Saturday, January 9, 2010
A VISIT WITH MERCURY CHARLIE
his shop in North Austin. We covered a lot of ground as Charlie and I always do. It started with the new Mercury Charlie Mercury shift knobs which we will be carrying on our HotRodshiftknob.com site. And before long, the conversation came around to T's. Charlie revealed that he's going to build another T for this year's Lone Star Round Up. He shared a few details and let's just say if he does half the stuff he talked about, it's going to be badass. He also talked about his intention to offer a line of custom-built perimeter frames specifically for T's using the stance of his old T as the starting point, which had a 13" kickup in back and a 3" Z at the firewall. I'm strongly considering having Charlie build my T's frame since it was his T that started me down the path to owning one and Marty is not too keen on T's. We talked about rear suspension and Charlie's preference is to use traverse springs, as he found the coils on his old T to be less than ideal after trying several different shock/coil combos on his old car. I shared my plan to used my 425 nailhead, Turbo 400 and 12-bolt rear in my T and the only part Charlie questioned was using a 12-bolt, explaining that the Ford 9" is not only much stronger than a 12-bolt, but far easier and less expensive to repair in the unlikely event that it ever needs repair. His final point was that a 9" can be built to exact specs, as in width and gear ratio -- with all new parts-- for a relatively affordable price. And lastly, he mentioned that he can get good prices through his supplier, John's Industries. As usual, I enjoyed the hell out of our visit and Charlie's willingness to share his POV. A really good day, filled with good company and valuable information.