Knock Knock…

We start this week with a Park & Pic of a unique car a genuine Shelby GT350R, a race car owned by our friend and customer Larry Tucker. This is not your usual add a few stickers effort like so many do and think that it adds 100bhp or something. This is a fully stripped out Shelby FIA inspected race car and goes just like it looks!

We wish every success to Larry with his little trips around the track, just bring her back in one piece with a few added bits of silverware maybe. 😀

Epic Engine Fail

It can be said that the Ford V8s are a tough cookies and they are pretty bullet proof as long as they are maintained well. On a rare occasion we get an engine in that has a major problem. A customer had bought his car into us saying that there was a “knocking” noise from the engine. The 302ci engine was running, well sort of, but it didn’t sound too good that’s for sure. Yogi was eager to get on with the diagnosis and he was pretty sure what it was, but to what degree? His first job was to have look at the oil which was a messy mixture that resembled gravy more than oil; a bad sign. The “oil” was drained and a total of three gallons of gravy came out. Slightly more than the normal oil quota and was left to dry out. The engine was taken out the car and put onto one of our stands for a close up look. It was decided to video the removal of the oil sump pan as there was a rattle and a tinkling of falling metal when the engine was turned upside down; now a very bad sign.

You can see a smashed piston and connecting rod fall out in the video. Something as catastrophic as this would entail much more damage than a new piston. Inspection showed that the block had a hole punched through it and was now a nothin’ more than scrap. The picture here show the hole in the block:

Damage to a spark plug where a piston has slammed into it.

Some of the shrapnel that was pulled from the depths of the engine.

There was nothing that can be done except for Yogi reading the belated mechanics “last rites” before it goes to the great scrap yard in the sky.

R.I.P 302ci.

Customer Cars:

The black convertible is now back together again and ready for her last road test before we hand her back. She looks a real head turner again and now leak free from the replacement cowl.

The new carpet was laid and our ever popular LED dash bulb upgrades fitted.

Cast your vote time:

Our friend Spence (the other half of the Bully Brothers with Yogi), bought his car “The Grinch” in for a little once over and a treat for his lady. The trouble is we were undecided on look and Adam is asking our readers what they think; Black or Alloy rims?

Please vote it will make Adam happy and it only takes two clicks. 🙂

A Two Week Reminder

In two weeks time is our local Mustang Maniac car show at Enfield, which is always popular. Come and visit us and see some of best Mustangs in the country on our very own stand.

Tops Off

We like to pride ourselves on being one of the best in the country if not “The Best” for Mustang restorations, our customers are loyal and return on a regular basis whether for a standard service, repairs or upgrades. A number of our customers have more than one Classic Car and not all them are Mustangs. So on the odd occasion for the good customers and friends of ours we will make exceptions. This week was one of those “Chevy” occasions.

’63 Corvette 

This little lady is the a beauty and in great condition. Obviously for the parts we have to source those in unless it’s a generic part, like bulbs etc. It will be a shame to see her go back home as this car drives as well as it looks especially with the roof down in the sun shine and the crackle from the side pipe exhausts. Oh yes!

 

’73 Convertible

The Ford connection is here with this car, the guy who owns this lovely original condition car also worked for the Ford Dagenham plant in London. A seriously well looked after car and pleasure to see them looking this good in the sunshine.

Adams ’73 Convertible

Not to be outdone by the customers topless cars, Adam got his ’73 out for a road trip out, as he would say “it’d be rude not to!” Somewhere in the countryside he stopped to take a few pics, we’re not sure if this was just a picture break or a combined “comfort stop”. Adam was gone a while and had been drinking lots of tea before he left, just sayin’. Nice job of the pics though.

Earlier in the week Adam was trying out his new wheels and tyres combination. He settled for this look, a good choice it was we would say, he is also using his Mustang Maniac red Hub centers to match the car paint, and the white wall for the roof.

WebShop

We had a brand new item in stock is our ’64 to ’69 Mustang trunk sound proof mat. We sold one to Mart with his ”66 Coupe and he kindly sent us some pics of the install for us. We checked with Drake and the Black side does indeed go down on top of the tank. This mat will help protect the fuel tank and mask some noise that resonates from the truck area.

Before fitting you can remove the protective plastic on the black side to help stop the mat slipping around on the tank surface. The Black side has a very slight tack to it but not sticky so can be easily moved around if needed.

The fit of the mat is inside the drop off sections.

With the truck mat refitted and all back in place.

Mart’s verdict of the product;

“A thick sound proof mat like the fire wall sound proofing, a great product as you would expect. Good fit which only took minutes to fit (after I had cleaned the complete trunk area). The good part; is that it has certainly muffled some drone from the trunk area and the top of the tank has a nice protection to it. The bad is that the exhaust is not as loud now 😉 But, if you put sound proofing in that’s what you expect. I’m pleased with it.”

Enjoy the sun, check the radiator fluids, keep the sun cream on and keep an eye on the pets in the heat. This is supposed to be the hottest May Bank Holiday on record. We shall see.

Objects In The Rear View Mirror…

We have been busy the last couple of weeks with lots of cars ready to be picked up, once they were taken back to their rightful homes we could get a couple back in. So it was all about logistics this week. The gold convertible needed some brake work so Adam & Yogi teamed up on a car in the Yogi Cave. So in case you wonder why the phone doesn’t get answered sometimes – it’s because he is working on the cars which is his passion, not the call centre scenario answering questions and giving advice to people who are not customers. Adam is thinking about the hotline number again where you can pay a premium rate number for advice, it’s been one of those type of weeks. Anyway I digress, the guys like to work old school on the brakes and that means bleeding properly with a jar. They do have the vacuum pump gadgets and all that modern stuff for a single person use in the back of a cupboard somewhere, but they don’t like them. So Adam got in the car and Yogi raised it up so he could get underneath and do the necessary with the new rear wheel cylinders and an all round check up. Adam kindly “volunteered” to do the “pedal bit” inside. Expertise and experience of how the brakes feel is important factor for a cars drive-ability. During a lull in proceedings with his foot down, Adam looked in the rear view mirror out the workshop to see this;

The ground the view is just as impressive.

Customer Cars

A lovely ’65 has come in for a few little bits to be done including a replacement aerial and some new fender emblems. The old school aerial was replaced with a modern billet piece. The emblems are often overlooked, but they can make a huge difference to the look of a car when parked up. This little lady now lets everybody know she is a proud 302 as well.

Black Convertible

The car has now returned from the paint shop after having the cowl section completely replaced. We are now in the process of putting all the bits back under the dash and the wiper components.

The final gaps have now been set and the car looks like she means business again.

Stock

Adam has acquired a set of retro “Slot Mags” which he is quite pleased with. These are branded “American Racing” and were all the rage back in the day on may a hot rod. To be fair they still look good and are the popular choice on many cars to this day.

When Adam had a closer look he was surprised to see where they were made.

Did you know that they were made in England?

The WebShop has a new edition of some light bedtime reading covering a diverse range of years and couple of model cars in one book.

An ideal Fathers Day gift which is on Sunday the 17th June this year. 😉

More Finds

We often get ask to do a quick service, as far as we are concerned there isn’t really such a thing as a “quick service” at Mustang Maniac. We can do a speedy oil change, but not a quick service as the reason is fairly simple; Pride. When we do an oil change we automatically look under the car and get nosey as it were. We like to look out for things that need to be done, or will need to be done soon. It’s not that we are trying to push for repairs – far from it, as we as very busy and would need to allocate the proper time to repair what ever we may find. The point is that we look because we want our customers to be safe and enjoy their cars. More often than not we don’t find anything that needs doing, but we still look – just in case. That’s difference between changing the oil elsewhere and changing the oil with us. Our loyal customers know all to well that we often try to talk customers out of changing parts just for the sake of it, or spending money when it’s not required, such is our honesty. Adam will advise what you do or don’t need for the car. As a result of our solid work ethics and honesty, we got our regular customers returning to us along with a growing list of new customers after their visit with us. Whether you are a celebrity client or a not, the service is still the same.

Customers Cars

First this week was a Falcon Sprint in for a service for this little lady and full once over. An unusual colour and in great condition too.

Next up was a 66 Fastback that needed a service, minor tune ups, and a carpet replacement. This is an ideal time to take a look at the important floor pans from the inside out, looking for the usual places of rust, if they need any attention we will advise the customer. We are pleased to say that so far all is well with this little lady too.

More Old Photo’s

We mentioned last week we found some old videos of Yogi and his car, well we also found some pictures from Adam’s winter break in Barbados. As you would expect the scenery was superb, the beaches breathtaking and with cocktail drinks to die for. As always Adam did not disappoint us and came back with great pics from that holiday – pics from a cars museum! Yep this is from Mr Mallalieu’s own private collection of cars and some rare beasts in there too. Who wants to lay around on a sun soaked beach when you can look at cars in Barbados?

DeAgostini Shelby GT500 1:8th Scale Model

We are receiving a number of emails from collectors who are following our build guide of the Shelby GT500. Some of the emails are from people who are asking us for replacement parts, and even the odd complaint about not getting their issues or missing issues. In fact one subscriber to this piece build program even wanted to send their issues back to us for a refund as they were still waiting for missing issues. We also had to subscribe to the whole two-year build process too, just like the rest of the world.

We are in NO WAY affiliated with DeAgostini. 

If you have any issues please contact the directly with the details in the magazines. Any email response from us will only point you in their direction anyway. We had the odd hiccup here and there and nothing that couldn’t be sorted out with a quick phone call or email. We hope this saves you time in the future by contacting them directly.

Have a great Easter and don’t eat too much Chocolate – save some for us when you visit next time. 

Menancing Mustang

This week has been all about tidying up the yard and there is some stuff we have been meaning to do for a long time now. We were recently asked how the new pups were getting on. We can say that Aria and Cleo are happy and have now made themselves more than comfortable in their new home with their mum Shelby in the yard area. They have already got into the pack instinct and patrol the yard very well with that natural guard dog instinct so natural to to them.

Customers Cars

We have been working on a cowl rust project for a little while now and we like to think that we are one of the few people who can do this without ruining the car. The cowl is notorious for holding water and will rust through if not looked after and the drain points kept clear.

The lower cowl has been treated and painted on the inside to match the colour of the car and the underside for the interior of the car.

The upper and lower parts of the cowl are then in effect matched together so there are no unsightly gaps before they are welded together. This process takes time to fit the lower cowl to the car, then the upper cowl has to be matched to both the parts. This is the skill and levels of dedication that you cant even see make the difference. You just know it’s done properly by Mustang Maniac.

The upper cowl is treated on the underside that you don’t see and the edges are prepped ready for the shaping and the welding. Here the parts are clamped and final checks for overall location before the welding.

There are a number of ways to weld this together that we won’t go into by some of our competitors, but we do it properly to replicate the look and feel of the time.

Here is a short video of that process.

The last part of the process is the crucial strengthening brackets for the inner fenders to the cowl. This is a critical area of the car for stability of the chassis.

The last part of the process will be the prep work for the paint and then put it all back together again.

Our Cars

There are few sounds that send shivers down your spine when you hear them, one of those is Yogi’s ’69 427ci menacing Mustang on tick over. We found this old clip and decided to share with you what we mean, a car you hear before you see it. Turn the volume up and tell us what you think, this is seriously awesome.

To complement the video we have this clip of Yogi at one of his favourite haunts; Santa Pod Drag Strip. Although he annihilated the competition, Yogi was not happy as his wheels couldn’t get grip to launch of the line properly. That was confirmed but the data print out, but he decided to trash the tyres and run again, and again just because he could. Listen to the Yogi ride on full chat again awesome.

Have you taken your car down Santa Pod or any other Drag Strip? Send us some pics and we will get them on the blog for you.

Sunglasses To Snow Goggles

The UK has been gripped in the midst of a Siberian storm that lasted a week or so, of course a little snow ground the UK to a standstill, we just can’t cope with snow. But Mustang Maniac ploughs on nevertheless. See what we did there? Anyway, just before the snow landed we had a our friend and customer Lance drop his ’65 coupe down to us that needed some more upgrades, one of which was a special order that had just arrived in for him.

Park & Pic 

Here is the process of those upgrades, all very subtle and make a huge difference.  Except that special order which isn’t subtle by any shape of the imagination!

Although Lance was posing in his sunglasses here, they were soon swapped out for snow goggles a few days later!

The side shot above shows the first set 17″ “Styled Steel” alloy rims in the country and they were fitted to a Mustang. The fronts are 215/50R17 7Jx17 and a larger 225/50R17 8Jx15 at the rears for the staggered look. In the garage we were asked to look at the lights to improve them. This was a simple upgrade with Mustang Maniac’s crystal clear headlight upgrade kit for a more modern look. You can easily see the difference between the old and new when they are next to each other.

The link for these lights can be found on the WebShop here or  cut the this link – https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/36/7958/headlamp_conversion_kit   Lance’s response to this upgrade was “it’s like chalk and cheese, I can drive at night.”  The rear end also got a little upgrade with some new lenses to go with his previously installed LED’s.

Keeping on the lights theme and poor visibility we also have various colours of LED’s for the dash. Some may think it’s a gimmick but honestly they make a massive difference compared to the incandescent bulbs and filters originally fitted. Lance asked for the popular blue set to be fitted. this was fine until the blue lights didn’t look right and so the rev counter was also upgraded to match. Lances response to the upgrade – “I can see how fast I am going at night as well now!” These bulbs can be purchased from here or this link – https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/36/7115/64-65_instrument_panel_led_set

The next upgrade was a special order also an upgraded special order at that. Lance wanted to hear his music and wanted a sub woofer “upgrade”. This kit contains the mounting board, 2 x 275w speakers, the 250w amp and all the wiring and fittings as standard. However the upgrade to the special order was to swap out the 250w amp with a 500w version. The behind the seat kit can be found here or this link – https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/28/84/64-73_speaker_behind_rear_seats_

This was going to be done properly and not just drag the wires under the carpets, so panels and seats were removed, trims and all cable wrapped correctly for that much sought after stock look.

The board is a straight replacement with the speakers already mounted and just needed the wires routed. Paul loves a bit of wiring and made it look easy and stock all linked to the starter solenoid. The last little touch was the bass adjustment that Paul neatly mounted in the glove box out of sight. Lance made a comment about this little addition, “I can turn the bass up on my Frank Sinatra now when I’m driving at night.”

Lance’s response to the upgraded and thumping sounds? “I can hear my music at night now!” There was one last thing, his air filter was upgraded to the Edelbrock hi-flow 3″ pan with a 1.5″ drop. This allows more air into the carb and thus if tuned correctly a little more power.

As we spent a fair bit of time on the car it was “Yogi’ed” as well, a Yogi sticker was stuck under the hood by the bear himself. Lance’s comment on this was sort of predictable, “At least it can’t be seen when I’m driving at night.” 😀

Customers Cars:

’69 Mach1

This has moved along quite quickly with the exhaust being fitted, Yogi does his thing and makes it fit like a glove and made some bespoke joins as a result. What you don’t see makes all the difference as well. We have seen some “one-off, bespoke and hand-made” exhaust systems that have been taken off the car and replaced with our systems within a matter of days. Just because you can’t see it – doesn’t mean it can be given any less attention to detail.

Witht he exhaust in place we prepped the engine by pumping the oil around the engine, filling the carb bowls with fuel and added a little in the intake ready for the fire up. Default carb settings were made and Yogi’s sixth sense for a timing set up. The result was this a first time fire up of the engine. You will notice Yogi quickly moves in with the screw driver to start adjusting mixtures and settings to hold the idle while the timing was then adjusted. As per usual this will be taken for a road test and then adjusted properly.

The topside of the car got the same attention to details with the hood cables being fitting and closed the hood. Yogi walked away with another smile on his face for a well earned cup of tea.

WebShop

We have had some interest in the very limited run of stickers we had made on a few of our cars, “Born to Perform”. There was only few of them made for us, but the interest has been shown. We are asking if there is enough demand for a special order; should we get a another limited batch made?

Let us know what you think.

Classic Cars Excel London 2018

It’s a known fact that Adam doesn’t do big car shows, “been there, done that and got the trophies as Adam would say, but on the odd occasion he will. Last weekend was one of those shows, the Classic Car Show at the London Excel Centre. This show is aimed at people wanting to buy classic cars rather than the trade style shows on how to restore them. The cars were all glistening and tip-top looking, in fact some were better than when they came out the factory. Adam took his much-loved KR to the show and was along side a few other great cars at the Mustang Owners Club of GB all weekend.

There was the usual interest in the car and somebody even argued that Carroll Shelby signed the name wrong on the glove box. It was explained that the signature was Cleo’s, unfortunately the little knowledge the gentleman had didn’t extend to Carroll’s wife!

There was a nice collection of Classic and some rare UK Fords:

Some iconic Classic British cars.

There was of course the Classic USA Fords; including a genuine GT350 up for sale with no price tag on show!

There was some Classic Super & Hyper cars, that already have the Classic status.

Check out the price tag for this Ferrari 250, got any spare change?

A section that was created for the show was called the “Getaway Cars” which was to show the most popular and well-known vehicles. We use the term vehicles because the well trusted “Ford Transit” was used in many a “job” at the time along with the legendary Lotus Cortina.

Speaking of Transits there was a specialised coachworks for a beautiful example.

The unusual cars and items for sale were not forgotten.

Perhaps the most iconic automobile that brought affordable travel independance to the masses was the Ford “Model T” which was also named the most influential car of the 20th Century. This car was also the first to be built on the fully moving production lines, changing the face of manufacturing as we know it. By 1918 over HALF the cars in the USA were Model Ts.

The last day Sunday 18th February 2018

During the show the guest of Honour was the ever popular 1992 Formula 1 world Champion & Indy Car World Champion 1993; Nigel (Red 5) Mansell who appeared on the Sunday to receive an achievement award. He drove a Formula 1 car indoors which made plenty of noise should we say, especially when doing donuts and lighting up the rear tyres. He signed autographs and done a couple of question and answer sessions which proved to be very popular and very informative.

His much loved race cars were on display which had a constant wall of people around them.

There was a stand that catered for the rich children with miniature versions of classic cars with petrol engines, maybe not quite the growling 427ci monsters under the hood, but a more modest single cylinder version.

Customers Cars:

Yogi and Paul got to work on the Classic Mustang rust spot; the lower cowl sections. On cars after ’66 they were a little easier to get to, but still need a lot of skill to replace as this also forms a structural part of the car. The thin and rusted through lower section can clearly be seen.

With the cowl removed the inner workings of the car can be seen. Welding the cowl back needs considerable care in order to not scorch or damage the rest of the car under the cowl.

We could bring more about this week, but we think the blog post is full enough, for now at least. Did anybody else go to the show and what were your thoughts?