I was going to try to make it to my cousin’s house in Virginia Beach – but it was just running too late and I stopped about an hour out of town at some Comfort Inn – which are usually no frills – and this one is too. I have no complaints – same deal, the truck and car are parked within eyeshot of my window just like last night.
The trip today was great. Before I started on my way, I put some stickers on the car that just said “Visit www.MYUNCLESMUSTANG.com.” I’d like as many people to know the story about the car as are interested, and it seems that there are a few – especially on the road home. Right in the hotel parking lot this morning, the woman at the desk had a look at the car and then pointed across the lot to her red 2004 Mustang Convertible. Along the way, I stopped a few times and each time someone approached me asking about the car.
Next, a gentleman in the Cracker Barrel parking lot asked me if it was a ’65. I told him it was a ’66 – they have a different grille. He told me he had a ’68 fastback – a gorgeous car in its own right – and wished me luck in my travels. He got a kick out of the fact that I was pulling it from south FL to NJ.
Later in the day, right over the South Carolina/North Carolina border at the rest stop, a guy named Billy from right in North Carolina approached and asked after seeing the sign, “I guess that’s your Uncle’s Mustang then?” We both laughed and he started ask questions about the car. The Q & A is usually the same – where’d you get it? Florida… what year is it? ’66…. And then I usually offer up that it was my Uncle’s and he was the original owner, it’s been sitting in his garage since he passed away in late 1998, and I am bringing it back to Jersey to restore it.
Billy told me he has a restored big block SS Chevelle – I think he said it was a ’65 – a true SS. Impressive vehicle. I wish I remember the year for sure. He examined the interior with an impressed look and I told him that I couldn’t open the door at the moment – the keys were packed away – but I could open hood and show him the motor. While looking at it I explained that it hadn’t been run in at least a decade, and I figured I wouldn’t try to start it. He gave me some advice on what to do to turn the engine over. Pull the coil wire and crank it to get the oil pressure up – “it’ll be alright then” he said. I’ll give it a try – and also pour some oil over the valves before I do – that suggested by my friend David.
While Bill and I were talking, Dwayne from Georgia walked up with a big smile on his face. The older gentleman asked me if it was a ’65 just like the guy at Cracker Barrel did earlier in the day. I told him it was a ’66, and about this time Billy was looking under the car at the floors – Mustangs are notorious for rusted out floors and I knew that this one has some early rot but aren’t through and through bad.
Dwayne examined the car, the engine, and had a smile on his face like a kid in a candy store. He told me a story, and if I recall from then till now (I have to start keeping notes when I talk to these folks) a friend or relative of his had a relative that owned a Ford dealer. When she graduated, that relative gave her a Mustang convertible – and he drove in it. With a satisfied smile, he said with that it was quite a memorable ride. It was then that his wife Linda came over and said, “I see he found his car,” smiling. She asked me if I bought the car, and I explained that it was my Uncle’s. She asked about my Uncle and I gave the abridged story.
Billy, Dwayne, and his wife Linda all went on their way, as did I – but not before a biker named David came up and we talked a bit about it. He was riding from Myrtle Beach and expressed some dissatisfaction about how commercialized the place had gotten.
So tomorrow I visit my cousin and then I ride home. Right now, I am here somewhere outside of Norfolk and Virginia Beach in a Comfort Inn that is adequate, but nothing to write home about. I am ready for bed – and yes, I have already checked on the car, at least 3 times from my window.