Last Of The First Generation

Mustang Maniac has its own huge selection of Mustangs around the yard and their various storage locations, until now there hasn’t been a ’73 in the fleet. Everybody knows the ’71 Mach1 which was used in the bond film “Diamonds are Forever” which was a big change in design, but there is the often forgotten ’73 which was the last of the “First Generation” Mustangs. Adam has managed to pick up pretty amazing example of one of these cars, again in red to match his ’71 Mach1.  This car not only looks fantastic but also drives beautifully. Adam had the keys for only a few minutes and then threw the keys at me for a test drive. Hell Yeah!

Adam said “it’s a ’73 – not everyone’s cup of tea”.

I wasn’t expecting to much from the car as I am quite biased to the ’64 – ’69 cars. Opening the door and I was greeted by an original plush interior which had moved away from the all vinyl seats.

A turn of the key and the 351 fired up and there was a burble and that was it, shutting the door and the noise was almost gone, thinking to myself that this makes a nice change. Disengage the park brake and select drive, release the foot brake and we crept forward. No rattles or vibrations, no moans or groans. A little gas and we were at the gates to turn right, the power steering more positive than the earlier models. Pulling out onto the main road a little more gas as I was propelled forward without any fuss or excessive noise, you just knew there was a big engine in there. Now I am not going to say which route I took for the test drive, but an accelerating BMW was a little further back than he was expecting to be before I even got into top gear should we say. The car just cruised effortlessly at 70mph and there was no noise from the convertible roof, no wind drafts and all was how it was meant to be in the ’73. Reluctantly I turned to make my return back to the yard and I wondered what she would be like on kick-down. So with a nice clear road, very slightly damp peace of tarmac and nobody about – I stamped on it. The quiet had now dissipated and the cabin was filled with an angry 351 wanting to get up and go, the tyres lit up from 20mph, traction gone and the car snakes up the tarmac leaving a nice set of 11’s behind, this car shifts. The smile on my face returned to sensible concentration again as I lifted of the gas after a couple of seconds. I had grown to love this car by the time I back to the yard about ten minutes later. Going around corners it was no hassle and just drove like a good Ford Granada used too. I think I want this car, OK – I have thought about it and I do want this car. The paperwork Adam has with the car is the Marti Report, the original purchase slip and documents from the original owner, the options sheet and huge wad of receipts for services and the import sheets.

It may well not be every-bodies cup of tea, but this is a great car and I would love this car as a daily driver. Opinion changed – I also like the last of the first generations too. This has to be one of the best examples we have seen of this model within our yard!

Shelby GT500 DeAgostini 1:8th Model Update

We are only a couple of issues away from the completion now. We have updated the build page, click here for the link or cut and past the link below to visit the page.

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

The icon rear light clusters have been fitted now along with the rear LED boards. The windscreen is now in place and the trunk in place.

 

The Great Debate again.

We have had a number of conversations in the office with the customers about the no need for MOT’s for cars over forty years old. The poll is still a huge 87% against the ruling now. One conversation was around the “Hot Rod” scene. Many of the cars are heavily modified of course and could lose their date related plates. Would they need to have a specialist to inspect them before allowing them on the road? We still can’t believe this government wants to play around with a system that works and virtually nobody wants to change. Absolutely ridiculous. Please leave any thoughts or comments for us about this or anything else you want to mention.

SEMA 2017

Adam is getting ready to make his yearly trim to Las Vegas for the SEMA show and looking forward to it. We are hoping to bring you some photo’s again from the event, but probably not on the scale as last years coverage.

Tilt Away

Last week we had posted about the proposals for the UK to stop mandatory MOTs for cars over forty years old. Well our poll has told us that a massive 90% of people thought it was a bad idea! We agree. We have had a few emails in to us and they have all been along the same lines as this quote below which sums it all up, along with the frustrations.

“I guess the bigger issue for the classic car scene and Mustangs in particular is the issue of modifications….and the way the DFT (Department for Transport), will treat it. They still haven’t issued any guidelines and are saying that any modified car will possibly need MOTing and may need to be identified by a “Q” plate. The issues this raises are enormous…does that include a Holley carb rather than the standard Autolite, rack and pinion steering, disc brakes, LED rear lights and the list goes on and on.  My car is pretty much stock, but I have added a servo and dual line brakes and LED lights so does that make me liable for a MOT and Q plate?”

The “Q” plate issue raised here will make a lot of unhappy classic car owners who will not be able to use the correct date plates for their cars. So if you improve a car’s safety by adding LED lights instead of the poor standard bulbs that is a modification and will need a modified reg plate! The government doesn’t seem to have thought this through. Some criteria for “Q” plates are listed here: Self-built constructions, Key Q-plate insurance points, Ex-military vehicles, Radically altered vehicles, Self-imported vehicles, Any car that doesn’t have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), Single and Individual Vehicle Approval. The other point is here that the insurance for a “Q” plate car will go mental and we have found similar descriptions for most insurers;

Insuring a Q-registered vehicle:

Insurance coverage still poses more of a challenge than insuring a regular ‘off-the-production-line’ vehicle. This is because all insurance is about quantifying risk, and risk is much harder to determine with any Q-plated vehicle. Obtaining cover is by no means impossible, though. While some insurers refuse to cover any Q registrations, there are a number of providers who specialise in this side of the motor market and have a detailed knowledge of all types of Q registration (even tanks!). In order to assess the risk of any individual vehicle and calculate an appropriate premium they need specifics on every single aspect of the vehicle. We like to think that this will not be the case, but this last sentence in blue could make a huge difference to owning a classic car. 

We have seen petitions on the forums to pass to the government to stop these mad proposals. If you see it, sign it and pass it on.

News:

Adam has added to his Mustang collection again, this time with a very nice virtually untouched ’67 Convertible.

Adam is particularly pleased with this little lady as there is a nice option extra that he has seen plenty off in the past, but not working properly. The “Tilt Away” steering wheel. We have taken a short video of it in action.

Customers Cars:

BRC has been worked on by Yogi and has some parts put refitted. The engine, the rear axle, Borgeson steering box and rear brakes are back in place. the front suspension needed new upper and lower control arms and then the brakes can be fitted.

Please keep your comments coming about the MOT debate. As we were preparing this post we have some more DeAgostini parts arrive for the Model, so we will have that updated for you soon.

A little Rattled

This week we have the usual influx of the annual MOTs and car services we expect. We are always glad to see our loyal and returning customers back to us, and the customers know that they will get a top quality workmanship and quality service from people who care about their cars with no-nonsense advise. We pride ourselves here at Mustang Maniac on the fact our customers are always happy.

Park & Pic

Continuing from the above a long-term customer Bob who called in to pick up his car after the MOT and a general service. Unfortunately we forgot to take a more formal picture under the Mustang Maniac sign. So we managed to grab a few last-minute pics of Bob leaving, also the pic with his hand up was the wave goodbye, and nothing to do with hiding his face!

Sad News:

We have received some very sad news from our friends at the Ford Heritage Workshop. Colin Gray, a much respected team member has sadly passed away after a short illness. Colin’s knowledge of ‘all things Ford’ was truly outstanding but he will be remembered, by those fortunate enough to know him, as a great person willing to help anyone and a true inspiration. He will be sorely missed.

The team at the Ford Heritage Workshop are very good friends of Mustang Maniac and we are extremely proud to have been able to help them with parts and advice when they restored the Ford Motor Company 65 Mustang Fastback.

Mustang Maniac would like to send our sincere condolences to Colin’s family at this very sad time.

Customer Cars:

We have in the workshop a nice ’68 390 GT which is a nice resto-mod as Yogi likes to say.

The car was brought in with the customer saying there are some annoying rattles and knocks etc. So we were tasked with curing the issues. These are often more difficult than it sounds as it’s a long process of elimination; road test, adjust or fix, then more checks and repeat. This little lady has been modified with what looks to have been a race car set up, a very unusual set up as there are no leaf springs, instead just supports, bars and linkages!

Front end with no shock towers and the adjustable suspension.

The rear end with adjustable suspension and the four point suspension.

So far we have sorted the obvious creeks and groans out but, as there are so many bushes and connections we need to make sure they are all within tolerances and just keep testing until they are all fixed. So far the bear is happy!

Shelby GT500 1:8th scale DeAgostini model update. 

Here we are with an update we have been waiting for; the actual body shell. The parcel was large and guessed this was the shell.

The other three issues are the two fenders and the front radiator panel which holds them together across the front, in turn the fenders are screwed to the body shell by the cowl section.

We think that once the car is completed that we are going to actually wax and polish this paintwork. We would go so far as to say it’s better than some of the past efforts we have seen on the much larger real thing!

With the fenders attached this pretty much gives the overall appearance of the model.

We know it’s only a model, but this is a point for the build. There are just two screws each underside of the cowl section to hold the fenders in place. It took a total of fifteen minutes to build but what a massive step forward all of a sudden. We have updated the main page for whole model build.

We finish with a selfie photo-bomb by the Yogi, Adam even found time to play with some filters on his phone too, we kinda like it cartoon style. 🙂

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.

Lime Mach1

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.

Fordite

This week a good friend of ours and a former Ford Motor Company employee has kindly donated us a pretty cool item. That item is called Fordite or Detroit Agate or Motor Agate, but it’s all the same thing. There are many places where this can be obtained even from the Mopar boys but it’s still generally called Fordite. What is nice to know is that the sample we have is from the Ford factory at Dearborn in Michigan. There are many web sites out there that will turn these waste and beautiful chunks of solid paint into recycled jewellery, paper weights or ornaments etc.

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We have found out a little history on the subject but many websites all say the same thing: The original layered automotive paint slag “rough” was made incidentally, years ago, by the now extinct practice of hand spray-painting multiples of production cars in big automotive factories. The oversprayed paint in the painting bays gradually built up on the tracks and skids that the car frames and panels were painted on. Over long periods of time, many colourful layers of paint built up there. We have also found out that it’s not just the tracks where this agate was formed, but also the ventilation ducting above the units. Fine particles of paint were sucked up through the ducting fans and was also formed there too. This would also eventually cause problems of the same nature, more Fordite.

Snapshot 6

These layers of Fordite were hardened repeatedly in the ovens that the car bodies went into to cure the paint. Some of these deeper layers were even baked 100’s of times.  Eventually, the paint build-up would become obstructing, or too thick and heavy, and had to be removed. As the story goes, some crafty workers with an eye for beauty realized that this unique byproduct was worth salvaging. It was super-cured, patterned like psychedelic agate, and could be cut and polished with relative ease! Sadly, the techniques that produced this great rough many years ago, are no longer in practice for health and safety reasons, along with efficiency and cost effectiveness reasons. Cars today are now painted by way of an electrostatic process that essentially magnetizes the paint to the car bodies. This leaves little, or no overspray waste. Sadly once this wonderful material goes it will not be replaced.

A lot can be told from the individual Fordite samples, the car plants tend to have layers of primer in between the coats of colour, even the trend of colours will determine their age, such as more vivid colours of the sixties, or to the more basic rustic colours of the van plants etc. A fascinating story and a little piece of history in each sample. How long will it be before this stuff ends up behind glass in a museum because of the lead content perhaps in some samples? We also know that this has been recreated perhaps forged even with a deliberate spray build up.

Customers Cars:

It seems that we have a very, very lucky customer. Chris had bought his wife a Fox bodied 5.0 Mustang has just had his car MOT and it passed fine.

fox'88-6

We had noticed the car was running a little rough then started to get a lot worse. We knew about the oil leak from the rocker covers and we were going to replace the gaskets for him. While we were at it we would also give the car a much-needed service. The first job was to remove the rocker covers and we found that a complete corner of the gasket was missing from one bank of cylinders. Easy enough job to fix but a real pain to do if that makes sense, as the centre inlet manifold was attached to all sorts of cables and sensors we didn’t want to disturb. On the classic cars it was a simple case of unbolt the carb, remove it and you had full access to it all. The gaskets were replaced and no more leaks.

Second job was to change the spark plugs and they were rusted pretty badly, we soon found the reason for the misfires and pour running. Something we had never seen before in all of the years we have been fixing these classic cars. A broken spark plug. Not just the ceramic which we have obviously seen, but the complete bolt flat fittings had broken away as we started to undo it. Now as it turns out we knew they were going to be tight so we soaked them in Gibbs Brand lubricant to free them all up. We managed to get enough of the spark plug undone so we could get a selection of tools down to the bottom of the spark plug and gently work it to ease it out. Best case scenario was what we had, it came out. The worse case was to take the head(s) of and get it out, while you were taking one head of you may as well do both. That would have been an expensive service! Luckily it wasn’t to bad as the rest of the service went fine, it just took us a while longer to get the bottom of the spark plug out.

News:

The WebShop has had more reclaims on our Gift Vouchers we are pleased to say. We have even had visitors to the shop and they have even commented on how neat and tidy it all looks – now that is first for Mustang Maniac!

Our new Shelby

We got a new Shelby and it’s not a Ford!

A couple of weeks ago we said watch this space….. Well the wait is over, here it is!

First of all we love our Mustangs and always will do and no we have not gone over to the other “Mopar” side. This is our 1987 Dodge Charger Shelby GLHS. This rarity came up for sale and we decided to get it for a number of reasons. Firstly it has a FULL and I mean full history, in fact the folder is overflowing with the original registration documents, owners manual, receipts, MOTs, and parts purchased from new from that we can see. The second reason speaks for itself, it’s a Shelby after all. This model was only produced in a very limited number of 1000, ours is number 693.  The previous owner has spend some serious time looking up details of this and the other Dodge Shelby numbers, there are quite a few with details and a few missing obviously. It would be nice to complete this but we simply don’t have the man hours to dedicate to it.  This car has a great published provenance and has appeared in a number of magazines articles, we have converted them to PDF articles and added quick links below. You can find the articles attached to the photos under Our Cars – Dodge Charger Shelby. We have added video on you tube to have a look around this car and listen to the engine as it is at the moment.

What does the GLH or GLHS stand for?

(this is true) – GLH stood for “Goes Like Hell” and GLHS stood for Goes Like Hell S’more

Would it surprise you to say that that the great man himself had car number 1?

Our photos before the work starts:

A little background on the Dodge Charger Shelbys:

Based on the Dodge Charger Shelby — Modified and sold as Shelbys 

Limited to 1000

Base price:  $12,995

For 1987, Carroll Shelby purchased the last 1,000 ’87 Shelby Chargers and had them shipped to the Whittier factory for modification.  As with the ’86 GLH-S all the cars came in single stage black without a clear coat.

The ’87 GLHS received the Turbo II with MP EFI air-to-air intercooled SOHC inline-four, cast-iron block and aluminum head. This was mated with the Chrysler close-ratio A-525 transmission.  This combination produced 175 hp at 5300 rpm and 175 lb-ft of torque at 2200-4800 rpm.  Compression ratio was 8.5:1 with bore x stroke of 3.44 x 3.62 inches.  It ran 0-60 in 6.95 seconds, the ¼ mile ET at 14.7 at 94mph, and a top speed of 134 MPH.

As with the ’86 GLH-S, the suspension was upgraded with Koni adjustable struts/shocks, anti-roll bars, and the alignment was altered slightly. The tires remained 205/50VR-15 Goodyear Eagle VR Gatorbacks, mounted on 15×6 inch Shelby “Centurion II” aluminum wheels.  The power-assist Kelsey-Hayes brakes featured 10.2 x .94-inch vented discs with 54mm single pistons in front and 8.0 x 1.28-inch drums in the rear.

Aside from the aforementioned black exterior, Shelby added a wider windshield decal (minus the CS logos), there were some unique name-badge decals, and larger GLHS decal on the c-pillar.  All were equipped identically with grey interior, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, air conditioning, cassette stereo, sunroof, non-armrest center console and numbered dash plaque.  The 1987 Shelby Charger rear window louvers were no longer available on the 1987 GLH-S.

Quick Links to the individual PDF’s

Dodge Charger Shelbys History by Year

Dodge Shelby Charger

Dodge Shelby – Readers Rides

Dodge Shelby – Motor Trend

Dodge Shelby – Latest Weapon

Dodge Shelby – Hot Rod

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click for the video