Bearing Down

Last week report on a pretty epic engine fail which has now been addressed and the car is back on the road again. To soften that shock to the system we have given pride of place for our Park & Pic series this week. In fact it’s a double Park & Pic so it’s a first there for us too. We have a pretty big post for you to cover yet another busy week at Mustang Maniac.

Park & Pic

This ’69 convertible is a rare original colour of “Black Jade”. There are now two options for the pic, the front of house shots.

Or, the Yard shot with Adam’s stainless steel laser cut MM logo.

We can’t make our mind up for the best set of pics, but we thing the steel horse shots are pretty cool.

This is the car that had the engine failure and the engine was swapped out with one of our in stock 302ci engines. How many other suppliers can say that? Adam has a good supply of engines he keeps and are not on the WebShop, some of the “secret stash” of engines are the “stroker” versions for plenty of power, but be prepared to get your money of those little beauties. That’s providing that Adam will sell you one in the first place!  Anyway, the engine was primed with oil before it’s started up and here we have the video of that process. You can just about make out the oil being pumped to the top of the heads. Hang on – should we be giving away our little secrets??

Once the oil is pumped around the system it can be fired up without fear of metal on metal wear for few seconds.

Customer Cars:

From the heading you probably guessed that we had another failure, but this is much more common and in some ways more dangerous. The front wheel bearing was grinding and was about to self destruct in a pretty big way. Paul had taken a video of the bearing and how bad it actually was. The first part of the video you can hear the damaged bearing and then Paul shows the movement.

Once the wheel was off we always inspect for collateral damage as well maybe on the spindles etc. the bearings was in a bad way.

The new bearings packed and ready to fit.

The shocks were not helping the matter very much so it was decided to replace them at the same time.

Like all these things they should be replaced in pairs and then the wheel alignment was to be done after a quick road test to bed down. We are pleased to say all is wheel and we now have another safe Mustang back on the road.

Ford Technical Article

We haven’t had a technical article for a while but we have been asked the question about a concours replacement cylinder heads so we can help out a little, well a lot actually here.

One of our loyal long-standing customers owns a rare and very early Mustang – one of the 8000 built by Ford as ‘launch stock’ before April 17 1964. They had planned to build one per dealer to support the launch at the New York World Fair.

We have given this precious car a lot of love and attention over the years while trying to preserve as much originality as possible. One of the first issues we found some time ago was a mysterious intermittent ‘poor running’ which seemed to come and go at will. With our best investigative heads put to full deployment we went through the normal checks – timing, leads, valve clearances and compression checks.  As an early and rare ‘D code’ car we first thought it must be the troublesome Autolite 4 barrel carb – but we had worked our magic on that earlier and it was spot on. Our compression checks proved to highlight a strange issue.  As it pays to be thorough and check… then check again, we found that on one cylinder the results from a series of compression tests resulted in wildly differing readings. We have seen this situation on a few rare occasions and it pointed to ‘valve seat trouble’. We suspected that the valve seats were worn or damaged and, as the valve turns slightly when running, it was leaking gas randomly.

“Off with the heads!” was response the from the Mustang Oracle – Adam.

Once the heads were removed and disassembled our diagnosis was proved to be pretty much spot on.  The car was needed back on the road as it was booked in for some show work so we took heads that we had ‘in stock’ and got the car rebuilt and running sweetly.  In the meantime, as this car is a really early example and after chatting to the owner, we decided to fully restore the cylinder heads to keep the original engine intact. This also allowed us to dig into the history of the Ford V8 298 – a true iconic piece of engineering;

Ford introduced the 289, a development of the 260 during 1963 with the plan for it to be fitted to certain full-sized Fords and the new Mustang. It was produced in Fords Cleveland and Windsor factories and was to become the mainstay of Fords car and performance car programme for decades.

When we looked at the markings on the heads Adam felt that they were unusual and that he had not seen the specific markings before – most of the Mustangs he had come across had 1964/5/6 date markings but these heads were different.

Both heads had casting marks of C3AE:

C: being the decade of manufacture – in this case 1960s.

3: being the year in the decade – in this case 1963.

A: being the vehicle type – in this case ‘generic’ Ford meaning they could be fitted to a number of models.

E: denoting the component type – in this case and engine part.

So these were very early cylinder head castings of the new 289 engine and produced in the earliest batch of production. The next question was when?

The date code cast into each head was different – but this was normal as the components were cast at one of two factories in batches and then machined/assembled as required later – up to 3 months later.

Head one was date stamped 3L27 and with a W so it was cast on November 27 1963 and was the 4260th to be machined.

Head two was date stamped 3G25 and with a C so it was cast on July 25 1963 and was the 5150th to be machined.

To some this might seem odd as you would expect that they would both have very similar date stamps but this is not at all unusual when you consider the manufacturing and engine building process.  Both heads were cast and machined in the first run of 289 components but at different factories – due to capacity and manpower availability. Both would then have been put into a stock pile of raw castings prior to machining as and when required.

Typically Ford would cast components in large batches – blocks, cylinder heads for various engine lines etc. in addition Ford was building components and engines for the new Mustang launch early the following year so would have been stockpiling ready for engine production early in 1964. While lengthy storage of raw cast iron does not create any real problems, the completed engines were only typically stored ready for up to three months – often it was much sooner.

Both heads appear to have been machined in the same production run ready for engine assembly.  So these cylinder heads were fitted to an engine in early 1964 and that engine was fitted to the car in our workshop on April 16 1964. It all fits nicely!

Now we knew that these heads were part of the early history of the 289 it was important to restore them carefully and sympathetically.  First the heads were completely stripped, crack tested  and then given a thorough clean and degrease – it was then that we could really see the wear and tear created over the years.  All the exhaust valve seats were damaged and recessed and the valve guides also needed replacing.  Some companies replace worn valve guides with a bronze/brass guide which works well enough, but is not as durable as the original material.  We bored out the cylinder heads to accept a specially made steel sleeve type guide which looks better (I know only a few will see them but we know it’s been done properly) and the new guides were pressed into the head.

The heads were then planned and all mating faces were machined. Once all was correct, new valves and stem seals were fitted and the heads were given a coat of factory finish black paint.

The owner is extremely pleased with the loving care and attention we have given to these important parts and they are now wrapped up in storage for fitting to the car at some later point.

We are pleased with the result for a number of reasons:

It’s nice to be able to keep very early Mustangs on the road and still running sweetly.

It’s great to be able to add to our knowledge of these cars and have a better understanding of how they were made.

It’s always good to confirm that Adam can call on his enormous knowledge to quickly spot rare and unusual Mustangs when they appear.

We have found a document about Ford Engineering numbers:

A special Thanks to Gary W, for the photo’s and the technical detail write-up for us.  

Other News:

Next week starting on the Saturday to the Monday will be the Enfield Pageant of Motoring, our local large show that we support.

We look forward to seeing you there, pop along and say hello and look at the selection of cars we will have on show, maybe even talk to the owners who will be with us. for the weekend.

Enjoy the sun while it lasts looking at great cars.

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. 😉

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.

A Modern Touch

We mentioned last week that we had an email for a daily driver and we wanted to know if there were anymore examples out there used for a daily ride basis. It looks like there is more than just one of them out there. An email from Bob Frantzen who tells us; “I have a 1967 Mustang coupe that I have had since 1981. Hope you don’t mind my friend posing for a quick shot.” How could we refuse?

We are liking this section, but we can’t deny that it’s been a slow response so far, perhaps we were right and these beautiful classic Mustangs are only out when the sun shines? We were expecting this to be a sparse section to be honest, so why not prove us wrong and send us your pics!

Customer Cars:

It’s a known fact that our resident man bear likes a little “RestoMod” when he is let loose on a project. Recently we had a customers car in that has the classic rust spots on the rear quarters that needed sorting out, and that means Yogi dusted of his paint gun. He also made a little interior update too which was simple enough, but the care taken makes all the difference.

The old rust was rubbed down to see just how far the metal worm had gotten.

The old rusty metal was cut away and new metal fabricated in its place.

With a little sanding and that little bit of magic that happens in the Yogi cave, we have the repaired sections that will last for a good few years to come.

After the outside was repaired the interior got the modern touch with the USB power supplies. These sockets are now becoming more the norm as the cigarette lighter adaptors are dying away in favour of the much neater USB sockets. The result is subtle and it certainly doesn’t ruin the interior stock look.

The underhood was asked for a little tidy up and we obliged with a re-wrap of some wiring and the difference again is subtle, and if you can see the work – then we have done it properly as it looks stock.

’69 Mach1

Jaqui’s Mach1 has been worked on and the aircon has been fitted to the engine. Not sure it will be used any time soon as it’s the middle of winter here! But the engine is taking shape and ready for the initial stock settings tune up.

The sun visors now are in and the rest of the engine hardware fittings in place.

 

With the basics now done we have a rolling restoration. Not long now for the completion and then its the fine tuning and adjustments before we let Jacqui and Roy have her back.

The Onion Mustang:

We have been waiting for a slot to start on the “Onion” again. The floor pans and the rear chassis legs were mounted on the jig and measured out from the original dimensions we had taken and marked points on the jig. Some tack welds made and more measuring with more parts added to make sure the built up layers will fit together again. Once we were happy then the full neat welds were made so the floor pan and chassis could be removed from the jig and carefully rested on the floor. The underside was worked on to rub down the welds and seam seal the joints and finished with our red lead paint.

Special message:

We finish the post this week with all of us at Mustang Maniac to wish our good friend Jacqui S. a speedy recovery as she has recently been taken poorly.

Get well soon Jacqui. 

Centerfold?

The response to last weeks post was great, so it’s a big thanks for the comments and emails, so a big thanks from us here at Mustang Maniac. The lead this week is for customer submitted photos to be shown on our Park & Pic section. Simon has brought his clean and tidy looking Fox Convertible to us. She is in for the usual once over by us with attention being made for the fluid checks, brake pads and rotors, various seals and the usual service to get tip-top gain ready for the summer. These Fox body Mustangs are starting to command some good money now, so they could be an investment for the future, if you get the right combination.

Park & Pic

We love to see your cars on our blog, don’t worry about the pictures being world-class, award-winning pics as we can crop them as required. So if you want your pic(s)to appear here just like Simon’s to take the lead on our blog – it’s as simple as sending your pics to us no matter when they were taken.

News:

We thought that we would like to continue on the theme of the Bullitt from last week, with this pretty amazing generosity for good causes, which didn’t get as much publicity as the original Bullitt car did, but we think this is well worth the mention.

DETROIT – Two of the most iconic American performance cars, a current generation Ford GT and the recently unveiled 2019 Mustang BULLITT, raised a total of $2.85 million for charity during the 47th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction. On Saturday, a 2017 Ford GT that was donated by Arizona businessman Ron Pratte to the Evernham Family-Racing for a Reason Foundation, sold for $2.5 million to benefit Autism Society of North Carolina. One hundred percent of the hammer price from the sale of the Ford GT will benefit the Autism Society of North Carolina’s IGNITE program.

Pratte, an entrepreneur and car collector, donated an additional $50,000 to benefit the Autism Alliance of Michigan, which works to make Michigan a better place to live for people with autism and their families, bringing the total dollars raised to a staggering $2.55 million.

On Friday, Ford and the McQueen estate donated VIN 001 of the limited-edition Mustang BULLITT, with 100 percent of the $300,000 hammer price benefiting Boys Republic.

“We were thrilled with the incredible amount of money raised for charity from the sale of a current generation Ford GT and our all-new 2019 Mustang BULLITT,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president and president, North America, Ford Motor Company. “Over the last several years, we’ve donated some incredible Ford Performance vehicles that have been sold to generate much-needed funds and awareness for deserving charities. It was a privilege to represent the Ford family on the auction block and combine our efforts with Ron Pratte and the McQueen Estate on the sale of these two incredible, rare and iconic Ford cars.” Ford also included a Ford Performance Racing School GT Experience with the auction of the Ford GT. This world-class program gives the winning bidder the chance to improve their driving skills behind the wheel of one of the world’s most celebrated supercars, while also supporting individuals with autism.

Ford and the McQueen estate offered VIN 001 of the 2019 Mustang BULLITT to benefit Boys Republic, a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian school and treatment community for troubled youngsters. One hundred percent of the $300,000 hammer price will go to the organization to help children find the resources and skills to build meaningful lives on their own.

The all new 2019 Mustang BULLITT recently made its debut at the North American International Auto Show. A prototype was shipped to Scottsdale where it was driven on the Barrett-Jackson block by Chad McQueen, the son of Hollywood star Steve McQueen.

“The Mustang BULLITT has been wildly popular since unveiling it in Detroit,” said Mark Schaller, Ford Mustang brand manager. “Both it and the Ford GT represent the pinnacle of Ford engineering, and design. I couldn’t think of a better way to honor the BULLITT’s heritage than donating the car to Boys Republic, which was instrumental in helping Steve McQueen become an iconic, Hollywood legend.”

Source from FordOnline.

Mustang Maniac thinks that this is an amazing achievement and collaboration from all those involved.

Customers Cars:

Roy’s car is coming along very nicely with Yogi fitting the headliner which is a work of art in itself and looks amazing. Who let Yogi loose on the headliner? (In house joke here, don’t ask!)

Wiring has started to be prepped for the dash area and tidied up which again does take care and time to fit it all in without the loom getting in the way of the other parts, such as the wiper motor linkages, gauges, heater controls etc.

The doors now have the rubber seals in place and final adjustments can be made to the door closures.

We have the Mustang Maniac much sort after LED upgrades fitted behind the stock look tail lenses. We have to run extra cables to the main loom in order to make them work, so while we are at this stage it will all look perfect, wrapped up in our own stock look loom tape.

The end result is that coverted stock look combined with the modern high visibility LEDs as standard fitting on a lot of modern cars these days.

We are looking forward to this car being on the road as this will be a cracking looking little lady using as many of the original parts as we can.

Centerfold?

Well, not quite! But it does appear that all the celebs can’t wait to get their picture taken with Adam. Vaughn Gittin Jr a drifting legend discusses RTR Mustangs with Adam at the 2017 SEMA show. The full article can be Found in Classic American magazine.

We would like to finish up with a quick Happy Birthday Wishes to Adam’s wife Lynn for tomorrow.

Happy *^th Birthday Lynn.

Bullitt(s) Old & New

This weeks post is a little longer than normal but we think it deserves it. Unless you have been under a rock for the last couple of weeks there has been an explosion of media around the legendary ’68 Bullitt Mustang and the special edition which Ford have released to commemorate the fifty years since the film. After the Bullitt article we have compiled there is our exciting news about our latest delivery we promised last week.

DETROIT – Celebrating the 50th anniversary of iconic movie “Bullitt” and its fan-favorite San Francisco car chase, Ford introduces the new cool and powerful 2019 Mustang Bullitt.

Third-generation member of the McQueen family, Molly, starred in a special movie of her own introducing the new third-generation Bullitt at the North American International Auto Show. In the film, Molly races a new Mustang Bullitt through a parking structure battling a Dodge Charger for the final free space.

Helping it win that particular spot was the Bullitt’s upgraded 5.0-liter V8 engine that will deliver at least 475 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque, pushing the new Bullitt to a top speed of 163 mph – an 8 mph increase versus the latest Mustang GT.

Special Edition

As a special-edition model due out this summer – the all-new Mustang Bullitt is equipped with a manual transmission, and the gear shifter features a white cue ball shift knob as a nod to the original. The vehicle packages all Mustang GT Premium and Performance Package content into a vehicle that maintains the original Bullitt’s understated persona. An active valve performance exhaust system is standard with new Black NitroPlate exhaust tips, and retuned to give the car a signature burble, as well as new Open Air Induction System and Shelby GT350 intake manifold with 87mm throttle bodies and powertrain control module calibration for optimal performance.

Other standard equipment includes a heated leather steering wheel and a 12-inch all-digital LCD instrument cluster, identical in function to the cluster introduced on 2018 Mustang, but with a unique Bullitt welcome screen that starts in green with an image of the car rather than the pony.

“This new Bullitt is, as Steve McQueen was, effortlessly cool,” said Darrell Behmer, Mustang chief designer. “As a designer, it’s my favorite Mustang – devoid of stripes, spoilers and badges. It doesn’t need to scream about anything – it’s just cool.” Exterior paint choices are limited to Shadow Black and the classic Dark Highland Green – as worn in the movie. Other features that pay tribute to the car McQueen drove are subtle chrome accents around the grille and front windows, classic torque thrust 19-inch aluminum wheels, red-painted Brembo brakes, and a unique black front grille. Inside and out, the vehicle uses minimal body badging; only the circular faux gas cap Bullitt logo on the rear center is visible on the exterior.  The leather-trimmed interior features unique green accent stitching on the dashboard, door panels, center console and seats.

Aside from the two exterior paint choices, Mustang Bullitt buyers are limited to three factory-installed options:

  • Bullitt Electronics Package includes navigation, driver memory seats and mirrors, upgraded sound system and Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert that can alert customers of vehicles detected in difficult-to-see places
  • MagneRide® semi-active suspension system optimizes driving performance
  • RECARO® black leather-trimmed seats

“When making a Bullitt, there are certain things it absolutely must have,” said Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer. “It has to have the right attitude, it has to be unique in some way from a Mustang GT, and more than anything, it has to be bad ass.” That reputation was born after a Mustang GT fastback played a prominent role in the 1968 movie, and most notably in a chase scene that set new standards in filmmaking. The film’s nearly 10-minute-long sequence followed McQueen chasing down two hitmen in his Mustang through the streets of San Francisco.

The Original

Original 1968 Mustang ‘559 from movie Bullitt. Courtesy of HVA, Casey Maxon (PRNewsfoto/Historic Vehicle Association)

Two identical 1968 Mustang GT fastbacks were used in the filming of the classic Warner Bros. movie “Bullitt” that debuted in theaters on Oct. 17, 1968. After filming, the cars went their separate ways: the hero vehicle driven by McQueen in the movie was sold by Warner Bros. to a private buyer, and the other – used in many of the jumps during the famous chase scene – was sent to a salvage yard. That jumper vehicle resurfaced in Baja, California, in early 2017, but the other was lost to history. Until now; Sean Kiernan, owner of the hero vehicle, inherited the car in 2014 from his late father, Robert, who had purchased the vehicle in 1974. To fulfill his family’s lifelong dream, Sean contacted Ford and the two parties worked together to reveal his movie star car alongside the all-new 2019 Mustang Bullitt at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “You know, it was never our intention to keep this car a secret from everybody,” Sean said. “It just kind of happened with life. I’m just completely buzzing to join with Ford and the new Bullitt and show this car to the world on one of the biggest stages there is.”

Do we want one – Yep, we do!

As is often the case with these things, the reappearance of the Bullitt Mustang was no coincidence. Current owner Sean Kiernan explained to Jay Leno that he and Ford “found each other” and worked together to stage the car’s comeback. Kiernan’s father, Robert Kiernan Jr., bought the car in 1974 after seeing an ad in Road & Track for a “Bullett” Mustang. He was the only one who inquired, and got the car for $6,000. That was actually a lot of money for a used 1968 Mustang in 1974.

In 1977, McQueen wrote a letter to Robert Kiernan Jr., asking for the opportunity to “get back my ’68 Mustang.” As documented by classic-car insurer Hagerty, McQueen said he wanted to keep the car unrestored, as it had appeared in Bullitt, which he said was “simply personal.” But McQueen was only willing to go so far in getting the Mustang back. While he did offer to pay for a replacement car (the Kiernans were using the Bullitt Mustang as a daily driver), McQueen noted that he would do so as long as “there is not too much monies involved in it.”

The Bullitt Mustang was eventually retired from daily use and rolled into a garage. Meanwhile, the rest of the world assumed that it was simply lost. Spurred by Ford’s decision to launch special-edition Mustang Bullitts in 2001 and 2008, Sean Kiernan and his father intended to rebuild the car and share it with the public, but life got in the way. The senior Kiernan died in 2014, before the car was finished. Today, the Bullitt Mustang is in drivable condition, but remains unrestored. Note that this is one of two Mustangs used to film the movie. Coincidentally, the other car was found in Mexico last year. That car had been stripped of many parts and had some restoration work done, making it less original than Kiernan’s car. Kiernan has no plans to sell, but his Mustang is nonetheless incredibly valuable. Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty estimates the car could fetch around $4 million, noting that two other iconic television and movie cars, the original Batmobile and James Bond Aston Martin DB5, sold for similar amounts. There are also plans for a film on the Bullitt Mustang. This time, the car will probably be handled a bit more gingerly than the last time it was on-screen.

Do we want this car? Yep we need this car.

Sources – Fordonline and many others, Im ages are not our own.

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We promised last week that we would have an update on the delivery we have been waiting many months for now. It arrived as expected and took the day to move it all around. Adam has FOUR ’68 shells delivered to the yard. Couple full shells and a couple in parts. All of which are now stored in the own special location.

A couple of these have already earmarked for in-house projects and the others Adam bought for “something or other!” Now those that know Adam also know that he never actively sells a car, but if you offer him the right money he might consider it, as he can often be heard to say “It could be yours!” As for these body shells and kits? Who knows, like the second-hand parts – “nope, ‘aint got none of them either!”

Customers Cars:

Roy has his car with us now from the paint shop and Yogi has started the brand new wire loom fitting and putting some glass in. Once the glass is in the project starts to look like a car again.

Glass in the doors.

Headlights and new shiny fuel tank.

On top of that the engine has been worked on, new valves, seats and guides with all new engine internals. The heads have been skimmed and the block decked so this 351Windsor should be factory fresh too.

We finish with Yogi’s new sign:

Perhaps we should name all our storage areas!