My son, Matthew, and I arrived in Pittsburgh on Thursday with Matthew Mustang safe and sound on the trailer. The Grand Prix events were scheduled to begin on Friday evening. Somehow, on Thursday evening Matthew, my brother, Scott, and my nephew, Patrick, managed to "blow up" the Mustang, starter and bendix. They all swore, "It just happened". The questions was, do we put it back on the trailer and forgo all of the week's events or do we bite the bullet and fix it? Since we had hauled that car the whole way from Florida, we decided to fix it. The next question was how and where do we get the parts? Scott had a friend with his own shop willing to help us. We put the Mustang on the lift and discovered the problem. The bendix spring exploded in the starter. I called the shop in Florida that did all the engine work on the car and they walked us through the repairs. We found an electrical shop that was willing to rebuild the starter and bendix while we waited. Problem solved, we thought. After we completed the installation we discovered the starter engaged but for some unknown reason the flywheel was bent. The rally was going to start soon. We decided the damage was already done so we might as well run the rally and enjoy ourselves. Matthew had the mechanic ride with him, just in case. The three cars we had entered, 1965 Mustang, 2001 Corvette, and an Alfa Rameo, were all off and running.
The rally was a "Monte Carlo" type with a surprise route. Thankfully, the run was held in the evening to allow for some cooling off time from the afternoon temperatures in the 90's. Of our three entries, my brother, Tim, and I, in Tim's Corvette, had the best time. The other two teams had embarrassing results.
The next day, we had to work on the Mustang again. We drove to Akron, Ohio to Summit Performance Parts. We found everything we need. The time required for us to do the re-build meant we had to forgo the Beaver Run track, cart racing, and the evening gala. Our sacrifice paid off. By devoting Saturday and Sunday to working on the Mustang, we were able to attend all of the events for the rest of the week.
Monday through Wednesday we attended various car shows and displays. Matthew's car brought a lot of attention and was a crowd favorite. It seems, almost everyone who looked at the car, had a story from their younger years that involved a '65 Mustang. Thursday through Friday were days off. Saturday was the major show. The park filled up quickly. It seems every type of car imaginable was represented. Many marquis used this day as their individual concourse. British cars, by far, had the largest attendance. The Jaguar Club of Pittsburgh was well represented as always.
Ford and PVGP did a good job coordinating their efforts. One hundred Pennsylvania Ford dealers drove Rally Special Edition red Mustang coupes in a parade throughout the city. It was an impressive sight.
On Sunday, Race Day, the marquis held another parade. About 450 Mustangs took a lap around the track. Matthew drove his Mustang with my nephew in the passenger seat. There were not many Restorods in attendance so that made Matthew's Mustang receive even more attention. There was also some mention that his Mustang was the longest distance champion of the event.
All in all we had a great time and made memories we will laugh about for years. Next year, Jaguar will be the "Mark of the Year". My family wants me to bring three or four Jags. I will be there but probably with just Oscar, my XK120. I am planning on contacting JCNA to see if they have any interest in making the Pittsburgh Vintage a national event. Stay posted.