We can all thank Kevin Marti's mom for an "accident" that sent her son down the path to obtaining Ford's '67-and-later production data and providing us with the Marti Reports. Those coveted sheets of paper tell us if a special Mustang is real or fake, how many were made, what options were on the car when it was built, and a myriad of other facts and figures. Today, the term "Marti Report" has become part of the Mustang vocabulary. You see them displayed in show-car windows, and buyers of high-dollar Mustangs use them to document a potential buy before putting down a deposit. You even hear about them during Speed's coverage of the Barrett-Jackson auction.
Beyond documenting Mustangs (and other Fords-Kevin's database includes all '67-'79 Fords, with '80-'98 coming soon), Kevin's data and programming provides fascinating production numbers, not only for specific models but also for options. Want to know how many '70 Mustangs came with a tach? Kevin can type it into his computer and it will spit out the numbers. Weird color combinations? Yes, Ford built a few yellow cars with blue interiors.
The information within Kevin's database includes every Mustang built from 1967 through 1979. He has been able to confirm the VINs of many important Mustangs, including the pair of '68 fastbacks that were used in the movie Bullitt and the hardtops that became Shelby's Trans-Am race cars in 1967. In fact, Barrett-Jackson has contacted Kevin about producing a special report to document Fords sold at the auctions, a move to avoid the rare but embarrassing situation when a consigner tries to sell a fake car.
The info has also unraveled mysteries. When a customer requested a Marti Report for an early production '71 fastback, Kevin not only discovered that it was the only '71 Boss 302 ever built ("The Last Boss," Feb. '08, p. 32), he also found information about other '71 Boss 302s that were scheduled but never built.
As Kevin points out in the following interview, Ford's production database didn't just fall into his laptop. Several factors came together to make it all work. Otherwise, the information would still be buried at Ford.
Always fascinated by numbers, Kevin's engineering background provided the computer knowledge to create programs for translating and analyzing the data. Through Marti Auto Works, his company that produces replacement dataplates and reproduction items, Kevin had a working relationship with people at Ford, and more importantly, with Ford licensing. He was also fortunate to have a relationship with Lois Eminger, the retired Ford employee who sold copies of original Ford invoices for many years. In fact, Kevin ended up purchasing the invoices from Lois and plans to resume offering copies as part of his services in the future.
Kevin is the stereotypical numbers guy. He still has every car he has ever owned. He collects stamping machines and vintage Ford technical analyzing equipment. He even admits that he tried to lean to the right side of his brain by learning how to play piano but gave up because if he made a mistake he couldn't just go back and fix it, he had to start all over again from the beginning.
Because of all this, Kevin is the right guy doing the right thing for Mustang owners. "I have so much fun coming in here every day," he admits. "Sometimes I just play games. I'll think, If I could've ordered a car back then, how would I have ordered it? For example, I'll program the computer to say I would've wanted a yellow Boss 302 with intermittent wipers. Then I see if they built any. Well, yeah, that car exists out there somewhere. Someday maybe I'll come across it."