Road Trip: Ford Mustangs And Other Relics
Ford has successfully built and sold over 9 million Mustangs since the original pony car was introduced in 1964. And while there are still millions on the road, there are some real wrecks and relics rotting in junk yards, landfills and people’s yards. Do you ever get that zingy feeling in your heart when you pass a rotting treasure on the side of the road?
Ford, as a company, firmly supports the days past with new stampings of classic Mustangs. There is a sweet spot in the market for “the good ol’ days” and a cleanly restored or freshly built ’65 Mustang. So if you yearn for a classic, but lack the skills and money to resurrect a Rustang, the option is there to start with a new shell. But some things are best left in their present state of decay, for the artistic value and rich heritage of it. Some things need to stay unrestored and hopeless to remind us of where we are in time.
The past is behind us, and has for most, faded into a dreamy memory of good times and things “the way they are supposed to be”. The present is where we live in our goals and toil and problems and daily victories. The future is uncertain. So we look back at times past that we made it through and cling to the good parts. Even if we recall the battles with loved ones or cars that repeatedly left us stranded (1972 Porsche 914, I am talking to you), there is a dullness to the bad parts and a silvery smile for the good parts.
One of the best things about the Disney/Pixar movie CARS was the story line of a long forgotten town along a route that had been bypassed by an interstate. I grew up in the concrete jungle that is Southern California, so I have no personal connection to this experience, but the isolation and abandonment still touched me. And for our friends and family who are old enough to actually remember life before the interstate system, I am sure there are deep feelings about old routes – when the destination was only part of the journey – The Road itself was a large part of the experience.
I am a sucker for nostalgia, old highways, and Route 66. Whenever I travel between Bakersfield, California and Las Vegas, I take the Old Hwy 58 around the north of Barstow, California. And like most older, now obsolete highways that have been bypassed by 8 lane freeways through the middle of town, Old Hwy 58 is littered with abandoned businesses, junk yards, houses and an old drive-in theater.
Whether it is during the day or traveling at night, I always enjoy the drive. This last time through, after an epic week at SEMA, I stopped and put my questionable photography skills to use…followed by even more questionable photoshop skills. Please enjoy the gallery of rust, led by a spectacular 1967 Mustang coupe.
If the nostalgia bug hits you while looking at the vintage Hwy 66 style signs, head on over to the Metal Sign Factory at www.americanheritageusa.com. Talk to Ray, who can hook you up with an original vintage sign for your man cave, or recreate a vintage-looking sign that is special to you.