Northwest Classic Rally 2014: Day 2

NWCR - Start of Day 2

Well day 2 is finally over. It was our first day of actually rally time and we have to say, it was far more intense and challenging than expected. We also discovered that while our Mustang was a bit out of place among all the other beautiful pristine cars we were competing against, it is able to keep up with the best of them! Throughout the day, we saw a number of areas and a wide variety of roads, from deep forest valleys to mountainous logging roads. We pushed our little Mustang to her limits and in return she gave us one amazing day!

NWClassic - Day 2

We started the day by having to be to the starting gate by 7 a.m., but our excitement got us up early enough to be lined up at the gate by 6:20. Our car is number 62, so we were able to watch most of the other cars leave the gate and it turned out to be quite the parade of cars. There are several Ferraris, a number of Jaguars, and even a couple other Mustangs. In this parade of beautiful machines, our car sticks out like a sore thumb, but that’s alright! It has on many occasions drawn more of a crowd than cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. It has been the centerpiece of many a conversation, with plenty talk about the bullet hole.


When our time to leave the gate came up, 8:31 to be exact, we were in a bit of a panic. This is of course our first attempt at a time speed distance rally, so we felt a bit overwhelmed by all the acronyms and terms used by the rally crowd. After following an amazing Alfa Romeo GTA for the first couple of blocks, we started to get a feel for what these events are all about, following instructions! Now to be fair there is a lot more too it, but mess up on one set of instructions and your whole day can be ruined. By the second stage of the event we were doing great and feeling pretty confident, but we would soon be humbled.

NWClassic Rally - 1st stage

As we made our way out of the city and into the rural areas between Portland and the coast, we got a taste for how the route book works and how to log each checkpoint and mileage. I had spent several hours before hand practicing distance and speed calculations, but no preparation can prepare you for what you might experience while under pressure in a new situation, especially if the route was changed last minute. As we were traveling through the 7th section, we came to a road with a road closed sign, but it wasn’t actually blocked off and the route book called for traveling down this road. We had been given an extra page for course corrections, but somehow it got  placed in the wrong section of the book. I didn’t think too much about it and sent Jesse down the road. We traveled for several miles and then I remembered hearing something about a course change, so I pulled out the extra sheets of paper and sure enough we had taken a wrong turn. This put us way behind, but Jesse pushed our Pony hard to regain some ground. We didn’t end that section well, but we learned a lot about communicating and reading the instructions carefully. We also got to hunt down a Porsche 911 and not only did our old girl keep up, we actually gained ground on the Porsche! We might not win the event because of that single mistake, but we earned a lot of respect from the owner of the Porsche and we learned just what our car could do. Thankfully, it didn’t hurt the rest of our times, as the next section lead us to an hour break for lunch.

Lunch time couldn’t have come sooner because we were both stressed out and hungry. After parking our car in the middle of what may turn out to be the best view of the day, our spirits were brought back up by a little food and the comradery with our fellow drivers. Now that we had made a blunder, we got our stuff together. I started keeping track of our mileage more carefully and I called out instructions more precisely with what our speed needed to be and Jesse was careful to keep our speed right where he felt it needed to be to maintain our average speed without overheating the brakes or losing too much speed. We finally got into a rhythm and before long we were hitting the ends of each section right on time. There were several sections that we would have loved to have been watching as our Mustang barreled through the mountain turns. In our heads it had to have been like watching the 1965 Monte Carlo Mustangs as they descended the mountain slopes at full speed! Well, at least in our heads…

Mustang at the Parts Store

As the day went on we kept a strong pace, but we could feel it wearing on us. By the last section we were both feeling wiped out and our poor car was starting to feel the effects of being pushed so hard. The first thing we noticed was that we were losing oil, not enough to be of any major concern, but enough to ride on the back of our minds with every turn. We still aren’t sure if we are losing it from a gasket or if we are burning it, but our new friend in the Porsche told us we weren’t smoking. We bought some extra oil as soon as we arrived in Lincoln City and we will have to take a look at things this evening. We also blew a hole somewhere in the exhaust system. It isn’t a big enough hole to be obnoxious while cruising down the road, but it is something we will want to address tonight as well.

NWCR - Fitting in at Lunch

Was our day perfect? No, but it was a great time and at the end of the day that’s all that matters! Oh sure, we are excited to see our times for the day, but that isn’t what really matters. We have meet some great people so far and have been able to introduce a number of people to the BF community. It has also been awesome to connect with some of our readers who are on the rally or came out to cheer us on. Heck, reader Dave drove an hour just to see the Mustang and meet us! The best part of this whole experience has to be proving not only to the other participants, but ourselves that you don’t have to own a shiny high dollar car to come out to events like the Northwest Classic and have a good time! At the end of the day it isn’t about who has the nicest car, but who’s car made it back in one piece and is willing to go again for the next round of punishment. Sure there are other cars here we would love to own, but we wouldn’t want to be going on this adventure in any other car than our rough looking 1965 Mustang!

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  1. Mike G

    Looks like a lot of fun!! Planning a La Carrera Pan America run in the next couple of years myself. Expensive, but you can’t buy memories like those.

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    Congratulations on making it through the day. I’m sure that things can come unraveled in a heck of a hurry if you make a miscalculation but that also helps keep you on the game. Hope you have a better day tomorrow!

  3. stanley stalvey

    Nice story. Good writing.. Great event…

  4. Don Andreina

    Wish I was there.

  5. paul

    Great stuff,why next year I expect you all to sign on to the Peking to Paris rally. Loved that GTA & as an Alfa guy I know something about oil usage & smoking. If you haven’t done this already, try some 20/50 Castrol GTX. Have fun, be safe, good luck to you.

  6. Jeff V.

    Nice run, wow, one crazy deer outta the woods and its over for ya! Great exposure though for “”.

  7. jim s

    love the video. i hope BFs project car moves people to jump into the old car hobby. it proves that it can be done without breaking the bank and still be a whole lot of fun.

  8. Bruce Rolfe

    Great story Josh. You and Jesse are really making a name for yourselves. Next year you need to do the Sun Valley Road Rally and show those Bugatti Veyron who owns the road.

  9. John

    I’m old enough to have run several TSD rallies back in the day of the little autometer (I think that’;s who made it) calculator and Clipboards everywhere.

    Rest assured that the little Mustang looks one heckuva lot more like a real rally car than those others. But the 300SL gullwing makes it worth the whole trip.

    Congrats and good luck.

    (BTW — I might rebuild the suspension, the interior, and the motor, but I’d sure as heck leave the body of the little Mustang looking like the rally car that it now is)

  10. ron

    Glad to see you are having a great trip. I hope to do this in my 1958 impala station wagon/hearse if she makes it from uruguay in time. Have a safe and fun trip.

  11. Ian @ Jewel or Jalopy

    Nice writeup Josh. I had the pleasure of meeting Jesse and Josh as the start of the rally (as I was volunteering again this year since I live in Portland) and they are both super nice guys.

    I wish you both luck, and here’s a shot of the two of them at the start:

    • paul

      Oh crap you blew their cover & no masks…. too the bat cave Josh.

    • Dolphin Member

      Wonderful to see the BF crew standing beside their machine at the start.
      Thanks Ian.

    • Dolphin Member

      Yes some of those high-end pieces of rolling art ain’t cheap, but an old unrestored ‘Stang coupe with a six-and-3-speed can still compete against them because it’s skill and accuracy, not horsepower, that wins TSD rallies. You’ve got to like that.

      But I think it’s still a Good Thing that some guys are willing to bring out their perfect mega-$$ cars so regular folks can see them actually being driven on regular roads, instead of them being kept under covers in hermetically sealed climate-controlled vaults until it’s time to sell and take the profits at the next high-end auction.

      • paul

        Agreed, never understood the garage queen thing, if you can’t drive it what’s the point.

      • jim s

        yes i too love to see/hear them being driven.

    • Josh Staff

      Thanks for taking our photo Ian and even more thanks for helping out with the rally! We’ve had an amazing time on this adventure and it wouldn’t have been possible without all the amazing volunteers! It was great to meet you as well! Hopefully we will run into you at next year’s event!

  12. DT

    “Amazing” thats your discription. you guys are having more fun than “Joe Ferrari”, Hes worried about tree sap getting on his baby,his tires cost $600.00 each,his oil change cost him another $600.00,You are doing your thing for what he paid just for his insurance. One thing I feel compelled to say……I told you to carry extra oil!!!

    • Josh Staff

      I think everyone has had a great time so far, no matter what they are driving. But I have to say it feels great to run with such a prestigious group of cars and to be so warmly welcomed even though we aren’t in a fully restored high dollar exotic. And we had an extra quart of oil, but the drive from Boise and the days events went through it pretty quickly. We tracked down a leak on the valve cover gasket and tightened the corresponding bolt and the leak seems to have stopped. We will have to keep an eye on it but we have 2 extra quarts left just in case!

      • DT

        Josh, Ive had almost every kind of car made, foreign and domestic, so when I see an American straight 6, my first
        thought is carry extra oil.

  13. sunbeamdon

    Hi all:

    How about “Curta Calculators” or a Halda Speed pilot? Or are rally aids banned?

    I used both as navigator in my TSD rally days in British Columbia – Van-Man-Van, Driftwood, Crown Rally, Canyon Rally, Shell 4000 and many others. Unfortunately my rally partner got to keep them when I abandoned the cause to become a CPA and raise a family. No regrets for either choice!

    • paul


    • Josh Staff

      Well at this event there are 2 classes, standard and vintage. Standard is allowed to use calculators and any kind of timing gear they want. Vintage on the other hand is a bit more seat of the pants, with all calculating devices banned. We don’t have nice timing equipment so we had to use a cheap stop clock. It wasn’t all that precise, but it got the job done. The next time we do a rally we are going to get some nice timing clocks and a trip odometer so I don’t have to calculate our mileage all by hand!

    • Dave Clark


      What did you drive in the Shell 4000? I’d love to chat with you about the rally for a project I am working on!


  14. John

    Curta Calculator was what I had in mind. It always looked like a coffee grinder. The Halda was always way too expensive.

    • paul

      & YUP.

  15. MikeW

    Great job! loved the story. The Curta it’self is a classic and worth some bucks. It was the first handheld calculator and used a lot out in the field by surveyors.

  16. ConservativesDefeated

    Great video guys. Whats that banging noise? Carborundum non illigimati est!

  17. Mark in Medford

    One thing to remember about your oil usage is that alot of old cars have the wrong dipstick and you may be putting too much oil in it.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      True, but we know we are losing some around the oil pan and valve cover.

  18. Ian @ Jewel or Jalopy

    May a little leaking oil be the worst of your worries!

  19. 71 MKIV

    Um, grammar police here, are you losing oil? or are you loosing it from the confines of the engine?
    Other than that, great write up. Sounds like fun!

  20. Sunbeamdon

    Dave Clark – I don’t remember seeing your post earlier – just got a jog from BFs.

    We drove a fully sponsored car provided by Pontiac start in Montreal – the Canadian/Pontiac version of a Chevy II – six cylinder three speed, prone to dropping its fuel tank in the trenches some where east and north of Toronto – you can contact me directly if you get this message –

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