Saskatchewan is one of Canada’s most dynamic provinces thanks to the built-in work ethic of the people, an abundance of natural resources, a solid agricultural base and a solid economic blueprint from the top down.
The province lives and dies with its beloved football team, the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders because there isn’t a fan base on the planet with more passion for their team.
Brad Wall is the Premier of Saskatchewan and he is definitely a hardcore Roughrider fan, but he’s also a hardcore car guy, so he is part of a fundraising group for the Saskatchewan Alzheimer’s Society and Saskatchewan Minor League Football.
The group came up with a winning concept when they decided to turn a classic 1968 Shelby Mustang tribute car into a classic Saskatchewan Roughrider 1968 Shelby Mustang tribute car.
This is a one-off vehicle with a lot of volunteer effort invested in the project, because volunteerism and community spirit is the lifeblood of Saskatchewan.
Brad explained the history behind the project, “We (Pat Mengel, Gord Broda, Lance Donison and I) were at Barrett-Jackson this winter to help with the “Snakebit” F-100 auction raising money for the Children’s Hospital in Saskatchewan so it got us thinking, why don’t we do the same thing? My Grandfather suffered from Alzheimers and we also wanted to support minor football as the charities”.
“We were looking for a Mopar but they were pretty high-priced. There was a ’68 Shelby clone for sale at the auction and we thought this number’s too big, but the bidding stalled and we jumped on it”.
There were some TV reports on the next stage of the project when the car was disassembled, but Brad was quick to point out that it wasn’t a real Shelby before angry Ford guys clogged the phone lines.
He also wanted to acknowledge the talent behind the disassembly, “Huge thanks to Tom Wood, Mike Keil, Darren Beasley, and Fred Wagner from the Saskatchewan Ford and Mercury Club who volunteered a big part of their Easter weekend. They pulled out the Rider Shelby engine (428 Interceptor with high performance/high compression heads, upgraded cam, 750 Edelbrock carb courtesy of Auto Electric”.
“The car has also had extensive shock tower bracing done to be able to support the torque from the big block), cleaned it up and did the prep work for the new wiring harness (custom HID headlights and a FOCAL sound system) that will run from the engine compartment to the tail lights. It was amazing how quickly this car came apart”.
There were numerous players in the Rider Shelby project and Brad wanted to thank them all for their efforts but he also wanted to thank the Saskatchewan Roughriders for their support, “The car was green but it wasn’t exactly Rider green and we wanted to capture the colour on the helmet plus we want the stripes to match the white too.
“This Mustang will be repainted Rider green with a PPG metallic paint. Complete new interior in green and white with a Rider theme. It will have a custom made dash, steering wheel, air cleaner, roll bar and more, all with Roughrider themes.”
“We’re going to have the Riders sign the car and a ball and the new owner gets it plus there’s going to be other Rider stuff and we’re going to get (Rider) signatures from all the decades too. A major highlight of the car will be the trunk space and audio system that will be extremely customized with a Roughrider theme conceptualized and built by Jay Eisworth of Kustomeis”.
The Riders won’t have the only signatures on the project as Brad explained, “We found a bunch of Carroll Shelby-signed dashes so we’re going to replace the dash with a signed dash”.
This Mustang may be the most signed car on the planet when it goes to auction but every one of the signatures on the car will resonate in the province of Saskatchewan.The Rider Shelby is slated to hit the auction block on July 18th by invitation-only event and will also be promoted via a website.
Premier Wall is very optimistic about the results, “We have a lot of very successful people here in Saskatchewan and across western Canada and the rest of the country too so my gut tells me this will do well. It’s going to be the nicest non-Shelby, Shelby in the world”.
Brad is the kind of guy who is quick to give credit to everyone else involved in the project but he’s been directly involved in the process from the beginning. This hands-on approach was evident during the disassembly because he was right there stripping parts off the car even though he admits, “I’m not much of a body guy. I understand the mechanical side a lot better”.
“Thanks to Darren Mitchell and his team from the Phoenix Group who came up with a lot of the design ideas, Dave Goulash at Pro Metal who fabricated the roll bar, and a huge thank you to Shaun Semple – president of the Brandt Group. Shaun’s been involved with the concept from the very start, he was part of the tear-down, he has helped secure some major sponsorships for the fundraiser and is of course is hosting the auction event on July 18th at his acreage.”
A byproduct of any car project is the bond you form with the vehicle and Brad summed it up in these words, “There’s going to be a lot of tears in the shop when this car goes away for the last time”. Truer words were never spoken because the personal investment is immense when you tear down and rebuild old iron.
Finally, Premier Wall insisted that this article include the list of volunteers and suppliers for the Rider Shelby so here’s who helped build this unique ride.
Team Leader: Pat Mengel of Advanced Collision Build Team: Pat Mengel, Tom Wood, Mike Keil, Fred Wagner, Darren Beasley and all of the Saskatchewan Ford-Mercury Club. Also Wayne Tumak, Lance Donison, Sean Bryson, Jay Eisworth, Gord Broda, Shaun Semple, Bob Jaworski, and Chris Lipoth.The Suppliers: Advanced Collision, Auto Electric, Brandt, Custom Canvas, Fibrenew, FFUN Trailers, FG Hydro Designs, HK Insurance, Kustomeis, Phoenix Group, Pro Metal, The Stripe Shop, Titan Automotive.