One Man and His Mustang – Interview Part 1

A great blog I follow has asked me for an interview, a real first for me so here it is….

Customs ~N~ Classics

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…

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A Year On The Road

A year after being on the road and attending car shows it comes to that time of year that every classic car owner dreads. The UK requires by law a car that is the years old and any car up to 1960 must pass a road worthy test, or M.O.T (Ministry Of Transport) test. It can fail for a gas cap not fitting correctly, a bulb not working, rust or “drivers view of the road” what ever that means etc. December last year my car passed her first test since the restoration. As it was due again I had a word with Adam to see when he could book me in for the M.O.T. Saturday. I drove down to the Mustang Maniac yard to catch up with the guys to fill in time before my appointment. Time flew by and was given a map on how to get there along with verbal directions. The guys know I’m seriously diabolical when it comes to directions. I set off and had the map on the seat next to me, simple enough. I turned off too soon and turned around to get back on the correct road again. Yep, I got lost even with a hand drawn map. The best of it was that Lance from Mustang Maniac had spotted me, what are the chances of that? With my luck it’s every chance. Needless to say that my WhatsApp group for Mustang Maniac went mental and I knew exactly what was waiting for me. I eventually found the place after thirty mins that should have taken fifteen. I pulled up to the testing station and took a pic of the car in the reflection which matched the garage paint job. I was right, my WhatsApp had a torrent of grief waiting for me, showing no sympathy what so ever for little detour.

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The guys at the test center took my keys and I watched my car disappear into the workshop. A short while later according to the clock, but seemed like hours in waiting time passed by when the guys came back to the desk. They smiled and gave me my keys back with, “she’s passed with flying colours.” My heart rate now slowed, that was promptly replaced with a proud smile. I paid the bill, thanked the guys and left with my all important certificate. The test results are updated on the goverment system instantly, so the paper doesn’t mean anything except something for your records. The drive home was quicker and much more straight forward, I think. I arrived back at the yard to yet more grief asking me how I got lost. I blamed the map but they weren’t having any of it for some reason.

I had asked Adam if I could put my car up on ramps to put a spanner over all the important nuts and bolts ro make sure everything was where it should be when I come back from the M.OT. Adam kindly said yes and he had already moved a car of the ramp ready for me while I was out. He added “I will be there in a minute to check her over with you.”

The car was lifted up for me to get underneath and inspect. At this point Adam duly arrived back to see that everything was all OK. He grabbed another torch and went over everything looking for signs of movement that the MOT itself wouldn’t pick up. The thumbs up was given by Adam who told me to tighten the rear axle to shock plate clamps. They looked fine to me, but check them I did.

He was right, they needed a turn or so just to take up the stretch in the bolts. After that I got out some white cleaning cloths so I could clean all my suspension. There was a little messy water stain on the left side due to me over filling the radiator, the overflow did its job and dumped some water.

Gibbs Brand Lubricant was the choice of the day and everything got coated that needed to be coated. I polished the white prop shaft that still looked white after a year.

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Cleaning my Mustang is therapeutic and enjoyable and in no way a chore. Yet cleaning the other daily driver cars is not quite the same somehow. Now that my car was cleaned to my standards underneath as it was much easier to clean while up in the air. I could see just how filthy the car was by the state of the two white cloths I had used.

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OK, it wasn’t that dirty at all which made me happy. The trouble was I had to drive it home again, the weather wasn’t looking to good, so I said my thanks and goodbyes to the guys. The master plan was to get home before the rain. The drive home took a little over the hour and I managed to get the car home before the rain, which started about an hour or so after the car was safely in the garage.

The trouble is what do you buy your car for Christmas? I want to get some more cleaning products ready for the show season 2017. For the first time in years I haven’t asked for anything from my Snap On rep. I now have most of the tools that I need and bought them as I went along. If I need tools that I haven’t got then I suspect I will be in some sort of big mechanical trouble. I have got my eye on a few stainless steel clips for the rubber hoses. Lets see what Santa brings.

Wishing you and all my readers and followers a Happy Christmas and great New Year.

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End Of Car Show Season

It looks like the classic car season has come to an end like a balloon bursting. Where has the summer gone? I have been to a number of shows this year and made some new friends, meet old friends many times at the shows. I know that I haven’t posted for a while again, my excuse is that I have enjoyed my car so much I can even begin to tell you just how much. Opening the garage door on a Sunday morning and getting that smell of classic car. The smell of metal, engine oil, transmission fluid and petrol all mixed together in a very fine subtle unmistakable aroma. It’s like women smell a bunch of flowers with passion. Petrol heads just can’t get enough of that classic car smell. Pulling the cover of still makes me smile stand back and look at her before I get in her. I shut the door, I don’t slam it. Pump the gas to prime the carb and turn the key, the V8 rumble bites the air and fills my ears with decibels. It’s all very poetic and mushy maybe. But, I still feel like that driving the car to a show. I look at every single person on the road a nutter and they are going to something stupid and drive into me. I am in a state of hyper alertness driving as a result.

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That way of thinking is the safest way to be, the only time I can relax is when I see other classic cars near the venue, they all have the same opinion as me and also think that everybody else is a nutter who is going to drive into them as well. The thrill of driving a classic car is with me and will never go, I meet up with the guys from Mustang Maniac and drive in convoy. For four years I was driving in my daily driver to the shows just longing to be a part of the scene. Now when we park up we hand out the statutory banter and men type abuse as we do. After wandering around checking the other cars out I get my chair out and watch the world go by the front of the car. It’s a bit like fishing without catching anything. Every so often I get comments on the car and lots of questions about the car from interested people. My best day was where a father had just bought a Lincoln Continental as a project car to do with his son. The questions they were asking me was the same questions I was asking four years ago when I started my journey of restoration. I tried to help them as much as I could with hints and tips. It was a joy to be honest to spend what was an hour or so of having my brains picked. So I have a few of my favorite pictures of the shows I was attending to finish the year off.

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Although this is not an actual picture of my car, I just love the reflection in the back of this van. It was taken as a real quick snap shot from inside the car waiting to get into the show.

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There remains only one more event that I will be going to and that is the Birmingham NEC CLassic Car show where I exhibited last year. I won’t be exhibiting this year as I didn’t see hardly anything last year. Although being a part of that show was amazing, I was hard work and there was the odd moment where people didn’t give a fig about the cars and would rub their hands all over them, coats being dragged over the paint, etc. I don’t want to risk the damage to be honest.

Car Detailing:

I have been very busy cleaning my car obviously at the shows and after when I get back home. I have been adding reviews under my newer section on the menus “Car Detailing Reviews”. The products have all been honestly reviewed from Meguiar’s, DoDo Juice, Chemical Guys, Poor Boys World, Autoglym etc. Some I liked and some I wouldn’t even give away from the likes of Simoniz. I have one or two products that I shall eventually get around to reviewing at some point. Some I have already done, and there is even a few detailing tools to be tested as well.

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Where do I start with all this lot? 😉

Some of these products I have had for a while now and used on my various cars over the years. Some are very new as I move into the complex world of car detailing, and not just cleaning a car. I already have a few favorites of the new breed, but how do they compare to the old school products?

Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax Paste reviewed click here

DoDo Juice Red Mist Tropical reviewed click here

It will be interesting to find out. What will I be doing with my time now as I won’t be showing the car and I wont be restoring the car? I know – clean it!

I will be posting again soon don’t worry. 🙂

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The Scenic Route

It’s been a while since my last post, but I have something a little different this time for you. I have posted a video of my car running up and down a sleepy reservoir road with a pal of mine filming the show. We initially went there for somewhere scenic as a back drop for the car on a quick photo shoot. But as it was so peaceful and a nice quiet area, we decided to have a couple of quick videos of the car going up the road and back down again. The video can be found on my YouTube channel click here for the link to all the videos, or click the image below to watch the videos or cut and paste the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJddSktoMqA

Turn up the volume for a short minute and enjoy. 😉

Between Craig & I we took quite a few photo’s, with Craig obviously taking the video, he did kindly offer to drive my car for me though! By the time it takes you to read my response “No”, it was about double the amount of time it took me to think about and still give the answer “No”. Maybe next time Craig!

Here are some of pics from that photo session:

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When I was editing the pictures I decided to play around with a couple of filters on my favourite photos.

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As it’s getting near the end of the show season I need to take my car down to Mustang Maniac to get a once over with a spanner, and general health check. I have almost done 1,100 miles so far in the car, can you believe it?

During the car shows I attend I give the car a little polish up or quick detail while she is there. Yes, although I try and avoid all photo’s this was sent to me to show how “sad” I had become to clean and polish the tyres. I could tell you my response was but this is an all ages blog. 😀

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According to some regular car show enthusiasts I had progressed from “cleaning” the car to “waxing”, now I have moved up another level to “detailing” the car. This now gets super serious and to make the paint look as good as it ever will and different products give different results. To most people there is no difference except the odd “it looks very clean” or “it shiny”.  I have reviewed a product called “Poorboy’s World Quick Detailer Plus” which is supposed to give that waxed look after a quick “wipe on” and “wipe off”.

Click here for the review link or go to my new menu “Car Detailing Products”. To see what I think of the product take a look at the review. There will be a number of these detailing reviews soon, from quick detailers, waxing, metal polish, micro fibre towels, drying towels, glass cleaners, tyre dressing from such makers as Meguair’s, DoDo Juice, Poorboy’s, Chemical Guys, Autoglym  etc etc. all of which are aimed at the serious car cleaner (sorry) detailer!

Please let me know what you think of filtered photo’s, I’m interested to see if I ruined them or they look good compared to the original colour versions. Perhaps you don’t like any of them and could suggest some better places to take some pics in the Suffolk area.

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Back To Base

Yesterday was a car show that I was quite looking forward to for a couple of reasons. The first was that I was going to meet up with Lance and Paul in their Coupes so it would be an unofficial Mustang Maniac day out as it were. The second was that my car was imported into the UK from the USA and was home here to my car before she was sold, then neglected. RAF Lakenheath is the venue in Suffolk located not far away from Mildenhall Airbase. The area has a heavy American presence and as I love the Americans I couldn’t wait to get there. In fact I would love to live in America. There are always lots of American cars driving around the area, more so the modern cars than the classics.

Yesterday “we” was being composed of Lance and his fiancée Sam, Paul had brought along his son Mason, and billy no mates me, had all arranged to meet up at a McDonald’s just a few short miles away from the base itself. Lance and Paul are not far from each other and came up together and caught up with me there. We all parked up together and enjoyed a quick bite of breakfast.

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Mine obviously the the blue one, Paul with his red ’66 Coupe and Lance with his ’65 Coupe. it made a great sight and already attracted a few glances with the odd photo before we got to the air base. After a quick freshen up we all started up our cars, all three of us had Flowmaster exhausts who all accidentally might have given a few more revs than normal. OMG! it sounded awesome and three grown up kids had a smile as big as the grill on their cars. A few short miles later we pulled into Lakenheath and there we waited, and waited some more.

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This was going to be the first Wings & Wheels event, as last years was cancelled due to a known IS sympathiser vermin was seen cruising up and down stopping by the base boundaries. This year no such happenings, but the security was tight. Armed guards were checking registrations against the previously provided photo IDs. There was an undercover area where cars were called into a shed and we had to open the doors, hood and truck and then stand in an office/cabin that had the windows blacked out so you couldn’t see what was going on to your car. We were then allowed to go free and had to wait for a sufficient number of cars to be escorted around the base to an allocated area where the cars were going to be for the afternoon. The area was fenced off and more security checking in the visitors. We were not allowed to leave before five thirty in the evening where you would be again escorted from the base to the exit. During my drive around the base I wondered where my car was driven and stored while the original US owner lived and worked here. My car was back home, technically back on USA soil, all be it for a few hours, also where she was first shipped over to in the UK.

We got parked up in make shift parking spaces and I cleaned my car while the others gave be some verbal “encouragement” to hurry up and get on with it. Paul had to park in the row behind us which was more of luck than anything else so at least we were together of sorts. Lance was next to me and we were in turn next to a load of newish BMW’s that are common on the road as tarmac is.

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We hand a wander around and pretty much saw everything we needed to see within an hour or so. Many of the promised cars didn’t turn up and there was a lot of empty spaces in our oversized pen, i would say around no more than two hundred cars and that would be generous, most of those newer cars. There was some lovely local food offering all things American, hotdogs, sausages and took both Dollars and Pounds as payment.

I hate to say it but the show wasn’t that good. There was plenty of stuff for the kids to do with lots of fun fair rides and they had obviously gone out of their way to make it work. The fact we couldn’t explore, which I do fully understand for security reasons, but the lack of things going on made it a very long afternoon to be honest. No vendors, no trade stalls for the adults unless you were hungry that is. The “Wings” representation was promised to be a Spitfire which suddenly appeared at half two and then was gone, later the Vulcan bomber was promised at half five. Alas the later never happened and I was pretty sad about that. A number of the fabulous aircraft were parked up around the perimeter and again guarded.

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The heavens opened just after the Spitfire flew over and it was tropical downpour. There was a rush to the cars to sit back in them as there was no other shelter. We watched as some poor people with their old classic convertibles struggled to get the cars covered up for the first minute or so.

lakenh37The rain didn’t last long and we then all tentatively emerged to dry the pride and joys. Perhaps that’s why there was a shortage of cars because of the weather forecast which said – light showers, not torrential rain. As it was an airfield the sun soon dried up the water within a short space of time and the wind helped dry the cars too. A few cars left early under escort and that allowed Paul to move his car the other side to Lance so the Three Amigos were together in the evening sun.

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lakenh53At five thirty what seemed like the entire car park joined a que to leave the event. Only a few die-hard enthusiasts remained. It was a great day with the guys & and Sam where we had a laugh. Not so sure that I will be there again next year though.

If you spot some of these photo’s also on the Mustang Maniac blog, that’s because we shared the best of the photo’s.

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Cars On The Green

The weekend just gone was host to a car show called “Cars On The Green” in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. I suppose I could say it’s my most local show. I haven’t visited this show before and it was all new to me taking my own car there this time. The early planned start was not to bad as you had to be there between seven and ten in the morning. First things first – is it raining? Nope. Check the forecast, will it rain? Nope. All systems are go then. I had everything already packed in the trunk the night before, the mandatory fold up seat, jacket, jump-start mini battery pack (see here for the review), can of oil top up, cleaning items, detail products , bag of microfiber cloths, business cards for my blog. That only left the food and drink to go in the thermos bag when I got up.

The journey there was fantastic and the sun was warm the window was open, but the main road out of the village was resurfaced the night before and the stones were dragged down the road. When I say resurfaced, I use that word with the very loosest of connections possible, the lazy articles had just dumped a load of stones on the surface, spread it about a bit and wait for the cars to squash it down. There was no way that I was going to pick up stones in my tyres get on a motorway and flick them up to damage my paintwork. So I just had to turn around and go out the longer way round the village. A real shame as the small roads echoed the rasp of the exhaust note; it was an early morning wakeup to everybody who wasn’t now going to be getting a lay in, but what a start to the day. After twenty minutes or so I arrived at the venue and was eventually directed into the fields. My car was an individual entry so it was parked under a lovely bank of trees. The setting was pretty awesome, although I wasn‘t too impressed with the trees as a canopy overhead. There was a good possibility of bird’s wanting to relieve the contents of the bowls all over my motor, and on top of that it would be mixed in with the falling tree sap. I parked up reluctantly and wandered around to look at the other cars. I was the only classic Mustang there that day, it was nice to be different among the maximum of one thousand cars allowed. 

I meet with a mate of mine Craig who was there in his Honda Integra which is becoming a little more of a collectible item now being a Jap spec import. I spotted to young lads cleaning their dads truck and enjoying it, they even demonstrated how well it revved up. I did promise these two little guys I would put a picture up for them. Promise kept.

We had a good wander round and had the phones tuned into the Le Mans race. Ford had four of their Chip Ganassi GT40’s in the running. One of those cars was leading with two hours to go. We had a look in all the fields and designated parking areas, we found a fantastic array of cars. There was old next to new, rat rods next to highly polished new cars, club stands and rare cars.

We eventually made our way round the whole lot of cars and I went to pick out the chair from my trunk. I was pounced upon by a real nice bunch of guys who were asking some great questions about my car. How long did it take? What did I do to it? How much did it take to do? etc. I even let one of the guys sit it. They wanted to hear it run, so I just had to start it up, such a poor excuse I know, but it is a car show after all.

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I noticed that the paint work was not silky smooth to the touch now as it usually is; it was getting tiny sticky sap particles on the surface of the paint. It was going to have to be cleaned off which was going to be a real pain as it was now getting backed on by the sun. With the chair and food I headed back to Craig’s car where he was setting up the laptop to live stream the Eurosport coverage of Le Mans. We settled down to watch the end of the exciting race to see a few more gather round his boot (trunk) and watch it with us. We saw the Porsche win the overall race with the Fords coming in 1st, 3rd and 4th in their GTE class. Exactly fifty years later they almost replicated their legendary 1,2,3 finish. What a result, well done to Ford. Craig packed away after the results and decided to check his battery as we had been running a few bits of the car for a while, nothing. The remaining power was just not enough to start it, so I wandered back to my car  which was only in the next field and got my jump starter. We connect up and fired her up straight away and let her run for a few minutes, all was good again in the Honda camp.

The end of the day was a great drive back, even with the UK Police force doing what they do best, hide in the laybys and side roads and wait for a speeding car while they eat their doughnuts, checking their speed guns. I’m sorry, but there are much more important things to do other than trying to catch people coming out of a car show doing thirty three miles an hour in thirty mile an hour zone. Pathetic people and quick way to make cash. Rant over, but it really gives me the hump to waste resources like that. Anyway great drive home with plenty of horns hooting to everybody, great atmosphere. I parked up back home it was time to get the tree sap off. Water wasn’t going to touch it, the car was still clean and I was spared the contents of the local bird population I was pleased to say. I wasn’t too sure what to use as I didn’t want to take previous wax layers off, as some cleaners will do. So I tried the Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax Anywhere (I will be reviewing it at some point), a waterless wash option. The spray was used on a small part of the roof to see if it worked on. The first application with the normal amount of spray removed most of the sap. I tried it again with a good soak all over and a gentle wipe this time. I was pleased to see that the sap came of no problem. The down side was I used a lot of the product to clean the car this time. Once I had cleaned the car I put her back into the garage and covered her up.

A good day all round 🙂

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Still Here & Showing The Car

I have had an email to ask if I am still about on my blog. The answer is a big yes, of course I am. Last weekend I was with the Mustang Maniac guys at Santa Pod for a Classic Ford meet. Yogi took his ’69 Mach1 down the strip a few times and set some impressive times even though he had wheel spin all over the place off the line. We camped overnight on Saturday and that was a laugh as I hadn’t been camping for nearly 40 years! It was still as bad as I remember it, only made up for it with the steady supply of beer, only to help make us sleep of course. It was share a tent time and I left my shoes by the zip exit to the tent. Yogi got up in the night and tripped over my boots and feel out the door in a most undignified manner! I shouldn’t laugh, but I did. Sorry Yogi, but it was funny. There was some great cars there and I have borrow some of the pics from the Mustang Maniac Blog, click here for the full story and some videos of Yogi racing.

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Some of the drag set up cars couldn’t match Yogi’s Mach1 times, and that is almost a fifty year old car. I was very impressed with that I must say. Running in the eleven and twelve second range for the standard quarter-mile.

The Week before that was the Enfield Pageant Of Motoring which is the Mustang Maniac show of choice. I was there this time with my completed car on Saturday & Sunday, stopping overnight in the big motor home Adam has for the hospitality. I was not disappointed and Adam can rustle up a good breakfast too. There was so much to see at the show, but I have noticed that there are more and more new stall traders creeping in rather than the old skool auto jumble. I arrived early in the morning at the Mustang Maniac yard and helped out where I could and followed the guys in convoy to the show, literally about twenty mins down the road. I parked up with some of the other cars already there, Ranchero, Yogi’s ’69, Ian’s fastback, and mine for now. What was great was that people from last year recognised the car where it was unfinished.

As the time grew closer to opening times more cars arrived to show on the stand. Paul turned up with his ’66 coupe to complete the line up of old cars. The new cars where out in force with a couple of GT’s and a Saleen. The stand looked brilliant and attracted the usual crowds to the old and newer cars.

Sunday saw Spence in his convertible take the place on the front row to provide a different display along with a new 2016 right hand drive black Mustang which was quite cool.

Monday was mix and match day with Lance bringing his ’65 coupe down to replace mine in the Classic section of the stand.

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The weekend was a lucky weekend with the rain holding off most of the time with only a few spots of drizzle.

The Car:

I have been driving her around now and enjoying every second of it and put almost seven hundred miles on the clock driving to and from car shows. Adam now wants the car back to give the car and check over and make sure all the bolts are tightened up again and re-grease all the points that need them. There is a sweet spot of sixty miles an hour where the exhaust quietens down and is a pleasure to cruise. But if you stamp on the gas it soon makes a noise again.

Miles per gallon?

I am always being asked this and not really had a chance to work it out so far. Now after a few tank full and recording the mileage on my phone app, it works it all out for me now. If I drive it like an old lady and be very, very gentle with it down hill I get a max of 25mpg but if I drive it like I stole it I get 14mpg. If I am on a run I get about 20mpg. I can’t complain at that at all.

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I just say: “It’s not miles per gallon, it’s SMILES per gallon”.

So it has been a very busy couple of weekends where I have just had the chance to catch up a bit and recover. Mostly I now appreciate just how comfortable my own bed is! There are more car shows coming up and hope I will be a little quicker getting the blog posted up.

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