A Friend Catches Up…

We feel it’s time to reveal what the special post was going to be all about that we talked about when Adam came back from his SEMA trip this year. Of course it was always going to be car related as you would expect. Last year Adam made arrangements to meet up with his friend Cleo Shelby. This year he has gone one better…

While out in Las Vegas Adam made the phone calls and arranged to meet up with his friend Cleo, this time he introduced his wife Lynn to Cleo who hit it off straight away.

The usual catch up chats were had and as time passed a rare opportunity was offered to Adam & Lynn; lunch at Cleo’s house the next day in Las Vegas! Obviously that is an offer you just can’t refuse. For privacy issues we delayed this post and made sure all was OK with Cleo before we posted.

All photos are exclusive to Adam/Mustang Maniac and the first time on the internet.

We won’t show pictures of the outside of her home except to say it’s pretty special as you would expect. Adam and Lynn arrived on time and was let in through the gated premises and was met by Cleo at the front door. They were given a cup of tea to start with which was shortly followed a guided tour around her home. Adam was in his element looking at Carroll’s possessions and his car related items. Adam did take some photo’s of those, but again we will respect Cleo’s privacy, but we will show you this little item, yep the back of Cobra that is now a seat!

Cleo was happy to chat away to Lynn and Adam for quite a while in one of the reception rooms where Adam took this pic.

Not to disappoint, Cleo kept her promise to show Adam her one of a kind Mustang. Carroll had this car made especially for Cleo which is unique as this car has no limited edition number, but is signed by her husband. Cleo removed the dust cover to reveal a special bespoke Mustang, just one of one!

Cleo behind the wheel of her much-loved car.

When it was time to leave Adam was given a parting gift from Cleo – a couple of drinks from Carroll’s very own collection! a bottle of Carroll Shelby Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and a bottle of Snake Bite Lager.

The 2007 wine is a rare vintage and very much a collector’s item now. The question you have to ask yourself here is; did he or didn’t he open it? Cheers. 🙂

As part of Adam’s birthday, he was bought this rather cool wine holder, what a fitting way to hold the bottle of wine.

We hope the wait for this post was worth it. Next week we will be back to the cars again.

That Midas Touch

This week we have been getting to grips with a major project to reassemble a gold coloured convertible. With most of these big projects it was started and left incomplete for a various reasons, then she was transported to the home of the Mustang, here at Mustang Maniac to finish it off. The web is full of some great how to projects, but more often than not they tend to leave out the problems you will encounter in one way or another. As a result the projects stalls and can be difficult to complete without the experienced know how or the correct tools. Then we get the inevitable phone call where we are asked help out with the now legendary build quality only we can provide to your project. We suspect that this will be the last big project rebuild for a little while until we have completed some of our own in-house projects that we must complete over the winter months to come.

The engine is the in-line six with one of our very own carbs fitted and she runs fine in her current condition, apart from some tuning that will be required.

The only downside is that with Yogi’s Midas touch to make things work and fit again, you can’t see it was already gold – or was it? 🙂

Gold Coupe:

Not only do we have a gold convertible in, but we also get in a gold coupe at the same time in the same workshop. This car needs a little fettling to sort out some running issues and the geberous helping of  the good ol’ Mustang Maniac TLC.

Under the hood – the bling factor matches the paint job!

Promotional Offer:

We have had our delivery of the Limited Edition of the Mustang Maniac 2018 Calendar. These are a month view with day spaces to write down your important car show events.  Thanks to Lance at Linards for the hard work to get this ready for us by the end of the year. We are going to be giving them away to the first 50 orders over £200 + Vat placed with us. We don’t expect these to be around for long, so if you are thinking of ordering some parts and / or vouchers do it sooner rather than later to grab your calendar. We have some pics of the calendar for you, but once they are gone – there will be no more for this year.

IF you ask nicely, Adam may even autograph one for you, Yogi may stamp his paw print for his elite, “Fan Club” and not forgetting Morgan’s signature that would complete the set.

Vouchers:

Adam also says, as it’s getting near Christmas, we have had some more vouchers in to cater for that “What do I get a man with a Mustang?” The answer is Simple – Let them choose! If you ask Adam nicely he may even let you have a calendar with the Vouchers.

You can them from the WebShop here, or cut and past the link below to your browser:

£10 –  https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/74/8051/__10_gift_voucher

£20 – https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/part/74/8052/__20_gift_voucher

Other News:

While Adam was “working hard” at the SEMA show he decided to do the touristy type thing and boarded the High Roller, which is a 550-foot tall, Ferris wheel on the Las Vegas Strip. There are four cabins designated as the High Roller “Happy Hour” that have a bar and a bartender. Once inside, the free drinks start as soon as the doors close. Yes, you can drink all-you-can for the duration of the ride, which takes around thirty minutes. A savvy and quick drinker can get five drinks in during the thirty minute ride. We can neither confirm nor deny that the drinks estimation was consumed. The “last call” for drinks is when you are about three quarters of the way round. By that point it’s a case of “is the wheel moving” or is it you staggering around?

Have you ever wondered what Las Vegas looks like from the air in the middle of a desert?

Exclusive:

We have had the go ahead for special world exclusive that we will bring you soon, possibly a dedicated post in it’s own right.

Here’s a clue:

On The Way

We kick of this week with the continuation of the BRC (Blue Racing Coupe), we promised from last week. The back of the project was the focus this time and we knew there was going to be a fair bit of work to do. With the car up on stands and the fuel tank removed it was easier to what the metal was like inside for a detailed analysis.

 

It became clear that the trunk side drops would need replacing and the rear chassis legs needed to be looked at carefully with the drop sides removed. The bottom of the rear quarters were needing some attention as well, but not in such a bad shape as we first thought.

 

With the metal removed it was easier to see the chassis rails, and they did indeed need replacing in substantial sections to be on the safe side.

 

With the rear light panel also removed it makes life so much easier to work on and measure accurately.

 

The rails were welded into place and treated as per the standard practice. The welding clamps were put in place ready for a dry fitting of the rear panel and wheel arches before the final welding takes place. unfortunately the bottom sections of the wheels arches were in a poor state and couldn’t be saved, the top parts were fine so to save disturbing more than was required, they would be cut and welded into place.

 

The drop panels were fitted and welded after the arches, where the red oxide was applied to protect the metal for years to come. A seam sealer was applied to the joins to give that stock look and provide a layer of protection to these vulnerable areas.

 

The fuel tank was replaced for a finished look. The bumper anchor points also needed some work as they had also gotten a little thin and not as we wanted them to be.

The cars major structural components have now been completed front to back and now it’s a case of getting ready for the stage of the restoration as only Mustang Maniac knows how.

Primrose Coupe:

A recent new customer was so pleased with the work we had done on his car that he decided to take the car on a driving holiday. That car is Primrose as she is known now had a few issues around the engine tuning and the brakes dragging, all which were sorted out without problems, along with a few other minor niggles at the same time. But before she went on her trip a little loving was bestowed upon the paint job at our yard. The car paint was flattened to remove the old surface imperfections and polished to a smooth finish ready for a proper gloss.

 

Some top quality Carnauba wax was hand applied and buffed to that rich gloss finish we all want.

 

We have received an email of the car on her travels through Brittany and she does look great we have to say.

Send us some pics of your car on your travels and we suspect that we would post in on our blog for you.

Start Of A New Year

First of all we would like to wish you all a Happy New Year as this is our first post of the year. Before we get asked again, no we didn’t make any new year resolutions. Over the Holidays we worked hard by making good headway into our stock take. As yet we haven’t finished it all as we need yet more space. The stock levels are pretty accurate compared to the online ordering system. The only thing is that we found lots more stuff we had forgotten about and not as yet on the WebShop, we have stored those lost parts in our new custom-made area, which was another job we hadn’t planned on at the end of last year. The new year for us is nothing different from the old year, the cars we had a couple of weeks ago are still there in the same state that we left them. So let’s get on with the updates for you.

Customers Cars:

We have a 1963 Ford Falcon Sedan Delivery 144CiD three on a tree, which required a little work in order for her to be ready for her MOT so she can get back on the road. As the car has sat in and around the yard nearly for three years we finally got the go ahead to work on her. This is rare example and you certainly don’t see many of them around now days.

The brake rear cylinders had corroded and leaked so needed to be changed as the first job, followed by a full brake adjust and bleed. The engine didn’t run very well at all when she arrived and we narrowed it down to the worn carb. First up was a new battery to turn the car over. We replaced the old carb with an Autolite part and fired her up. She started well and we could check for other issues, the most obvious now being the exhaust manifold blowing.

falcdel9

This was replaced easy enough without breaking any bolts which was a big bonus on a job like this. After she was put back together we could do a preliminary carb air/fuel setup ready for a road test.

We checked under the car and found that the rear exhaust had been “repaired” a few times before. It’s certainly not pretty, but it’s still holding up, for now.

The road test was great for the brakes and manifold, but wasn’t so good for the erratic engine running. We suspect that the car just needs to settle down again, it could even be simply a gone off batch of fuel. We will need to go over the fuel, throttle travel, idle, full timing & mixture settings to make her run right again. It’s not far away, just not how we want it to run. A few more miles on her first after the laid up spell before we adjust anything to much at this point.

Chris’ Mustang Project.

Chris has been working hard over the Christmas break to get the front of his car ready for some new metal and prep what he has to protect it from the elements. We see the inside of the engine has been completed and looks good now with the coats of Red Oxide.

Work has started on the upper cowl and B pillar areas.

Other News:

We have been sent a video of the differences between the USA and European spec Mustangs. I looks like we are definitely getting a raw deal in the UK! Hope you enjoy the video, not sure where it’s come from, but its a good video.

DeAgostini Shelby 1:8th Model Update 

We had a delivery between Christmas and the New Year so we done a little indoor car building. The issues are 53 – 56 and have been updated on the build model page we are doing, also on the main menu, or click here for the link.

shelby1-8th-141

Part 53:

We continue with the inside theme with the first of the rear trim sections which comes in two parts, this being the first. There are two simple parts to screw to the trim, the courtesy light and the latch. With those in place a further three screws holds it onto the floor pan we have been building up over the last few issues.

Part 54:

This issue has the upper part to be attached to the previous lower section. The trim is a single piece with three screws to the rear, of which one is a lot smaller than the other two towards the front of the trim.

Part 55:

This was a single piece to be fitted to the left rear trim and under the rear floor pan. You can see that part has rounded fittings which push into the both the upper and lower parts of the rear trim. We were frustrated here as the parts didn’t align correctly and took a little bending to push them into the holes. Once they were in place a simple three screws to hold it firmly at the underside of the floor pan.

shelby1-8th-148

Part 56:

This part we liked a lot. The fold down shelf has a hinge and this is replicated in metal with very nice detail. There are chrome coloured screws to match the metal hinge which is located by a very slightly of set centre screw and will only fit one way. Once the hinge has been screwed on there is nowhere to attach it at the moment. These hinge screws are really tiny and we hope you have a nice set of screw drivers to cope. We found that our magnetised smaller driver fitted perfectly and made life a lot easier to attach the hinge.

A big thanks to everybody who has emailed us to say they enjoyed the Las Vegas / SEMA trip from last year. It seems as though you enjoyed it as much as we did. We take on board that there was a lot of pictures, but we think it was worth the larger posts. One final note – in these cold weather spells make sure you check your anti-freeze!

Las Vegas – SEMA 2016 Day 4 (Part 2 of 2)

Friday 4th November 2016. The last post for our SEMA 2016 tour and we have a few (OK. quite a few) pics of the SEMA Cruise. The vehicles all drive out from the halls to their collection trucks or just drive them to where they are kept. These fantastic looking cars on the stand with all that polished chrome drive past you so you can hear them as well. The marshals are pretty keen to stop any burn outs or erratic driving should we say. But, there is nothing to stop them revving the engines and pulling away quickly should we say! Chris and Mart stayed for a couple of hours to watch the cruise, it can go on for four or five hours. We tried to grab a varied selection of cars and trucks, so it’s enough of our words and on with the cruise:

Chris and Mart walked back to the house where they meet up with the rest of the guys before setting out for the evening. On the way they called into a shopping mall and was met with a busy Voting station.

After we had all meet up again back at the house it was time to grab our last taste of nightlife in Las Vegas. Adam had arranged to meet some family for a get together over a beer. Then it was off for a proper steak, or should we say a side of a cow!

Our final pic here is Yogi looking over the Bellagio water fountains. We asked him what he was thinking, “I was just thinking what an amazing trip it has been” he replied.

sema-day4-125

We can’t improve on his thoughts and agree with him one hundred percent. It was indeed an amazing trip in more ways than one. All six of us never had a cross word spoken, we laughed all the time, the ripping into each other style of banter was just how it should be, we enjoyed the SEMA show obviously along with the other attractions we visited. This trip for many reasons will stay with us for such awesome memories.

Thanks to Adam for making it all happen, from the rest of the Mustang Maniac crew.

Thank you for following our journey to Las Vegas.

Same again next year? Oh, yeah! 

Las Vegas – SEMA 2016 Day 4 (Part 1 of 2)

Friday 4th November 2016. This was our last day at SEMA Show and we just didn’t know where the time had gone. We called it our double marathon. Why? By the time the four days at SEMA and our 6 days in total at Las Vegas, we had walked just a little of fifty-three Miles according to the step counts on our phones. Some were a little more and some were a little less but the average seemed to be fifty-three miles. Just wandering around you wouldn’t have thought it possible. That just gives you an idea of how big the scale of the show is. Of course we walked up and down the Las Vegas strips a few times and walked to and from parking, it’s still a huge amount of miles. Back to the show where we walked around the last hall and back outside to make sure we hadn’t missed any bits.de.

 

With the vast majority of the inside done we moved outside to the area we hadn’t yet seen and got our first glimpse of the stands for the SEMA Cruise later in the evening.

We even caught up with a well known face from the Fast & Furious films, Sung Kang. He was doin a little promo work for a stand.

Our Last post for SEMA 2016 will be the SEMA Cruise, what did we think of it?  Here’s a clue from Mart & Chris.

sema-cruise-52

Keep an eye out for the Cruise post which will have quite a few picture on there, not to many words we hope. 🙂

Shelby American Full Factory Tour

Friday 4th November 2016. It’s SEMA 2016 last day for us at the show, but before we picked up where we left off at SEMA, there was a trip back to the Shelby Heritage Center to be had where a full, unprecedented all access tour was coming our way. As this is a large post with lots of pictures, it’s well worth scrolling through to the end as these rare behind the scenes pics have not been in the public eye – until now!!!!

We arrived early before the doors opened at nine sharp. As a group we were hanging around by the side roller door of the factory waiting for our guide, we could already see some rather nice cars parked inside. Adam had arranged to meet with Shelby American Inc’s Director of Production and R&D, he is also their Chief Test Driver; Vince LaViolette. Vince was going to be our very own personal guide.

A few more other guests joined had by now joined our little group, thinking this was a way in. However, once the introductions had been completed with Vince we were shown in, some random other people followed us. Vince asked if they were with us and we of course said no. With that Vince advised them that we were on a private tour and that they should wait outside. The first thing to see was lines of  post ramps, all with cars in various states of their build along with the sheer scale of the factory.

sema4-shelhertigae26

Behind us stood a very rare original GT40 owned by Bob Bondurant this was his personal car, and what a car it is too. In 1965 Bob won the FIA Manufacturers’ World Championship for Shelby American and Ford, winning seven out of ten races against the class dominating Ferrari 250 GTOs in Europe. Bob is also known for being a driving instructor to actors James Garner, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Robert Wagner and Tim Allen, Tom Cruise and Nicolas Cage to name a few.

sema4-shelhertigae15

We were taken down the ramps and shown each of the cars in detail, and what they (Shelby) do to them to make them a “Shelby”. If you thought it was “scoops and stickers” then you are so far from the truth. The cars are ducted, cooled, tweaked, upgraded etc. but we will go into that a little later.

The cars have to be registered when they arrive at Shelby in order for the work to be done. The stock parts are removed from the car ready for the Shelby parts. This car below was going back to Australia as a rare right hand drive Shelby version. The little blue stickers on and around the car are where the body shop checks for damage, and what needs to be touched up after the series of complex engineering work has been completed.

Moving further on there was works race cars, replica GT40’s and Cobras of course.

We got up close to a Cobra being assembled. All the racks that hold the parts are covered so they don’t even put the smallest of marks on them, such is the level of care and detail.

The Cobra was waiting for the engine to be fitted and Vince explained the quality control that it all goes through before it even gets near the car.

sema4-shelhertigae62

Moving round to the back of the factory, are the little seen areas of the body assembly. There is a huge storage area off to the side where the parts from the new cars that were removed are stored before the new bespoke Shelby parts are fitted to the car. Some of these “spare” parts are sold on or maybe modified as required.

sema4-shelhertigae64

The car’s brakes and suspension having their upgrades fitted.

The very back of the workshop well away from the public gaze is the body paint and prep areas, the light booths will show any imperfections for the paint to be fixed.

We mentioned earlier on that the cars are all ducted and vented etc. The hoods are designed to cool the engine as every 100deg saved from the hot running engines will give around 4obhp, that’s A staggering figure just for cooling. The engines can run hot to about 400deg, but with the Shelby ducting designs this can be reduced to around 260deg, that’s why the venting is so important and the simple (in principle) way to obtain more power. This also applies to the brakes, there are cooling ducts under the cars to make sure the brake temperatures do not go out of tolerance no matter what the style of driving. The fabrication area is where each car has its own bespoke bodywork fitted or panels made for the car. Vince showed us the process for the carbon fibre and the fibreglass made on site, quite literally everything is hand finished to an impeccable standard.

Vince explains and shows us why all the little fins and ducts are there along with the benefits they produce. Nothing on a Shelby is just for show when it comes to the panels & bodywork.

Vince and Yogi discuss the finer points of body styling with Shelby’s best.

We emerged from the body shop out into the main factory area again, here more cars were being finished and some more new parts storage.

Vince explained that every single car is given a thorough road test adjusted and tested again. Vince gave us an example of one particular car even had a tiny break wobble at the rear at high-speed braking. The problem was tracked down to the position of the rear calipers being to high. A new design and fabrication was made to the calipers to re-position them, just to stop that issue that any mere mortal wouldn’t even detect, but they are there. If you think that the Shelby cars are expensive – now you know they are cheap considering what you get and what goes on behind the scenes to make your car the best it can be.

sema4-shelhertigae122

The suspension handling is set up to the tires and their pressures when testing as on this 1000bhp just back from an initial test run. So when the owners change the wheels, tires or stance, they are undoing all that fine tuning and hours of testing done by professionals.

We walked up to the cleaning area passing more completed cars and a trucks, vince, Yogi and Adam leading the way.

The obligatory photo shoot with Mustang Maniac’s core personnel and Vince.

The crew; Gary, Jason,Yogi, Vince, Adam and Mart.

sema4-shelhertigae137

We mentioned in an earlier post that you can sign the walls of the Shelby American Factory, which we obviously did a few days ago in the public area. This time Adam wanted to do something a little different, so the idea was born to draw around Adam and we all sign inside with a message.

Gary is quite a talented cartoonist and we put him on the spot to replicate our business card logo. We even stuck that business card in Adams silhouetted hand. What did we write? Just a message to the Shelby Factory and Cleo Shelby too from yesterdays catch up with her.

As Vince said, “there are no stickers or scoops here.”

For over two hours of Vince’s valuable time he answered our barrage of questions and showed us everything. As with most very busy people he was due at a meeting, we said our thanks and Vince departed leaving us to make our way back to the factory museum and shop. We of course took another look at the cars which are out of reach of the general public.

Then Chris and Mart took a Shelby for a spin! (OK, they just sat in it!)

That was our tour over; a rare, unique and personal guided tour around the whole of the Shelby factory. We weren’t allowed to take photo’s in couple of places, such as Vince’s own R & D area and another fabrication process area for obvious reasons. However, we were given that full unprecedented access and shown everything no stone unturned. Vince even showed us what he was working on for the 2017 Mustang in that R&D area! Not bad for a “small time parts dealer” as Adam said again.

That leaves us to say a huge thanks from all of us at Mustang Maniac to the Shelby Heritage Center and Vince LaViolette for giving us the top-level VIP treatment for the morning. An incredible insight to one of the worlds most famous names in the automotive market.