Restomod News
By Ron Bramlett
November, 2008

Norcal VMF Members Visit Mustangs Plus

On Saturday, September 20th, 28 members of the Vintage Mustang Forum (VMF) from all over Northern California gathered at Mustangs Plus for a BBQ and tour of our facilities. Cindy did a wonderful job of planning and setting up the BBQ. I just did what I was told, put this table here and that table there, etc.. As usual, when Cindy does the planning, everything worked out just fi ne. The tour included all of Mustangs Plus from the show room to the shipping department and warehouse, the advertising department, and even some of our Restomod projects that are in progress. This included a look at many vintage Mustangs, most of which are '65 to '68 fastbacks, we have set aside in a warehouse for future use.

VMF members having lunch in the the Mustangs Plus office area. In all, 28 Norcal VMF members came and took the tour on Saturday, September 20th. Another tour is in the works for next spring.
The tour also included The Restomod Shop which started in The Restomod Shop showroom where there are several completed Mustangs for potential customers to see. From there, it was on to the fabrication shop, where Mustangs missing quarter panels, floors, tail light panels, shock towers and much more are a very common sight. I could tell the VMF members really loved this part of the tour as they inspected every stripped body shell and asked about the project. From there, the tour continued into the paint shop where there are two paint booths with a mixing room in-between. This allows us to paint the body of the car in one booth and the fenders, hoods, trunk lids and all of the other attaching parts in the other booth with the same batch of paint. Then, it was on to the installation shop where the Restomod Shop has several cool projects painted and under construction. This includes Project Reclaim, the 1966 Mustang Fastback that is being followed from wreck to Restomod in Mustang Monthly Magazine.

I learned that many of the VMF members have been following Project Reclaim in Mustang Monthly. In a nutshell, Project Reclaim is a "T" code 6 cylinder Mustang Fastback that was wrecked (totaled) in the mid 1980's and has been "reclaimed" from the Mustangs Plus wrecking yard where it has sat for the past 21 years. Yes, 21 years! It will be nice to get it back on the road after all that time. There was also Dan Collins' 1969 G.T.350 which The Restomod Shop is restoring and VMF member Jeff Speegle is overseeing as a very correct concours restoration. Boy, did the VMF members have a lot of questions about this one! When it's completed, this is going to be a beautiful G.T.350 that will be a Gold winner at all of the MCA shows it goes to. So much for thinking that The Restomod Shop is just for building Restomods, right? This is actually the second Shelby restoration we've done in the past couple of years and there have been other Mustangs that our customers have wanted restored back to original. The VMF members saw this first hand as there was a completed 1968 coupe with a "color of the month" special paint code ready to be delivered back to it's owner.

It was a full day. The first VMF member arrived right at 10:30 in the morning and the last VMF member left just before 4:00 PM. Many of the VMF members had never met any of the others face to face which also made the day special for them. At the days' end, everyone said that they had a really good time and had smiles on their faces as they left. From my perspective, it was very nice to meet so many enthusiast that have such an interest in the Mustang. I could tell that these were people who truly loved their car(s) and I hope they enjoyed being here as much as Cindy and I enjoyed having them! A special thanks goes out to Stan Eddington for organizing the event. Stan asked me about a tour several months before and then got the word out to the others about the when and where. We're planning another VMF tour in the spring so if you're a VMF member and missed this one, be sure to plan to attend next year.

Want To Have Your Own Mustangs Plus and Restomod Shop Tour?

Would your club or organization like to schedule a tour of Mustangs Plus and The Restomod Shop? Or, maybe you'll be visiting from out of our area and want to stop by with your friends or family. If you would like a tour of our facilities, just contact me, Ron Bramlett, at (209) 444-8031 and we'll set up a date and time. It can be during the week or on weekends, whatever best suits your needs. See you here!

MCA Will Have Southern California Show

"You won't want to miss this MCA show!" is what Craig Cunningham, the President of the Mustang Owners Club of California is telling every Mustang owner he sees! And with good cause. This will be the first MCA Regional Mustang Show in the Southern California area in 20+ years and is sure to be everything it's advertised to be! The MCA Western United States National Mustang Show will take place from August 27th to 30th, 2009 in San Fernando Valley, California. See the show registration form and Event Schedule which is included in this issue of Restomod Magazine.

Cindy and I have been members of the Mustang Owners Club of California for several years and, even though they are almost 400 miles away from our home in Northern California, we've attended many MOCC events. This includes a trip to John Force's race shop in Yorba Linda, California, a Sunday Brunch on a boat on one of the many lakes in the L.A. area (it could have been a dinner cruise... I just remember I had a great time and it was on a boat and on the water!), and stuffing goodie bags at the Fabulous Fords Forever show at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Vista, California. There's always something going on with the MOCC and with Craig Cunningham as the spark plug for the club, there's never a dull moment!

Be sure to look over the flyer that we've included in this months Restomod Magazine and save the dates, August 27th to August 30th, 2009 for the MCA Western United States National Show here in Southern California. Also, it would be a good idea to make hotel reservations as soon as you possibly can! I have no doubt that this is going to be a great show that you won't want to miss!

Jim and Barbara Smart Welcome Addition

I got the news in an e-mail after Cindy and I returned home from the MCA Show in Park City, Utah. Our good friends, Jim and Barbara Smart, had just become new parents! Their son, Jacob Edward Smart, had been born on August 20th, 2008 and Jim and Barbara had brought him home from the hospital a few days later. Congratulations, Smart family! That's an excellent reason for why we missed you in Utah!

If you're a Mustang hobbyist, no doubt you've seen Jim Smart's work and know his name. For those of you who are wondering, Jim has photographed Mustangs and written articles for just about every major Mustang publication for many, many years. I first met Jim in 1984 while he was the editor of Mustang Monthly Magazine and we've been extremely good friends ever since. Jim is now a Senior Editor with Source Interlink, the publishing company that owns many of the Mustang titles including Mustang Monthly and Modified Mustangs and Fords Magazines that Mustangs Plus advertises in. There's no doubt we'll be seeing Jim's photography and reading his articles for many years to come!

Jim and Barbara have been very happily married for the past 9 years. The one thing missing from their lives, which they both wanted very badly, was the pitter patter of little feet around the house. With the arrival of Jacob, that dream has now been fulfilled. Knowing Jim and Barbara as well Cindy and I do, we know that Jacob could not have parents who would want him more, and will love him more, than Jim and Barbara will. All three of them are very lucky to have each other and we know you will all join us in wishing the very best for the Smart family in the years to come!

2009 Mustang Lover's Cruise Cancelled

Joe Babaisz, the organizer of the 2009 Mustang Lover's Cruise, sent the following e-mail dated August 26th, 2008 telling of the cancelling of the event. Knowing Joe, and knowing how much pride and passion he puts into each event, I know this was a hard decision for him to make. Here's the main part of his e-mail:

"To all of those who booked the 2009 Mustang Lovers Cruise,

I am saddened that I have to send this email. It is with much regret that Catch A Wave Productions must cancel the 2nd Annual Mustang Lovers Cruise for 2009. For some of us, the upcoming cruise would have offered a chance to get together with a great group of Mustang enthusiasts again in a relaxing setting. I was looking forward to seeing all of you again, along with meeting many new enthusiasts for the first time. When I first negotiated with RCCL in February, to bring the group onboard, little did I know what was on the horizon for the economy. Early on, cabin sales started strong but with increasing fuel prices, lost jobs, a declining stock market, airfares that have skyrocketed and with many Americans feeling the pinch of recession, the sales started to slow, then eventually stopped.

I take full responsibility for the failure of getting sufficient people signed up for the 2009 cruise. Every method to market the cruise has been tried, including marketing in 4 Mustang magazines, doing personal appearances at Mustang clubs, handing out flyers at a recent national Mustang event in Ohio and getting high Internet exposure with the help of John Clor. While the 2009 cruise had twice as much print ad and Internet visibility, as our first cruise, it became clear that the economy has put many people in a money pinch. I am truly sorry for the failure of this event.

I want to personally thank Larry Jewett of the Mustang Enthusiast Magazine, the entire staff of the MCA, Ron Bramlett, owner of Mustangs Plus, John Clor of the Ford Performance Team, Steve McCarley and many others for their relentless work in trying to get the word out this event. In addition, AAA Michigan, and particularly our travel expert Jennifer Pelini, have been a blessing from the booking side of the cruise. Jennifer has worked tirelessly to make this cruise a success."

There is more of the e-mail but this is the only part that needs to be here. Cindy and I are very disappointed that this event has been cancelled but we understand that the uncertain times we are facing are causing all of us to look at how we spend our money more closely. Joe had several people, including Cindy and myself, signed up for the cruise. (We always try to be the early birds so we can get it on our calendar. Our schedule is always full so we have to plan ahead!) However, Joe needed about twice the amount to be signed up by August than he had. Personally, I believe that many people were putting off making reservations to go until it got closer to the deadline in November. We see it with every show. We always get more entries the last week before the deadline than at any other time. And, I do know of people who were planning to go but were putting off making their reservations until it was closer to the November deadline. But, for Joe to wait for these people, he would have had to personally guarantee that the rooms would be paid for and you certainly can not expect him to take on that type of financial responsibility. So, canceling the cruise was the only option open to him.

Cindy and I only hope that Joe will put together another Mustang Lover's Cruise in the future. We had such a good time and met such wonderful people on this years. The key is to make those reservations early! That way, the event will move forward and we'll all get to go! Be sure to save the website, in your Favorites and check it out from time to time. You won't want to miss out on the next Mustang Lover's Cruise!

Mustang 45th Anniversary Show Set

Cindy and I are really looking forward to the Mustang 45th Anniversary Show that will be held in Birmingham, Alabama on April 16th through the 19th, 2009. How are we getting there, you ask? Glad you asked! Cindy and I are signed up with Sam Haymart and his group, Mustangs Across America, to drive back to Birmingham for the show. This will be a 6 day drive for us. It's 525 miles to Las Vegas from our home so we will have a full day of driving to get to Las Vegas which is where the MAA event officially starts. Then, it's a 5 day trip back to Birmingham with overnight stops in Holbrock, Arizona, Santa Rosa, New Mexico, Mustang, Oklahoma, Bossier City, Louisiana and finally on to Birmingham. All of the information, including a map that shows all the stops, is right there, easy to see, on the homepage of the MAA website. To date, MAA has 311 cars registered and by the time you read this, there will be many more. This will be a terrific driving experience to say the least.

When you go to the MCA website homepage, this is what you'll see. To access the 45th Anniversary Celerbration website, just click on the logo at the right bottom of the screen. Or, go into the MCA's website and look around. Be sure to join if you're not a member!
Once we're in Birmingham, the Mustang Club of America has the next 4 days packed with excitement which will include a "Cruise In" which is expected to draw over 2,000 Mustangs and thousands of participants for a one night street party, dinners and events with specials guest, open track action for those who want to drive on the beautiful Barber track, a vintage Mustang race, an actual Mustang Miller Cup Series race, and much more. One of the big hits for the MCA 30th, which was held there in 2006, was the "Parade Laps" in which people could take their cars, street cars and show cars, out on the track and drive them at 60 m.p.h.. I'm sure they will probably work in some parade laps at some point during the event. Oh, and let's not forget about the show itself! Thousands of beautiful Mustangs from all over the world sitting there for you to run your eyes over and dream about! Yes, thousands of Mustangs! This event will be a Mustang Lover's dream and you won't want to miss it! So start planning to attend now!

You'll read more about the 45th as April, 2009 gets closer. Also, go to the MCA website at and click onto the 45th Anniversary Logo on the right hand side at the bottom of the MCA homepage. Hopefully, Cindy and I will see you there!


Until Next Time,
Happy Restomod'n!
               -Ron Bramlett