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Old 11/14/2006, 10:36 PM   #1
PNewitt
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Great Weekend w/ L.A. GT/CSs!

How do I begin to describe two such great days (Nov 11,12) for the GT/CS effort! On Satuday, Nov 11, I met up with Joe and his supercharged Wimbleton White CS. We met at the Dana Point Marina area, and I could see those distinctive T-Bird lights all the way across the parking lot! So, in my '94 GT, I followed, and we finally found the right place. The parking lot I wanted to shoot from was being worked on, at the top of the cliff, so we did it next to the Yacht Club. We had a few folks stop by and talk while I was shooting pics. These cars are a natural draw anywhere, anytime! I brought along a video camera, and set up a shot at the end loop of a street, and told Joe: "now, I want you to pull around here, and BARELY tap the gas pedal at the end of the shot" Well, that's like telling someone at a buffet to just have one cookie. EEEEERRRRTTTTTTTTTT!!
(you can guess what happened...).

After the smoke cleared, we had lunch, on Joe (thank you!!) at a great restaurant called "The Beach House" (www.thebeachhouse.com). Great food, and great conversation. Joe's GT/CS is an excellent example of what can be done to "California-ize" a Mustang with performance parts. Learning this about Joe's car has taught me how the GT/CS is different than Shelbys in that the CS can be more personalized, since most Shelbys are restored to more upright concours parameters (and ironically, we saw a beautiful '68 Red GT-350 Shelby in a nearby hotel parking lot). It was a pleasure to work with Joe, and those that know him know how great a guy he is. I appreciate his time to come out to the coast for some photos. It was an excellent day! (a couple of the photos with Joe to follow--35mm process to digital needed)

Sunday was another "perfect So. Cal. day", and it began with meeting up with Donna and her friend at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank. This is a historical car-hop type restaurant built in (I think) 1948. A frequent stop for many stars--and many cool cars, too! We had breakfast, and talked "Ambulances", among other things. Donna is a real trooper in the appreciation and promotion of the GT/CS, and her's is in great shape! (that is, her car-LOL!) I have found her to be quite a special lady! I truly appreciate her friendship! After breakfast, we staged some photos of the CS driving into the driveway, photographed from across the street. This area of Burbank is a stone's throw from NBC (Tonight Show), Disney Studios, Time Warner, and lost of production houses. It was a great start to a great day...

We drove together from Bob's south on the 405 to Century City Mall, which was the "staging area" for the other three GT/CS cars to show up (Mustanger, Two Rings, and LouieG). Since we got there early, I told Donna and her friend to "go shopping, and look for shoes", and I didn't get the words out, and they were gone! "be back in an half an hour".... 45 minutes later, (LOL!), she comes back with a bag with a black dress. Then, Lisa and Stan (very, very nice folks!) arrived in their gorgeous (!!) Meadowlark Yellow CS. I love the ten-spokes on it, and the rake of the car looks hot--like how street rodders would do it...which they are! Then Ruben ( Mustanger) arrived down the parking ramp in his newly-aquired white CS. Another strong-looking CS! I liked meeting Ruben, and told him that he's going to be dragged completely into this GT/CS world now that he has one!! I appreciate the two waters and diet coke that he provided me (as I forgot to bring anything)!!

NOT LONG after Ruben arrived, I was over at the Century Plaza Hotel making the final arrangements with the valet parking people, and there was Louie G. Let me tell you something about his GT/CS. The plate says: Bone Stock, but I think that's only true for the front and rear bumpers. This car is waay scary. Roll cage, HUGE rear tires that barely fit. First, you FEEL it, then you HEAR it, then you SEE it! This is NOT a car you want to come up to a stoplight next to! (and yes, it will do wheelies!) A work crew in the street stopped what they were doing to see Louie's CS drive by. Mind you, this is a place where high-end Astons, Lexus, Rolls, etc., are commonplace. Time seemed to stop. Louie rocked this world with his arrival!!

We got together, and went en masse to the Hotel, about a block away. We pulled in like we owned the place, and the Valet people motioned us in. It was an awesome sight! Ruben, Donna, Lisa & Stan, and Louie. All Four GT/CSs were aligned with the front doors of this enormous five star hotel--38 years--back home! (this was the hotel where the unveiling of the GT/CS was to the So. Cal Ford dealers in the basement "Los Angeles" named ballroom, Feb 15th, 1968). People were a little caught off guard at our arrival. It was really interesting how these Mustangs contrasted--yet were accepted and admired among the limos, and other high end luxury cars in the driveway. Guests were taking pictures, and asking questions. The hotel employees were coming out to see what was happening, too. A pretty awesome sight. The Hotel, AND these cars were survivors for almost 40 years. A real moment in Mustang history....California Mustang history!!

We left there after about 30 minutes, and (my fault) got a little lost finding Wilshire Blvd....and Donna, with her vast knowledge of L.A. streets, managed to pull us out onto the right way. On Wilshire, I pull the window down, and ask her while driving: "we need to get from Santa Monica TO Wilshire". She responds to me in a polite, yet firm voice: "We ARE on WILSHIRE". I say: "oh....OK". Then on our way to this "World Famous Gas Station of the Stars" ( http://www.seeingstars.net/Shop/ServiceStation.shtml ) I was in the right lane, when I saw it on the left, across the street. DANG! So, me and Louie, have to go a block ,and do a U-turn. This was too cool: Louie passes me, and then does this u-turn launch that would make Steve McQueen proud, right in the street, and back to the 76 station. Two Ring's CS had a power steering hose failure (last event it was Donna's, so this is a common occurence. We should do a patch for owners that this has happened to). I got out my tools, and we sacrificed the belt, for "1939 Ford steering technology". I felt really sorry for them.

At the station, the guys working there came out to see us. And, yes, Jay Leno does buy his gas there... It's just that he was on a Love Ride (motorcycle event for fund raising) that day. But, Ruben spied a black Ford GT on the street. Too cool! This IS, after all, Beverly Hills!

Then it was off to the Petersen Museum down Wilshire. Along the way, I tried to drive and take digital photos--and an occassional video shot. One "scene" that I happened to get was Donna in front of me, and Ruben behind me. I thought of turning ther camera backwards to get Ruben, but I decided that driving was the prioritry...so...I got a great video shot of Ruben behind me in my MIRROR! (a la "Bullitt!") Just like that Charger behind Bullitt. We are having fun now!

Wilshire is the absolute high-end boulevard of L.A. It crosses the 405 east towards the 5. Along Wilshire is Beverly Hills, and Rodeo Drive. Farther along is the "Museum Mile" where the Petersen Automotive Museum is located (see http://www.petersen.org/ ). We were granted special permission to drive to the top of the parking structure (where SAAC/Cobra club group photos have been shot). We positioned the cars in different angles for photos. It was an awesome place to photograph cars! Palm trees and skyscrapers in the background! For about 90 minutes, we took photos, and talked "GT/CS", and had a chance to take a breather from the hectic day of driving in L.A. traffic. Then, about 4pm, we went our own ways. A great end to a great day. I turned to see one last glimpse of Lisa and Stan's yellow GT/CS as it went down the parking lot ramp, with it's shining ten spokes.

It's been mentioned that there is a great sense of "fellowship" on this site. I experienced that, and much more by meeting the wonderful folks that came forward to help me out with this photo-event. What made this even more "special" was how we brought this limited edition back to the heart of L.A., where the auto is king, and showed everyone that the 1968 Mustang GT/CS is still alive and well! THIS was a very special day for all of us!!

Paul N.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg scaryfast.jpg (38.1 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg wilshire.jpg (64.8 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg gtcsrooftp.jpg (54.6 KB, 45 views)
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