This Week has been the hottest for a long while that we can remember, so unfortunately this is where the road tests take just that little bit longer, especially if the roof is down. We have been doing as lot of service work which has kept us quiet, except when it comes to tea breaks and lunch times where Yogi is still in denial about the drag race rigging going on from last week! The jury is still out on that one by the way. As the weather is so nice we are going to be a little bit lazy on this post as we have had a good customer of ours virtually write this weeks post for us. So a special thanks to Derek Hutchinson who provided the photos and the words. There are some great little stories here and his trips around Europe. Take it away Derek:
NDB986E ’67 Red Mustang convertible
I bought the car in July 2012 from a guy in Newcastle and shocked him by deciding to drive it home to Staines (350 Miles). His nervous smile made me nervous, but I was determined to drive it home. It was a glorious Friday afternoon and I had the roof down all the way home. Absolutely fabulous feeling and I knew I was in love immediately.
I am no mechanic but I am the son of a very good mechanic and it is surprising how much I remembered of what my father would look for in a car. So I bought the car after making my checks based upon just my limited knowledge. Fortunately for me the car has turned out to a very good buy, but soon after my drive home we started to experience serious over heating issues. Fortunately a neighbour recommended Adam at Mustang Maniac. Adam collected the car and discovered the remains of a perforated timing belt in the sump that had clogged up the oil pump but luckily no serious damage had been caused. Adam corrected a number of other minor issues caused by the previous owners ‘DIY’ repairs.
Harrods Breakdown. 2014
2 weeks before setting off on our first major road trip across France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland the car stopped dead outside Harrods in London on a lovely summer’s day. The girls went shopping while I waited for the AA. 2.5 hours. I bought a coffee and had a nap in the car with the bonnet up to demonstrate that I couldn’t move it anywhere. I was awakened by about 20 Chinese people who had stopped their coach to take pictures of my car. I even put the bonnet down for them, but was a touch offended when one lady pushed me to one side to get me out of the picture.
Back off to Adam and a new alternator required. At this point my wife began to worry if we were safe to do the trip in my Mustang. “I think we should go in your Mercedes darling” she said. Her friend who is very risk averse had been scaring her about this foolhardy nonsense in such an old car with poor brakes, no seatbelts, roll cage etc, etc. I am very stubborn and insisted that if we didn’t go in the Mustang then I had no interest in driving across Europe and would not go. Fortunately my wife’s niece Laura was visiting from Colombia and was very excited about this once in a lifetime dreamy trip around Europe in a classic car. So, off we went. (MM: loving the picture of the drink on the fender! 🙂 )
French border control Folkestone
Three of us, a full boot and a big case strapped to the boot rack (smart idea by Adam at MM). I really like the bot rack, only problem I couldn’t see through the rear window because the bag was too big. So I bought a slimmer bag/case from the outlet village in Stuttgart. I get sick on ferries so we always do the tunnel. Much quicker and convenient.
Quality repair on the go
Day one we drove across France heading for Stuttgart where we have friends and that would be our base. At our first service station stop after crossing the border into Germany, the chrome side strip on the car fell off when I opened my door. It made a tremendous noise for such a flimsy part. Doris’s face (the wife) was a picture, full of dread and fear. This wreck isn’t safe and we are going to break down. I was having none of that silly nonsense, but had to think fast and decide what to do to repair it and keep a cool exterior, even though my stomach was churning and I was twitching like hell. A quick scratch of the head and the mechanic in me thought ‘gaffa tape’. 5 minutes later we were back on our way with a quality repair “as good as new”.
Laura and I both agreed that the most significant and best part of this incident was that this was now an exciting adventure. All of our many trips into Europe since have all had that exciting element of adventure. Excellent.
Inside Hitler’s Colosseum
From our base in Stuttgart we drove out to Austria and Switzerland (beautiful countryside and sights). Over a few days we saw the famous alpine castle used in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and we stayed in a lovely hotel in the picturesque town of Hallstatt in Austria where there is a great salt mine to visit and a beautiful lake for a little boat ride.
On our way back to Stuttgart we visited Nuremberg and in particular the museum and visitor centre at Hitlers famous camp where he gave many significant addresses to his troops and their families who attended the massive official and holiday gatherings there. The Nuremberg Rally was the annual rally of the Nazi Party in Germany, held from 1923 to 1938. They were large Nazi propaganda events, especially after Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. It is a massive site and just behind the visitor centre (seriously interesting history) Hitler’s followers had started but not finished building a Colosseum for their illustrious leader. He never got to see it. The security guards saw me arriving with my car and ushered me to drive my car away from the visitor parking area and asked me to park my car slap bang in the centre of the Colosseum. I was a little nervous at first until Doris’s friend who lives in Germany interpreted that they want to take pictures of your car in the Colosseum. They took pictures of themselves and allowed us to take our own pictures, but they wouldn’t allow us to take any pictures of them. I guess they were worried about getting found out. Anyway it was very exciting for us and we have a very unique picture as a result.
At one point on this day we got caught in a big storm and even though the roof was up Doris and her friend thought it necessary to put their umbrella up in the back seat of the car to stop the rain getting them wet. Wish I could find the picture. We drove back home through Belgium and stayed at Antwerp. Very nice.
Calais UK border control
This is us on our way back sporting our new low profile case on the boot rack.
Home from first trip safe n sound
This is Doris, Laura and me popping a bottle of champagne to celebrate our fantastic adventure. Notice how that quality mechanical repair lasted the whole adventure. Adam should be proud of me.
We did a trip round France in 2015 but whilst we have lots of pictures from the places we visited we have no pictures with the car in shot.
In 2016 we had another niece visit from Colombia and she wanted an adventure in the Mustang so we organised another trip in which we covered some different parts of Germany predominately cruising round the Black Forrest (tons of lovely little towns and villages). We had a lovely time but in the middle of the holiday we got caught in a nasty traffic jam on the Autobahn and the auto gear changer became seriously hot, so much so that I was worried that we would get stuck there. So I made the decision to pull into the hard shoulder and drive down it getting off at the next junction. Getting some cool air circulation seemed to solve the problem. Unfortunately we have since had a number of instances of transmission heating up and loss of drive temporarily. Adam is on the case and it looks like we need to schedule a new transmission this year.
Going nowhere fast on the Autobahn is a picture of us at a point when the traffic completely stopped for almost an hour without movement.
Crazy gang on the Autobahn is a snap of the group once we got moving again. Me and Angie in the front, Doris Paola and Silvana in the back.
Seriously overloaded. Doris insisted on buying some garden pots (reasonably heavy) and we also brought Silvana back to England for a weeks break with Paola. I knew we were a bit heavy but it wasn’t until we stopped and got out at the Calais crossing car park, that I realised just how low the rear suspension was (and this was without us in the car). Even funnier, we locked the car and went in for a Starbucks and it wasn’t till we came out again that I realised I had locked the keys in the ignition (over tired). Luckily it is relatively easy to break into an old convertible.
2018 Hamburg and Lubeck trip
Just one picture from our March trip this year. This one is outside the hotel we stayed in at Munster as we drove over to Hamburg and Lubeck. Sadly the transmission when cold couldn’t engage drive so I had to choose gear 1 or 2 to make a connection before it would engage with drive. We really need that new transmission. Pity we don’t have any pictures of driving in snow at Lubeck. It was a bit scary but also funny.
Some great stories there and well told, we had to make a little adjustment to a couple of little bits as this is a family blog at the end of day. 😉
Thanks again to Derek for taking the time and effort to get all this over to us.
But before we let that happen here is a lovely ’65 with a beautifully done custom-made red leather interior. We have serviced the car and give her the now famous Mustang Maniac once over.
Do you have any road trips with your Mustang that you want to share with us? You know what to do – send the details over to us and we get it on the blog for you.
We hope you are enjoying the world cup where ever you may be.