Late Model-Corral, ’79-’13 Questions - August 2013
I am trying to find out if Ford still puts "buildsheets" in their cars as they are rolling down the assembly line. I have an '05 Mustang GT convertible that I bought new and have tried to find the buildsheet. I have heard over the years that they can be anywhere in the car; you just have to be lucky to find it. Some people have said that Ford no longer uses a buildsheet and then I have talked to Ford reps and they say, yes, they still put the sheet in the car. Please tell me what the correct answer is so I can reassemble my car! Seriously though, if they no longer use a buildsheet, would you be able to tell me when they stopped it and the reasons why?
Via the Internet
Editor Farr remembered seeing buildsheets on the front of Mustangs being built at the Flat Rock assembly plant during a recent visit, so he forwarded your question to the buildsheet expert himself, Kevin Marti of Marti Auto Works (www.martiauto.com). Here's Kevin's reply:
"Ford does still use buildsheets. I have personally pulled some 2013 sheets out of the garbage cans at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant. But things are different with today's buildsheets. The buildsheets are now printed on 11x17 paper. The assembly line is like a serpentine pattern. At the beginning of each line, a printer prints the buildsheets and they are taped to the front the car. At the end of that line, they are pulled off and put in a garbage can. As the Mustang moves to the next line, another sheet for that line is printed and taped on. There are about a dozen lines (suspension, drivetrain, interior, wiring, etc.), so there are about a dozen buildsheets per car. But every one of them winds up in garbage cans at the end of their respective lines. They no longer throw them in the car."
To further comment on Kevin's findings, we know that Fox-era Mustangs usually did have at least one copy of their buildsheet on the car somewhere (we've seen them on top of the gas tank, under the carpet, and wrapped up in the dash wiring). However, we've not been able to confirm if the buildsheets stopped with the '94-'04 Mustang that were still built at the Dearborn Assembly Plant or with the switch to the '05 and up builds at Auto Alliance (now Flat Rock Assembly Plant). What do you say, readers? Have any of you '94-'04 owners found a buildsheet while working on your car?
How Many Like My Mustang?
I have a '13 Mustang GT convertible Premium. It has Equipment Group 401A with Black Charcoal leather seats and Cashmere accents. It also has an automatic transmission, black cloth top, Comfort Package, and painted 19-inch wheels. The outside color is Performance White. Most other Mustang GTs of the same year have different exterior colors and also seem to have the other interior that was available and not the accent option. Is there someone I can contact or can your magazine find out how many were made with these options? From what I have seen, in ads or at dealer lots or shows, there seem to be very few.
With '13 production now in the books (Ford has been building '14 model year Mustangs for quite a while now), you should be able to get all the pertinent details you need via Ford's buildsheet service from their customer service division. This service is offered through the Shop Ford Gear website at www.shopfordgear.com. You'll find a link to buildsheets (not to be confused with the assembly line buildsheets, per the previous reader question) and compliance letters at the top of the navigation menu on the left. A basic buildsheet will run you $17 and a deluxe version is $46. The deluxe is what you're looking for, as it offers a production breakdown typical of "this car is one of 38" (for example). This service is available for '67-'13 model year Ford cars and trucks. Each buildsheet comes printed on Ford official letterhead and is signed. The website does state that vehicles older than 1990 may take upwards of six weeks to process.
For SVT and specialty performance-based products (Cobra, Cobra R, Boss, GT 500, GT/CS, Bullitt, etc.), Ford's Performance Group also offers their Certificate of Authenticity with build info through the Ford Performance Group online store at www.fordshowparts.com. These certificates run $40-$50 depending upon the model. Ford Performance Group also offers official window sticker reprints for '07-'14 model Fords (and Lincoln/Mercury) for $25, a nice addition to your show paperwork if you didn't buy your S197 Mustang new.
Most other Mustang GTs of the same year have different exterior colors and also seem to have the other interior that was available and not the accent option.
Let us hear from you. Send your late-model Mustang questions or comments to: Late-Model Corral, c/o Mustang Monthly, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619, or email us at email@example.com.