Thought this could be a good article for those who may be shipping their classic car for an event or to sell/buy.
Alright, we’re back, part 2 of the interview with mart about his full Mustang restoration.
The last post gave you some insight into why he chose this car, who bought it for him, (Again, his wife ROCKS! Click here to see the article about it, again!), and what he has had to do to complete this build.
Here, we are going to finish the interview and here a couple of stories regarding the Mustangs encounter with other humans.
Where is it now, in the rebuild stage?
After four and a half years of hard, sometimes tedious, frustrating work she was completed. That’s every weekend I was working on the car, except for a few weeks of holidays. I also worked during the weekend and evenings during the summer while the light lasted.
Mart drove it as a completed restoration on February 21, 2016
Were there any special parts you have used?
(I have added several reviews Mart has written on his website for you to check out. Maybe this will allow you to see how good/bad or easy/hard a part is to work with. He has more than what is listed here.)
I tried to make the car stock as possible although I used some upgrades. American Autowire wiring loom, LED lighting, front disc brakes, dual reservoir master brake cylinder, modern day replacement 2 speed wiper motor, upgraded sway bar, Monte Carlo cross brace, heavy duty export brace, 1 wire alternator, updated Holley 600cfm carburetor, Autolite replica grp 24 battery, steering wheel, custom door cards, custom fit exhaust, polished stainless steel fuel tank, lots of chrome and polished bits in the engine bay, Magnum 500 polished chrome 15″ wheels, raised white letter tires, original radio updated internally to take a smart phone or iPod connection, custom made voltmeter swap out, custom color paint job inside and out.
So, during this 4 year love affair,was there any help you have gotten? (i.e., friend(s), a garage, body shop, parts supplier, box store or online, yahoo videos that were helpful, etc.)
I looked on the Internet for things to help, and to be fair a lot of it wasn’t relevant. I needed brake diagrams, fitting guides all of which I found and eventually collated for my needs.
The experts at Mustang Maniac completed all my welding, panel work, paint job and prep work. They supplied me with steps that needed to be done and how I should do it. When I needed help for the heavy things they would help no questions. They set up my engine timings, and suspension alignment and road tested the car until they were happy to let me have it.
ALL my parts came from Mustang Maniac; everything was in stock from full panels to engine bay stickers. I picked their brains endlessly and wanted to learn. When I hear a noise from the car I pretty much have a good idea what it is now.
My wife has put up with me disappearing every weekend, supported me when things went wrong and has put up with me spending hours and hours writing about it all on my blog, https://onemanandhismustang.com
(You thought I was joking about his wife!)
I have documented everything that I could, I have also bought some great tools and some crap stuff too, everything I have used from paint stripper to car detailing products all of which I reviewed.
Ok, so, this is the end of the interview part of this post. Next are a couple of stories Mart e-mailed me to go along with it.
(From Mart) I can tell you a couple of little stories which could be a little note you can use which wasn’t really on my blog posts.
Once my car was completed it was taken straight to the Birmingham NEC Classic Car Show in November 2015. Most of the people were fantastic asking lots of questions, taking pictures and being interested in the car and how it was all done.
After the three days were finished I noticed that my voice had got considerably horse after all the talking I had done.
On the second day I had a old guy come up to me and said that the “Pony corral was not up to standard in the middle of the front grill”. I must have looked a bit confused as he said it was broke. He was correct, one of the mounts was broken, but I repaired it and you couldn’t really see it unless you looked hard at the back of it. I went on to explain that I wanted to keep as much of the car original as possible. So that included the chrome work around the glass which shows a few small signs of age, but they all shine up pretty good, as well as the Mustang corral he was talking about. I went on to explain that the badge (for the want of a better term) was the “soul” of the car and probably one of the most recognizable parts of the car, along with being a surviving original part of the car.
He disagreed and said “I should change it”, as if it was his car!
In the mean time I had a couple more guys stand with us to listen what I was saying. They agreed with me and understood where I was coming from and made their comment to say, “I think it’s a nice tribute”.
That guy’s first negative comment has stuck with ever since, so much so that at any car shows I subsequently attended when anybody looked at that corral, I wonder what they are thinking, “what a rubbish restoration” or “half a job” maybe, but they wouldn’t understand my reason unless I explained. In fact it got to bother me so much that I changed it about six months ago for a new replacement. I felt as though I had to justify why it was like that all the time, defending my decision if you like.
Yes, the new one looks nice and shiny and its not broke now. That one bloke sort of tarnished my car for me. I have kept the old Mustang corral and I intend to make a desk display out of it mounted on a wooden plinth.
That same weekend on the last day I had somebody come up to me and say I had the wrong radio aerial fitted. Correct, it’s not the correct aerial for that car, but as the original aerials never fully retracted down I wanted one that did. Any car cover for these cars has either a purpose cut hole in it or just rests on top of the aerial.
As I wanted to cover my car properly with a indoor dust cover the retractable aerial seemed logical. I eventually found one to fit and it works great. It also gives me piece of mind that if I park it up somewhere, the aerial won’t be “accidentally” bent over by a jealous person should we say.
I did tell this particular guy, I wanted it like that, being as it was my car after all. Another little fact on that note, I haven’t even switched the radio on in the car while I have been driving it, I’m more than happy to drive with the window down to hear the growling v8 as I press the loud pedal. That engine is just music to my ears and all I need, and I can’t see me ever tiring of that sound. However I do have on my phone (which plugs into the original radio that has been modified internally,) a list of classic 50’s and 60’s classic Rock and Roll tracks to play when I do, just so I can feel the era of the car even more fully. If that makes sense?
I did ask these guys at the show what cars they had, both of them had new(ish) bog standard run of the mill, euro box wind tunnel designed cars, all of which you see in their thousands. They didn’t even have a classic car of their own to talk about. Everybody who has restored a car for their own benefit and not just to make a quick buck, puts a little of themselves into that project to make it theirs, that can be anything from the color of the paint, wheels, exhaust note or just a sticker placed in a certain position. That person would have thought about all these things, trust me they really do.
This concludes the interview and stories you won’t get on his blog. This has been great and I hope, one day, to get to meet Mart in person and see his Mustang.
Make sure to spend some time at his blog, let him know you heard about it here.
To go back to Part 1, click here.
So, let me introduce Mart, owner of Onemanandhismustang.
Throughout this article, I have linked back to specific articles for you to see what he was talking about. Mart did a tremendous job with this restoration project and it should give others some encouragement. The articles and videos I link back to are Mart’s, but, I feel that this interview/article would be less that amazing without his original articles for you to view.
What type of vehicle are we going to go over today?
1966 Ford Mustang Coupe, purchased on September 17, 2011, for Less than £4,000 (just). (About $4800, for those under the American dollar)
Are you the first owner, or, do you know of the first owner, or prior owner?
Prior to me buying the car there was 1 previous owner who abandoned the idea.
Is there a reason for this particular vehicle?
In my late teens I had a friendly mechanic who used to look after my cars for warranty purposes. He used to phone me when anything good came in to his workshop. One day he called me to say that he had a 1966 Mustang convertible that was going to get a full restore and paint job. I rushed over there and talked him into taking me out in it. When he started it up I was hooked on that v8 sound and the way it turned heads wherever we went on that sunny day. I had never forgotten how that car made me feel when I got to drive it back to the workshop, I still smile thinking about it. Although I like the Convertibles, I just wanted a Coupe as I prefer their shape over the fastback and convertible.
So, what about you, give me some backstory. Are you a mechanic, do you like to fabricate, are you really good at body work, etc.
I have always tinkered around with cars, the usual normal service type stuff, but nothing major until my wife bought me my project car.
(OK, did you hear that? HIS WIFE bought him his project car! Woo Hoo! Way to go Mrs. Mart!)
I was in the print trade for 14 years then I ended up as a Business Analyst in an office job somehow.
I would rather be working with my hands mechanically to be honest; I really don’t like desk jobs.
OK, so, let’s get some info about the vehicle prior to starting it. (i.e., condition, missing parts, just needed paint, no engine, etc.)
The car was owned by a US Air force service man from RAF Lakenheath. When he was stationed back to the USA, he sold the car to the guy who wanted to freshen it up with a restore.
The car failed its MOT (Ministry of Transport) for steering play and the track rods, shocks handbrake etc. not working or rubber gaiters were missing.
That owner had wrapped tin foil around the lighting fuse and caused a small fire under the dash that ruined the loom by making it brittle and fused together. No working locks and there was no under dash or engine bay wiring now, except for it being in a huge messy heap in the trunk. The neutral safety disconnect wires were joined together by a metal nail.
The replacement floor pans were welded in quite badly, but looked new(ish) and quite solid with no rust, probably due to the under floor sealer. From there it sat in a field for 11 years, then he sold it on to a dealer who had it for a few days before I bought it.
The car was a seized up non roller wreck really. The rear quarters and inner wheel arches were rusted through. The doors and trunk didn’t shut properly. The wiper motor and heating connections under the dash were either cut or melted together. There were no cables to the engine bay what so ever. The front had a partially fitting broken grill, the headlight buckets were broken and all hard were missing. The pony coral was there, all be it, broken, headlights and indicators missing from the front. The glass was all original green tints for the aircon option. The center console option was there, but broken. The aircon blower under dash was there, but the under hood pump, evaporator and its various pipework were missing apart from the brackets. The dash had been badly butchered to take a modern radio, the front kick panels were missing, dash switches missing. The steering wheel was replaced with a modern foam tacky small diameter version looking totally out of place. The single pipe exhaust was missing. Most of the engine was there as was the c4 transmission; the coolant lines to the radiator at the front had been cut in various places and pushed together with rubber pipe. The radiator was missing although there was a new one was in the trunk. The car was still on drum brakes all round, the front brake pipes weren’t connected. The hand brake fittings under the car were missing and not connected to anything under the dash. The rear brake splitter on the axle was missing and the pipes to it were just hanging there. All the drum brakes had gone seriously rusty and the cylinders had leaked all over the shoes. The rear suspension had all but collapsed, the rear springs were sagging and was compensated with pumped up air shocks that was only working on one side. The interior had been recovered at some point with 70’s blue velour with nasty buttons which was torn. The inner seat frames at the back were all rusty from sitting in the wet. The dash pad was missing although the five gauge dash was there with the trim which had been cracked and the chrome had come off, none of the gauges worked. Some of the carpet was at the front, the rear section was missing. The fuel tank was rusty and looked like a cheap recent(ish) replacement at some point. The rear parcel shelf was missing. The driver’s seat frame had collapsed and needed welding. The A frame passenger side had a hole in it just above the top hinge mount. The multi colored paint was faded and peeling badly, ohh the gas cap was the wrong year. It was obviously missing water oil and brake fluid, and above all missing an owner that was going to care for this little lady.
So, what, if any, work have you done, or had done to this point?
I have completed the full bare metal, nut and bolt restoration.
I started by wiring the car up to see if it would start. It did after a couple of attempts to turn it over with some fuel, oil and water added.
I rust treated the inside of the floor pans. I started to order up some parts from various places who were worse than useless until I got friendly with the guys at Mustang Maniac for all my parts. Adam invited the car’s progress down to his yard for a full look over. It was picked up on a low loader and taken to his yard where it was put up onto a ramp. After what seemed like a long pause, he gave the verdict, “best we start again”. With that the car stayed there for 4 years where I worked on it every weekend with a 120mile round trip. The car was taken to a spare body panel workshop where I unwired the car, stripped the inside out and removed all the glass, the engine, gearbox, suspensions, in fact everything was taken of the car and the shell was mounted onto a rotisserie. From there I spent months scrapping and removing the old underseal etc. to get back to the bare metal. Once we knew what was under the sealers we could see what was actually needed. I got the car cleaned up and temporarily protected. The front chassis legs were all damaged and bent. The rear chassis legs were corroded and needed replacement as per the last MOT. The floor pans were ground down and filled. The shell was taken of the rotisserie and mounted to the jig where the chassis was fitted with new legs on the front. The engine bay and inner wings were rubbed down and checked for weak metal. The bits that were Ok were then painted with red lead. The underside was also red lead treated as per the original car builds from the factory. The rear of the car was effectively taken off. The rear quarters were unwelded, the rear drop off cut away and the rear chassis legs replaced. The car was rebuilt with all new metal at the rear and the inner and outer arches. While the car was basically half a shell anything that could be releaded got a coating of it, even if wasn’t going to be seen. The upper and lower cowl section was removed and replaced as the old one had gone week and rusted through underneath. The car was taken back to bare metal topside. The passenger door had been heavily filled, with the filler removed it was obvious that the car had a prang or fender bender on the door. The old school method of pulling the dent out could be seen, the metal was to stretched to repair so it needed a new door as the rails inside were all bent. With the back of the car being rebuilt it was sent off for paint in last couple of months of 2014. During that time the engine was taken apart, tested, painted and new parts and the replacement Holley 600cfm carb fitted to the shot blasted ’67 intake manifold. The tri y 3″ headers were aluminum coated in white. The engine was rubbed down and painted in Ford blue engine enamel. New sump pan, core plugs, oil sump pick up, seals and gaskets. The gearbox was taken apart and checked, filters, seals and valves changed, the missing pressure release ball replaced, then all rubbed down and sprayed. During the week and weekends I took all the parts back home I could to clean up as “home work”, things such as the brake disc backs, center console, seat frames, steering rack, suspension components, prop shaft, the gauge dash fully rebuilt with voltmeter upgrade, fitting brackets, heater plenum rebuild, glass chrome work refurbishment, gear shift linkages, all the original nuts and bolts etc. I think you get the idea anyway. If it came off the car, it was cleaned, checked, refitted or replaced. All the parts were rubbed down rust treated and sprayed where they could be reused. The car came back mid-December where the car was stored in different shed for me to work on it out of the way. The front suspension was upgraded to discs, split brake booster reservoir, 1″ sway bar, quality shocks, Shelby drop springs rated at 600lbs to give the neutral body stance. Rear axle fitted with new leaf springs and shocks. With the running gear all in place the engine and gearbox was fitted. All brake lines remade along with the transmission lines. The inside had Dynamat stuck everywhere it could go. Rewiring started again with upgrades for the LED rear lights and white side lights /amber indicator flash. The rear has new stock lenses and bezels but instead of red bulbs showing I now have flashing amber, drive and separate stop lights, all to make it safer for other road users to make sure they see me! Dash pad and dash chrome fittings were fitted with the new two speed wiper motor. The electrics were wired up and feed through to the front lights, engine sensors, new 1 wire alternator and battery fittings. All the glass was fitted to the doors but sadly the front screen was so scratched we decide to change it for safety reasons. The door shut mechanisms and locks were worn and needed replacing. The seats were sent to be refitted with the proper pony interior. The carpets were laid with the center console and wiring. The recovered seats had special door cards to match the seats, I like the look of the pony cards but the practical use, so my cards were made to match the two tone colors and look of the pony cards, but on a standard door card, I just love those cards. The steering wheel is a genuine polished wood 3 part riveted 15″ wheel. The exhaust was custom made to the headers. I didn’t want a balance cross pipe for the new twin exhausts. The theory being I would get a slightly uneven drone from the exhaust, a little something different again, I can have the cross pipe added at any time if I want it. Seats were all fitted and the rear shelf made to match the headliner. Then it was for a couple of hundred miles road testing, adjusting, and settling down.
OK, so, that is it for Part 1, the interview with Mart. I have tried to add links to his page so you can see what he is talking about and see with your own eyes. I hope you have enjoyed this and come back for Part 2, where we see where he took it and get some behind the scenes stories straight from him.
To continue reading the rest of the story, Here is Part 2
If you want to see the pictures of the full restore, start to finish, click here.
So, I am on vacation from work,because, I had time I had to take.
I have agreat project to start out this year, but I am feeling a bit lazy.
So,let’s start off this year with a question.
What would you like to see us do an article on this year?
Answer in the comments,please.