Sat Aug 22nd, 2009 Edition Drive Section: Haulin' Asphalt Reprinted
The intricacies of the big-city newspaper dictate these humble words be written by Thursday morning for Saturday's fine publication. Given that, I can only hope this Thursday was a fine day, and finer evening. One, say, to rival the week previous.
Why? Because, if anything, the car guys and girls of the Avalon deserve another night like that one, when the stars aligned to make the parking lots of Kenmount Road roar, rumble and purr with the finest vehicles you could ever want to see.
It had been a long time since I had hit the A&W on cruise night, and I was unprepared. Actually, that's an understatement. I was floored.
I rode a pony to the show, thanks to the growing membership of AllFordMustangs.com. Ring a bell? It should. It is the website created by prodigal son Scott Halliday, and he and the site have become the magnet attracting just about every heavy metal Mustang that gets close enough. Last Thursday, that amounted to something over 30 cars, and the Newfoundland section of the site boasts over 200 members and growing.
Scott made sure I hit the Thorburn Road Tim Hortons before 8 p.m., but my host for the evening was Bill (Seahorse) Dicks, and our ride was his '09 Shelby GT500 convertible. Oh my.
And the best part of it was, ride we did. Once the Mustang faithful had gathered, swapped introductions where necessary, traded laughs and stories, we climbed into the cars and headed out, first to the parking lot of the Avalon Mall, then -- en masse -- through the A&W drive-thru.
And what a spectacle there. Of course, one circuit was not close to enough to take it all in, but we had made our presence known, and retired to the spaces lining Rennies River behind the neighbouring strip mall.
That caused its own little parade, and while we strolled across the lot, to check out the others who had taken their babies from the crib that night, there was a steady stream of enthusiasts roiling between the Stangs.
And they got an eye full. Phil Meadus's seriously custom '06, drag beasts and pampered stockers, Ryan Gates lovely '67 Mach 1. He has a couple more tucked away at home. The St. John's car scene has exploded in the past couple of years, Ryan told me.
He wasn't lying. My own tour of the impromptu collection just about sprung my jaw, it hit the ground so many times. I've been chasing cars in St. John's for a long time, but there was stuff there I had never seen: hot rods in spectacular paint and flat primer, sports cars stock and mod, kits and tuners and Beetles and bikes.
A&W understands the value of this group, too, welcoming the drive-by with live music and smiling staff. We hung around for better than an hour, but by then the Mustang guys were getting a bit antsy. For them, cruise night is about cruising, and we hit the road again. Next stop, Mount Pearl.
It has to be an impressive sight, a string of vehicles alike in name and manufacturer, but as individual as each owner, rolling up the street to the music of dozens of exhaust pipes.
The herd gallops into the Mount Pearl A&W each Thursday, a smaller group with plans, Scott tells me, to pick up members of other clubs for a later-night drive east. We covered Water Street on our way to another Tim Hortons, this time on Torbay Road. From there, the diehards have one more destination in mind.
I didn't make that one. Guess I'll have to ride along some other Thursday to find out exactly where.
Ken Simmons breathes exhaust and exhales clean, fresh air. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org