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A Man and His Mustang

Image 22 May 2017 11-26-28.jpg
ite.jpg Posted by: Rami Harvonen on May 22 2017
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Rami Harvonen is not only a logistics coordinator at Suominen, but he’s also a secret Mustang enthusiast!

The Mustang is one of the original muscle cars. First manufactured by Ford in the 1960s, the vehicle is one of the most popular ever build with owners associations and clubs dedicated to it dotted all over the world.

We decided to chat with Rami about his passion and the process of restoring retro cars like the Mustang…

How long have you been restoring Mustangs?
I’ve been restoring them since the 1980s.

That’s not to mention the sense of community. The Mustang is a really popular car, there are a lot of people invested in it, and it’s great for making friends. My wife and daughter used to own Mustangs at some point too, so there is a family link! 

What set you off on the road to doing this as a hobby?
I’ve always liked old Fords but I have a soft spot for the Mustang. They look great! It’s such an appealing car.

So, what does it take to restore a Mustang?
There are four steps to restoring any car, not just a Ford Mustang.

First of all you need to do what I call the “base”. This includes items that have an impact on the driveability of the vehicle, so the axles and brakes and other parts of the chassis. After that it’s time to tinker with the engine. If you’re a purist you could focus on trying to source original parts but improvements in technology mean that some more modern elements can be used.

Making the vehicle look nice is just as important for an enthusiast as making it run properly. Once all the mechanical work is done we focus on giving the interior a thorough clean and then finally we get to work on bodywork of the car.

It sounds simple but believe me, the process is pretty complicated!

What do you love most about restoring Mustangs?
It’s all about the lifestyle! The experience of rebuilding or restoring something is very therapeutic, it really helps take your mind off the day to day and helps you relax. Seeing the impact you can have on such a powerful machine is really profound too.

I also like that it helps me connect with the culture at the time these vehicles ruled the roads. The music from the time, everything from Elvis to Chuck Berry to rock and heavy metal acts.

That’s not to mention the sense of community. The Mustang is a really popular car, there are a lot of people invested in it, and it’s great for making friends. My wife and daughter own Mustangs too, so there is a family link!

What, if anything, do you dislike about renovating a vehicle?
I always joke that I’m allergic to rust, because I try to leave that part until the very end of any renovation project. Eventually though it has to be tackled to get the Mustang looking its best, so at some point I roll up my sleeves and get on with it.

What one item could you not live without when restoring a Mustang?
My screwdriver! There are so many potential adjustments you can need to make, particularly because the engines run differently in a range of weather conditions. If I have it to hand I can make changes straight away.

How long does a restoration project take?
Typically I own the Mustang for between 5 to 10 years, during which time I renovate it. After that someone comes along and buys the car so I go out, get another one and start over again.

What steps do you take to make sure that it’s gleaming for the final reveal?
I use a lot of wiping products made of nonwoven materials when cleaning the interiors and exteriors of the vehicle. There are loads of different types of wipes available for car cleaning, so I always have plenty of options when it comes to adding the finishing touches.

Do you have any tips for anyone who is interested in renovating vehicles?
There are clubs for every car located all over the world, and they all warmly welcome any newcomer as passionate about their vehicles as they are. Just head on down to their events, or their shows and have a chat to the club members. They’ll all be more than happy to introduce you to the other members and offer support.

Finally, what’s your favourite moment when renovating your latest Mustang?
Nothing beats that moment when all the work is complete, the car looks fantastic and my wife and I can jump in and go cruising on a beautiful Finnish summer evening.

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Rami the Stang man! Great story, great hobby, great car.
Tue May 23 2017