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NEW GLASGOW – The low rumble of Paul MacDonald’s 1977 Mustang Mach 1 can be heard before the car is in plain view.
It idles quietly outside his home waiting for someone to stomp on the gas pedal to take off like the wild horse it is appropriately named after.
But today is a day of rest after a recent long vacation to South Carolina to take part in the 50th Anniversary celebrations for Mustang in Charlotte, North Carolina. A local celebration of the well-known muscle car will take place Saturday at Highland Ford from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. where Mustang enthusiasts like MacDonald will join together for an afternoon of entertainment, friendship and a few bragging rights.
“I like the design of the Mustangs,” said MacDonald. “This one is a small vehicle but it doesn't drive or feel like a small car.”
The first vehicle he ever owned was a Mustang Grandé and his first new car was a Mustang II.
“I just always like this type of car,” he said.
He purchased two 1977 Mustangs about seven years ago and made this one car out of them. One ofthem had sat in a garage in St. Peter’s, Cape Breton, for 17 years while the second was in a garage in Millsville, Pictou County, for a long time.
“My father, who co-owned V8 Motors, ordered the car in 1977 for the owner in Millsville,” he said. “I met the original owner of the car.”
Since having it one the road, he has done some minor touch-ups and changed the transmission over to a five-speed, but for the most part, he said, maintenance has been low.
“I added a few things and did some subtle changes,” he said. “I kept the flavour of the car and just made it more efficient.”
It took three years to piece the two vehicles together and come up with this one masterpiece that he and his wife Cathy enjoy throughout the summer months.
“I have driven 14,000 kilometres since building it and I put 5,500 kilometres on it this spring driving it down to Charlotte for the anniversary.”
He was surprised to get 25 miles to the gallon on the highway to South Carolina considering that new models travelling with him were getting 28 miles to the gallon.
MacDonald said the ride in the Mustang was surprisingly comfortable over the course of the three days with no complaints of sore backs from either himself or his wife.
“We drive to Portsmouth in our new vehicle a lot and we get sore backs,” he said.
MacDonald said the North Carolina show included 25 Mustangs from Nova Scotia, many of the members of the Nova Scotia Mustang Club.
Club members often travel together on road trips throughout the Atlantic provinces that provide an opportunity to get in their vehicles and enjoy the company of people with similar interests.
“Camaraderie is a big thing,” he said. “The Mustang thing gets them together and from there it is wherever their interest lies. We had a diverse group in North Carolina but everyone got along.”
MacDonald doesn't know if he will always own this 1977 Mustang, but he thinks he will always be a Mustang owner.
“I would like to get a newer one,” he said. “I am developing a shining on the top so rather than the T-top, I would like to go with air conditioning. The 2015s are gorgeous.”
It is the distinguishable features of the Mustang that keep drawing MacDonald and others back to this old favourite.
“It’s their lines, the running horse, a lot of trademark features that draw you to them,” he said.
Saturday, June 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Highland Ford Sales, Westville
Set up: 8-10 a.m.
Judging: Noon -1:30 p.m.
Barbecue: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with proceeds to the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Award ceremony: 2:30 p.m.
Live entertainment, children’s activities, giveaways for the first 100 Mustangs in the show, trophies and door prizes.
For more information or early registration, contact the Nova Scotia Mustang Club at 902-864-0550.