At Last

The first car show of 2020 (for me anyway), which took place last Sunday 16th 2020 at Stonham Barns in Suffolk. It took me about twenty five minutes to get there at a gentle pace. I arrived at about nine fifteen and the sky was grey. Forecast was forty six percent chance of rain, I figured it was worth the gamble, I had to go. I parked up with the Bury Retro Car Club whom had a club stand on the tarmac and not grass which is always nice. As I always do when I park up, I wiped the little ol’ lady down with some quick detailer, paying particular attention to the windscreen with glass cleaner. I think the glass had collected more than its fair share of insects for the short trip.

I decided to go and get some photos before the promised rain was due to arrive just after lunch time. With no particular order some cars that took my interest as I wondered around. the sun even showed it’s face for a few minutes now and then.

A while ago I did a little article on the Ford Capri being the UK Mustang here, these photos show the comparison next to each other which was rather nice.

There seems to be a growing trend in the UK for half cars to be the trailer:

More Mustangs including this red ’69 done to concours standards.

VW were out in force and the patina on the beetles was a little extreme, when it’s flaking off.

The rest of the cars I liked:

There was a number of stalls there too, nothing to fancy just the usual auto jumble, which was on the grass just behind the club stand.

Bury Retro Car Club stand:

I thought mu car was quite a long car, when compared next to a stretched Caddy – It’s tiny. The front of the cars lined up more or less level.

Tim Greening let me borrow his video from his YouTube channel; https://www.youtube.com/c/AutoAddictuk/ Thanks Tim 🙂

You can just about catch a glimpse of me chillin out and chatting cars just behind my car.

I took a few pics while sitting in my chair of the new wax I have been using. I did notice the clarity of the shine while sitting there.

I thought I would play around with the colours a bit on this one, black & white with a little hind of car colour.

I left at three in the afternoon an hour before it was due to shut, the wife had text me to say there was thunderstorms at home. I wanted to get home before the car got soaked.

The clouds were blackening up as I did a very quick wipe over before I covered the car up in the garage. As I got out the car in the garage the heavens opened and it chucked it down. That’s what I call perfect timing, literally thirty seconds from rain.

For once I went to a car show and it didn’t rain, I was well chuffed. What could be better than than? I know – a pic of me in the review view mirror of the Jag XJ6 next to mine! I didn’t move the chair to take this pic I just happened to look up and there I was.

I needed that car show. I just had to get out and catch up with friends again, grab some fresh air and look at cars, lots of cars. I had two offers to buy my car during the day, one which was some bloke takin the p!$$ or trying to wind me up I’m not sure which, the other guy gave me his card just in case I wanted to sell, after asking me some good questions about the history of the car.

There are two more scheduled car shows this year that I have booked in to attend. Will the rain hold off for me so I can get to them? I hope so, with all the rain I got caught in last year, it’s the least mother nature could do for us considering the pandemic we have endured so far.

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Wings & Wheels

Weekend just gone I attended the Stowmarket Carnival which was held over two days with a classic car section on Sunday. The general public was let in from eleven onwards, but the cars had to be in before nine thirty, although they were still being let in at ten thirty. So, I decided to take my photos sooner than later without too many people around, and before more cars arrived. A nice mix of cars and some top quality restorations on show. It was one of the first days this year I could get my show board out without the wind and rain because the sun was out all day, I even had to apply sun cream, twice! There were stalls, a dog shows, live singing, and a fun fair too.

I follow on Instagram a group of ladies called ‘_modifiedgirls’ and they also have a website called ‘https://modifiedgirls.co.uk/’ I mentioned this because I see a FTO being lovingly cleaned by a couple of ladies. Without trying to appear anything other than a genuine car fan I got talking to Tara Ashton who confirmed that she was a member of the Modified Girls scene. We had a chat about cars and I have to say that these ladies do know their stuff. I also think it’s fantastic to see members of the fairer sex enjoying the car show scene along with the guys. Here is her FTO she rocked up in to the show. I said I would give her a shout out on my blog, consider it done.

This Mk1 Ford Escort GT was a preproduction model and was used by the media to review the car. A nice example with some serious provenance.

There was mixture of a few hot rods, kit cars, more modern cars and some restorations to wonderful standards. Did you know the Fiat 500 number was the engine size in CCs? That’s 500 cc’s or half a litre, for our US friends that’s 30.5Ci  Abarth gave the engine a stage 1 modification up to 595cc (36.3Ci) which made 31bhp.

Triumph models were varied, Stag, TR6, Dolomite, Spitfire. I almost bought a Stag when I was looking for a classic car, but when I saw the Mustang, my mind was made up. But I still like the look of those stags. 🙂

Some of the other cars that took my attention, I didn’t bother with the Nissan Skylines, as for the Golf GTI’s, Jags, Vauxhall Corsa etc, I could have gone down the road to the Asda car park and seen as many as I wanted. Is that a harsh thing to say?

From the heading I mentioned wings as well as the wheels. The Saturday they had a fly by of a Spitfire (the classic WW2 plane – not the car being propelled through the air). On Sunday we were treated to a WW2 Lancaster Bomber. If I had of known I would have taken a proper camera not just a cell phone. But I tried my best to capture this incredible plane that did three low(ish) fly overs.

I turned this into a black and white picture, I think it works better than the colour pics. I took a video of he final fly over, the trouble is you just get to hear the fabulous noise.

I took this video of the last fly over, the trouble is that the video didn’t pick up the incredible sound the plane made. 🙁

To finish the post I must be going soft in the head or getting sentimental in my old age. I had a guy Andrew who loved my car and was looking all over it. He made a good presentation to me on why he should sit in my car. I let him sit in it after emptying his pockets of keys etc. so as to not to damage the upholstery, I even took a picture of him in my car, just because I said I would. Consider that done as well.

It was a hot day, but I’m not complaining about the weather for a change. 😀 I spoke to lots of people and had a great day. More of the same next time I hope.

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A New Venue

I know this post is a bit late from the day but I just haven’t had time to get round to it all. So apologies and I have reprimanded myself quite severely. Anyway, the new venue was a generously sized field at Barnham Common in the lovely area of Thetford Forest. The best of which is the drive through that beautiful forest area to get there. Considering the previous shows have been a wash out with rain, this was Father’s Day and the weather apps said only a few percent chance of rain. Awesome I was going. I arrived fairly early and was expecting the Bury Retro Car Club to be there so I could park up with the guys, considering I missed out at the previous show in Elveden. Pullin’ into the field there was not many people there, in fact some of the stall traders also turning up to get ready. I was directed to park pretty much where I liked near the other lines of cars. I found a nice Ford Orion and parked next to him and I was pleased to say that a Ford Granada parked the other side of me. A Ford sandwich with USA muscle for the filler.

Checked app – no rain forcast. I started a wander around before it got to busy.

About twenty minutes later the car club turned up and parked a line down form me.

A good mixture of cars on the day.

UK Fords

USA Muscle

Later on the sky clouded and thought felt it, surely not. A few drops to start with then it stopped, not enough to bead on the car. However, half hour later, nowhere to hide except to sit in the car – it happened.

It only lasted for a few minutes, but it was enough. once it stopped it had to dry the car, the first of a few times that day. then the sun came out as quickly the rain feel. that was the pattern for the day. A rain shower for a couple of minutes then sun. I still manged to get sunburn on my face, don’t know how. But I was pleased with the beading though from my new quick detailer from Chemical Guys which I reviewed here.

Around the field spirits were high still and nobody seemed upset about the rain. The entertainment for the kids was great with bird handling and few live shows even.

But an hour after the start of the show to the public this old lady came in. Next year this traction engine will be a century old. I think this was the favourite of the show for me.

A great day in fact although the rain has been 100% for every show. This time it didn’t seem to bad.

Next time sunshine? We can only hope I guess. 🙂

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First Time Videos

During some routine maintenance on my PC where I back up my files, then move them to relevant folders etc. I came across an old video that I thought I had lost. So I decided that I would share that video and a couple of others with you. The day was a Saturday 14th April 2012, I had a good mechanic mate of mine; Will from Park Garage Services came round to the house and help me with the start-up. This was a long time before I started to get involved with Mustang Maniac for my parts and the proper restoration process. After a long winter of re-wiring the car to get to the point I could turn the key properly, this was a very important day in the restoration process. I had no idea that this restoration project was ever going to be a blog that it is now, so there wasn’t that many pictures from the very beginning. I already had the old wiring out, well what was left of it that is. IThe old wiring sits in a big box and I’m still not sure what to do with it. It’s old, it’s brittle, it’s burnt and melted, it’s total rubbish, but I just can’t bring myself to dump it. Any ideas what to do with an old wiring loom? Please let me know.

The new wiring had been installed and nothing was neat at this point, or even in the right places come to that. The wiring was just connected up and roughly in place. That very early stage was just to prove the process to myself that it was going to work. Later on the new wiring would be taken back out for the full restoration and paint job, then reinstalled properly and neatly, just how I wanted it to be.

The engine was not cleaned or prepped in any way prior to this video. It just had the new blue spark plug leads, Pertronix Ignitor II ignition upgrade, new replica battery, one wire alternator, new spark plugs and new cables for earth and battery etc. The starter solenoid was an unknown entity so we weren’t sure if we were gonna have issues at that point.

Being as I had rewired the car myself over a few months each weekend, the wiring was also an unknown piece of work too, I just hoped I had read the book of words (instructions) correctly. In fact the good lady wife had the instructions colour copied and laminated for me. That would mean my dirty hands wouldn’t ruin the paper or tear it. I could keep the originals in a safe place just in case I did lose one section or managed to damage them.

Back to the start-up day; I put two gallons of fuel in the petrol tank and made sure there was no leaks. I had previously turned the engine over by hand with no spark plugs in place, that would make it much easier not having to deal with the compression, the engine wasn’t seized up. I had previously filled up the engine with water and some temporary light oil as the engine wasn’t going to run under stress for any length of time either. Oil lubrication is a critical factor to consider when the engine hadn’t run for twelve years or so for any cold start and engine wear. The turning over of the engine on crank would pump the oil around the engine at those low cranking revs. The car was cranked over for a bout thirty seconds and then left the car to settle for a minute or so. We then primed the carburetor up with fuel via pumping the gas (via the carb linkages) to help fire up and this was video was the result. The headers were straight out as there was no exhaust connected at all, the volume and resonance distorted the microphone on the phone.

My good lady wife was in charge of the camera at the time, this is the first time this video has been on the internet on any of my media platforms.

 

With the car restored I was arriving home from a car show and the car was filmed being driven into the garage. This is a nostalgic look at the before and after comparisons.

This time the Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers were fitted to the 3″ headers which gives that unmistakable Mustang v8 rumble.

This is also a first time showing of this video on the internet.

 

This video of the car backing out of the garage was another mate who wanted a ride out in the car when he first saw it back completed from the restoration. The final first time video on the internet video.

 

Then of course there is the mandatory drive by;

Apologies if you have seen the “Driveby” on my YouTube channel, but I think it’s worth a proper posting on the blog and not just a link.

I have started to review a few more Car Detailing products now and hopefully you will find them useful as well. I have found a couple of real nice products all of which can be found under the “Car Detailing Reviews” heading, the latest being from the Chemical Guys.

I’m looking forward to this coming car show season I must say, seeing these videos has made me realise how much I miss driving her. 🙁

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A Round Of Golf?

Another weekend almost over but I managed to get work done on the car. I also managed to get a service done on the wife’s car, her cherished VW Golf. We purchased all the parts on Saturday morning, the air filter, oil filter, oil etc and I was left to my own devices on Saturday afternoon to do it all while she went out again. It did feel strange having to get my metric tools out from the different Snap On drawer and not the imperial sets though. The air filter was encased in a massive slap of plastic on top of the engine. There were more pipes and wires coming out of the engine than a robot research facility. To get to the spark plugs it was a performance as there was a channel of wires with their own coils attached at the top. They were hidden under another plastic trunking system, that in turn had wires attached to it all over the place. The whole thing was nightmare.

What I am getting at here is the basic principle of the engine has not changed at all. The cylinders are there, the pistons, the spark mechanism etc. OK, the engines may have gotten bigger and smaller, they may have changed shape a little in configuration, the ideal number of cylinders is still in debate. Fuel injection is squirted into the cylinders, four valves instead of two. But why hasn’t technology moved on to the principle itself? Yes we will have electric cars eventually but not for a while yet, that will be a major leap. The Mustang’s air filter sits on top of carburettor held on by a single wing nut, that sits on top of an inlet manifold with four bolts, it draws in fuel and mixes it, burns it then chucks the waste out the back. Fuel injection mixes it with the air and burns it and chucks it out the back. Same thing, OK, so it’s more efficient now, but I feel at home under the hood on the older engine. The new engines have computer this, and wire that, control box this. Are they more reliable? I don’t think so. If my Mustang timing goes out a bit, dust of my timing gun, turn the distributer and re-tighten. Done. New car, download the software, plug-in an expensive decoder, type in what you want. Reset the warning light on the dash. unplug unit and write out a huge bill. Luckily I have a great mechanic Will at Park Garage who looks after my modern cars for me when they play up, but I know he loves the classics too. I’m sure he would rather get a socket set on a v8 header than plug-in a laptop! What has happened to computers in the last forty years? Size of a building to start with, now there is more technology in a cell phone than put man on the moon.

Once tuned up a forty-seven year old Muscle Car will give a vast majority of modern cars a run for their money, even if they don’t it will give you a bigger smile while driving it than a plain old euro box! I didn’t enjoy the round of Golf as I did working on my car. There was no sense of achievement, or is it just me?

Sunday I worked on my car, well the parts in the Man Cave at least. The rain made sure I wasn’t gonna push her out the garage for today anyway. I was just tinkering around and decided to polish the chrome on my factory option aircon unit. That little polish gave me a great idea I will share with you. The front of the unit has the classic “camera case” black dimpled look. It had worn almost down to the bare metal around the dials and the nozzles. Now the chrome sparkles and the black suddenly looks wrong. I had this idea a while ago to polish it with black boot polish, it didn’t work and just rubbed straight off. Can you see where I am going with this now? Today I thought why not spray it? There is chrome lettering on the front as well as the badge. These would need to be masked off to stop the over spray. What black would I use, gloss, undercoat, primer? The original black is a matt black or a dull satin from what I can see. With the decision made I got out some plastic sheets, (ok it was a thin packaging bag), not the paper masking kind like you should use in a spray shop. I used the electrical insulating tape as that can be moved a little in place and was such a smallish area and fiddly to do. I masked it all up and done a tiny test spray with Eastwoods Under Hood Satin black on the back of the unit near the top out-of-the-way. Once it dried it looked brilliant. I completed the masking up at the front, I removed the old air direction nozzles and sprayed the front with a couple of very light spray passes. It still left the dimpled finished as the original had, but just blackened up the front. I still wanted the authentic look and I believe I now have that. All that is left to do is get some artists paints mix up the colour and paint in the colours of the badge. Try doing that on a modern car!

The best part of the whole thing is I found a date stamp on the back of the unit – 28th June 1966

aircon26

 Finished Article:

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Here are some pictures of the process, the full guide of what and how I did it can be found under the Photos – Inside the Car – Factory Aircon Tidy Up. The pics here don’t really show how thin the paint was as you can see the bare metal underneath.

Quick Link:

Factory Fitted Aircon Tidy Up click here.

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His & Hers

This weekend was a chillaxing weekend for a change and I decided to look at some Classic Cars at a Show in the town of Buntingford (UK), each year the organisers manage close the main street and get the cars all parked up along the narrow road. It was my first time there and I doubt it will be my last either as everybody was quite friendly when talking to them about their cars. It was nice to see families out and not just the petrol heads who needed their octane fix! There were hundreds of different cars there from every era. The war years, modern-day cars, hot rods, trucks, kit cars & bike all gleaming in the sun. While I was at the show I meet Adam from Mustang Maniac who was there with one of their new additions to the garage, a lovely 1965 v8 Coupe. I have taken quite a few pictures but these were the better photo’s from all the cars. What took my eye at the car show? A couple of Cobra replicas that were identical except for under the hood area. One was red the other blue. I could only assume (and would like to think) that they were his and hers!