A to B

A busy week with so much on the go we have had to carefully plan what we can and what we can’t can turn around for our customers in a realistic time scale. We have had plenty of visitors to the yard and few guided tours as a result.

Customers Cars:

Yogi has spent a couple of days on the ’70 fastback where he had previously declared war on rust. The back of the car is now coming together again and looking a bit more like a car. We decided to replace the inner and outer rear wheel arches as a single piece. We could have saved most of the inner arches, but by the time the cutting and welding had been done it’s more economical to replace with brand new panels.

The arches were put in place and dry fitted up with rear quarters and clamped in place. Final adjustments made to the arches and the full proper spot welding done. None of this drill a hole, weld, and rub it down if you’re lucky sort of efforts. During the aligning up of the quarter panels it was noticed that the back had a little fender bender and distorted the back frame. Yogi had to straighten that all out first so the new B pillar would fit correctly. The current B pillars won’t be able to be saved due to heavy the rust at the bottom which obviously forms part of the structural strength of the car.

With the new arch in place and sealed after the standard coat of Red Oxide had been applied. The original cars were just left as bare metal as it wouldn’t be seen, we prefer to treat and protect even what you can’t see.

The right side is shown here for comparison with nothing in place just showing the bare metal.

We have kept the old panels where we can in order for us to use the original brackets and take measurements from them. We always clamp and dry fit before we tack weld and refit again, only once we are happy we get on with the full welding into place.

The rear quarters will be sandwiched in place and we will lead fill and make sure they are brazed in position like they should be.

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The inside floor pans from the A pillar back to the B pillars is now completed and coated with the trusty Red Oxide for protection again.

The owners of this car popped down to see us on Saturday and see the work in progress so far. It’s always a little bit of a shock to see half your car missing. But as we know what we are doing, Yogi says “in a week or so it will be a shell again”. The rear axle, brackets, mounts and other parts will all be sent away for shot blasting before being treated and fitted back onto the chassis. We hope to get the colour of the car on the inside of the quarters early next week. But, like most things, if we have an emergency job to do then things could change.

We have had a ’66 Coupe in for a number of upgrades and new parts to be fitted. The first of which was to fit a complete new MSD ignition system.

Stock News:

We are very excited to say that Scott Drake have now produced a pretty awesome 4-lug alloy wheel which we will be holding in stock. Now there is no excuse to leave those rusty old steels on your car when you can have these great looking wheels.

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These wheels are a single size of 15″ x 6″ in either Gloss Black or Charcoal. We have ordered 36 wheels and they have already been sold before we  even unpack them. We will be getting some more but the demand has been high for the long-awaited wheels. We often considered the 4 lug wheels to be left out a bit, but now Scott Drake have put that right. We will be putting these on the WebShop for prices and availability very soon.

We have some more very exciting news for Mustang Maniac being a supplier for another company in the UK. This is exciting for us and we will reveal all shortly, we are convinced it will be good news for a lot of people. Watch this space!

Models

Last week we posted a piece on the promotional Mustang models of that era. As a result of that, we received an email which arrived with some more interesting info on Mustang Models. Thanks to Ian C. who kindly took time out send these pics with the following note.

“Your readers may like to know about the pics I have attached. They are all working promo radio’s from ’65/’66. They were made by Philco and run from a 9v battery, the speaker is mounted inside the car. The gold version is mint, the other two are in good condition. As far as I am aware all were fastbacks and had 1966 on the number plate, various colours were made.”

If anybody out there around the world has any other Mustang memorabilia you would like to share with us and our readers, please email us and we will get it on the blog for you.

Got to give him Credit!

Barclays Bank in the UK will allow you to personalise your credit cards. Adam decided that he would put the love of life on the company card. It just had to be the Shelby KR!

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Almost Here…

This is our last full week before Christmas and looking forward to a few days well earned rest. We have some more puppy pictures which are back by popular demand (thanks for the emails). We say goodbye to the Acapulco Coupe, Paul the Paints Mach1 gets a strip down and we finish with a poem from a close friend and loyal customer Gary.

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The car has some issues that we knew about and wanted to investigate a little more. We started to cut the top part of the cowl away to get a good look at the rust problem that we could see daylight through. The top part of the cowl would need to be replaced as it had gone thin and peppered with holes.

The removed top part showed our worst expectations. The lower cowl had gone rotten beyond economical repair. The top and bottom parts of the cowl have been ordered and coming in shortly. Although the parts are on their way, they are not cheap unfortunately. The simple reason is these cars are not quite at the restoration stage of the 64 – 69 models. The parts are being made now and should get cheaper over the coming years. We had to drill out the old weld points from the rest of the bodywork as normal for this type of job. The left side of the cowl didn’t look much better but could have been repaired if we wanted to.

Just for now we have stopped work on her untill all the parts in place. The other parts of the engine bay have a few issues and on investigation she has had a minor shunt. The top part of the frame is kinked a little and the an inner panel rippled along with a little rusty bit. Nothing that can’t be sorted we have seen much, much worse and this will be a great looker once she is done.

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Acapulco Coupe

The car has been passed as road worthy via the UK’s mandatory MOT certificate. It’s always a big day when that bit of paper proves your work is at a high enough standard to be on the road. Mart was down with us for the day so he could ride home with her. Adam managed to get the trusty covered LAR Traffic Services lorry so that she could be taken back to her home. After four years of work and few of those years temporarily at our yard she arrived home with Adam at the wheel as he drove her into Mart’s garage for the first time. It was a nice moment to see a grown man with a particularly huge silly grin. Merry Christmas Mart.

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The KR

Adam’s KR was not to be left out, the back of the car was always neat and tidy, but Adam wanted it stepped up a notch. So carpets and boards were fitted to the trunk and she now looks totally different. A little more mellow if you can use that word with this beast of a car.

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’67 Fastback

This car was in for some work on the engine. The engine has had some modifications which resulted in there being no oil dipstick. So we had to unpick a little of that work and replace water pumps, belts and add that critical oil dipstick back in place. The owner was pleased with out work and being as it was that time of year decided that he would treat himself to a few more little Christmas prezzies while he was at it. First up was the hood catches which always makes the car look very different. The part number for these catches is S1MS-16892 and can be found on our WebShop click here. Next up was the front spoiler with a part number of C7zz-63001 which again can be found at our WebShop click here. Both are the top quality Scott Drake parts we stock. The difference is an instant hit with this owner. Merry Christmas to you too.

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The Puppies

Back by popular demand should we say, we have more of the puppies. It was a very sad time a couple of weeks ago that we had to say a final farewell to Paddy the father of these beautiful pups. He was suddenly taken ill and the incredibly difficult decision to let him go was taken. But, his pups and memory lives on, and as so one of the boys will be called PJ (Paddy Junior). The other pups we will be keeping are called Daisy and Enos.

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Meet Daisy

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We thought we would let you know that we have had a couple of requests for some “Yogi Fan Club” pics to be put on the blog, shall we or not? It would mean that we may have to wake him from hibernation in his cave for the pics!

Yogi Fact:

Did you know that Yogi can smell Jaffa Cakes from about fifty feet away, that just happens to be about the same distance of his workshop, sorry, cave to the Boy’s Club!

To finish:

To round of this post just before Christmas, what better way than a brilliant little Christmas Mustang Maniac poem. This was written for us by our very loyal customer and great friend Gary W. We have never had a little ditty composed for us before, so this is a first on our little ol’ blog. Thank you very much Gary, and Merry Christmas to you too. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves; well we didn’t, but you know what we mean.

 

It’s now time for Christmas and the happiness this time brings
For the lucky Mustang owner, some new chrome, trim and things
Finally at Mustang Maniac comes peace and quiet and calm
Though plans of all the next projects still add to the charm

For Adam and all of the gang and all the dogs as well
It’s ‘put your feet up’ time now with a cheeky drink or two as well
As during this busy year they have brought lots tears of joy
To lots and lots of customers who have an old Mustang as a toy

They fix them up, they paint them and make them all look smart
They stock all the big bits, the oily bits and all the small parts
The love and care and they worry, keeping Mustangs in their prime
And keep their many loyal customers very happy all of the time

So given the extremely busy 2015 that they’ve all had
To put their feet up for a few days really won’t make them too sad
But Adam and all of the gang will be back soon all fit and well
So “Happy Christmas” Mustang Maniac followers have a great “Noel”!

Copyright – Gary W.

The Unseen Details

With the changing weather we get just as many requests to change our customer’s cars. Most of the time it’s aesthetics to make them very personalised then there are tweaks to the engine or performance and handling of course. Every so often we get a change like this recent change. The exhaust system has been converted from the headers to make it an also open header system.

This particular upgrade is an electronically controlled valve that is manually opened via a switch inside the car. The butterfly inside the pipe opens and diverts the exhaust gases straight out by passing the rest of the exhaust system.

This has an advantage of giving more power as there is no back pressure, this will allow the gases to escape from the chambers and pipes as soon as they are burnt. The other side effect is that the car gets loud, very loud. Of course this open header situation would only be used in limited situations like a race track or drag strip. It would have nothing to do with drowning out the little boy racers, or ricers that think that their one inch exhaust pipe, that comes with the mandatory tail pipe the size of a bucket, (also know as a fart can); They obviously think that their exhaust sounds better than pure American Muscle V8. The starting up of such an engine in this situation is not recommended first thing in the morning, especially after the neighbours come home boozed up and making lots of noise. We wouldn’t want you to disturb them just for the sake of it as it could aggravate their hang overs with the sound of Hell’s thunder. Anyway back to the motorised valves, these will require some adjustments to the chassis and Yogi cut some holes in the chassis rails to mount them correctly.

We recommend mounting the mechanism as high as possible to give as much ground clearance as possible. Part of the front pipe needs to cut away from behind the to allow the “Y” junction pipes to fit into place without disturbing the rest of the exhaust backwards. You never know, we may just fit some small turndown pipes on this 289cid,  just because we can.

Customer Cars:
The 1970 fastback that Yogi declared a war of rust on has been coming along nicely. The floor pans had been completely removed and the front chassis legs had been replaced. Yogi had a helping hand from Sam who broke the Red Oxide out and started to treat the new metal inside the the chassis legs.

The seat platform and the floor pans were given a good coating to prevent any further rust. A process often missed when restoring with new panel work. The torque boxes were treated at the same time as the welding was done to put the floor pan back in place.

The floor pan in place and ground down for a smooth finish.

The seat platform was welded in place after the underside of the base was treated.

The platform was added and welded into place.

Once Yogi was happy Sam got to work with the brush treating all the inner side of the new floor pan.

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Next week we would like to get going on the other side as well. But, like all these things we have a lot of cars due in. Providing nothing takes longer than we think it should then we will be OK. Like we predicted the rust don’t stand a chance!

Hot Lap

Weather has perked up at long last again and looks like the summer is back and it’s hot we are glad to say. before we get going, we have an update on the guessing game last week. The true story was the crash in the car looking at the lovely lady. Why do we need to tell you this as it was pretty obvious? Well, somebody kindly emailed us and asked if the picture of the toddler on the engine really was Yogi. It’s not the legendary Yogi, we said it was though. Only kidding we didn’t. 🙂 We do think they were winding us up too.

A brilliant link sent to us from our good friend Gary where you can sit in the new Mustang on a hot lap of Silverstone. You can ride the inside cam with all around 360 views by moving your mouse around, bumper cam or helicopter cam, it really is amazing. You will need a fairly up to date browser to make it work, if not there is also a link to the YouTube video of it by clicking here. Click the picture below to go to the Ford page where the fun begins! Press the start engine button and move the mouse to view all around the car or just watch the driver. We love it.

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To read all about the car click here to go to Ford’s online page.

Customer’s Cars:

We have some nice cars in this week and Yogi has been busy with a nice 66 Fastback with a gearbox swap out. The original top loader was replaced with another top loader 3+E. This should give a nice top end cruise similar to that of the 5 speed boxes of today. This type of upgrade certainly makes a difference to the car especially the fuel economy. This car drives as good as it looks and cruises beautifully.

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Chris’ i6

The weekend work has been coming along and Chris is getting into his stride now. Rumour has it that Chris has got a job lot of paint brushes in now from a well know auction site! He is going to need them with all the red lead painting that needs to be done. He even got to satin black coating the parts before we got to take a pictures of the progress of the red lead. But we have the previous pics – he can’t hide anything here. 🙂

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With the parts drying in the glorious sun they were on a table, we did say to him that it looked like he was getting ready to have a car boot sale. Keeping with the spirit we did offer to give him £5 the lot, but the man wasn’t having any of it though.

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Acapulco Blue Coupe

The weather-stripping has been going on this week and last weekend too. It’s amazing what a difference a little bit of rubber can make on the car. We also got out the new Ford tooled dash pad arrive and that is now fitted and the inside of the car looks like things are starting to happen. Yes we did see Mart run up to the box and give it a hug!

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Door weather-stripping

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Trunk Weather stripping, we have a tip of the trade here; We marked up the exact location of the trunk with masking tape down the brackets before we removed it. In theory aligning them back up again should be dead simple and be in exactly the same place.

A little lady that has been wrapped short-term until some of the other cars have been collected.

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 We have a fantastic  an unexpected testimonial from Gary via email:

“Adam and the team, with a very special mention to Al, have had my car for a few weeks to carry out its annual inspection, MOT and to fix some jobs they had discussed with me last year. Having just collected it from them today (Fri 07/08/2015), it runs better now than it ever has thanks to the care, attention to detail and ‘other magic’ they know. As usual the whole process has been completely painless – it’s a great feeling to know that the people looking after my old car think as much of it as I do…so I have absolutely no worries leaving it in their capable hands. This time they completed all the jobs on my list as well as rectifying a few more that I never realised were an issue, thus saving me from future trouble. I would strongly recommend Adam and the Mustang Maniac team to anyone wanting proper experts to look after all their Mustang needs….then you can simply leave them to it in the knowledge they will always do what’s best for these lovely old cars”

Gary – Retired Ford Motor Company Director

A week of ’66s

This week has produced a mini fleet of ’66 cars to us that are in need of various amounts of work, a project car or just simple MOT’s. Most weeks we have a mixture of classic years, some weeks we have all fast backs or coupes, but not to many weeks where they are all the same year. We have a lot of cars here to be worked on at the moment and we are on course to keep up with work load. We are fortunate that we have some really great customers who understand the unexpected complications that can arise from restoration work that can delay completion times due to the extra work required.

We had a very nice silver Coupe that has a factory fitted rare front bench seat option. Yes we know it has leaves on it and we will clean it off as we have with the others due to the recent high winds in the UK.

Among the crop of ’66’s we have here a rare fully optioned car from the factory, it even has a custom colour for the year which was owned by a famous actress just before her sad passing in the late 60’s, the car also has a great proof of  provenance to go with it of course. Unfortunately the car does need a fair amount of work to get the car back to it’s former glory, but as we well know here at Mustang Maniac it can be done as it’s pretty solid on the chassis underneath. The car should make some very good money once it’s completed if it was ever to come up for sale.

Customer Cars:

The Alpha Red convertible has moved along again and we now have the completed engine and the exhaust fitted up, it need a little work to make it fit nicely but she does sound very nice as a result.

’66 Coupe full restoration is now ready for paint. The hard work on the hood has turned out to be lot of work in vain. when the hood was fitted back to the headlight buckets the leading edge has been bent down, not enough to notice. when laid down. We could adjust it to fit the front but the gaps we wrong up the sides of the fenders. I difficult decision but the hood was given some adjustments to try and pull it back into shape, but it wasn’t having any of it and distorted the rest of the hood, so it had to be  a new hood when you are restoring to this level.

Back to ’67 Eleanor

Long weekend for the UK this weekend, but it has turned out to be a long week instead of the long weekend. Looking forward to a few days break hasn’t gone to plan as the stock needed updating and the cars needed a bit of a move around on Saturday. The phone was going mad, the office was busy with customers too, but they all were talking amongst themselves while I eventually got round to getting everybody sorted out. I am not sure where that morning went to be honest, it was just a blur. On the plus side, I am sure there have been some new friendships formed as a result of the busy day all due to their passion for the Classic Mustangs. That sort of makes it all seem worth while at the end of the day.

Update on a popular project;

We are now back to the Customer Project Car Eleanor. We have finished making the new fire wall so we could move it back, we welded it in place and now we have enough clearance for the engine. We then dummy mounted the engine into the bay again, still going to be tight with all the other parts on it, but it was in.

What did we try to fit into that engine bay that caused us to move the firewall? This superb Genuine factory GT500 v8 5.4 straight from the factory in the USA. The nice thing about these genuine engines is this it has been signed and makes for a great talking point.

In order to try to keep this car pointing the right way, we are fitting a modern spec Rack & Pinion steering for this car. Again a bit of a custom fit, but well worth the effort. With the amount of power this will be producing, you will need to feel exactly what the car is doing on the road.

modern rack and pinion

modern rack and pinion

The fire wall needed additional work after the engine was in place. Why? We had a slight change of plan to the gearbox that was going to be used. It’s a monster alright – T56 6 Speed. This gearbox was giving us no room to work with. Again, we have fabricated and rebuilt the tunnel to take the transmission with clearance so it can be maintained. We made the provision on top of the tunnel to take the shifter in its new location. We will need to treat and finish the welding properly net week.

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inside welding and cut out for the shifter

The T56 6 Speed should make this car a superb cruiser and also leave a trail of rubber from the lights if the gas pedal is nailed to the floor.

T56 6 Speed Transmission

T56 6 Speed Transmission

On the lighter side, while the wife was out for the day, when I had a bit of spare time, could I do a bit of cleaning in the house. What a great idea I thought!

So here was my contribution!

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Am I joking or not?

We are looking at another car to add to the other little ladies we have here, I will post some pictures if we do.

Quick link to the page for the car, click here, or go to Customer Cars – Project Eleanor.

Road Damage

RTA – Road Traffic Accidents

We have been asked a few times if we fix damaged cars that have been in an RTA as the police call it. The answer is yes we most certainly do. Most of the cars are not to bad, a paint job, a fender or a bumper, reversed into a post, or wall, shopping trolley etc. Every so often we get a fairly bad-looking accident. We have dug out a set of photos from a little while ago and some fairly recently. By coincidence they were fairly similar accidents, but one was worse than the other. As these classic cars are tough ol’ things they can be fixed, most modern Euro cars would have been written off with much less damage, but not these beauties. As a result we have decided that a new menu should be added to the home page, it’s called “Damage Repairs”. The contents of this menu will be RTA’s or other damage we think would be worth showing. Most drivers of these cars are quite careful, so we don’t get to many accidents thankfully. Better photos of the damage before and after the repairs will be higher up on our list, then you can compare the results for yourself. Thinking about it, if we had of known we were going to do this blog a while ago we would have taken many more photos of the cars we have fixed in the past. Alas, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

If you bend it, we can fix it!