For those of you who haven’t met us before - Carrot Town Garage are classic American car specialists based in March, Cambridgeshire. Over the past couple of years, we have seen an increase in Mustangs coming through our workshop, and with them the same old problems that many Mustang owners don’t realise are lurking around, waiting to be discovered upon further inspection.
Our most recent example of this is when we started work on a stunning 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback. We had originally met the owner at the Sywell show; he’d not long had the car and wanted us to check it over.
Looking at the engine bay, every nut and bolt had the obligatory letter "F" for Ford on it, and even the fan belt was stamped with the Ford logo. So understandably, I was rather bewildered as to why he wanted to get the car checked over, as this car had clearly been subject to a full restoration to an extremely high standard.
Little did I know what we would find!
We proceeded to carry out a full inspection on the Mustang and the first thing we noticed was the steering column was wobbling around. These particular models do have a moveable column, but with the amount of movement we were seeing we knew something was seriously wrong.
We removed the wheel and collar to find the lower bearing carrier had come apart and tiny ball bearings were falling into the footwell. Someone had been here before, (several times!) as some of the screws were rounded off completely. We managed to strip and rebuild the upper column, replacing both bearings at the same time and replacing all the screws for new ones. More worrying was the lower ball joint, which only had one bolt holding it in place and all the suspension component fixings were only hand tight.
On top of this, the exhaust was rubbing against the body where it ran over the rear axle, causing substantial vibration through the car. Someone (cue huge sigh), had cut a fan belt, wrapped it around the exhaust pipe and had held it in place using a cable tie. The middle section of the exhaust was not properly aligned and was almost touching the propshaft. This required the removal of the whole exhaust system, before refitting it correctly.
The final area of concern were the wheels. The gorgeous, halibrand style alloy wheels had a centre hub of approx. 2 inches across, but the hub on the car was only 1.5 inches. This meant that the only thing holding the wheels concentric were the wheel bolts. We had our guy at the local machine shop make some custom spigot rings, which we inserted into the wheel centres, giving a nice tight fit when the wheels were put back on the car.
Phew! So as you can see, it was unbelievable that a car that on first impression had such a high standard of finish, could have so many serious faults, most of which were solved with time, patience and a little perfectionism. This is why when it comes to servicing classic American cars, we are proud that the team at Carrot Town Garage has a wealth of experience and expertise, and show particular pride in their work.
So - you know where to come if you need to book a service for your American Classic Car, or if you have a Classic Car that needs full repair and restoration work. Just call the team on 01354 552427 to get your Amercian Classic Car booked in with our team.
We hope all of our customers and followers have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - and remember;
"You're never late in a V8!"