo was even treated to the full access guided tour even to the out-of-the-way areas where the rarities are stored. Adam had uncovered his much-loved Shelbys in anticipation for the evening signing session should Cleo agree of course. Cleo sat in each one of the cars to sign them for him. There was no expense sparred on the new Sharpie pens which were bought just for the this occasion in a selection of colours, black or silver. The only down side was trying to sort out a good balance of lighting for Cleo to see what she was doing and also for the camera work during the signings as it was starting to get dark very quickly. Sometimes the lighting and camera work getting in each others way! As with all signatures proof is always part of the provenance so Cleo was happy to oblige there too for us, just in case some people didn’t believe the authenticity of the signatures. Adam has more photo’s but they are for his private collection and not to be plastered all over the internet.

Adams Orange KR was up first.

Adam’s anniversary Hertz.

A friend and good customer of Adam’s had his anniversary Hertz at the yard for a little work which also received the coveted Shelby signature.

Next up was Adam’s pride and joy, his genuine un-restored 1966 Hertz. Adam explained to Cleo how he come to get the rare beast before she signed it in silver for him.

After the guided tour of the workshops and the yard it was back up to the offices for some warmth and conversations. In the offices there was a little more signing to be done on three DeAgostini 1:8th scale ’67 Shelby GT500 models. They were for Adam’s grandson’s Jack (a part finished model), Gary’s and Mart’s completed models waiting for that special signature.

Jack’s model being signed:

Gary’s model being signed:

Mart’s model and book being signed:

Those who are eagle-eyed will see that the cars are different as the aerial was removed on Mart’s car for transport other wise it didn’t fit in the storage box. There was also a Limited Edition book called “The Art of the Mustang” which Mart sneaked into the mix to be signed by Cleo on the author’s signature page too.

Cleo was now in much need of a hot cup of tea, so it was back to the house and get ready for the night out and something to eat. Cleo had given Lynn and Adam their gifts, Adam’s was a Limited Edition still boxed 1966 Hertz model in mint condition that was originally given to Carroll Shelby himself.

Thank You Very Much Cleo.

We can only say a huge thank you to Cleo for taking time out (especially in the freezing cold), to sign the full-sized cars and models for us. You can bet your car keys that these cars, the model’s and the book will not be parted with just for the money. Cleo’s signatures just make special items very special and unique indeed, none of which you will be seeing on eBay!

A Man Of Many Hats

We have to point out to the rest of the world that in the UK a single flake of snow causes carnage all over the country; trains stop running, roads close, satellite TV’s stop working, power cuts you name it! The bit that we are concerned about is that the bad weather brings out a certain type of driver who hits the roads and then hits you if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. We think a picture can say more than a sentence or two could, enough said? OK, the cock is on top of the car not driving it. Perhaps they should be forced to drive with this little modification so we know who they are from a distance?

Seriously though; we have been warned by some couriers that due to the “snow” which lasted only a couple of hours in our area, some deliveries could be delayed. However any orders from our point of view will still be as normal with no delays expected. Please be patient with your delivery drivers.

WebShop

We was going to start with the dreaded “C” word – yep “Christmas”, not sure why everything is now starting to be called “Holidays” these days, perhaps it’s the PC crowd not wanting to offend anybody, even though it’s a religious celebration called Christmas for Hundreds of years now. The tradition is to give gifts to your loved ones, with that in mind the WebShop vouchers have started to sell as we would expect coming up to Christmas, in order to keep up with the demand a new batch will be arriving soon. So if you want some vouchers for that special person in your life the link is here, or they can be found on the WebShop along with lots of other goodies! Now it has to be said that Mustang Maniac does get into the swing of things at this festive season and Adam just wanted to prove the point here:

But as it’s cold around the yard, Santa’s helper – OK it’s Adam! he needed a nice warm hat. Words fail us at this point, but it did provide a welcome sight carrying a few cups of tea!

A little quiz just for fun – Adam says “Can you guess what this hat says?”

Customer Cars:

OK, sensible time now. The blue racing coupe has had her paint, been given the Mustang Maniac “works”. We are just waiting for a time slot for the MOT then she can go to her owner. We have some before and after pics for you.

After:

We have also had in a customers own Restomod Coupe into us which he has been working on for the last ten years, a real tribute to the owner. We just needed to sort out a few little niggles with engine running which was not your normal 289!

The car has HID headlights and some nice touch daytime running lights.

Interior.

Under the hood it’s not what you would expect to see.

The owner of this car has hinted to us that the car could be up for sale for the right price.

F100

Not our normal project work but we were happy to oblige with this nice example.

Ford Facts:

1) The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) initially refused the request from Ford to declare the Mustang a “sports car” – important to allow Ford to race the new car. Ford asked Caroll Shelby to negotiate for them and he suggested the only real issue was “sports cars don’t have rear seats” so he modified every one of the 560 1965 GT350s with a floor panel to replace the rear seats. Later in 1966 the SCCA, understanding how important the Mustang was for them, relaxed the rear seat issue – all 2274 1966 GT350s had rear seats.

2) Wilson Pickett’s ‘Mustang Sally’ was a huge hit….but did you know it was actually a ‘cover’ of an earlier song written and performed by Mack Rice. It was originally called ‘Mustang Mama’ but Aretha Franklin suggested the change. Ironically, before Mack Rice wrote and performed Mustang Sally, he was in an R&B band….called ‘The Falcons’. The irony is that Mustang was based closely on the Ford Falcon.

3) One of the four evaluation 1965 Shelby GT 350 Convertibles was sold after its evaluation work was completed by Caroll Shelby to Bob Shane of the ‘Kingston Trio’. The vehicle still exists in pristine condition.

4) Ex President Clinton owns a 67 convertible in light blue. One could expect that it’s a fire breathing muscle car…but is in fact a 6 cylinder . It was loaned to a classic car museum in Arkansas for the term of his presidency and never stored at the Whitehouse or used in any official cavalcades.

5) Ford got Kar-Kraft to build a prototype mid-engined Boss 427 code named LID Mustang (Low Investment Driveline). It worked well but never went into production. The whereabouts of the prototypes remains unknown.

6) In the cult film Bullitt, Ford initially insisted that the car chase would be an ‘all Ford affair’ and a number of Mustangs (390 S codes) and two Galaxies were supplied to the production company. Shooting started but while the Mustangs stood up quite well to the chase scenes, the Galaxies quickly suffered from the rough landings around San Francisco and were replaced with Dodge Chargers (440 Magnum L codes).

7) The most popular 1969 Boss Mustang colour was yellow (well over 1/3 of all production were Bright Yellow).

8) Pontiac borrowed Ford’s 3 speed manual transmission. If a post 1965 GTO has the ‘heavy duty option’ (code S) then it’s a Ford Transmission.

9) Mustang 2 with its Pinto engine was a complete flop…true or false? False, in fact sales in the first year got to within 10% of the first edition (385,993 versus 418,812) – a sales volume any maker would be delighted with!

10) The launch of the new Ford Maverick was on April 17 1969, the same date as the original Mustang in 1964. By the April 64 launch date Ford had produced just 8000 Mustangs – just enough for one for each dealer on launch day. By the end of the month they had produced near to 20,000.

(source: Steve Magnante’s 1001 Mustang Facts)

Finally:

As it’s pretty cold we also decided to clean a car, but in the warm.

Drive carefully out there!

New Arrivals

A large post this week, so we will start with something not related to cars, but with some cuddly puppy pics. Yep, Adam’s much-loved Shelby guard dog has had pups. This was a bit of a surprise to us and certainly not planned, but “doctor” Morgan picked up she was due to have the litter while Adam was in Las Vegas. There was virtually no signs of the pregnancy apart from a little weight. There were originally eight in the litter with two white pups, one of which passed away along with a usual markings pup. We now have six left, three boys and three girls, both mum Shelby and her pups are doing well. What Adam plans to do with them is undecided just yet, apart from giving them lots of cuddles that is.

Customers Cars.

A big congratulations to one of our customers. Ross attended the Birmingham NEC Classic Car Show this year. He picked up “Car of the Year” from Classic American magazine with his ’67 genuine 390GT concours correct car.

Ross (on the left) with his award standing next another customer of ours and good friend Barry.

’67 Highland Green Fastback

The car was treated to a new Truetrac diff in a reconditioned 9″ axle.

The rear springs, shackles and plates were replaced rear drums given a little TLC and new oil sump completes the list.

Shelby GT500 DeAgostini 1:8th Model – Completed!

Finally after two long years of building, the model is now completed. It has been a largely enjoyable process with just a few minor niggles. The last four issues ninety-seven to one hundred arrived last week to a sigh of relief. This is a monster model and very heavy, the finished model specs are Length: 590mm (23.2”) | Height: 170mm (6.7”) | Width: 230mm (9”). We have a day one walk through from issue one to issue one hundred which can be found here, or click on the menu bar at the top.

The process in this update was to attach the body to the chassis, attach the doors and finish the electrics, which we had a small problem with, but we managed to fix quite easily.

WebShop:

We have been asked a few times again this week about our current stock levels and do we have the item in stock? The WebShop is up to date; if it says it’s in stock then it it’s in stock no need to call us. We have extended our storage capacity yet again and made better use of our space. We have been by adding racking to the upper levels of the heavy panel storage rooms. On a Monday morning we have the weekend parts picked and ready for packaging and dispatch. So if you try to call us first thing on a Monday, we are more often than not busy here!

The packing area has now been upgraded too for easier access. Flex plates and flywheels have been increased in stock to go with the large selection of clutches.

Adam has sourced some windscreens as well, these are with the inset laminated Ford anti-fog wires, he has few in stock now – not cheap granted – but a superb upgrade.

The rest of the stock has moved the more common suspension and brake parts around as well.

The heavy panel storage is unrecognisable now with big changes all round.

So as you can see, we don’t just hold the odd part now and again, we hold lots of parts that haven’t been added to the WebShop just yet. A recent question was asked about our postage as well. We use a next day dispatch courier and the charge for that service is what we get charged, we don’t make money on the postage to keep it as low as possible. Orders are more than welcome to be picked up in person, or arrange your own collection – please let us know by email if this is your choice so we can get your order ready for collection.

2018 Calendars. 

We have had a good response to the “Limited Edition” Mustang Maniac calendars and some left. Please get in early if you are wanting to grab your copy – free with your order over £200+ vat.

Add Ons

We have seen the argument for the “independent” rear suspensions on the Classic Mustangs, there are obviously two sides to each discussion. Once the aftermarket bolt-ons have been added for a while, they are usually taken off and end up in the scrap skip. The main point is here that although you can remove the leaf springs and put various coils, shocks and traction bars onto the rear axle, however, the rear axle is hollow heavy tube in effect, so each side of the suspension will never be independent from each other, this set up is known as a “live” rear axle. Here is the setup that has been removed from a ’68 390 fastback.

The correct suspensions was added back to the ‘car which now looks neater, sits correctly and handles how they should and more predictable. The best bit? The car is pleasant to drive again without any rattle, bang or clunk or sound track, just like you are towing a crate of tin cans up the road!

We have another ’66 convertible which is in for some routine annual service. But we can see some rare options of the headlight doors having a chrome trim around the front. It give the car a totally different look.

Article:

We were sent an email (thanks Gary), to say that he had found something on YouTube that we might like, so we decided to share it with you.

We can’t take the credit for this one but the original is located here.

Shelby GT500 DeAgostini 1:8th Model Update

Another delivery from DeAgostini has moved us to within one more delivery for completion. The build log has been updated and can be found by clicking here. or cut and paste the link here to your browser.

https://mustangmaniac.org/shelby-gt500-18th-scale-model/

So we have added a few little pics to show the progress again.

We cant wait till the build is finished now as it’s been almost two years.

Last Of The First Generation

Mustang Maniac has its own huge selection of Mustangs around the yard and their various storage locations, until now there hasn’t been a ’73 in the fleet. Everybody knows the ’71 Mach1 which was used in the bond film “Diamonds are Forever” which was a big change in design, but there is the often forgotten ’73 which was the last of the “First Generation” Mustangs. Adam has managed to pick up pretty amazing example of one of these cars, again in red to match his ’71 Mach1.  This car not only looks fantastic but also drives beautifully. Adam had the keys for only a few minutes and then threw the keys at me for a test drive. Hell Yeah!

Adam said “it’s a ’73 – not everyone’s cup of tea”.

I wasn’t expecting to much from the car as I am quite biased to the ’64 – ’69 cars. Opening the door and I was greeted by an original plush interior which had moved away from the all vinyl seats.

A turn of the key and the 351 fired up and there was a burble and that was it, shutting the door and the noise was almost gone, thinking to myself that this makes a nice change. Disengage the park brake and select drive, release the foot brake and we crept forward. No rattles or vibrations, no moans or groans. A little gas and we were at the gates to turn right, the power steering more positive than the earlier models. Pulling out onto the main road a little more gas as I was propelled forward without any fuss or excessive noise, you just knew there was a big engine in there. Now I am not going to say which route I took for the test drive, but an accelerating BMW was a little further back than he was expecting to be before I even got into top gear should we say. The car just cruised effortlessly at 70mph and there was no noise from the convertible roof, no wind drafts and all was how it was meant to be in the ’73. Reluctantly I turned to make my return back to the yard and I wondered what she would be like on kick-down. So with a nice clear road, very slightly damp peace of tarmac and nobody about – I stamped on it. The quiet had now dissipated and the cabin was filled with an angry 351 wanting to get up and go, the tyres lit up from 20mph, traction gone and the car snakes up the tarmac leaving a nice set of 11’s behind, this car shifts. The smile on my face returned to sensible concentration again as I lifted of the gas after a couple of seconds. I had grown to love this car by the time I back to the yard about ten minutes later. Going around corners it was no hassle and just drove like a good Ford Granada used too. I think I want this car, OK – I have thought about it and I do want this car. The paperwork Adam has with the car is the Marti Report, the original purchase slip and documents from the original owner, the options sheet and huge wad of receipts for services and the import sheets.

It may well not be every-bodies cup of tea, but this is a great car and I would love this car as a daily driver. Opinion changed – I also like the last of the first generations too. This has to be one of the best examples we have seen of this model within our yard!

Shelby GT500 DeAgostini 1:8th Model Update

We are only a couple of issues away from the completion now. We have updated the build page, click here for the link or cut and past the link below to visit the page.

https://mustangmaniac.org/shelby-gt500-18th-scale-model/

The icon rear light clusters have been fitted now along with the rear LED boards. The windscreen is now in place and the trunk in place.

 

The Great Debate again.

We have had a number of conversations in the office with the customers about the no need for MOT’s for cars over forty years old. The poll is still a huge 87% against the ruling now. One conversation was around the “Hot Rod” scene. Many of the cars are heavily modified of course and could lose their date related plates. Would they need to have a specialist to inspect them before allowing them on the road? We still can’t believe this government wants to play around with a system that works and virtually nobody wants to change. Absolutely ridiculous. Please leave any thoughts or comments for us about this or anything else you want to mention.

SEMA 2017

Adam is getting ready to make his yearly trim to Las Vegas for the SEMA show and looking forward to it. We are hoping to bring you some photo’s again from the event, but probably not on the scale as last years coverage.

Tilt Away

Last week we had posted about the proposals for the UK to stop mandatory MOTs for cars over forty years old. Well our poll has told us that a massive 90% of people thought it was a bad idea! We agree. We have had a few emails in to us and they have all been along the same lines as this quote below which sums it all up, along with the frustrations.

“I guess the bigger issue for the classic car scene and Mustangs in particular is the issue of modifications….and the way the DFT (Department for Transport), will treat it. They still haven’t issued any guidelines and are saying that any modified car will possibly need MOTing and may need to be identified by a “Q” plate. The issues this raises are enormous…does that include a Holley carb rather than the standard Autolite, rack and pinion steering, disc brakes, LED rear lights and the list goes on and on.  My car is pretty much stock, but I have added a servo and dual line brakes and LED lights so does that make me liable for a MOT and Q plate?”

The “Q” plate issue raised here will make a lot of unhappy classic car owners who will not be able to use the correct date plates for their cars. So if you improve a car’s safety by adding LED lights instead of the poor standard bulbs that is a modification and will need a modified reg plate! The government doesn’t seem to have thought this through. Some criteria for “Q” plates are listed here: Self-built constructions, Key Q-plate insurance points, Ex-military vehicles, Radically altered vehicles, Self-imported vehicles, Any car that doesn’t have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), Single and Individual Vehicle Approval. The other point is here that the insurance for a “Q” plate car will go mental and we have found similar descriptions for most insurers;

Insuring a Q-registered vehicle:

Insurance coverage still poses more of a challenge than insuring a regular ‘off-the-production-line’ vehicle. This is because all insurance is about quantifying risk, and risk is much harder to determine with any Q-plated vehicle. Obtaining cover is by no means impossible, though. While some insurers refuse to cover any Q registrations, there are a number of providers who specialise in this side of the motor market and have a detailed knowledge of all types of Q registration (even tanks!). In order to assess the risk of any individual vehicle and calculate an appropriate premium they need specifics on every single aspect of the vehicle. We like to think that this will not be the case, but this last sentence in blue could make a huge difference to owning a classic car. 

We have seen petitions on the forums to pass to the government to stop these mad proposals. If you see it, sign it and pass it on.

News:

Adam has added to his Mustang collection again, this time with a very nice virtually untouched ’67 Convertible.

Adam is particularly pleased with this little lady as there is a nice option extra that he has seen plenty off in the past, but not working properly. The “Tilt Away” steering wheel. We have taken a short video of it in action.

Customers Cars:

BRC has been worked on by Yogi and has some parts put refitted. The engine, the rear axle, Borgeson steering box and rear brakes are back in place. the front suspension needed new upper and lower control arms and then the brakes can be fitted.

Please keep your comments coming about the MOT debate. As we were preparing this post we have some more DeAgostini parts arrive for the Model, so we will have that updated for you soon.

How Much?

Things have been a little quieter this week with Yogi taking a well-earned break, on the other hand we have been seriously busy in the WebShop with the new products of the oils proving to be popular. We have had a number of emails asking where the Shelby GT500 1:8th model has gone as there has been no updates. It appears that the DeAgostini have been waiting for their shipments of the parts too. Mid week we had a delivery of the latest issues which we have updated the build page for you or click here for the quick link.

Guest Photographer:

Last week was the very local car show at Buntigford, which is only a few minutes drive away. The cars are lined up in the high street and shut of for local traffic. It’s not a bad show and Adam asked his Grandson Jack if he wanted to take the pictures for this weeks part of the blog. So here we are, Jacks photo’s:

Remember this little lady that we worked on a while ago? Here she is again being driven around and it was great to see her at the local show.

Mustangs at Weddings:

COLOGNE, Germany – It’s been a busy summer for the Mustang. Horse-drawn carriages and vintage vehicles might be the traditional choices to transport couples to and from the church on their special day, but Ford’s iconic car is proving increasingly popular. Ford followed five nuptials this summer in Germany, Belgium, France and U.K., where Mustangs from different eras played a starring role.  “A Mustang wedding was the obvious choice for us,” said Jake Batty, who, along with new wife, Lucy, chose a 1967 Mustang Coupe in suitably cheering Springtime Yellow for their big day in Stanton Lakes, Leicester, U.K. “We wanted a car that was not only beautiful and timeless, but also powerful, wild and adventurous – hopefully how our marriage will turn out!”

Even though marriage rates across Europe are declining, the number of newlyweds shunning traditional wedding cars in favour of the Ford classic is on the increase. Companies such as Ford Mustang Wedding  have driven more than 750 U.K. couples to their wedding venues since launching in 2009.  “Couples getting married today don’t want an old-fashioned wedding car,” said the  director. “They want something cool that will look amazing in the photographs as well as being comfortable. The Mustang ticks all the boxes.”

At Mustang Maniac we couldn’t agree more, in fact we have had a few of our customers that have used them for that very reason.

Do you have any pictures of your Mustangs at weddings? Send them to us and we will post them up for you.

Customer Cars:

Chris has been busy on the rotisserie getting his i6 coupe down to bare metal for the red oxide base protection coat. This is a pain staking and dirty job, definitely not one to be done in your boxer shorts!

Our Cars:

Adam has been busy again buying more cars! Not Mustangs this time, more Falcons to add to his rapidly expanding collection. Another Ranchero in a cool black.

News:

Being in the office sorting out bills and orders can be an interesting experience to say the least. Husbands turn up with their wives to pick up parts, and when they are out of earshot to proper costs are discussed. Adam is a very discreet man where these delicate negotiations are concerned. To highlight this fact Adam has had a sign made up for the office:

 Enough said?

Shelby GT500 1:8th Model:

At long last through no fault of our own, we have updated the build page with the progress and this is a big set of issues as the main parts are coming together. The parts from part one and the hood are all brought together. click on the menu heading above or click here for the link. We won’t repeat the whole page again here but these are some of the highlights of these issues:

Poll Results:

It seems that the smoked lenses are popular and of all those that voted thank you, with over two-thirds of people liking them!