With Project Mercury Rising closing in on the finish line, there are still a few things that we have to tidy up before the grand unveil. Our last checkpoint was lowering the car onto our assembled drive train, that way we could finish wiring up our one off gauges, addressing the remaining systems in the engine bay, and of course, building our custom exhaust.
Other than the long tube headers, our exhaust consisted of a catted mid pipe that was precisely modified to clear the transmission cross-member underneath the car.
A simple pair of chambered mufflers were welded into place along with our 5.0Resto Fox Body LX tailpipes.
Finishing touches within the engine bay included our custom cold air intake, adding fluids to any systems that needed it, air conditioning and heater hoses, and then bleeding of our SVE Cobra brake kit.
The interior was the next on our list to finish out. Now for those of you who have disassembled Fox Body interior, know that they come apart and go back together relatively quick.
The seats were back from the upholstery shop and they looked fantastic. As a matter of fact, they were one of the last items to be installed due to the custom touches and small details we had to address on the car.
Shannon built a one off tow hook and constructed a wicked custom splitter with precise support brackets that bolted to the core support. For added aesthetics and a more complete look, the splitter was wrapped in a high quality carbon fiber vinyl.
Now in order to prep the vehicle for its ASC McLaren decal treatment, Shannon gave the car a thorough cleaning to remove any potential contaminants that may have been present on the surface prior to installing the decals. Like many other original ASC pieces from Hank Huisman, Shannon faced the painstaking process of applying 35 year old vinyl.
Because of the age of the material and the extreme care needed from Shannon and Doug, the ASC McLaren striping took quite awhile to install onto the Capri.
Towards the end of the build we did encounter a SLIGHT mishap with one of the a/c hoses. Like any project, you can’t always prevent the uncertainties. So long story short, an a/c hose came loose leaving us with a messy engine bay and dinged up hood.
The mess was an easy clean up, but the hood had to go back to JR’s just days before the reveal to Uncle Ted.
While the hood was being painted, the Capri hit the road for its maiden voyage and driven for the first time in what seemed like an eternity, so that Hubbard and Shannon could log any last information to refine the custom PCM calibration.
With the calibration complete, final paint correction followed suit to bring out maximum gloss and clarity in the midnight blue metallic paintwork.
Because we were pressed for time, the hood was picked up from the paint shop and brought back to the hideout. Shannon blocked the hood to level out any orange peel and/or texture in the clear, and then Landan finished it off with a heavy compound and final finishing polish.
Now this was about 6 o’ clock the evening before the reveal. Even Landan found a moment to take a breather and let the Capri just pull him in, and really take in what was just accomplished by so many genuine people.
The hood was then reinstalled about 10 o’ clock the night before the reveal, and then the final piece to this crazy Mercury Capri puzzle, was Mr. Hank Huisman himself installing the Mercury logo into the grille.
Shannon then situated all of the special novelty items in the hatch area and even stuck Uncle Ted’s co-pilot in the center of the dash.
During the long journey of project Mercury Rising, it was kept a complete and total secret from Uncle Ted. For those of you out there that are wondering how we pulled this off, it was no easy task, trust us! So you’ll have to stick around until the next episode when we reveal the car Ted and hand over the keys to his beloved ASC McLaren Capri.
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