The 2005 New England 1000 Rally

After a 4-year hiatus, rally brother Steve and I decided to take my ’68 Mustang California Special on the 2005 New England 1000. We last drove the rally together in 2001; Steve and his wife drove a Sunbeam Alpine in the 2002 edition of the rally.

We’ll drive the older car, thanks

Steve again agreed to fly east from his California home to meet me at my New Jersey home, from where we headed to our host hotel, the Black Point Inn, just outside of Portland Maine. All systems were working well in the Mustang; the heater core replacement was holding up, and I had driven the car enough to give me faith in its ability to get us there, around, and back.

Steve was driving it for the first time, and the recirculating-ball power steering took some getting used to. The steering had about 30 degrees slop at the top of the wheel, and at first, the instinct is to ‘oversteer’ then correct – you feel like you’re on a sailboat when the car is driven that way. But it only takes 5-10 minutes to get accustomed to dialing in the correct amount of lock.

En route, we detoured to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline MA, as it was Italian Car Day, and yours truly needed to check out the fine Italian machinery.

A prescient picture

We arrived in ME with no issues, except that it was a cloudy and cool day. We paid no attention to the weather forecast. First, this was vacation; second, the rally is a rain-or-shine event; and third, in all our previous NE1000 outings, we had never had more than a day of wet weather, so why shouldn’t we expect the same this year?

The ceremonial mounting of the plate (#1 again!)

The selection of cars continued to amaze us. There were no fewer than 3 Ferrari 246 Dinos, 6 Porsche 911s, 2 Austin Mini Coopers, the usual assortment of Jag’s and Benz’s, and a one-off 1955 Chrysler Ghia show car. Our V8 Mustang was one of two cars grouped into the “Historic American V8” class, the other being a ’64 Sting Ray convertible driven by our friends Chuck and Beth.

It bears repeating: the folks who bring out their valuable classics for the New England 1000 do it to drive them. While all of the cars are road-worthy, many of them, especially cars of the ‘50s and ‘60s, are not what you’d call weather-proof compared to a modern car. The British vehicles, for some reason, seem especially suspect to the ingress of water onto their occupants.

And this is how the week went: every driving day, from Monday through Thursday, saw rain. It didn’t rain every minute of the day, but, the threat was always there. The photos bear proof that we did not see the sun for the duration of the driving. Our friend Carol caught a local weather report, and informed us that a large storm system had parked itself over the entirety of New England for the week.

Remember that heater core? Well, the two young men in the Mustang hardtop, with roll-up windows, good weatherstripping, and a functioning heater/defrost system, stayed warm and dry. Observing some miserable fellow rallyists, I started to feel just a little bit guilty. To the credit of every participant, no one dropped out (not even the guys running side curtains).

Friday morning, just in time to load up and begin the trek home, the rain stopped, the sun popped out, and we had a rather dry ride back to NJ. Wet weather or not, we again proclaimed the 2005 edition to be a rousing success. Given the rain, we were secretly glad to have turned in the ragtops for a hardtop!

Jag XK’s top stayed up all week

 

Jag may be headed for drier climes

 

A respite from rain. Chrysler Ghia is at far right

 

Mini Coopers, LHD & RHD

 

Our good friends Dave and Deb (Deb is NOT driving)

 

Our friend Ron, in his Austin Healey, theorizes that shorts prevent his pants from getting wet

 

From inside the Drystang

 

At a lunch stop, with the GT/CS parked among its brethren

 

An additional benefit to a dry car: dry rally instructions

 

The New England scenery is always beautiful

 

This sums it up: what we had to do to keep our taillights visible

 

All photographs copyright © 2017 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

6 thoughts on “The 2005 New England 1000 Rally

  1. Love the little Alfas. And the Jag. And the Minis…. and your Mustang! Being a Brit, my tastes are distinctly European (sorry) but I do think the Mustang is one of the few really good looking American cars. Went to a huge classic car show here in the UK last weekend. Heaven. Did a short post about it on my blog.

    Like

    • Hi there!
      Thanks much for your comment. No need to apologize for your European tastes; if you look at many of my other blog posts, you’ll see that I currently own a ’67 Alfa Romeo, and you’ll be reading a lot more about that car as this year continues.

      Thanks again,
      Richard

      Like

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