September 1, 2007

About the SpareI recently completed the restoration of a '69 Mach 1 with a 351 Windsor four-barrel engine and 62,000 original miles. My grandfather bought the car new in December 1969. It came from the factory with E70x14 Uniroyal Tiger Paw tires with white sidewalls. We had to purchase Firestone Wide Ovals as replacements because there are no Uniroyal reproductions.

My question concerns the original spare, which is still in the trunk. The Mustang Club of America rulebook states that all five tires must match by brand and size. Do I need to buy a fifth reproduction Firestone for the spare?

My other question is about the felt pad on the spare's chrome wheel. My car doesn't have one, and although I haven't owned it since new, it's been in the family and I don't think it came with the pad. Should it have a pad on the wheel in the trunk?Ken StinaJoliet, IL

Although the MCA rules state the tire in the trunk should match the four on the ground, I wouldn't remove the original spare. Most judges will accept your original spare as concours correct. The rule wasn't meant to force owners to discard their original spare, but instead to provide for a matched set of replacement tires when cars are restored. You may run into a judge who interprets the rule book without exception, but that should be a rare occurrence and I would rather take a one-point deduction than remove an original spare.

I believe your Mach 1 should've come with the pad on the spare tire's wheel. The jacking instructions in the trunk even show the pad. I've seen them on many cars with original spares, including the one in the photo, so I know most, if not all, had them originally. I would try to locate an original to go with your spare. The reproductions aren't very accurate and would look out of place with your original tire and wheel.

In The DetailsI know you've discussed the correct finishes on the low-gloss black parts on Boss 302s in the past, but I have a small detail question that I haven't seen asked before. On the '70 rear-deck spoiler, what's the correct finish for the support brackets on the underside of the decklid? The spoiler studs and nuts attach to it. Should the brackets be low-gloss black or low-gloss textured black like the spoiler?Rick JonesNashville, TN

Great question: Attention to detail is what restoration is all about.

The spoiler mounting brackets on the bottom of the decklid should be finished in low-gloss black without texture. The studs are zinc dichromate (gold) and the nuts are finished in phosphate and oil. The rubber vacuum cups on the studs are Ford PN C9AZ-9C492-C.

All of the above mentioned hardware is available from AMK Products, 800 Airport Rd., Winchester, VA 22602; 540/662-7820.

Ford vs. Repro FendersI need to purchase new fenders for my '65 Mustang hardtop. I want the fenders made from Ford tooling because I understand they have the same metal thickness as the originals and fit better. My local Mustang parts supplier recommends the reproduction fenders, saying they're a better fit for my reproduction doors. Are the Ford tooling fenders heavier gauge than reproduction? What's the consensus on fit quality versus reproduction?Pat ColemanBrooks, KY

For concours restorations, I recommend genuine Ford parts when possible as the reproduction fenders aren't the same quality. If your reproduction doors don't fit the Ford fenders, the doors are likely the problem.

There's a lot of truth in Ford's original slogan: Genuine Ford parts are "made right, fit right, and last longer." Just ask any bodyman and he'll agree.

By the way, the Daniel Carpenter fenders made from Ford's tooling are excellent. They even have dates codes in the flange.

Reproduction TiresI recently attended a concours show with my recently '70 Boss 302. The car has all smog and period-correct reproduction parts, including a set of Fire-stone F60x15 Wide Oval tires from a well-known parts supplier. Several people at the show commented that '70 Boss 302s never came with Firestone tires, only Goodyears. Our Boss was built on September 20, 1969. What's your opinion?Bob OlsonSan Diego, CA

The only F60x15 tire available for your Boss 302 when it was built was the Goodyear Polyglas GT.

Two sidewall designs were used. The first is often referred to as "no-size" tires because the tire size wasn't in raised white letters. In late November 1969, "F60x15" was added in raised white letters. With your Boss 302's build date, it would've come with the Goodyear F60x15 "no-size" tires.

The first Firestone F60x15 Wide Ovals were used in the fall of 1970 on the Boss 351 Mustangs. During the '71 model year, Ford used Goodyear and Firestone F60s on the Boss 351 and other Mustangs with the optional 15x7 wheels.