12 November 2009

Our Cars: Hagerty employee Rob Bennett’s 1966 Ford Mustang

“It was really nice when I won my first trophy at a car show, but my favorite moments are actually every time I’m at a car show and people tell me what a nice car I have.”

Employee: Rob Bennett is an Auto Sales and Service Specialty Trainer. He’s been at Hagerty for eight years.

Car: Rob purchased a 1966 Ford Mustang four years ago.

Car background: “My mom always had sports cars: an early ‘70s Alfa Romeo, three different Mercury Cougar XR-7s, and an early ‘90s Mustang GT Convertible. An uncle of mine was curator at the Gilmore Museum and I remember him coming Up North a couple of times a year with his cars. Because my folks both enjoyed the older cars, we’d go to different car shows in the area. And then I started working at Hagerty.”

Why a Mustang? “Part of it was because my mom had a Mustang convertible, but when I was younger my grandfather also had two Mustang coupes, both early ‘70s – one red and one green. I’ll never forget the times that I had riding with him in those.”

Repairs and Modifications (planned or completed): “I’ve added new rear leaf springs, new tie rods and new belts. I also replaced the speedometer and odometer cable and gears, and installed a new radio and speakers. The brake and power steering fluids have been refilled since both have failed at times. I’m hoping to redo the interior as some stitching repairs need to be made. The horn will be fixed or replaced next year.”

Hobby activities (clubs, events etc.): “I belong to the Traverse City Classics and Customs Car Club, Mustang Club of America and the AACA. I usually do about six or seven shows a year depending on my work schedule. During the good weather months, when our car club has meetings once a month, I’ll drive the Mustang to work and then drive to the club meeting or cruise.”

Interesting Stories: “I bought the Mustang sight unseen from eBay Motors. I had to drive it home from Ypsilanti via the back roads and the speedometer and odometer didn’t work and the interior gauge lights wouldn’t work. The belts and tie rods were shot so the car wandered back and forth across my lane.

“On one occasion, the brakes failed on me after a photo shoot and I had to go through the stoplight at a busy intersection after the light changed and drive across town without brakes.”

Favorite Drive: “Other than any sunny day, I enjoy driving around Crystal Lake or out on Old Mission Peninsula and then cruising through downtown Traverse City on a busy summer day! The fall drive up through the Pierce Stocking Drive at Sleeping Bear National Park is fun with the top down on a nice warm and sunny day.”

Best and Worst Moment: “My worst moment was probably the drive back from Ypsilanti and wondering what I had gotten myself into! The second would probably be when the brakes failed at the intersection. It was really nice when I won my first trophy at a car show, but my favorite moments are actually every time I’m at a car show and people tell me what a nice car I have. Then they start telling me about when they used to have one like it or something that brings back memories from when they were young!”

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