Gone Shopping

A few weeks ago I was at the Cars By The Lake Car Show near me and it was a wonderfully warm day. During that show I wandered around and spotted a newish car club called ‘Classic Car Club Bury St Edmunds’.  I was speaking to the guys there where I asked about the events they hold. They told me that they were having a little ‘display’ more than show as such of a dozen cars or so on the Saturday (yesterday) and the Sunday at the local very popular shopping centre called the ‘Arc’ in the middle of Bury St Edmunds. This intrigued me and said I was interested, but I wasn’t a member of the club. I gave them my details if they wanted an extra car if they were short for any reason.

It turned out that last week I got a couple of very nice emails asking if I wanted to attend on the Saturday, of course I said yes. The display was to also raise funds for a charity MDF  which is for mental health. This was funded by agreeing to have photo’s taken in the cars and a ride for thirty minutes in a car from the selection being offered for minimum donation, any profits from the day also going to the good cause.

The agreement was to arrive at the Shopping Centre at quarter to eight in the morning where we would be escorted through to the centre of the centre two cars at a time. We got parked up and had a few adjustments of cars to make it all look good. I took this photo from the building opposite the club gazebo which had an upstairs and balcony.

There was a great variation of cars that turned up as expected. No sooner had the cars been parked up when the very early birds and workers passed through while looking at the cars.

We had a Studebaker and a Westfield.

Then there was my Mustang, a rare Hurtu and a Dodge Fluid Drive.

There was a BMW, Daimler Dart a popular car with the Police in the day,

An Ambulance that was being converted into a camper van, Bugatti ‘Teal’ and one of only two remaining 1914 Humber in the world, the other is on New Zealand.

A lotus 11 and a TVR

The Arc shopping centre had some rather large lettering that said ‘Love Cars’ which is being brought out for this event that happens one weekend a year in the centre.

At around lunch time we were asked if we wanted to start our cars up for a little rev up session so people could eat their food with a nice smell of spent petrol. Each of us was asked to start-up in turn, when my turn came the event was  filmed by the Arc media team who posted it on the Facebook page straight away along with the other v8 Daimler Dart. The best bit is to watch the little kiddies in the background having their ears covered!

Turn up the volume.

The video didn’t do the noise justice as the sound echoed brilliantly around the courtyard, and I think that I filled Monsoon shop behind me with some freshly burnt fumes. 🙂

The day was so busy I did not even get to sit down at all, apart from starting my car up. That’s eight till five thirty when we were then escorted out again, three at a time now.

My car had a constant stream of people around it and lots and lots of questions too. I had a sore throat at the end of the day from talking to much. The last time I had that was when I exhibited at the Birmingham NEC Car show.

I think the men loved it while the wives and girlfriends went and done what they needed to do.

Perhaps the star of the show was Candy, a lovely little girl who sat in the car and took all the attention she could get until she went home early afternoon just around the corner.

The weather was not great but a few spots of rain made me nervous for the downpour that didn’t happen. But I still cleaned the car again when I got home.

All in all a great day and something very different and I enjoyed it immensely. Well done to the club for organising it, oh I’m now also a member. 😉

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Paper Trail & Magazines

As the end of the car show season starts to creep in upon us here in the UK I am slowly turning my attention to all things Mustang in the mean time to give me my daily dose of Mustang I need, just until the car shows start again. The model car I have was posted a few weeks ago and the story behind that, but how about articles. The paper magazines that people had way back then and just threw away as they weren’t going to be worth anything, right? Well not quite.

To set the scene; in 1964 the Ford Mustang sports car, is officially unveiled by Henry Ford II at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York, on April 17, 1964. On the same day, the new car also debuted in Ford showrooms across America and almost 22,000 Mustangs were ordered by customers. Ford sold more than 400,000 Mustangs within its first year of production, far exceeding sales expectations.

1) To celebrate such a huge launch at the time three of the biggest magazines at the time all held articles on the Mustang. The Mustang was first automobile to have an editorial feature in all three big USA publication’s April 1964 editions – Time, Life and Newsweek…

2) This was significant as Time and a Life tended to only focus on ‘life changing’ and ‘significant events’. Newsweek was more like a newspaper and was full of current issues and views.

3) The only copies left from those April 1964 issues are because people subscribed to the magazines and we tend to keep old mags!

4) As that generation reached an age when they either downsized or left estates to be cleared, the magazines show up from time to time as part of house clearances.

5) The magazines (Time/Life) tended to get kept and those that survived are in pretty good condition – often still in the original addressed envelope and some even unread.

6) The rarest is the Newsweek copy as it tended to get thrown after reading.

7)  Individually,  the Life magazine can be bought for a reasonable amount while the Time edition has become extremely rare as the popularity of the iconic first Mustang has grown – particularly after it celebrated its 50th birthday. The Newsweek edition has always been rare and therefore expensive when those copies are found and offered for sale.

8) Together in one collection, the three copies are hard to come by and, if you could find a collector willing to sell all three as a group, the cost would be very significant – well into 4 ($) figures.

9) Rarity  can be evidenced by looking for the big three magazines other editions before or after these Mustang editions on a well-known auction site, they are easy enough to find and go for very cheap prices considering their age. The Mustang editions on the other hand are not that easy to find nor are they cheap.

The magazine covers are very well-known especially the Time magazine and Newsweek editions, all these pictures are from my own collection.

These imagines are not for distribution or copying, no copyright infringement is intended. Where applicable the copyright remains with the owner of the works. I am using the images for fair use to show the editorial coverage of Ford’s historical Mustang launch from the World Trade Fair 1964. Under fair use I believe it’s in the interest of the new generations of Mustang owners and automotive historians to see where it all began. Without tracking down these rare, out of print and now expensive magazines, nobody would be able to appreciate the excitement the Mustang launch caused at the time, in my opinion that would be such a shame to loose such great editorial works. These images are to allow you to read the articles whilst considering their historical importance to the automotive world.

What is less known is what those articles actually said. I have taken a few pics of the Mustang articles, and a small sample of the adverts from each of the magazines of that long bygone era.

Time Magazine – April 17th 1964

The article:

Advertisements from Time Magazine;

The magazine still has the subscription card in place.

Life Magazine – April 17th 1964

The article:

Advertisements from Life Magazine;

Newsweek – April 20th 1964

The article:

Advertisements from Newsweek;

Pocket Guides

Something else just as rare as those editions but much less known which I didn’t know existed is the following pocket guides.

‘Visitor’s Guide to New York City & Long island’.

This little a5 pocket guide is full of vouchers and all sorts of tips for the City, subway map, travel information, services, entertainment and surrounding area.

I just love this little booklet as it’s a snapshot in time of New York in 1964.

The last booklet may have come with Newsweek I believe, other than that I have no idea of its origin;

‘What to wear at the fair and what to do when you get there’.

Another little pocket-sized booklet of only sixteen pages and another insight to the fashion of New York in 1964.

All these magazines and guides are just incredible, it amazes me that the paper has stood up to the ravages of time as these editions were disposable and not intended to be kept.

I hope this enables fellow enthusiasts to be able to read the magazine’s articles in full on the Mustang launch and to see just what all the fuss was about way back in 1964.

You see today’s magazines are also on-line and the world can see them pretty much anytime they want to, so those corresponding magazines are no so unique, apart from owning the physical copy of the paper article what ever it may be. Old comics are collectable because of the paper and limited runs, the paper was the only media type at the time to view them, at that time print was king. So some of the early magazines which were intended to be thrown away are collectable for the same reason. Tickets to events at the time or leaflets were not intended to be kept, and after a few years nobody had them. Move on fifty years, the paper or magazines has been used to start fires or wrapping up delicate items when moving home, so the existing copies become even more scarce. Old news papers are exactly the same idea, worth nothing on the day, try and get a back copy for somebody’s eighteenth birthday and you will have to dig deep to get it, if you can even get it. Off course not all magazines are collectable, which is a bit of a contradiction of what I was just saying I know. But the subject matter will be a key factor for such items will determine their collectability.  Articles, adverts, cigarette cards, stamps, postcards etc. for such big names like, Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Elvis, Henry Ford, Frank Sinatra, Babe Ruth, Abe Lincoln, George Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, James Dean, Howard Hughes, Al Capone, Walt Disney, The Beatles, Winston Churchill etc. will command high prices because of who they were. It’s rare that a car can have such an impact on this type of collectable market, yet early Mustang adverts, literature, photo’s and so on can demand some good money. At the end of the day most memorabilia is only worth what somebody is willing to pay for it.

Now I have posted this article maybe I have just made people aware of the values for some of the these items and hang onto them, thus making it difficult for collectors like me trying to get a copy of it and if I do find a copy of the cost has just gone up knowing that I want it. I suspect not, as I just one man and his Mustang who likes to collect Mustang things.

So, have I just shot myself in the foot as we tend to say? 😦

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One Week Later

Back to back car shows where the prior show in Lavenham was rained away, then just seven days later was the weekend of the popular ‘Cars By The Lake’ in Fornham St. Mary, just outside Bury St Edmunds which was being promised nice weather, unlike the previous show. Sunday morning of the show I got up and checked the weather, it was sunny, I checked the app – it said sunny, lastly I asked the wife who said ‘It’s going to be a hot day’. I packed my day’s food, extra drinks, some suntan cream and loaded it all into the car and set of for the half hour drive. This big farm field has a carp lake in the middle of it, hence the name for the show.

I arrived at the road to the main gate and there was a queue already a dozen or so deep, the driveway to the field itself must have held fifty more cars itself. So I just had to sit and wait to get to the front. I was directed to the Bury Retro Car Club stand where they had reserved me a space, and yes I was the last one to the stand.

The club had a dozen or so cars, much more than some of the bigger clubs also at the show. They even had a fully functioning Crown Vic police car next to me. Working lights, siren, speed guns, cameras and bars at the windows.

I had a stream of people talking to me for the first couple of hours while I was gently cleaning the dust of my car, which was really nice. Eventually I managed to sneak of to have a look at the other cars. There was huge variety of cars from pre war to super cars.

Super cars were scattered around from Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini and McLaren. Oh and an old Jordan F1 race car.

There was a nice selection of American classics, perhaps my favourite pic is this one of the old school Mustangs and the new model.

I would still have the old Mustang any day, or maybe tempted by the AC Cobra or GT40 kit cars.

The remaining cars and bikes that took my liking in no particular order, except for the silver Aston Martin that was just gorgeous.

Last year they had over five thousand visitors on the day, I don’t think it was far of that this year, it was busy with a lovely atmosphere too.

An old friend of mine had his Alvis there at the show too, there is no paint job as the outside is just covered with the original leather covering.

The bar was doing well, the food stalls had lots of business and the children’s play area was big hit too. What a difference a week can make. I hate to admit it, but the wife was correct again, who needs Google when I have her? 😉

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Boys & Their Toys

I have started to venture into the very dangerous and addictive world of Ford Mustang Memorabilia. I waste research many hours on eBay looking for things to add to my collection. I am given things by Adam at Mustang Maniac and also a very good friend of mine Gary W. It’s his fault that I am now spending money to get these little golden nuggets of historic items where I can, instead of buying paint to decorate the house like I promised the wife I would over a year ago. I fact the wife has banned me from going there because I come home with all these ideas of what I can add to my ‘Man-Cave’ sanctuary or ‘garage’, or as my wife tends to call it ‘Garbage’, (a play on garage or trash), due to old collectible oil cans in there, old Mustang parts, memorabilia, books, signs, flags etc.

At the beginning of the year I was a lucky man to be given a AMF Wen-Mac 1966 Ford Mustang GT Dealer promo  1/12th scale model. There is very little information out there on these models such as how many were made, how many each dealer got etc etc. All I know is that I now have one.

The only information I could find by good ol’ Google is pretty common and a little insider knowledge from Gary who gave me my ‘toy’ as it was to be marketed back then, I of course prefer the term ‘model’.

At he launch of the new Mustang in 64, Ford Marketing decided on three promotional products to support the launch:
One: was a pretty familiar ‘dealer promo model’ much as other makers had done since the late 50s. Based on 1/25 scale, AMT produced nicely detailed models of both the coupe and fastback for dealers to put on sales men’s desks and to give to certain customers.

AMT went on to produce construction kits. Nowadays, dealer promo models in complete condition can fetch over $100 – even in worn condition.
Two: was a child’s pedal car – also made by AMF which sold very well. Original unrestored pedal cars can now fetch over $2000.

Three: was a larger scale model produced by the popular model maker Wen-Mac and featured either a ‘battery electric’ or ‘gas powered (glow plug petrol)’ 1/12 scale model of the 66 Mustang coupe – available in one single colour of red. Featuring in many Mustang media ads, it was a nicely detailed model that a child could use on the lounge carpet with fixable steering and with working headlights. There was a conversion kit for $2.50 to run from ‘electric’ battery power to ‘gas’ for racing buffs that included a tiny gasoline engine and slicks. A pic of a complete model from the net as it would have been then.

A remote-control throttle could also be added. It was $10 extra for all of this in 1966. The model was on sale for $6 at the time or $4.95 during the Christmas season.

In 1967 Wen-Mac also introduced this ’67 fastback model – in light blue.

Both of the models are now very collectable with hard to find complete models in good condition and boxes fetching $150-$200.

My car is in great condition so I can’t complain what so ever. I may look out for a motor one day if I ever see one for sale or take it from a damaged donor model as it were.

The model had a little electric motor (unfortunately mine is missing) that allowed the car to run forwards or backwards. The steering could be set to left or right.

The front and rear headlights were also working when the car ran. Many of the cars have the model engine missing and or the motor for that provides drive to the wheels, sometimes it’s the hood missing too.

If anybody can give any additional information I would appreciate it and will update this page with it.

Of course, if you have any early Mustang memorabilia you want to ‘donate’ to a good home and increase a fledgling collection, – contact me and we can sort something out. 😉

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Last weekend I attended a car show in the beautiful village of Lavenham in Suffolk, not far away from me. The weather was forecast to be cloudy and rain at five in the afternoon. That would be perfect as the show was to finish at four. I would get home before the rain. The morning arrived and I looked at the sky, broken clouds with a hint of sun, do I or don’t I go? There was an outside chance that there would be rain, my car might get wet. I have a ‘paid for’ weather app and it’s usually right. Then I have my lovely wife who simply said “it’s gonna rain, you might as well stay at home and do a little more decorating.” That killed it – I was going. I’m not saying I hate painting and decorating, but I would rather stick certain parts of my anatomy in a bear trap to get out of it. Setting of I was watching the clouds so far so good.

I arrived and was directed to the USA car club area, there was one other Corvette there and he looked pleased to see me arrive. We had a chat about the weather and we both agreed it wasn’t going to rain.

There was a few cars turning up, but not the massive influx as you would expect. The set up was good for the show, a circle in the middle where all the cars faced outwards to the other cars facing inwards to the circle  from around the outside. Well that was the theory at least. The event opened, and a few people turned up to see what was going on.

The pictures above was pretty much the all the cars there and only took me half hour max to walk around. Then I got the call “Are sure you don’t want to come home as it’s raining here now?” I’m literally only twenty minutes away from home in this village. I walked back to the car and was pleased to see two more Corvettes had arrived.

We of course talked about weather, it wasn’t going to rain. I told them that my local weather girl, had predicted rain – although my ‘paid for’ app was still saying no rain. Unmistakable clouds were now forming.

The tea room was selling hot cups of tea. Then I saw it, the first umbrella went up, then the wave of rain-swept across the field.

Within a few minutes it was carnage, soft tops were going back up, bonnets (hoods) were being closed, windows being wound up, people diving into their cars as more umbrellas went up. My car was now starting to shrink in the rain. Although I was very pleased with the wax beading as I studied it.

Cars were starting up and began to leave. I, of course being the optimist put my cowl guard on thinking that the rain would stop soon. As my ‘paid for app’ said no rain.

I called the wife while running for a tent for cover, who told me the rain was getting worse at home. My ‘paid for’ that wasn’t cheap, that I bought especially for the car show weather forecasts, was still saying ‘cloudy – no rain’. Half an hour later I admitted defeat, the cowl cover came off and stored in the boot (trunk). I started up and set off home, with the language now as blue as my car! It was almost a good car show for the two hours or so that I was there. Almost home I called the wife to open the garage for me so that I could drive straight into it. The car got dried off as best I could and put the dehumidifier on full blast to absorb every last drop of moisture in the garage and from under the car.

Now that the car was dried I came into the house, and I was greeted with that look only women can give, the ‘I told you so’ look. Nothing was said, nothing needed to be said, she was right, (again). My ‘paid for’ app now said, ‘80% chance of rain’, really? I could have phoned them and told them it was raining, and got my money back while I was at it.

Oh, what did I do for the rest of the day? Yep – painting! 😦

Putting the rubbish bin out later in the evening ready for Monday morning collection, I made a detour via the garage to check the humidity, all was quite dry in there now, so I was quite pleased in that respect. I reset the dehumidifier back down to its normal setting for my garage, the dust sheet went back on and closed up. It was such a shame the rain stopped play, the Lavenham Show is held in a beautiful village, a great little drive to get there and is always supported well with all the proceeds going to the county’s Air Ambulance trust.

Maybe next year we will have some sun.

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Couple Of Upgrades

It’s been a long time since I have changed anything or added anything to my car. I was at a car show recently and something caught my eye that I decided I wanted to change. That part was under the hood that nobody would really notice to be honest. That part was hood pin and safety catch. There was nothing wrong what so ever with the old ones what so ever. Except that I thought there was just too much blue and it needed to be broken up a little. It’s standard for the safety catch to be car coloured as mine was. The hood pin itself was fine if not a little tarnished after fifty-two years as it was the original parts.

So I had a word with Adam at Mustang Maniac and he said “You need a little stainless steel, with some nice bolts to go with it, not just chrome.”

The safety catch is held in place just by two bolts and like for like swap out. I got a couple of Adam’s new ‘Ford’ branded stainless steel bolts to go with it all. I just love these bolts which looked even better after a good polish up.

Undo the two bolts for the safety catch and it will expose the hood pin itself which again is a simple nut to hold it in place.

The swap out is a simple reverse procedure, hood pin and then the safety catch. You have to make sure the hood pin is set correctly, to shallow and the hood will not close, to long and the hood will bounce and vibrate at speed. I created a detailed page on how to change these parts in detail here, or go to the top menu ‘How To.. Projects/Engine Bay/Changing the hood pin and safety catch’

The difference is subtle yet instantly visible if that makes sense, it also matches the hood lip trim.

Before and after side by side. Just another little something to clean now. 😉

On the ’66 Mustangs all models there hazard switch that fitted as standard. The official place for these to be fitted was in the glove box on the upper left hand corner as in this picture I found on the net for the correct location.

Depending if the car hazard switch was fitted later or somebody on the production wanted to fit it somewhere else, it could have been anywhere. The most common alternative was under the dash on the passenger side, sometimes on the drivers side. When I first got my car there was this random switch that I didn’t know what it was for. It was so rusty I couldn’t read anything and it virtually fell to bits when it was touched, not to mention all the wires were cut from it and been melted due to the under dash fire.

I now realise that this random switch was the original position of my factory hazard switch. Now I had a problem as my wiring loom was an American Autowire upgrade kit and wouldn’t work directly with standard hazard switch and pigtail loom. Another conversation at Mustang Maniac and research came up with an accessory kit for the factory hazard switch. Considering the cost of the wire loom in the first place I think it was a bit much to charge for this extra mini loom in my opinion. Anyway, rant over. Adam made a special order for me and the kit came in a couple of weeks later. I popped down to see the guys and also picked up the switch as well.

The wire loom and switch.

The AA kit is a bridge under the steering column that just connects the male to female and the female to male sections for the column (indicators, horn brake switch etc), with the extra wires running from it for the hazard switch. I have created a detailed walkthrough on how to hit it up here, or got to the main menu ‘How To.. Projects/Electrical/American Autowire Hazard switch installation’.

The switch is great quality and just needed to be assembled.

The wire connections for the AA kit was supposed to fit the original hazard pigtail loom, but as I didn’t have (no need for my fitting), I cut the supplied connector off and fitted some heat shrink tubing to each wire, then the spade connectors with a factory look crimp.

I then checked the wiring diagram for the correct fitting onto the back of the switch.

I now had a decision to either replace the switch in the ‘correct’ location, or the position that the car had it fitted at the time. I went for the car’s location at the time. Yes there will be the experts that moan it’s not in the correct place, but I have seen a few cars where this was the ‘original’ location. I also understand that some dealers fitted them under the dash to save taking out the glove box liner as it was easier!

Plugged in connectors with heat shrink tube looked pretty cool, even though nobody will ever see it.

Under the dash next to my aircon on the passenger side there are two bolt holes which were used originally, so there was no drilling or measuring for this project either. A case of bolts through the switch bracket, through the dash holes and the backing plate, nuts on the back of the plate and tighten up.

The last part is to connect up the steering column, this is done last as the live power feed is taken from the brake switch, connecting it up first would mean having live or hot wire about as you are connecting up. Not ideal!

The hazard switch now works without the key in the ignition and with the engine on. The old hazard switches worked by putting the switch on and then indicating to trigger the four way flash. To finish the installation, I spend half hour or so wrapping the new loom extension in factory look loom fabric tape, I find it just so therapeutic.

I just hope I never get to use the hazards for a real emergency. I enjoyed my few hours of pottering around on the car, just because I could.

Thanks to Adam at Mustang Maniac (again) who put the special order in for me so I could get this all working.

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Mustang Convoy To Helmingham Hall

The second of a two show weekend was held at Helmingham Hall, another very big and well supported car show, this show is aimed at the car enthusiast more than a simple family day out. There was talk of this show being a let down due to the very well advertised second day for the Festival of Wheels which was being held as well in a similar location. This beautiful building is so well photographed it’s hard to take something a little different. It was a perfect day for a car show too.

I was supposed to meet up at around eight in the morning with the rest of the Mustang going to the show. Unfortunately one of our dogs decided to do a Houdini special on me and disappear down the road. This obviously meant that I was going to play silly chase with the little guy, which in turn made me late. I eventually caught him after couple of minutes and the walk of shame back home. I jumped in the Mustang and set off for the show. At the turning I supposed to meet the guys they were all on there way out and I was flagged down to join them. What a result. There was about thirty Mustangs all in convoy. All be it only four including mine were classic Mustangs. As we pulled into the show ground I managed to grab a picture of the cars in front and some of those that followed me into the show ground.

Simply Mustangs had a great showing and looked pretty impressive.

There was such a diverse range of cars on show I selected just some of the ones I liked best. On a post like this there is not much need for lots of words, the pictures do the talking.

I was very pleased that I went to this show instead of the Festival of Wheels as it was so much bigger, better organised and much busier.

Thanks to the Simply Mustangs UK on Facebook for letting join them and making me feel very welcome.

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