Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
January 4, 2010
Photos By: The Mustang Monthly Archives

Engine color: "No matter how many times we put the correct color and type of paint in the magazine, people still get it wrong," says Perkins. "I see engines with the wrong shade of blue all the time. And owners keep wanting to use spray bombs. It ends up costing more because it isn't as durable, and every time the manufacturer makes up a new batch, the color changes, so it's not good for touch-up."

Trunk filler board: "Make sure it's there," says Speegle. "And if it's supposed to be attached with screws, make sure it's attached with screws."

Chrome condition: "On '65-'68s, pitted vent window chrome is the thing we see the most," says Perkins. "It's a really difficult piece to rechrome but they're starting to reproduce them now."

Exterior paint: Turner says today's show Mustangs have better paint, but many Concours cars don't have the correct orange peel. "Usually that's by choice," he adds. "It's like Perkins says-originally, orange peel was really a flaw from the factory. So a lot of painters don't want to do it for that reason."

Valve cover bolts: "Often valve cover bolts weren't originally painted, even on engines with painted valve covers," says Speegle. "Check the rules. If your car isn't supposed to have painted valve cover bolts, just take them out and clean off the paint. It takes just a couple of minutes and you may pick up a point."

Trunk: The trunk is one area that is frequently overlooked by car owners. "We see a lot of workmanship issues in the trunk," says Turner. "We get one or two cars every year that show up with the entire trunk painted black. Or the sound deadener hasn't been put back on after replacing the quarter-panels. If you've got a $50,000 Shelby, at least put the right trunk mat in the car."

Speegle adds some tips for the spare tire: "The spare tire should look unused, so the rim shouldn't show signs of having been on the car. Lug nut holes shouldn't have bare metal around them and the rim shouldn't show signs of having hubcaps installed. Use a spray can of black paint to touch up those areas."

And don't forget the luggage protectors: "On the driver's side of the trunk, there's a pinch weld over the wheel housing," says Speegle. "Every Mustang had a little rubber strip over it to protect luggage and other stuff in the trunk. It's easy for the judges to see so they're not going to miss it. Reproductions cost around $7. Brush on a little yellow weatherstrip adhesive and cram it over the pinch weld."

Teflon tape: Judges frequently deduct points for Teflon tape on heater-hose tubes and other engine connections. "They didn't use it in the 1960s so it's incorrect for a Concours-type car," says Speegle. "White Teflon tape against a blue intake manifold stands out from 10 feet away. Cut it with a razor or brush it back with a toothbrush-do whatever you need to do to make it go away."

Shocks: "Instead of spending $800 for a set of NOS shocks, use a little creativity and semi-gloss black to paint your existing shocks," says Speegle. "That will at least get you some points. And if you don't do anything else with an aftermarket performance shock, at least peel off the decal."

Battery hold-down bolts: "If I want to go right down the line and take off one point from every car in the '67-'73 classes, I can do it for battery hold-down bolts that are too long," says Perkins. "The ones you get today, reproduction or even from Ford, are universal, so they're about 3/4-inch too long. All you've got to do is cut them off, round off the edges with a sanding block, and touch them up with phosphate. Anybody can do that and it doesn't cost a thing."

Oil filter: "At least paint it or use one of the reproduction filters," says Speegle. "Painting it block color should at least get you part of the points."

Hood and door bumpers: "It's not uncommon for first-timers to miss one or two," says Speegle. "Either they fell out or were never put back in during a restoration."