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.

Rollin’ On

We would like to thank our followers for some rather amusing response emails to the photos that were taken of Adam at the SEMA show. Some we couldn’t possibly put up on a family blog! We can answer a question that was answered a couple of times. Was that all the photos of other cars? Honestly, Yes that was all the photo’s Adam took of non Mustang Cars! While we are on the subject of SEMA 2017 we were sent this press release from Ford. (Thanks Gary.)

“DEARBORN, Mich., – Ford Focus and Ford F-Series are now back-to-back-to-back winners of Hottest Hatch and Hottest Truck awards from the Specialty Equipment Market Association. Ford’s domination of the show continues, as it collects these coveted awards at a greater pace than any other automaker. Ford has won 15 out of the 33 Hottest Vehicle awards presented by SEMA since 2010. “The aftermarket industry’s ongoing elevation of our vehicles feels great,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “We are beyond proud to have two back-to-back-to-back winners in our Focus and F-Series.” With its hot ST and RS performance trim levels, Focus continues to win over the aftermarket. Two years ago, it took home the final Sport Compact award. 2017 now marks two years running for Focus winning Hottest Hatch. F-Series, the ultimate Swiss army knife of the aftermarket, is a proven favorite for customization into everything from tarmac-shredding drag racers to off-road monsters. America’s best-selling vehicle has been named Hottest Truck seven out of eight times in the award’s history.

“Ford has a long history of support and partnership with the aftermarket community, bringing increased options and products for consumers,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “F-Series and Focus are just two of the most recent examples of the great vehicles Ford offers for personalization.” With more than 50 vehicles on display, including a large collection of custom builds at its stand, Ford’s presence at SEMA remains the largest of any automaker. This is the seventh year for the Ford Out Front performance demonstration track, a lead attraction of the 2017 show.”

Quite an impressive record we must say. Congratulations to Ford.

Customers Cars:

The “Blue Racing Coupe” is now at a point where she is ready for road tests. The engine was wired up and plumbed in over the week.

With the engine all fired up and some base line setups made we could put the car panels back together again. The rear axle was replaced with a reconditioned as good as new 9″ version to do away with the welded up rear end that made the car a real handful to drive on normal roads as a result.

Not quite the race car she was turned into, but much more enjoyable to drive and will still be able to hold her own if somebody wants to try and race her.

’69 Mach1

Jacqui’s car has some temporary wheels on it now and can be rolled around the workshops as we need to now. This is always a big step as all the main running and steering gear has been fitted. The car’s paint job looks pretty cool out in the evening sun.

Andrew Hedley has done some nice charity work with is ’65 Coupe. He brought his car to us to sort out its “saggy bottom.” We have the before and after pictures his. New rear springs and shocks makes a massive difference to the car’s handling that’s for sure, as well as giving the car its aesthetically pleasing correct stance. Must be all that wine Andrew keep filling the trunk up with? 😉

A subtle difference, but what a difference! 

We have been asked about our Dual LED Bulbs front the front of the early Mustangs. We have just uploaded this video to our YouTube Channel to show how they work.

If you want to order them here is the link to our WebShop or click here.   https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/36/8024/led_dual_bulb

We haven’t forgotten about the exclusive we have for you. We are just making sure those involved are happy for us to post it up for you.

Watch this space! 🙂

Along For The Ride

Starting on Tuesday until the Friday next week is the annual SEMA 2017 show which Adam attends each year. However Adam tells us this is a chore and “Somebody has got to do it” suggesting that he doesn’t really want to go to fantastic city for the night life or being at America during the wonderful Halloween time. He also says that he has to go to a motor show and look around some pretty awesome and unique cars, innovative new parts and be distracted by some very pretty ladies promoting various companies products. After a stressful day he will be in need of some serious beers, not that we are jealous or anything of course. (Much). Seriously though Adam will not be back into the UK until the 14th November, he will have limited access to emails so please bear with us during this time.

Customer Cars:

We have the 69 Mach1 being worked on this week with the brakes and steering being fitted. The worthwhile upgrade for the cars is always the Borgeson power steering, and this little lady was getting just that along with a nice new shiny dual master cylinder and brake booster.

A new set of disc brakes to the front, no corners are cut here and even the bolts are sprayed silver to protect from rust and also for a little show.

The front suspension was replaced with nice new control arms, shocks and springs.

The brake pedal installed and connected up to the booster, followed by the top quality signature work from Yogi, his bespoke brake lines that are unmistakable and unique to each car.

All of a sudden the painted shell starts to look like a car again, from the outside just for now.

Convertible: 

Another suspension upgrade on a convertible. The suspension over the years starts to degrade at such a slow rate that you don’t realise until one day you think to yourself there is something wrong here. So another replacement shocks, springs front and rear, control arms and updated sway bar. The next time the owners gets in this car it will feel totally different. First the old stuff.

Then the new parts fitted.

The great debate. (Yes – it still rages on)

It seems the next announcement from the lunatic asylum that is the DVLA is that while cars over 40 years are no longer required an MOT – any classic car (which they call historic cars) over 40 years old, but has had its power-to-weight ratio increased by more than 15% will require MOTing and then be assigned a Q plate, which will stay with the car for life and can’t be removed. The complete madness in a few examples:

Scenario 1: changed the carb from a smokey old relic to a modern more fuel-efficient fuel injection system….MOT/Q

Scenario 2: change the stock cast iron heads and manifold to a more efficient aluminium set….bingo you have a double whammy as not only have you increased the power you have also reduced the weight – seriously altering the power-to-weight ratio…..welcome back to MOT and Q!

Scenario 3: 1930s Ford fitted with a 350/350…..forget it!

It now seems since this latest “idea” was made by people in the DVLA that know about these things, (who obviously have an IQ the same as the number of wheels on their own cars), have now relented and will will not pursue the ‘power to weight ratio increase’ exclusion in the MOT exemption process. While there might be some kit cars and some heavily modified vehicles that will still require an MOT, all other classics will not. This means that Mustangs that have been “improved” will still classify as historic. About time that somebody took a long look at what they are trying to achieve. Virtually nobody wanted this to change, so “If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it!”

Ken Block is at it again with Gymkhana 10 Trailer. 

We have been sent this link to a trailer on YouTube (thanks Gary), for the latest instalment of the fire-breathing AWD Mustang now with 1200bhp and twin turbos. We were lucky enough to see the car last year at SEMA. We can’t wait for this next instalment!

We hope to bring you some pictures from SEMA again this year so watch this space.

Have a safe trip and not to stressful “working” break Adam.

Perfection By The Pyrenees

The best part of our job is hearing about the adventures the cars get to go once they have left our workshops. One such example of that is our friend Roger (thanks for the pics by the way), who has taken his Convertible on a road trip around France. This little lady is sitting outside a house in Pau which was built in 1880:

This last pic was taken with the Pyrenees Alps in the background.

The car has been driven for hundreds of miles now and the car hasn’t missed a beat. That is what we call pleasurable driving, a classic mustang, roof down in beautiful countryside with the Pyrenees in the background, just perfect. Do you have any pics of your cars on road trips? If so send them in to us and we will post them up for you.

Customer Cars

We have had a car in where she was not running very well. So we needed to do some diagnostics to find out the reason. We narrowed it down to number seven cylinder pretty quickly, taking the plug lead of made no difference to the running. So we changed the basics of the plug, the lead and the checked points gaps etc. nothing was working. So we had to take the heads off to see what was going on. Yogi got to it straight away – a burnt valve was causing the issues by the looks of it. The valve seat would need to be reground and the valve along with its spring would need be replaced for a start. But, if you are going to do that for one valve you may as well do the lot all at the same time to be on the safe side, as you certainly don’t want to keep doing this time-consuming job that’s for sure.

Having that sort of work done starts to become expensive, so the plan was to replace the heads with some reconditioned ones we held in stock.

These new heads were replaced with their new gaskets obviously and when we fired her up – the problem has gone! We will need to road test more, recheck the torque for the head bolts and set up the carb and check the timing. But initial tests are exactly what we were expecting.

Seating

Many Mustangs are still driving around with the original seats in place, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this at all by the way, in fact its best to keep the rarer examples exactly as they were. However when the foam goes soft offering no support then the time is right to replace them, now you could replace the original covers back on, or go for an upgrade like this customer has done.

Firstly the old seats which were fine to look at but the foams inside had collapsed and made it slightly uncomfortable to drive:

The upgrade was to our Pony Interior set of seat covers. This will still match the original door cards and the interior paint job. The side chrome “hockey stick” trims were also replaced as they tend to get scratched quite easily too.

A subtly difference, but it makes the interior look much more luxurious. Not the cheapest of upgrades it has to be said, but what a difference!

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.

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.