Mustang Club Of America's Tips To The Winner's Circle - How To Win!
Go For The Gold With These Tips From The Mustang Club Of America's Top Judges
Tires: This is definitely a Perkins' pet peeve: "We allow reproduction tires, but owners should at least put the correct ones on their cars. You get two points for the correct size, two points for correct type (belted, etc.), and two points for the correct brand. I see a lot of Firestone white-letter Wide-Ovals on '69-'70 Mustangs, mainly Bosses, but Ford didn't start using them until 1971."
Pinch-welds:"Underneath the body, along the bottom edge from the front wheelwell to the rear valance, the pinch-welds are supposed to be painted black," says Speegle. "Just use a can of black spray paint and be careful where the overspray goes."
Firewalls: "Most of the time, cars don't have any or enough sealant on the firewalls," says Speegle. "Every opening, screw, and bolt that comes through the firewall should have some sealant. Most restorers are using 3M rubberized black undercoating. From the factory, it was a connect-the-dots thing, like they never shut the gun off as they went from one spot to another. What I find is that most owners can't bring themselves to do it because it looks so ugly. Sometime you have to build it up to make it look real."
Perkins also points out that the black firewall paint is typically too flat or too glossy. "The MCA rules are really lenient on the firewall," he says. "Some owners hate to put the sealer back on there after they've scrapped off all the old stuff. But if they give it a little blast in one area, that's usually enough to prevent a one-point deduction."
Weatherstrip adhesive: Perkins notes that a recent Mustang Monthly article suggested using black weatherstrip adhesive. "You can use black if you want to be incorrect for concours," he says. "Black is okay for a driver but yellow is factory correct."
Brake booster and master cylinder: "Paint them all black," says Speegle. "Use tin foil to block the overspray and just black everything out-master cylinder, booster, cap, and retainer on top. We've been letting people get away with natural caps because we're nice guys but we've known that's been wrong for years."
Antennas: Perkins says that one of the most controversial areas on concours cars is the antenna, mainly because they were supplied in the trunk and installed during pre-delivery prep by dealers, who sometimes got Mustang antennas mixed up with masts from other car lines. "Even though the original antenna may be on the car, just because the dealer installed it doesn't mean it's a Mustang antenna. It could be for a Galaxie. So if it's an Unrestored car, I wouldn't take off for it."
Fastener finishes: The MCA has always allowed natural-color paint, like cast black, for fasteners. But that may change for 2011 in the Concours classes. "We've proposed that we're not going to allow natural paint for fasteners and parts that originally had a natural finish," says Perkins. "If the hinges were phosphate and oil, then they need to be phosphate and oil. Clear cadmium fender bolts should be clear cadmium. You can buy most of the hardware with the correct finish from AMK, and anybody can do phosphate and oil at home if they want to. We're just trying to raise the standard."
Don't Forget the Decal
There's one easy point that many MCA show competitors overlook. As Shorty Brown points out, you get a point just for having the MCA membership decal on your windshield.