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Old 09/27/2006, 08:53 PM   #1
PNewitt
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"Concours". Is it for you?

I wanted to address the subject of "concours" to the owners of the GT/CS (mostly the '68 version), but, first some of my background. I bought my GT/CS back in April 1974, for $900. It had 30,000 miles, and the owners wanted to use the money to pay off their '73 Gran Torino (in South Sacramento).

I was a member of the Sierra Mustang Club, back in the late 1970's, and when I moved to San Diego in 1980, I was a member of the San Diego Mustang club, became newsletter editor, etc., did a Model A catalog, and the JBA logo.

I'll also let you in on a "secret" about my car. It's not concours. It's always had a Cougar 302, C-4 and an 8" rear end. During the gas crisis of '73, the owners took out the 390/4speed and 9". Today, my original 390 is in someone's speedboat! I joke about how it has more wax than paint on the metal. The top edge of the fenders are worn down to metal, and the driver's side was hit (probably in 1970-73), and repainted with lacquer over the original enamel, which has cracked. The side stripe was repainted, and when I bought it, it had Dodge Magnum type wheels, and a '66 A/C, and '66 console. The passenger side you see on the cover of my 1989 book is the "good side", and although it's original, it's used for photography. And, oh, I have a dent in the driver's side headlight bucket--when a van backed up into me in Berkeley in 1976.

Anyway, I wanted to address the confusion and frustration (and dissappointment) with owners about their car. If you haven't heard, I tell people: "just enjoy your car the way you want to". There are many that would rather enjoy their car the way they like to--and I applaud that completely....absolutely!!! I've been asked several times since I began the Registry in 1985 "can I get my car in the registry, if it isn't "concours"? Certainly. Absolutely!! I have said: "I want them "dead or alive" , which includes that one in a Texas junkyard, with a tree growing through it!

The Mustanger mindset--of those who show their car--is that of perfection, and going for that trophy. I've been to a lot of Mustang shows in California, and even judged a few times. I've seen a lot of things happen, and I've seen dissappointment from people that have cars that should have won, but didn't (usually from inconsistent judging, and favortism). But with that aside (a whole different discussion), there are many owners that aren't interested in taking their GT/CS to a judged show, and/or like to go to "show-n'shine" type shows with no judging, or by popular vote only. As a side note, I've only received one trophy--a long distance trophy from a show in Victoria, B.C. in 1985 (you shoulda seen the look on the Boss 302 guys faces from Washington State! LOL!)

There are quite a number of owners, that I've seen here that just like to keep their car in good shape, and drive it, and get admired in public. We all love that attention--it's very cool! Look at all the times we've seen a Corvette, or other hot car gets sidestepped by the GT/CS parked next to it.

So, here are some points I'd like to leave with you--and what I'm going for in the book:

1. YOUR GT/CS is your car. Do with it as you like. Do not feel intimidated, or slighted in the least by thinking that your car needs to be in "concours" condition.

2. IF you take your GT/CS to a show, and if you have a few "boo-boos" in the paint, or something not quite up to par--then take any criticism as a backhanded compliment. If that's all that's "wrong" with an observer, then it says that they are impressed to the point of looking for something to knock.

3. Concours car shows might seem like this, but they ARE NOT meant to be a value judgement about your car, about you, or anything that is meant to insult you as a person. I have struggled with this--seeing all kinds of cars at shows. It's like any hobby--there are always going to be people that will use what they have, to run over other folks. I can tell you all kinds of personal experiences at shows, where people think my car was modified, or told "there's no class for you, since it wasn't available nationally". I've heard it all, beleive me... There is this false "heirarchy" of classic Mustangs, and who has what. It's silly. I'd rather stand next with someone at a show eating a hot dog, than argue over the color of the fender bolts.

4. The serious concours shows, whether MCA, or SAAC, or something put on by a local "wine and cheese" car club, play hardball. This is serious business. But guess what? You have every resource available to get your GT/CS up to par--and you have things in print (and from this website) to prove as to what is what. This is why I have worked so hard to get it right for you--so "IF" you decide to go this route, you can do it right.

5. As for my own method of presentation, whether in my books, on line, or in person; my comments are meant to strictly be informative--not as a judgement call. If anyone has been offended at any time, I apologize here and now. I've never gone out of my way to criticise anyone's car. I might seem passionate about it, and my passion is driven by the many, many letters that I've received (and kept) from very good folks that love their GT/CS. I guess, like a proud father, my paternalism spills over to sounding like criticism. Here is the reason-- I want everyone in the registry to have the best car that they can. I didn't say "concours"; I said the best. If that means your own wheels, stuff hanging off the mirror, shag floor mats, pedal car in the back seat, etc...etc...as a personalized version, then that is YOUR GT/CS. If you wish to totally rebuild your GT/CS to a "perfect" museum-perfection represenation, then I'll support that, too, 110%. It's all about what really makes you happy.

So, my (long-winded-LOL) point, is that "concours" is not everything. "Concours" is not a personal value judgement, either. "Concours" is only one aspect of the hobby, and not a means to an end. I've always thought that.
........But, if you wish to go the "concours" route, I'm here to play hardball.

I am here to help you realize, and to catalyze that experience. To act as historian, registrar, motivator, and supporter of your enthusiasm. It's the personal pride, not the condition of the car that matters. It's the fun with your family at the local drive-in, with laughter in the car that matters.

I've always said that two "thumbs up" you get on the road, is the same as one car show trophy.

I'd be happy to hear from you about your thoughts...

Paul Newitt

Last edited by PNewitt; 09/27/2006 at 09:58 PM..
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Old 09/27/2006, 10:00 PM   #2
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crikey - i am not going to type as much as Paul did - but i will leaver you with this remark which i live by in all my classic cars

A Modern Drive , with Classic Pride

IE beef up the Mechanical / electricals - but don't F@#$ with the design or shape of the car.

disclaimer : this represent the views of GT Bandit inc only

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Old 09/27/2006, 11:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gt bandit

A Modern Drive , with Classic Pride

IE beef up the Mechanical / electricals - but don't F@#$ with the design or shape of the car.

disclaimer : this represent the views of GT Bandit inc only
Bandit. Completely agree. Dead on right. I also only make changes (so far) that I can reverse if needed... like if the general public finally figures out that Cal Specials are more rare that Shelbys and should be priced accordingly

BTW: Not completely clear on the vernacular but am guessing that "F@#$" is how one spells "futz" in OZ

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Old 09/27/2006, 11:59 PM   #4
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Futz - is the correct global terminology

Thanks for pointing this out - I stand corrected.

68 J/R code special - 2007 Turbo Territory - Mercedes CLK 2008
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Old 09/28/2006, 05:04 AM   #5
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Wow! Nicely put Paul.

I know concours in NOT for me. I don't have the cash or time. My CS doesn't have the stripes or fog lights or hood pins on it yet, but I still get the THUMBS UP on the street. People love Mustangs. They know these cars are different. Enjoy your CS.

I think I'll take mine for a spin tonight. AS-IS!

68 Acupulco Blue GT/CS in 10,000 pieces and parts...I hope to drive it again one day...
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Old 09/28/2006, 06:45 AM   #6
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Very well put Paul. I kinda relate your post to several conversations myself and a friend of mine have had about both his car and mine. He's had his car (68 GT 390 Coupe) now for 3 years and we have only been to a couple of show's together. I know he won't come out and say it but, he feels that if we go to a show together he can't compete with my CS. I've tried to explain to him it's not about competing with me, it's about enjoying the car and the fun we have together at the show's. The few times we have made it to a show together, people are amazed with both cars just in the fact that they are both big block mustangs. Needless to say he is finally coming out of his shell and has actually called me several times this summer to just get out and drive the cars. I guess what I'm trying to say is enjoy your car and do with it what you want. There are not that many folks out there who have these types of cars and for those of us who do we need to get them out there so folks can see them and enjoy them as much as we do.

Don

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Old 09/28/2006, 06:50 AM   #7
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I am with you 100% (except the shag floor mats - that's so 70's).

I was surprised to have MCA give me cover on Mustang Times, since my GT/CS is nice, but not concourse. I think people ARE realizing the rarity of the car, and any shape people want to drive it is appreciated.

Heck, Don put a 428 in his - how cool is that!

Casey

1968 GT/CS on cover and featured article, "Gold Rush", in Mustang Times, February 2006
1966 Convertible featured article, "Sweet '66' ", in Mustang Times, January 2008
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Old 09/28/2006, 07:06 AM   #8
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Paul N.

I agree as well. I very much enjoy showing my car. It is not concourse and I am glad that it is not. I am mostly glad that it is mine and is restored the way we like it. Therefore, I target local shows that are judged by the coolness of the car rather than the 'correctness" of the car.

Most importantly, I love to drive the car. Take everything else away and I am most happy driving the car, getting a feel for the handling and listening to the motor run.

I applaude those people who want to spend the time, effort, and money to make their car concourse. Because, in the end, that is what they want.

Good thread and i enjoyed everyone's comments!!

Paul

GT/CS sold to "PonyGal" for trip back home to California
1965 AC Cobra Replica - 390FE - Black on Black charcoal stripes - "The Black Pearl"
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Old 09/28/2006, 07:37 AM   #9
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good thread. I really admire those people who go the concours route but it is not for me. I don't have the time or the personality ( you anal types know who you are) for going into that kind of detail. I do like working on the car and absolutely love the look.
Since I won't own it if I can't drive it (a quote by my 11 year old daughter who has forbidden me from selling since it is "her car"), I have made reversible mods that make the car safer and more reliable. I have taken the CS to a couple of local shows (not entered) and most everyone usually leaves the roped show area and walks over to check it out ( I even saw the local shelby owner sneak over when he thought no one was looking).
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Old 09/28/2006, 07:51 AM   #10
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Thumbs up

Paul N.,

That's totally right-on ... I also admire the concours cars, but I also admire the resto-mods as well ... I personnally prefer for myself to not alter the appearance of the car too much, but it's okay to add a/c, front disc brakes or even hop up the motor - especially if it was available back then ...

"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain
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Old 09/28/2006, 09:32 AM   #11
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My car has some small rust spots, scratches and now a bent front bumper, and when people tell me how awesome a car it is, right away I make excuses for it not being perfect. They always tell me that it does not matter and that it is still beautiful and how much a joy it is to them to be able to observe something as rare as my GT/CS.

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Old 09/28/2006, 10:10 AM   #12
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I like the concours look to my cars BUT I also drive them. A true concours car to me is one that is "perfect" and cannot be driven. I drive my cars and enjoy driving them the way they were back in 68. My cars are pretty correct but not "perfect concours" because if they were I couldn't drive them.

Buddy of mine locally has a nice GT500 vert that is not 100% concours but is VERY nice and very correct. He goes to local shows and some larger national ones. He cannot drive his car because of value and because if he did it woul;d not be as nice for the bigger shows. He decided to build a 68 390 fastback to drive. He bought a nicely optioned car and started a body off resto. One thing led to another and now it is a concours car and he won't be able to drive it, exactly the opposite of what he wanted to do with it. We just laugh about it.

Make YOUR car the way YOU want it. Concours, restomod or just the way it is and enjoy it the way YOU want to enjoy it.

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Old 09/28/2006, 11:25 AM   #13
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Thank you for the support. I wasn't sure how my comments were going to come across.

What will be good about the book, it that it will give everyone the opportunity to know just what parts, colors, paint, tire sizes, etc., are out there.

That will give you the choice to maintain a daily driver, build a resto-mod, a "vintage performance (with Shelby parts) version, a contemporary performance version (i.e. supercharger, Global West susp., etc.) or totally concours. You will be able to decide which way to go (like those old '60s' AMT model kits: "build it stock-custom-drag")

This will also allow you to buy things as they become available at swap meets, EBAY, etc., and know that they are the right part number, color, etc.

What I'm noticing is that the enjoyment level is high with these cars, and that "Concours" may not be the ultimate goal. IF a car is totally 100% restored, it then is placed up on a pedistal. Of course, we'd probably all want our cars at that level, but money, time, and a place to do it isn't always possible, or obtainable.

Paul N.
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Old 09/28/2006, 01:06 PM   #14
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Cool

... though some nice cars are setup to be "trailer queens," I think it's so much cooler to see them on the road ... after all, Jay Leno drives many of his valuable and historical cars, and don't forget what Shelby used to say,"These cars are meant to be driven ..."

"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain
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Old 09/28/2006, 03:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustanger
... though some nice cars are setup to be "trailer queens," I think it's so much cooler to see them on the road ... after all, Jay Leno drives many of his valuable and historical cars, and don't forget what Shelby used to say,"These cars are meant to be driven ..."
I totally, totally agree, but (in general) within this discussion, I don't want to lose sight of those who have chosen to actually go the concours route. They deserve a lot of recognition for the huge effort and expense that they are taking to represent the GT/CS marque at car shows.

Did you see Jay's Olds Toronado? Talk about a rocket car. Geesch!

I agree with Carroll, too. Interesting you say that. At a SAAC convention in Portland OR., someone had a '68 Shelby with "chromed everything!" Engine, tranny, suspension--the whole works! It was beautiful, but you couldn't really run it on the track....

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