Spring Time Your Way?

Ok so the title is a little play on words for this week’s blog, but the weather in the UK is picking up a little and looking forward to the warm weather and all the classic cars coming out to play. We said a play on words as this weeks Park & Pic is a car we still have with us after a service and a good look over. The ’65 Springtime yellow coupe is owned by our friend and customer Mick.

Park & Pic

The car is solid and the best bit? It’s up for sale! NOw Adam doesn’t “Sell” cars, he will take money for them if somebody has the right amount of cash for it. So this is not a regular feature to sell cars on our little ol’ blog, but if you are interested email us via the WebShop and they will put you in touch with the owner. No tyre kickers obviously.

The car has a great paper trail of the work completed on her over the years and always adds provenance to a classic car.

The engine is a nice little head turner too and runs as well as it looks.

Customer Cars

The Golden convertible has had some attention this week on the interior and has taken some great steps forward. The carpet has been fitted and the seats have gone back in. The dash area and wire pigtail have taken a little work but they are now fitted fine.

The external fittings are starting to come together and it’s amazing how a couple of shiny bits can make a difference.

The Transmission mounts were in a less than desirable condition should we say, and no we can’t use Yogi’s description of the part as this is a family blog! The replacement has been fitted in place and should make a huge difference to the driveability of the car.

Other News

We have been mentioning that we have been finding old “stuff” to share with you, this week is no different. This 1965 advert gives us an interesting insight into the minds of ford and their marketing.

Happy Birthday to….

The Ford Mustang of course, well not just yet, on Tuesday 17th April to be precise where the Mustang will be Fifty Four years old! We owe a big thanks to our good buddy Gary aka “Boris” (don’t ask), for coming up with some great little facts for us;

1) Ford US built 8160 Mustangs up to April 16, the day before launch – enough for one per dealer.

2) Ford planned to increase production through 1964, but due to the reaction at launch built another 16,000 Mustangs for the balance of April 1964.

3) Ford dealers took 22,000 orders at launch and sold well over 400,000 in the first year.

4) Ford had initially planned to sell 150-180,000 Mustang a year.

5) The following generations continued to be successful, but it was considered that the “Fox” bodied cars were somehow less successful. This is not true as they sold more than 400,000 units in the first year beating the original Mustang’s score.

6) The ‘father of Mustang’ Lee Iacocco was fired by Henry Ford 2 much later because of two reasons – he wanted to produce lots of small front wheel drive cars…and it is thought that he was becoming more prominent within Ford than ‘Hank the Deuce’.

7) Henry famously said when pressed by the Board of Directors of Ford on the firing of Iacocca; “sometimes you just don’t like somebody”.

8) The legendary “Bullitt” car now also becomes a member of the coveted “fifty years old club” too.

On This Day…

The day is Saturday 26th March 1932 exactly eighty-four years ago today, the great man Henry Ford was photographed standing next to a V8. Although Ford was not the first to introduce a V8, his engine broke new ground as it was the first ‘compact V8’ using a different ‘v’ angle so he could build them smaller and therefore cheaper. It also released the V8 technology for use in smaller cars…which gave ‘race car’ performance.

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The greatest example of this was the praise given to Henry Ford by Bonnie and Clyde who credited the engine for being able to escape the police who only had four-cylinder cars.

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Today, the actual 1934 Ford Model 730 Deluxe Sedan (boasting a massive 85bhp at the time) in which Bonnie a Clive took their last getaway and where they ceased their reign of terror, is on display at Whiskey Pete’s Casino. Las Vegas.

B&Clive car

Customers Cars:

Speaking of engines, we had a ’67 fastback dropped into us for an unexpected visit just after the car had just passed its MOT with flying colours. On the way back from the test centre the engine decided to have an episode and blow a head gasket. This is never a good thing at any time, but you just can’t predict these things, ever. The engine had the dreaded sight that all mechanics cringe at, the oil in the engine looked like it had been replaced with Bailey’s liqueur. Yogi had an evaluation (we called it a guess), he took a head off from the left hand side and sure enough, number six pot was all shiny and clean.

To recondition the engine and do the required work can usually cost more than a crate engine. We had a new engine in stock and the agreement was to swap the engines out. So Yogi got to work straight away and put the kettle on, then had a cuddle with Enos first.

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The engine was to use the original components where possible and came out fairly easily although there were some issues with the starter motor having a stripped thread for the retaining bolt. At this point, a two man job to get the engine out with the hood still in place so the pics are before and after.

The new engine dropped back in, but we had to be careful of the headers so they didn’t get damaged in the process.

We hope to have the car tuned, settled down and ready to be taken away early part of next week. How’s that for service?

The Country Squire:

The Ford Country Squire is a full-size station wagon that was assembled and marketed by Ford Motor Company from the 1950 to 1991 model years in North America for its namesake Ford division. Throughout its entire production run, the Country Squire was the premium station wagon model of the division, sold only in the full-size car range. In use for 41 years, it was the third longest-used car nameplate used by Ford in North America (behind only the Thunderbird and Mustang). Distinguished by its wood grain trim, only the first-generation 1950-1951 versions are true “Woodies”; to lower the high production cost of true woodgrain trim, the body trim on subsequent versions was composed of various simulated wood grain trim, with varying degrees of coverage of the body. Prior to 1986, other variations of the “Squire” name would be used on smaller “wood grained” Ford station wagons. Initially based on the Ford Custom Deluxe and the Ford Crestline that replaced it, in 1955, the Country Squire became a distinct model as Ford separated its station wagon and sedan model lines. While sharing trim with the Fairlane and then the Galaxie, the Country Squire remained a separate model line until 1968. For 1969, Ford consolidated its sedan and station wagon model lines, with the Country Squire becoming part of the Ford LTD line, gaining its model prefix. With the 1983 split of the Ford LTD and Ford LTD Crown Victoria, the LTD Country Squire remained part of the full-size line until its discontinuation. During its production run, the Ford Country Squire was joined by two other equivalent wood grained station wagons in other Ford divisions: In 1958, the Edsel division sold the Edsel Bermuda (which became the rarest Edsel); from 1957 to 1991, Lincoln-Mercury sold the Mercury Colony Park, sharing the body shell of the Country Squire from 1961 onwards. Ford Motor Company elected to discontinue the LTD Country Squire and Colony Park during the redesign of their Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis sedan counterparts for the 1992 model year. With the discontinuation of the Chrysler Town & Country in 1977, Buick Roadmaster Estate and Chevrolet Caprice Estate in 1996 (the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser was discontinued in 1992), the full-size station wagon segment disappeared in North America, with the lone exception of the 2005-2008 Dodge Magnum.

The second generation 1952 – 1954; In 1952, Ford expanded station wagons into a line up separate from its newly redesigned sedans. The Country Squire was the top model, now available solely in a four-door configuration; it was the wagon counterpart of the Crestline series. Joining the Squire were the four-door Country Sedan (Customline) and the two-door Ranch Wagon (Mainline). The 239 Strato-Star V-8 was the only engine offered in the 1952 Country Squire. Unlike its predecessor, the 1952 Country Squire no longer was a true woodie; like the Country Sedan, it wore a full steel body. The wood grain finish was now constructed by wood grain transfers edged in real wood trim on the sides and tailgate.The real wood trim was discontinued halfway through the 1953 model run and replaced with fiber glass trim with a wood grain finish.

This customers 1954 Ford Countryman Squire will be used to tow a race ready Mustang to and from meets we understand. The car has been standing around for a while and needs some serious work to get her road worthy, whether this will be a full restoration or a patina car we are not sure yet. But this is a big, big car.


The engine was a bit of a concern for us, parts and availability of course. So Yogi rolled up his sleeves, put the kettle on and took a look at the “Y block” series engine while scratching his fur. We made sure it was all free by hand cranking, checked there was some oil in it and got some fresh fuel. We cranked it over for a few turns, then started it in anger as it were.

The result was a short lived, but very sweet success, we now had positive something to work from.

To finish we thought we would share a funny photos of the dogs, what Enos didn’t realise was he was going back in there shortly, if looks could kill!

One last thing:

We shall be holding enquiries in the yard next week as to who “accidentally” left this glove on the engine swap out that Yogi was working on. When we find out who it was there will be some serious questions asked; “what exactly were you trying to point out?”  Very funny though and Yogi is trying to find the culprit, I doubt very much that we will find out who left it somehow. 😀

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Have a great Easter and don’t eat too much chocolate.

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The Spirit of Christmas

This week we thought we better make an effort to get some Christmas decorations up. No sooner had we finished putting up the single piece of tinsel, (part of Adam’s Enos range,) that we had to put the tree up as well. Throughout the week we have had customers bringing us in gifts. There seems to be a theme here of spirits and (Jaffa) cakes. Those of you that spotted the tree lights will notice that Adam has really pushed the boat out on this one. These are LED stick on strip lights that they use on some of the LAR trucks for safety. Yes he has been sitting there with the remote driving people nuts with the various colour schemes and flashing sequencies. You gotta hand it to him – it works well and they don’t get hot.

Thanks to all of you that have brought us in all the goodies, we appreciate it.

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Cars:

We have shown over a few posts the 1964 1/2 coupe that was involved in an accident. We have sorted the panel work out and the bodywork to a point where it can be sent of to Paul “The Paint” to work his magic. We have a large selection here to show you the process. The car arrived and the blocking work started to even out the small imperfections on the car’s metal work.

The paint prep work undertaken on the panels.

The final fitting up of the panels and masking up.

Then the undercoat and top coats are applied.

The engine bay was also sprayed the classic satin black.

Then the prep to put the car back to together again. (one of our favourite pictures of the bunch here).

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A few days later arrival at our workshops where we can start to put her back together again.

Now in her temporary home while she awaits some TLC. (Tender Loving Care).

Ford Facts:

We have had some very interesting feedback from the “Ford stories” that we have been running on and of for a while and we intend to make a little “Ford Fact” article soon about it all. but for now here is a little more.

“Money Talks”

By 1912, Ford Motor Company was producing small, cheap cars that sold in their thousands. Henry Ford wanted to develop the UK market and arranged a trip to England with Clara to meet with the Perry family – a wealthy family with motor interests (the Perry Group still owns Ford dealerships to this day). On arrival by steamship, the Fords were met by the Perrys in a new Rolls Royce and were shown key sites in England. They arranged locations for new manufacturing plants (Manchester, Cork etc) and sites for a showroom in London. Once business was concluded, the Perrys arranged for the Fords to meet the Royal family and a number of the gentry around the UK. During a short stay at Warwick Castle as guests of the Earl of Warwick, Clara was impressed with a large and ancient Chinese punch bowl on a table in the great hall of Warwick Castle. Commenting to Henry that if they saw another bowl like that while they were in the UK, she would like to buy it. “Why not have that exact bowl?” asked Henry. “Because not everything is for sale…and that has been in this family’s history for generations….it is a long time heirloom of the Warwick family!” responded Clara. Henry had his agent contact the Earl and ask if the bowl was for sale…..predictably, ‘no’ was the response. Henry had his agent continue to suggest a prices that might be acceptable. The Earl refused a significant number of times until the price Henry eventually offered (many thousands of pounds) saw the bowl sold to Henry Ford. Henry remained convinced all his life that everything had a price. That bowl remained one of Clara Ford’s most treasured possessions. It seems that in some cases money does talk!

Last, but not least:

To finish we have had some diaries made up for us. These have our logo on the front and the handy note jotter on the inside with some nice weekly planning pages. Spend over £50 with us in the WebShop and we will add one to your order free of charge. They are going very quickly, real quick – like thirty over the weekend alone, stocks will run out very soon.

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The WebShop will be open as much as we can over Christmas, we have been seriously busy so far and can’t always get to the phones. remember, you don’t need to call us to order your parts now.

The Heat Is On

We have spent many hours sitting in the office catching up on correspondence, stock orders, emails, stock sales etc, we seem to have one of those offices that has hot or cold extremes with not a lot of variation in between. So as a treat for our customers and nothing to do with our own comfort of course, we’ve had Air Conditioning fitted to the offices to replace the manual air conditioning we have had for the last few years – opening the window! These new units are cold air as well as heating and lots of options in between. So now the argument is just what degrees we want the offices to be. The units are so quiet and neat and you don’t even notice them. The units have only been in a few days and already the conversation is “How did we get by without them?” If you want to know the best place sit for the full benefit – move the dogs out of the way, if you feel lucky that is. 🙂

Our good friends at Scott Drake have seen what we have done to our cars using their new line in wheels, so they have decided to feature it on their posts as well:

Scott Drake

Our Mustang Maniac Forum

We have had some requests for section on the forum to be dedicated to the sale of second hand parts. This has now been added as requested. Visit our forum to see what other Mustang Owners are selling or posting on the wants list.

https://mustangmaniac.co.uk/forum/

Customers Cars:

The week has seen a heavy repair to a great looking car that had a side impact from right to left. The big gun tools were pulled from storage and used to straighten this chassis out almost where we want it before the jig does the rest. A hydraulic ram is used to pull the back of the car round to point forwards instead of to one side.

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You can see the gaps are opened on the right hand side and closed on the left

The tool we used is quite  solid bit of kit:

The car is clamped up to the chassis and the brute force will pull the car back front back into position. With most of the work done we could start to think about aligning the panels back up and getting the gaps back to where they should be. Geo  and suspension set up will take a little time to make sure the car is as good as new if not better.

As you can see from the new wing’s dry fitting the hood is now aligned up, the hinges back in place, the support braces now sorted out along with many other bits. So far so good, plenty of things to be done yet before we are close to being happy, but the project has got of to a great start.

We often get asked about our Falcon truck, “It’s just for show right?” in actual fact we use it quite a lot, 51 years later it’s still working and used almost on a daily basis. We have some pictures of a late pick up for some parts to be fitting on the cars younger siblings sitting in various workshops. Yes we do use it, a lot!

History Lesson on Recycling from Henry Ford:

The Benson Ford was originally a cargo ship for the Ford Motor Company. The interior was designed by Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison was a passenger. From the time it was built  in 1924, the boat was used to  transport coal and iron ore across the American Great Lakes.

Ford house1After being decommissioned in 1981 it was left to rust for four years before the front part of the ship was removed and perched on top of the 18-foot cliff shown below to serve as a really lovely home. The ship’s forecastle was removed, and then that portion of the boat was positioned on a great piece of waterfront property, with its bow extending out over Lake Erie for a water-going effect, and then used by its owner as a vacation home.

The  ship  still contains the beautiful wood-paneled state rooms, dining room and lounge designed by Henry Ford.

The four-deck, 7,000 square foot getaway home is made out of the ship’s forecastle, and includes the walnut paneled state rooms, dining room, galley, and passenger lounge designed by Henry Ford for his own personal use while on board. The  ship-house was originally owned by Frank J. Sullivan, but after trying and failing to turn it into a hotel in 1992, Sullivan  eventually auctioned the building to father and son, Jerry and Bryan Kaspar, who still enjoy relaxing there while taking time  off from work. It has now been modernized with a garage, a game room, a bar, a state-of-the-art kitchen, and four bathrooms. The 90-year-old US cargo ship is beautiful, as she sits there looking out over her former waterway.

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Don’t look down – visitors may need a head for heights if they take a tour out onto the bow of the boat, and see the water way down below.

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The four-story, 7,000 sq ft home has maintained the historic and beautiful interior, which has been updated with modern technologies.

Bryan Kaspar said, ‘Everyone who sees our home from the outside, is intrigued  to look inside. Everyone who sees this beauty, is amazed at the gorgeous woodwork throughout our beautiful ship home.

This impressive getaway is large, as it includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a captain’s office and living room with  panoramic views out across Lake Erie . The deck on the fourth floor is a great place to enjoy a cocktail overlooking the lake and the nearby cliffs, and to watch the sunsets is amazing from there. Videographer Nick James, who conducts  tours of the home, said, ‘The most incredible part is standing at the helm with the way the boat hangs over the  cliff. It actually feels like you are out on the open water.’  I love the history that remains all around the Benson Ford. In the parlor, you can just imagine Thomas Edison and Henry Ford sitting there puffing on their cigars.’ When  you’re there, it  feels as though you are stepping back in time, and that those two famed gentlemen could appear at any moment.’ An incredible beauty of a long-ago ship, still available for water lovers to see.

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