This is the saga of the
total restoration of Squire SS-100 serial #8
by Chuck & JD Blethen
The starting point for Squire SS-100 serial #8 - Bob Murray rescued #8 after
sitting for years in an open field - a real heap of junk!
Bob sold it to Paul Helmick who stripped/swapped some useable parts for another
Squire he was restoring.
Not much left of the inside.
The engine is burnt. The battery box and tool box have been cut out of the
Helmick sold it to Jim Dimond who added the rebuilt Mustang 289 engine and tossed out the burnt one.
Jim had a few medical issues and decided to not finish #8, so he decided to sell it. We bought it.
August 6, 2001
- That's how it came to be in our possession... we were looking
for a Squire that needed some TLC. This one fit the bill perfectly!
After a false start with a turkey who claimed he could build a new frame (and wasted
10 months of our time), we decided to get it to a shop where it could be taken more seriously.
So in September 2002 we took ole #8 to the Cobbler Shop in Apache Junction AZ
where Tony Cobbler began making the frame.
Starting all over. The basic metal layout of the frame at the Cobblers Shop.
First side of the Mustang II suspension finished. One to go!
The Mustang 289 motor mounts, 5-speed tranny mounts and the placement of the Ford 9" rear end are done.
The finished frame with the newly fabricated gas tank mounted.The rear shocks
were being installed at this point in time.
Basic rolling frame done! Next stop - Arizona Prototype body shop - a shop that specializes in fiberglass body work.
Carl Coleman and his son, Sean,
of Arizona Prototype begin work by squaring up and leveling the body.
There were hugh differences between the right and left sides of the body.
The really visible or noticeable differences were corrected.
Another view of the new firewall
made from a splash mold.
The dashboard lip was also widened to make mounting the dashboard easier.
The back storage shelf with 1" high
retaining wall was made so that items would not
come flying forward every time you applied the brakes. The new driveshaft tunnel is completed.
November 2004 - The Splash pan in
front of the radiator grill was cut out
and will have a metal louvered panel installed.
March 2005 - Progress on old #8
was reviewed by Chuck,
Art Stahl, and Paul Helmick at the Spring Squire SS-100 Registry rally in Scottsdale.
All new firewall, driveshaft tunnel,
and dashboard bracing for the windshield are visible.
Next stop: back to the Cobbler shop for steering wheel, brakes, brake and clutch pedals and more.
January 2006 - The master cylinder
installed and the steering wheel linkage connected.
The white box was a mockup to try to get a battery that fits the space.
Also visible is the Haywaire fusebox assembly for the wiring. In a flash of brilliance, it was decided
to install a stock 1965 Mustang copper/brass radiator instead of a custom made aluminum one.
Mustang radiator and shroud installed. Mechanical fan in place on front of engine.
Tilt-steering wheel assembly in
place (need to buy a new wooden wheel).
Wires from harness awaiting connection to dash instruments.
April 2007 - Mark Clark at SPEEDSPORTS
in Gilbert AZ now had Squire SS-100 #8.
The task was to get the engine wiring completed and all of the engine hoses connected.
And to solve the EFI plenum/master cylinder clearance problem.
May 25, 2007 - #8 Fired up! First
time in 5 years that the engine was started.
Everything working! The dual mufflers sound awesome!
New wood-grain steering wheel was a nice addition.
The hood louvers punched by Chip Quinn of Hotrod Central in Phoenix look great.
Spring 2007. The front splash pan that has been
a dirt and water catcher is now functional.
Can hardly wait to get them painted... But first the next stop was back to the Cobbler
shop to get the bracing under the fenders and running boards.
August 1, 2008 - Cobbler finished
the fender suport welding.
Art Stahl takes ole #8 into his care for drilling/fitting all the hardware,
mounting lights, and other chrome stuff.
February, 2009 - Art Stahl finishes
mounting all of the hardware.
Nice hood prop.
Paul Helmick makes
several trips over to Phoenix to assist Art
in the final wiring.
Modern dashboard incorporates a Dakota Digital instrument cluster.
there except the bumper...
ragtop frame too... It might be ready for the fall Squire 2009 rally in NC!
Art made one last trip to the chrome plating shop for the last of the hardware.
Then #8 went to Gamez Autobody & Paint shop for the final paint job.
April 2009 - Gamez Paint shop did their magic. Fire Blue Sapphire!
Look at those louvers! Now Art can reinstall all of the hardware and chrome.
July 2009 - Art is adding the final touches!
Door panels and floor pholstery
installed in Art's garage.
Next stop is Mike Valencia's upholstery shop for custom fabrication
of the ragtop and completion of the interior upholstry..
New wire wheels and tires on order from British WIre Wheels in California.
The Fire Blue Sapphire jewel of the fleet is nearly done!!!
10 PM on Tuesday, September 29th,
Ole #8 was rolled into the covered auto transport.
She arrived in downtown Marshall at 3PM on Friday, October 2nd. The driver is on the left &
Chuck is on the right getting his first peek at ole #8 in 2 years.
There she was in the belly of
the whale. Chuck climbed in and fired up the engine and backed
her out to her new home in Marshall NC.
A few more feet and she was on the ground.
On the ground... and out of gas! Had to go to the fire station across the
street for some emergency gas to drive home.
Chuck gives a "thumbs-up" and heads for the license bureau to get a license plate and tags.
It is another story about getting the tags before the office closed at 5PM!
Licensed and tagged in North Carolina as a 1972 Squire SS100, and gassed up, she carried Chuck up the mountain to his garage.
Last addition: 16" Michelin tires, Dayton wire wheels and real knock-off hubs.
June 2010 - a warm summer day in
the mountains of western North Carolina.
Ole #8 washed and photogenic. We took a few pics for Haggerty's Magazine.
At home in the mountains of Madison County.
So now we are waiting to take her out to some local car shows... and the fun goes on.
Thus ends an eight-year ordeal (2001 - 2009) of the total restoration of Squire SS100 #8.
Thank you Bob Murray for rescuing
ole #8 from the roadside ditch in a farmer's field.
Thank you Paul Helmick for not scrapping ole #8.
Thank you Jim Dimond for selecting a Mustang 289 engine for the replacement power plant.
Thank you Squire SS100 Registry members for giving us many of the improvement ideas we incorporated into #8.
Thank you Art Stahl for guiding us through all of the many difficult decisions on rebuilding #8.
Go to hell Steve Mack for wasting 10 months of my time and cheating me out of $1500.
Thank you Tony Cobbler at the Cobbler Shop for all of the fine welding you did on the frame, steering, suspension & exhaust system.
Thank you Brian Blethen for working for so long with Skreenz to help pay for the restoration work.
Thank you Carl and Sean Coleman at Arizona Prototype for the excellent fiberglass body restoration.
Thank you Chip Quinn of Hot Rod Central Louvers for the nice hood louvers that you punched in the metal hood side panels.
Thank you Mark Clark of Speedsports for the wiring/assembly of the engine, start-up and final tuning of the Mustang 289 EFI.
Thank you Paul Helmick for flying over to Phoenix several times to assist Art with Ole #8.
Thank you Carlos Gamez of Gamez Autobody & Paint for an excellent paint job.
Thank you Mike Valencia for your excellent upholstry and convertible top fabrication work.
Thank you Art Stahl for the many hours of assembly/disassembly and chasing down parts during the eight-year process.
Thank you Barrett Moving & Storage for arranging for the delivery of my Squire in a pristine condition to Marshall NC.
Thank you Mary Ponder for patiently working through the NCMVD bureacracy to get license plates/tags issued for my Squire.
Thank you Metco for dealing with an impossible front-end alignment and getting a set of used wheels on Ole #8 in time for the Squire SS100 Registry rally in Marshall NC.
Thank you Mark Offenberg for the wire hub caps and paper spinners we used to dress up Ole #8 for the October 2009 rally in Marshall NC.
As for Mark Gouker at British Wire Wheels (BWW) in Fresno, CA... I never dealt with a nicer, totally incompetent person. (I originally ordered my lead hammer, spline adapters, knock-off spinners and wire wheels on June 3, 2009. Four times he shipped me the wrong wire wheels. The 5th set finally came on November 20, 2009. They would have been wrong too if I hadn't made a detailed drawing of the spline adapter and sent it directly to Dayton Wire Wheel (DWW) to confirm that what BWW had ordered for Ole #8 would fit the spline adapters. BWW had ordered another wrong set of wheels! The DWW National Sales Manager changed the order so I would get the correct wheels after seeing the drawing.)
Thank you Metco for stamping the frame with the VIN so the NC title could be issued.