Cunning As A Fox

The week started of very well with the arrival of the freshly painted ’69 back from the paint shop, the down side is we needed to make room for her as all the spaces we had lined up were all taken with mostly service type of work this week. We promised last week that there would be an update on the Fox body LED conversion we have bespoke, one-off, custom-made from the ground up, or perhaps we should call it the mark 1 version for now.

Park & Pic.

This ’66 Coupe is owned by Adam D. who has only had this little lady for a number of weeks. Adam bought this car in to us the previous weekend for a look over as he wasn’t sure what to make of her. So both the Adams took her out for a road test and the verdict was made. She was booked in with us during the week for a good old sort out and little loving care that ONLY Mustang Maniac can provide.

The car was running a little rough on her very first visit, so we had an impromptu air filter change and a default setting carb tuning, all on a Saturday morning while the mandatory cup of tea was to be had. So if the phones were not being answered – here is a perfect example why.

Once we had the car in this week, we could have another good look over her, the car is not in a too bad at all and quite clean underside. The main concern was that the front drum brakes had been converted to a discs, nothing wrong with that of course. But, there is a problem when the conversion was left with the original single pot master cylinder and booster in place. As a result there was not enough back pressure to keep the pads from dragging on the discs. As a result this was slowing the car down, using more fuel to get going and making things hot. You can see the old single pot master cylinder here at the back right which should be a dual version with disc brakes.

There was a smell of petrol from the back and it was obvious that the fuel tank had a crease in it, from what looks like it was backed over something, which was in turn seeping fuel slowly, and certainly required a new one. The car was up on the ramps fuel tank was swapped out, and the work started on the master cylinder change over to the correct dual cylinder that should be used, the brakes were bleed and properly adjusted all round. The brake pedal was adjusted to the new cylinder push rod. This in turn highlighted the hand brake that was also needing adjusting correctly now too. The car had a little quirk where the gear shifter needed a little wiggle to start and the transmission lever would not stay in Park. The safety cut out and the transmission selector lever connected correctly and adjusted, tested and all was now fine. Next up to be sorted out was the engine running, starting with the spark plugs out and the new ones gapped and refitted. Holley default settings were dialled in and the fine tuning started from there. The timing was out and needed resetting which helped a great deal for the initial running and idling. Next was the air/fuel mixture carb settings, Yogi demonstrated his dark art of engine tuning by feel, response and sound. It’s OK setting the mixtures to “what the book of words says”, but, “if it doesn’t run right what’s the point? All engines are different,” said the bear. Once the engine was now the best it could be for the garage setup, it was time for a full road test. The car came back with a small list of final tweaks for the carb setting under load, and that the speedo was reading 10mph to slow which required a new speedo gearing to fix that. The brakes were now spot on and bedding in nicely, but now we had a little wheel balancing to do to get rid of the wobble at speed. Another road test and all was good in the retest.

In fact the Owner Adam D. sent us a pretty awesome email, as he was well pleased. I’m sure he won’t mind sharing this little clip with you;

“The work that you guys at Mustang Maniacs have done on the car was phenomenal – differences you have made since you got it and did a couple of days work, pulls and accelerates noticeably better – absolutely beautifully and even sounds better.  The brakes also seem to work so much better and it handles and steers so so much better in the bends and straight – no more steering wobble or unnoticeable !!! Petrol consumption is also so much better – really very noticeable indeed.”

We are pleased that we have another happy customer who can really enjoy their car which is just how it should be.

Fox Body LEDs

We promised this last week so here it is; A new acquisition Fox Body Mustang was bought into us, the requirement was to have some flashing amber LEDs to make it UK road legal keeping the stock look of the lenses. Now we don’t have a ready-made kit for that, so it was time for Adam and Yogi to design and make a bespoke set of LEDs. The guys are keeping this one a secret on how they done it for now, so there is no circuit boards allowed to be shown, but we can show you the results.

The rear assemblies were taken apart to expose the lenses. We think they look great.

Before the custom Mustang Maniac Fox lights were fitted they were tested off the car and here is that test.

The owner is one very happy chap too.

’69 Rebuild New Paint

We have had a bare metal respray back from the paint shop and now ready for that rebuild. There is just something magical watching a car unloaded with her new paint. This is going to be a cracking looking car once she is done!

But before we can start work on her – we need to clear a couple of cars out first. We are looking forward to this build.

Ripping Up The Rule Book

This week we can’t fail to mention the weather, which has seen a promise of more to come in the UK. We are happy to see a period of nice weather for a change instead of the normal rain, with the on set of the nice weather we have managed to convert the old car storage areas into a new “large and heavy parts” dispatch area. As a result of Mustang Maniac needing more space and storage areas for a slightly different car! More on that later a little further down.

Park & Pic

This week we had a very nice rare car come into us with a minor leak on the steering. We fixed it with no problems as normal, and the customer arrived to take her away. We give you the legendary Shelby GT500, nothing else needs to be said!

 

More Stock

It’s a well-known fact that for your Mustang parts, Adam is your man with is ever-expanding WebShop. But, what is not quite as well-known is that Mustang Maniac stocks an ever-increasing rage of ’64 – ’66 Falcon parts too, so much so that Adam is now “stock piling” Falcons cars now to match the stock levels.

The latest set of Mustang parts in stock are these performance strut rod parts which have now arrived in the latest container. They are super high quality and an awesome racing part upgrade or just for bragging rights.

Drag Racing

Another known fact is that Yogi takes his Mach1 down the Santa Pod 1/4 mile drag strip, wrecking a set of tyres each time, but the bear was not happy with his last eleven second run. The reason was the will spin being unable to get all that power down to the tarmac. To stop that Yogi bought himself an over drive and under drive unit. Yep you read that right “Under Drive”. This gearbox allows you to select the lower gear to launch of the line that much quicker. The gearbox will allow you to change gears for each of the main gears which gives you in effect six main gears now. Yogi has fitted it and loves it, so much so that he has melted his speedo cable, we need to think of a way to fix that, we have a plan. Here we have some instructions for the unit to show just how it works. The new AutoDrive is able to handle up to 1200bhp! Yogi has been heard to say, “That will do for now”!

The inside is so subtle to work the overdrive, fully automatic with indicators via a switch on the console arrowed here.

For race, there is a switch on the console that controls the normal operation, and another he operates with his foot for “only for racing purposes, on specially designed track with proper supervision for all health and safety purposes” should the need arise at Santa Pod.

The funniest part of all this is that we found a page “removed” from the instructions. Rumour has it that Yogi “accidentally ripped it” or tore out the page called; “Drag Racing do’s and dont’s”. He is also rumoured to be growling “nobody tells the bear how to drag race”.

Yogi has changed out his livery on his car too, subtle but very effective. Thanks to Linards for these.

The gearbox is working fine, but his interior is now apart thinking of a way to stop the speedo cable getting so hot. But this is what the completed fit looks like underneath.

He has put some of his stickers on the car too;

If you see this car don’t bother to try racing it! Honestly, we have road tested it and we can confirm – it’s quick.

Next week we have a special report on the Fox body lights. Keep cool in the sun and be sensible with the heat.

Summer Sun Break

It makes a rare change for the UK to enjoy a bank holiday with some sunshine. With that in mind Adam has decided that he will shut the offices from this afternoon all the way through to Tuesday morning. We won’t be around to answer the phone and have limited access to emails, but if you want to order of the WebShop it will still be functioning as normal, subject to courier restrictions over the holiday break of course. Enjoy the sun, a beer or two and fire up the BBQ. Have a great weekend from all of us at Mustang Maniac.

Adam’s new BBQ? 😀

Sign Language

A little sign (not a little sign really), has been put up on the yard’s new fence. This our new steel wall which we have been talking about recently to allow our customers and readers to be a part of if they want too, but more on that below. We have some exciting new stock for the new 2015+ mustangs too which are going on the WebShop as we post this. We kick off with the Park and Pic for this week which has been looked after by us for a number of years now.

Park & Pic:

A good customer of ours Irv Benton owns this weeks Park & Pic car. Irv’s car is a matching numbers “A” Code ’66 Coupe. How did Irv get this car? Well, he knew of the car years before he actually got it and he kept trying to by it from the owner who wasn’t having any of it. Eventually the owners son feel for Irv’s Chevy C10 truck, so a deal was made to swap the Chevy for the Mustang, and a bag of cash too. We think that was a good swap.

Irv is a well-known figure in Mustang circles being a Judge for the Damn Yankees as well as the area representative for the Mustang Owners Club of GB. Irv has completed an engine rebuild since he has had the car and some essential replacements, new heater box, new exhaust, alternator and wiring, LED gauge bulbs and new carb. Irv has resisted the temptation for upgrades and has tried to keep the car stock as much as possible.

The Yard:

We spoke about our new fence/wall which has been replaced in the yard. We also said that Adam had some plans for it too. Part one of his plan has come to life with a new sign, thanks to Linards for getting this done so quickly for us. the banner?

Yogi welcomed a break to emerge from his bear cave and got ready to put the sign up.

Adam was well pleased with his sign and so was Ellie.

As you can see there is plenty of room for your advertising additions! Let Adam know if you are interested, but there is a second part to this (we hope), which will look pretty amazing if we can get it done, so keep an eye out for that.

You will notice that on the Mustang Maniac Facebook page (click here) to use the new banner on the heading. We have also update the post link to make it easier to jump straight to the forum page too. Click here for the hyper link or cut and past the following into your browser; https://www.facebook.com/groups/1324326910911042/ to join us for a chat.

Customer Cars: 

We have had some photo’s sent into us from Marcus Bicknell, who is seen racing his ’71 Mustang. The car has a new livery after an up close and personal meeting with a wall at Silverstone. We think the car looks amazing in the colours and some great action photos too.

Do you have any action shots you would like to share with us? Send them to us and we will do our thing and get them on the blog for you to show the rest of the internet.

DeAgostini Shelby GT500 1:8th Model

Issues 64.

We hold our hands up, we got caught out as we didn’t complete the build for issue 64, thank Richard for letting us know, so here is the missing section. Completion of the part will see the cabin and the chassis being a single item. at long last.

From issue 63 there is the steering wheel that needs to be attached to the dash. take the steering column and ease it into place through the square hole in the fire wall. we undone a screw above the hole to make it easier to slide the column into place.

With the column in place press it up into the cavity making sure that the screw hole is in the middle of the location hole. Press the locating ring pegs into either side of the column and then screw into place.

With the column in place we will see how good and well you made the two pieces as they attach together. the end of the steering column will have the cog which sits on top of a toothed plate. Make sure the steering wheel is in the neutral position and the wheels are facing forward. Press the cog down into the chassis and locate the bottom of the interior cabin onto the four locating holes. Press the black steering box cover plate over the cog and plate and gently turn over to screw the cabin to the chassis with the screws.

The two parts are now together and the moving the WHEELS and not the steering wheel, the steering wheel should rotate each way. The steering wheel is NOT man enough to turn the wheels on its own. If you try it, the steering wheel will come of the column!

WebShop:

Adam is busy putting on some exciting new stock items for the new 2015+ EcoBoost Mustangs. We will have some before and after pics next week for you. If you want to see what those items are here is link to some of those items! Click here. We suspect there will be much more to follow.

Office:

Adam has asked to mention that there may be a delay in answering the phones next week, this is down to staff training!

Taking Stock Of Christmas

Every year we are spoilt by our customers with gifts along with the odd bottle of drink, and his year has been no different. We have had cases of beers delivered, boxes of wine, a turkey, a “Boris” on a bike and a couple of cartoons, but more about those a little further down in the office news.

Opening Times Of Mustang Maniac over Christmas:

We shall be closing the offices on the 23rd December till the 3rd January 2017. Please note – the phones will be turned off,  if you call there will be no answer. The WebShop WILL be operating as normal for all orders EXCEPT any sheet metal. The reason for the total closure of the offices is that we need to do a major stock take and we will be moving some of the sheet metal around to their new storage locations. Off course some people think it won’t take long to count a few bits as we area a “small time parts dealer”. Obviously the thousands of parts we stock from a single bolt to a complete shell all need to be double checked. The WebShop is correct – if it says it’s in stock; then it’s in stock. Calling us to check will only refer you back to the WebShop. The levels of stock could be holding a dozen items we don’t sell much off and only a few items we lots off. So we want to address those balance for our customers to hold even more of the popular items in stock.

While we are talking about the stock we have started to stock some more of the Falcon parts from our suppliers. So if you see the parts you want, buy them as we have limited stock of the items at the moment. We have lots more parts on order and are just waiting for the deliveries.

Vouchers: 

It seems that a lot of people took our advice and bought some Mustang Maniac vouchers, more so than we expected. In fact we had to have a new batch rush printed to cope with the demand. We now have plenty more in stock and could still be with you by Christmas if you order quickly. Thanks to Lance for replenishing our voucher supplies so quickly for us.

Office News:

We start with the Boris who sits proudly on his motor bike. This was hand painted and customised for us here at Mustang Maniac, Boris refers to a nickname of one of our customers Gary. (It’s a long story that may be told if Adam has the time when you catch up with him next.)

We also had some fantastic cartoon drawn for Adam which features quite heavily the Las Vegas trip and the “Small time parts dealer” references we may have mentioned once or twice. There are a lot of “in-house” jokes there but the moral is so true as it says at the bottom.

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Yogi also received his cartoon too, those that know Yogi are fully aware that he likes to tear up the quarter-mile strip now and again, so this was rather fitting for the big bear.

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We would like to thank all those who have bought us gifts, an extra big thanks goes out to Gary who has taken time to draw the superb cartoons and customise our “Boris”.

Customers Cars:

We will start with the Mach1 restoration which has now come out from the Yogi workshop and taken the short trip to the paint shop. The panels have all fitted and gapped up correctly to the high Yogi standards. The front of the car sits on a steering dolly, the rear axle is still attached after being rebuilt. Looking forward to seeing this little lady back in colour.

Pop Rivet Convertible. 

Last week we were moving the 67 Convertible into the Panel Shop. We asked for a nick name for the car while she is here being restored to her former beauty. The name has been given “Pop Rivet Convertible”. I’m sure you won’t need us to tell you why when you see the inside up close. Yogi has decided to get adventurous with the camera and has taken a video of the car while he prowls around it. Yes the Yogi speaks on it too.

The car is a little worse than we expected with the previously poor repairs. We are often asked to quote for this type of work to be done. Some people do, we simply won’t until we see what we have to deal with. Giving a quote for worse case scenario is not always the right thing to do as budgets can often change throughout the restoration process. In this case the rear arches didn’t look to bad from the outside, we were expecting a new rear quarters and maybe outside wheel wells, but the whole wheel arches needs replacing due to the soft and thin metal. The guys cut the centre of the panels out to see what was lurking inside. The first pic here shows the rear of the car not looking to bad as we moved it to the panel shop. We suspect that by now you know that we can sort all this out to be as good as new.

The wheel arches show some pop rivets holding it to the quarter panel which has caused some issues.

The front fire wall has been poorly patched and badly welded on top of the old metal with a large gap at the top. We are at a loss as to why it was done like that though. But, it’s looking like the fire wall will need to be replaced depending on what we see after the metal is inspected further around these patches.

The inside floor pans will need to be replaced as a previous repair has been pop riveted sections in place as well as some more suspect welding.

The rear chassis legs have been replaced before and not spot welded in places where would expect them to welded. These will have to be replaced too as the rear suspension holes have gone rusty.

The front will need some work on the front chassis rails too as they have gotten rusty beyond repair, especially on a structural part of the car.

The car will need to go onto our jig and carefully map the measurements out as we can’t be sure the previous chassis repairs were done correctly. Like we said earlier, we have seen worse and we made that good as new. This will be as good as new soon. Then we won’t be able to call her the “Pop Rivet Convertible”, maybe “eye popping convertible” once she’s restored.

Drag Coupe (coming Soon):

We have another project on the go too and we will starting that in the new year. A coupe bought from the USA that needs the Mustang Maniac touch.

Happy Christmas to all our Customers.

Thanks for following us through the year and we will be back with you in the not to distant 2017.

Santa Claus Delivering New Ford Mustang Convertible --- Image by © Car Culture/Corbis

A Mix Of Old And New

This week we have little of the old and new and both mixed together. We shall start with the ever popular and current topic “John Wick” car. The trailer for John Wick 2 has surfaced and has only increased the awareness of this great car as the views for the car our blog has been quite impressive. There is still plenty to do on her yet and so far so good.

Yogi has improved the handling of the car rear end for launching of the line with a pair of traction bars to the axle.

Then with the wheels being rolled from the build shop to the geo workshop Yogi set up the geometry ready for a road test when we get round to it that is once the inside a little more complete. After the road test we will check the settings to make sure everything has settled down correctly then we will put smome more miles on her to check the engine setup and brakes etc.

With that all completed and Yogi heard mutterings of words that would need a translator for us mere mortals to understand, things like “Camber, Caster, Toe, shock travel adjustments, spring rates” etc. We rolled the car out and took a few photo’s of the new preliminary stance set up.

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The interior now has the seats in place and Dynamat for the doors. Dash area still needs work as does the trim levels of course.

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We are even trying to source a window tag that was seen in the film just to add a little more realism.

We are looking forward to the first road test of this little lady to see how many admiring glances she gets!

Article: Mustang conquers the world

We were sent this information which we hadn’t picked up on all about the new Mustang sales progress so far. We’re not to sure how old it is, but it’s still relevant and only gets better with strong sales everywhere.

A globetrotting hit, from Europe to mideast to Australia

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A U.S.-built Mustang is loaded on a freighter headed overseas.

Customers in England and Australia face backlogs of at least six months for a new Ford Mustang. In Germany, the Mustang has attracted more retail buyers this year than the home-country favourites Audi TT and Porsche 911.

And in the U.S., the Mustang is not just beating, but downright pummeling, the redesigned Chevrolet Camaro en route to a second consecutive title as the nation’s top-selling sports car.

Ford Motor Co.’s 2014 overhaul of the Mustang, which included opening sales in 81 more countries to turn it into a global halo for the automaker, is paying off. Demand has been especially heavy for the first-ever right-hand-drive Mustang, which went on sale late last year in 25 markets where the car had been virtually off-limits previously.

Ford said it has sold about 27,000 right-hand- drive Mustangs since production started a year ago.

“Mustang has been a huge success for us,” Colin Massey, general sales manager at Jennings Ford Middlesbrough in northeastern England, said in an email. “We are still seeing a steady demand for the Mustang and are currently averaging between three and four orders per week.”

Ford has a backlog of seven months for the Mustang with a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine and nine months for the V-8 version, Massey said. The wait has been up to 10 months in Australia, where the Mustang is now Ford’s second-biggest seller, behind the Ranger pickup.

“We are always trying to eke out one more right-hand-drive unit if we can,” said Carl Widmann, the Mustang’s chief engineer. “We’ve exceeded expectations overall. We’re getting happy customers across a lot of different regions.”

Ford has sold more than 20,000 Mustangs in Europe, including about 4,400 in the United Kingdom and nearly 6,000 in Germany, since shipments there began nearly a year ago. Ford said it’s the most popular car in the U.K. that’s rated at more than 250 hp. The Mustang is the top-selling sports car this year in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa as well, Ford said.
Ford says it has sold about 27,000 right-hand-drive Mustangs since output began a year ago.
Taking on the Germans

The Mustang is Germany’s top-selling sports car this year among retail buyers, according to government data, and it was the overall sales leader in February and March. About one in three German sales are the convertible, and most buyers there choose the 5.0-liter V-8 engine, Ford said, in contrast to the rising popularity of the car’s V-6 in the U.S. and despite much higher gasoline prices there.

“That unmistakable V-8 warble is a hot commodity outside the U.S.,” Ford sales analyst Erich Merkle said in a statement.

Sales have topped 3,300 in Australia and 3,800 in China, a Ford spokesman said.

Before last year, the Mustang was sold in North America and a few dozen other countries, where sales were minuscule. Getting it anywhere else meant working through private importers and, if necessary, making a costly conversion to right-hand drive.

The latest generation was designed to have more global appeal, with more European styling and an independent rear suspension instead of a live axle, a change that upset some traditionalists.

Today, overseas markets still account for a small fraction of the Mustang’s total sales, with about 80 percent of the cars — all built in Flat Rock, Mich. — staying stateside. But Ford sees the Mustang’s growing presence in more than 100 countries outside North America as a way to evangelize its brand to consumers worldwide.

“The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they’ve never driven one,” Ford’s global product development chief, Raj Nair, said in 2014, when the car marked its 50th anniversary. “Mustang is definitely more than just a car — it is the heart and soul of Ford.”

Huge lead in U.S.

While the Mustang finds its footing in new markets overseas, it’s blowing away the competition in the U.S. It overtook the Camaro last year for the first time since 2009 and hasn’t looked back, even as Chevy rolled out the sixth generation last fall.

The Mustang’s share of the midsize sports-car segment, which also includes the Dodge Challenger, has surged from 37 percent in 2014 to 46 percent so far this year.

Through August, the Mustang leads the Camaro in the U.S. by nearly 33,000 units, a margin so large it might stand up even if Ford took the rest of the year off. Mustang sales here are down 6.8 percent, to 80,829, mirroring a downturn in car sales overall, but the Camaro’s decline is more than twice as steep.

Incentives are part of that difference; Ford increased Mustang incentives by about $500 this year, to $1,535 through July, while Chevy reduced Camaro discounts by about the same amount, to $2,246, according to Autodata.

In addition, Chevy deliberately moved the Camaro more upmarket with the latest generation, discontinuing the base LS trim. The sticker price for the Camaro now starts at $1,755 more than the base Mustang. Chevy also is selling fewer than 10 percent of the cars to fleet buyers.

“For us, it’s about the right volume,” said Todd Christensen, GM’s marketing manager for the Camaro. “Would we like to be the sales leader? Yes, but not at the detriment of other things.”

DeAgostini Shelby GT500 1:8th Model

A mixture of the old and new now with a new model build of a classic old car. Everything we have built so far for this model can be found on the main heading menu or click here for the hyper link. These issues we see a little more complex build of the front suspension. We will need to retrieve the previously held together front wheels and fit them to the front of the car. Now we have a rolling chassis as it were, but all be it a model 1:8th the size of the real thing.

This post covers issues are forty to forty-four and we are a few issues in front of the official build diary itself.

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Part 41:

This centres around the front suspension lower control arms and sway bar. The main part is a large piece and is screwed into place on a number of places. Not a lot of parts, but a little time to fit them all together.

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Lower control arms have the press in pins which will need a pair of pliers, we also prefer to press the pin is from each side protecting the frame with a small piece of card torn from the packaging.

The previously built front wheels and steering are used now to screw to the control arms. The chassis will need to be flipped over and back a few times. The only tricky part here is steering ram on the chassis to be connected with the steering on the wheels.

shelby1-8th-107

Part 42

This issue centres around the top control arms holding the wheels in place. The parts again need to have the pivoting pin pressed into place with pliers.

The single screw will hold the control arm to the wheel and should now move up and down with the car. Two screws for each side of the frame rails and need to be fitted uniquely for each side.

shelby1-8th-111

Part 43

This is the exhausts running from the rear up to the front section now. There are the main pipe and the other half of each muffler to be to be screwed together, they can only fit together one way. We found that the rear pipes that go over the rear axle have a cut out where the exhausts fit into. We noticed that our was a little out of shape and needed a very gentle bend to get the ends to seat correctly. If you do bend be careful not to break or snap them.

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The exhausts are held in place by four screws on the inner side of the floor pans.

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Part 44

This sees the first part of the interior to be fitted, apart from the door cards that is. The front carpets if you like and the gear shift. This is a single screw from the underside of the carpet. The black section is a superb black made of a velour style material.

This part is not attached to the floor pan itself yet but you can see where it will fit though.

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Custom Engine Build

We have had a special request to build a custom “Stroked” engine for a good customer of ours. The valve covers are just there to keep it clean as the proper ones will be going on at a later date.

Only two more week to go now to the SEMA show, we are trying to get things wrapped up as much as we can while we temporarily take a break to see whats new in the world at Las Vegas. We’re not saying we are excited or anything, but we have put a countdown marker on the page too, can you spot it?

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A Classic Mustang From New

A couple of posts ago we mentioned that we had a special article to appear soon regarding buying a brand new ’65 Mustang from a dealership. Well, we now have that interview’s transcript for you. Here is a rare and incredible story that spans over some 50 years for a one owner Mustang from new. The owner of this Mustang bought the car new from a Ford Dealership Nelson Hirschberg Inc. in Chicago. His name is David, we shall refer to him as DL for his side of the story. This is a fascinating insight to all those years ago.

Background is that DL is an architect by trade and was working temporarily over in the USA during 1965.

MM: how did you come to the decision to buy a Mustang?

DL: I was living in Chicago at the time and I was working on the 8th floor of the building. When you looked out the window there was a vacant plot which was being used as a car park. Around June 1965 there some guy who must have been working in a block nearby who had just bought a brand new 2 + 2 Fastback. I could see his car park there every day, I thought that’s a rather nice car, I wouldn’t mind having one of those. So a couple of months later I bought one.

MM: What was it like going into the showroom to buy one? Were they falling over themselves to sell you the car or did they just say; do you want it or not? How did it work?

DL: I was talking it over with a colleague at work that we were thinking of buying a Mustang. He recommended this Ford dealership up in North Chicago. We drove there and asked for a test drive. I said, We will have one of these. He said OK, what colour do you want? I decided that I wanted a dark metallic blue and also decided to go for a small engine, just he straight 6 as we were going to bring the car back here (UK). So I thought for the English roads, bearing in mind the only motorway that was open was the M1 I think, and this was way before the M25 was built. So for the English roads I didn’t need a whacking great v8 engine, so I settled for the 3 ¼ litre i6.

MM: So when you were in the dealership, did they give you a book with all the options in it to choose from?

DL: I said that I wanted a dark blue fastback 2+2 with automatic transmission; we also had white wall tyres option on the original 13” wheels for the first 3 or 4 years. They didn’t have a car in stock I wanted, so they checked with the other 10 or so dealers in Chicago where they found one. So two or three days later it was ready. Back then we were driving and old ’55 Chevy which we drove there left it with them and drove away in the Mustang. I cost me $2,800, which in those days was a fixed rate conversion of $2.8 to the £1, so that Mustang cost me £1,000.

MM: £1,000?

DL: Yes £1,000.

MM: When you went to pick the keys up did they make a big fan fare out of it for you, or didn’t they care as they (Mustangs) were selling well?

DL: They were a big Ford dealership at the time who was selling half a dozen cars a day. As far as they were concerned I was just another customer.

DL seen with is much-loved car he has had from new.

new5

DL’s Original sales document and the matching door tag for the car.

new6

Then roughly 12 months after we bought the car (1966), we came back via ocean liner. They put the car in the hold of the ship by a big crane with a cradle and lowered it into the hold of the ship. It wasn’t a drive on / drive off then. It was quite a new ship, the SS France.

ss_france

Our first port of call was going to be my wife’s parents in Germany, so we got off at Le Havre in France where the ship terminated. We arrived quite late at night if I remember rightly. The process to unload the car was then done in reverse, they craned the car out of the ship’s hold onto the dock side for us. We had two small children in those days. In the 2+2 the back seats fold down to give a little platform. When the children were small, we just used to put a couple a pillows there (the rear shelf platform) and a blanket for them to go to sleep on. This was before the requirement of seat belts and so on of course. We just travelled around the country side like that.

MM: That’s just amazing.

DL: Since the car has been here in the UK it has been garaged for all of its 50 years. In fact I have done over 200,000 miles in that car. I only sold it a couple of weeks ago in fact. As I have retired I was only doing 300 or 400 hundred miles a year in it which only came out high days and holidays sort of thing. It seemed a shame to keep it in a garage and hardly use it.  So I thought it was time to sell it and move on. In fact I sold it to the guy who done some body work on it for me 20 years ago where the original wheel arches had rusted. At that time we did it up fixed the wheel arches and gave it a complete respray. I should imagine he will do it up and sell it on now.

MM: Can you tell us about how you got to go to the World Fair 1965?

65fair

DL:  We flew from Chicago to New York to go to the World Fair in 1965 which was a really big event. There were all these fancy pavilions, English, French, Italian countries and so on, Ford, General Motors pavilions, and we spend the whole day there.

Thinking about it our daughter had her first birthday while we were there in New York. At the event you could hire these little push cars with handles on them for the little ones, so we pushed her around in that, it was more of a day out for us.

MM: What was the Ford stand like?

DL: I said to my wife lets pop in where they had lots of new shiny Mustangs on show.  We told them that we had just bought a Mustang a couple of weeks ago. They said to us hang on a minute; I gave them my state registration number and they gave us a little tag with our reg plate on which went on your key ring. In fact it was still on the key-ring when I gave Adam the keys to the car, it has been on there for 50 years, the wording has rubbed of a bit now though. They tapped it all out in a couple of minutes while I waited.

This isn’t DL’s actual tag, but one very similar.

MM: So your car has been over here ever since 1966?

DL: Yes all that time, in fact I used it to drive to work and back every day.

MM: Really?

DL: Yes

MM: How did you get on with servicing it while it was over here?

DL: I think it was Dagenham motors who had a base in Wembley where it took it for the first few years for a service. In recent years it was taken to a guy who specialises in American cars, so he would do anything needed at the time, they have closed down now though. For the first few years it didn’t really need anything. The first thing after 10 years to go was the gearbox. There was a place in Welling Garden City at the time with a couple of guys in their 50’s, they just specialised in automatic gearboxes. They put in a new gearbox for me and it’s been going perfectly ever since. Again they are not there anymore.

MM: Was it was a straight replacement?

DL: Yes, it still works fine. The only problem I have had in recent years after they put in the new gear box for me 40 years ago is that the seals have gone a bit and leaks transmission fluid. I have a drip tray in the garage and it would leak, only a couple of tablespoons of fluid every couple of months. So every couple of months I had to top it up. So in recent years it cost me about £9 or £10 year in transmission fluid. That is a fairly low-cost compared to putting in a new gearbox. The last few years I have been thinking about selling the car so I haven’t replaced the gearbox.

MM: impressive and not bad at all

DL: Well that’s about it.

MM: Absolutely fantastic, and thank you very much for sharing your story with us.

We would like to say a big thanks to David for spending time with us and sharing his unique story.

Customer’s Cars

John Wick car has started to look like a car now. It’s funny but as soon as glass starts to go in the car it looks so different. The front screen, rear screen and the right side glass has been fitted and aligned up now.

The front end has started to have some of trim added and the rear trunk is now locking via the key.

Mach1 rebuild:

We have also taken some time with the owner of the car to strip out the steering and suspension for the car. This will give us an idea of the wear on the components and allow for a proper spray job on the car. Some of the bolts were a bent over in places and would not allow the nuts to be undone easily. To work round this the hubs and brakes all came of in one large piece each side. In all the excitement we forgot to take any pics of the “in progress” shots we like to do as it were. But as a lot of it was very dirty work and messy that was sort of the last thing on the mind at the time. A comment was made about who was taking the pictures, a large tumble weed rolled by the front of the car at this point! So we took some pictures of the disassembled parts to make up for it.

During the clean up of the shock tower areas under the upper control arms it was full of years worth of dirt and grime. When it was cleaned of we could see that the car has had some damage in the past and the bottom of the shock tower has been repaired with a seam welded plate.

The front chassis leg on the right hand side has seen better days and will need a new section in place. Like all these things – we have seen a lot worse.

The inner section of the engine bay is not to bad at all on first inspection. Once it has been cleaned up we will check it thickness and make sure it’s all OK.

The top of the inner wings are shot and will need replacing as well as the cowl to inner wing plates.

rusty185

The upper control arms need replacing and the engine mounts themselves. We will take a close at the rest and especially the steering. The owner is not sure at the moment if the steering will be a rack & pinion Borgeson set up yet.

Shelby GT500 1:8th Model

As the weather was so nice we sat outside and built the latest four issues numbers thirty-seven to forty.

shelby1-8th-82

Part 37

Simple case of adding the front chassis to the middle section. 4 screws and job done. This gives us the first indication of the length of the model. The second pic here shows a corresponding magazine laying next to the model. It’s going to be approx two A4 magazines long to put it simply.

Part 38

These couple of parts are the first upward build of the base chassis. again very quick with only four screws.

Part 39 

This is the first part of the steering to be assembled. Once it has been completed the two front wheels will be attached to each other. The metal steering parts are held together by a couple of screws, but should be able to be moved so don’t over tighten them.

The steering has a few left/right side bespoke parts, these will be attached to the wheels from the earlier issues and will now need to be retrieved from storage. Again these parts will need to move so no over tightening.

shelby1-8th-92

Part 40

Part chassis and part steering with this issue. The chassis has a couple mounting brackets which are screwed to the chassis which are generic to either side. The other part fits on the chassis in only one place.

Back to the steering again with the wheels, the remaining part of this will screw into the middle section of the steering. We found that the screw hole was a real tight here and had to have a couple of attempts to try to get the screw seated correctly. Perhaps a little paint got into the hole.

Now we have almost the full length of the model you can see how we store ours ready for the next part of the build.

For the rest of the build click the menu above, click here or past this link to your browser.

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

News:

With all the projects on the go at the moment we are really leaving the WebShop to the office team. When Adam is back in the country he is also working on the cars. So we must stress again that we get calls asking if something is in stock; honestly, if the WebShop says in stock then it is in stock. We have also upped our game considerably to make the process as slick as possible for our customers. If you order by noon on a work day, then the parts are picked, packed and posted the same day so you should receive your parts the next day. If you order after that cut off point, then it will be a day later unless you want to pay the extra for the express postage which we can do for you.

With the hot weather looming again this week, we hope to enjoy the sun during a well-earned tea break, if we can that is. 🙂