The focus of Driveway’s recent four-part collector car restoration series was unveiled this week at 360 Fabrication in Abbotsford earlier this week.

The 1967 Ford Mustang T5, owned by public relations executive Laura Ballance, will take pride of place first at an exclusive preview for the second annual Vancouver Collector Car Show & Auction. Then it will go on public display at this weekend’s event at the PNE Fairgrounds, where more than 600 vintage vehicles will be on display and nearly 150 classic rides will go on Maynard’s auction block.

Some other show highlights: a bright ‘A&W orange’ 1966 Plymouth Satellite will be auctioned off with no fees, no reserve, and 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the MS Society of Canada. The duPont Registry is bringing eight ultra-rare vehicles from across the Lower Mainland for the first ever duPont Series – including J.D. Rockefeller’s Lincoln Town Car Limo. The Vancity Stunters will be performing motorcycle stunts and Barracuda, the Heart tribute band, will be rock out on Saturday night.

Contact: keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca


Vancouver Collector Car Show & Auction

DATES/TIMES: June 21, 10:00AM-9:00PM; June 22, 10:00AM-5:00PM

LOCATION: PNE Fairgrounds

TICKETS: Single Day Admission – $15

Weekend Admission – $25

Children 13 years and under  – Free

Bidder’s Pass : $50.00 (includes a bidder’s paddle, weekend and guest pass, colour catalogue, VIP seating, two drink tickets, and an invitation for you and a guest to the opening preview event sponsored by 360 Fabrication and hosted By Steve Magnante)

For more information, visit

Our classic and collector car expert continues today with the final part of his four-part series on the restoration of public relations executive Laura Ballance’s rare 1967 Ford Mustang T5 by 360 Fabrication in Abbotsford…

The restoration story of Laura Ballance’s Mustang T5 has been an interesting to follow and one that is not typical of this kind of project.

Before I get carried away telling you what a T5 actually is, I have to report that with the help of the team at 360 Fabrication, suppliers White and Peters, BASF paint and the 200 plus hours of paint preparation, application, wet sanding and polishing by master painter Darren Emmerson, the car is finished!

And here is the best part, it’s on time and under budget, almost unheard of in days gone by, let alone today.

So what is so special about a T5 Mustang?

The Ford Mustang could not be sold in Germany as a ‘Mustang’ because a truck manufacturer there and later a motorcycle manufacturer owned the trademarked name. Both manufacturers offered to sell the rights to Ford for $10,000 each but Ford declined and decided the solution would be to use the initial Mustang project name T5 as the solution. With all of the changes required, they should have probably paid the $10,000. With there being so many U.S. armed forces bases in Germany, export models were highly sought after.

Laura had no idea how rare her car was until she decided to embark on this project and began doing her research.

The T5 registry has informed Laura that of the 453 Mustang Hardtop T5s built in 1967, hers is one of the few examples ordered with a vinyl roof, which is listed as an option in the V.I.N tag. There are only two T5s known to exist in Canada, hers and one in Ontario and only 45 have survived in various states of condition worldwide.

It is going to be a busy summer for Laura, her two daughters and the Mustang. I suspect her father, never in his wildest dreams would have thought the car would end up as a show car let alone become a family affair involving three generations of his family. The T5 will debut at the Vancouver Classic Car Show and Auction at the PNE on June 21 and 22. A picture of it at it’s gleaming best in next week’s Driveway preview of that show. Then it will head south in July to the Mustang Roundup in Bellevue, Washington, the world’s largest Mustang meet. The car is entered in the Concours restoration class and should place well.

Because this is the 50th anniversary of the Mustang the invitations are pouring in, the most recent one from an event in North Carolina, Laura still has a day job so unfortunately will miss that one.  She will finish the summer off at the Luxury SuperCar weekend at VanDusen Gardens in September. The car will be viewed at least 30 or 31 times in a month, gracing the walls of garages and repair shops all over North America featured in a 2015 Ford calendar.

This concludes a restoration project with a happy conclusion.

*Nigel Matthews is the director of sales and marketing for Hagerty Insurance Canada.

Contact: nmatthews [at] hagerty [dot] com


Your classic car could ‘Going once, going twice, sold!’

The 2014 Vancouver Collector Car Show & Auction, presented by the Dueck Auto Group, is now accepting consignment applications for those looking to sell their cars.

New to this year’s event, which takes take place June 21-22, at the PNE Fairgrounds, is an auction preview, open only to the auction’s registered bidders and consigners. This event will allow sellers to show off their vehicles and mingle with the bidders before the auction.

If you have an awesome car that you want to show off but don’t want to sell, they too can be displayed at the show for free. For more information on displaying or consigning your car, visit

Our classic and collector car expert continues today with the third part of his four-part series on the restoration of public relations executive Laura Ballance’s rare 1967 Ford Mustang T5 by 360 Fabrication in Abbotsford…

The Mustang T5 body shell has been painted, clear coated, wet-sanded, re-cleared and finally polished to a show quality finish.

Now comes the fun part of a restoration, the reassembly, opening boxes and fitting all of those new parts. This is as close as you can get to being a car factory assembly line worker except you are doing every task instead of just one, and you have all the time that is needed and not having to work to the speed of a moving production line.

One of the upgrades that the T5 will receive is a new product designed to dampen and suppress the driveline and road noise, making the inner cabin as quiet as possible and a bit like a modern car. The foil covered pads have a peel off backing and are adhered to every inner sheet metal panel such as the roof, floor, doors and bulkhead. The next step is to install the new wiring harness; old wiring harnesses become brittle over time due to heat and corrosion at the joints and terminals, ask the owner of any British Sports Car from that era!

The interior has been completely renewed from top to bottom staring with the headliner, trim panels, carpets, dash pads and the seats have all been reupholstered.

Before the new back glass and windshield are installed (all of the other glass panels have been replaced) the new vinyl top is installed. Installing a vinyl roof is not a task that is performed very often these days but 360 have the skills to do this in-house.

LKQ stocks a huge selection of high quality muscle car sheet metal and parts. “If you are doing a premium muscle car restoration the only sheet metal you want to use is from LKQ,” asserted Rick Francoeur at 360.

The exterior panels will soon have their final fitting. They have been fitted and removed during the restoration process countless times to make sure that the panel gaps are correct. The final fitting process will involve two or three people to make sure that the paint does not get chipped or damaged.

Before the original V-8 engine was removed from the car it underwent a compression check, all of the cylinders had equal and strong readings so a complete re-build was not necessary. The carburetor has been replaced with a new two-barrel, the automatic transmission has been completely re-built as has the rear axle.

Rick talked Laura out of fitting a modern rack and pinion power steering kit or even upgrading the manual steering box to a power-assisted unit so it will be reliving the Armstrong steering experience for Laura when parking at low speeds!

One safety upgrade is the installation of original Ford front disc-brakes; these are a must in today’s traffic. Collector vehicle drivers are very cautious, invariably when accidents occur it is the drivers around you that are not paying attention or cutting you off.

360 have done their research and paid a lot of attention to detail during this rebuild, right down to avoiding the temptation of installing an exhaust system with two tailpipes.

Next week, we will explore what exactly a T5 is? How rare they are and explore some of the events that Laura and her brand new old car car will be attending in this 50th anniversary year of the Ford Mustang.

*Nigel Matthews is the director of sales and marketing for Hagerty Insurance Canada.

Contact: nmatthews [at] hagerty [dot] com

Our classic and collector car expert continues today with the second part of his four-part series on the restoration of public relations executive Laura Ballance’s rare 1967 Ford Mustang T5 by 360 Fabrication in Abbotsford…

The restoration business has changed a great deal – in the past, most auto body repair shops would only take on such work when their collision work dried up.

Now, it’s very specialist work and I’m often asked if I could recommend a restoration shop. To be honest with you, I would be hard pressed to come up with enough names to fill the fingers of one hand.

But I have no hesitation in saying that I doubt there is one in the entire country that restores and builds as many custom cars as 360 Fabrication, in Abbotsford. They control the costs and track the daily progress by using a number of management systems and a Gantt chart.

The secret to controlling the work is to perform all of the tasks in-house with perhaps the exception of chrome plating.  During my time in the trade, costs kept mounting up and either the customer or the technician, who worked on a flat rate (piecework) basis, was short changed resulting in ill feelings between the shop owner, his staff and the customer mainly caused by the lack of communication and too many assumptions!

Laura Ballance’s original plan was to have a sympathetic restoration performed, replacing only what was necessary. But cars are no different from houses, boats and planes, so when the Mustang was disassembled and stripped they discovered that probably the only thing holding the car together was Laura’s father’s DIY welding!

The Mustang is a relatively easy car to restore in terms of obtaining new parts. In this case, by the time the air chisel and plasma cutter was put away the only major sheet metal components left was the roof, “A” pillars, rocker-panels, bulkhead and the two front frame rails and the rear section of the floor. I have heard the expression “better than new” a few times over the years and have often wondered how can it be better than new? But it can.

Today’s  restorations have improved with the help of new technology such as compression fit welding equipment, seam sealers and paint products including epoxy primers, spray on polyester fillers and the waterborne color coats with a clear coat finish. These products are far superior to anything that came off the production line during the ‘60s.

Rick Francoeur and his team at 360 always allow the customer to be in control and understand customer needs and expectations, even down to the smallest sentimental detail. However, sometimes they have to advise the client for their own benefit, sometimes financial, safety related or future re-sale value. Laura wanted the Mustang refinished it its metallic blue, all the rage during the ‘60s and the car she remembers. But if the car is to retain its value and to represent how it came off the production line as a rare T5, it had to be painted its original Ford Paint Code Z, an interesting colour called Sauterne Gold Irid. This colour combined with a black interior and vinyl roof will make the car a real eye catcher.

Next week, we will look into the mechanical component restoration and exterior trim replacement.

*Nigel Matthews is the director of sales and marketing for Hagerty Insurance Canada. nmatthews [at] hagerty [dot] com

By age four, Laura Ballance already knew what a Ford Mustang was and, as she approached 16, she wanted to own and drive one… (more…)

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