Saturday, October 25, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;39.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2014-10-25 07:52:19
Sunday, July 13, 2014

Telegraph’s 8th Motor Mania cruises to success in Hudson

As bright, shiny and pristine as is Greg Ahearn’s blue 1969 Ford Mustang convertible some 45 years after it rolled out of the showroom, the story behind the well-traveled classic sports car is at least as impressive.

Ahearn, one of scores of owners of antique, classic or otherwise unconventional cars and motorcycles who took part in the Telegraph’s eighth annual Motor Mania car show on Saturday, described how back in 1971, his wife-to-be, Claire, had to part with the then two-year-old Mustang so the couple could afford their first house on Nashua’s Harris Road. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

As bright, shiny and pristine as is Greg Ahearn’s blue 1969 Ford Mustang convertible some 45 years after it rolled out of the showroom, the story behind the well-traveled classic sports car is at least as impressive.

Ahearn, one of scores of owners of antique, classic or otherwise unconventional cars and motorcycles who took part in the Telegraph’s eighth annual Motor Mania car show on Saturday, described how back in 1971, his wife-to-be, Claire, had to part with the then two-year-old Mustang so the couple could afford their first house on Nashua’s Harris Road.

Comforting his tearful fiance by promising to “buy her another one someday,” Ahearn fulfilled that promise just in time for the couple’s 40th wedding anniversary.

“When she found out it was her car, not just another ’69 Mustang but her actual car, she burst into tears,” Ahearn said with a big smile.

The storied car didn’t bring home any trophies this time, but with a history like that, it doesn’t have to.

The car that carried this year’s version of the event the Telegraph launched in 2007 as part of the newspaper’s 175th anniversary celebration was Don Nicolls’ 1955 Chevy Belair, a sweet representative of the golden era of chrome and fins that started out by winning the class car category and going on to cop the best in show and people’s choice categories.

Among first-time Motor Mania entrants was a curious-looking vehicle that appears to be a case of antique auto-meets-motorcycle,
which, according to owner Ray Gallien, is precisely what it is.

With a 1923 Ford Model T body, a Harley Davidson front-end (complete with motorcycle handlebars for steering) and a 350-cubic-inch Chevy engine, the vehicle comes with a slogan: “Best of Both Worlds.”

Gallien, who also spent Saturday celebrating his first day of retirement from his U.S. Postal Service career, said the hybrid was manufactured in Cleveland about a decade ago and was one of only 10 or so to be built.

It ended up taking second place in the motorcycle division, behind a gorgeous, more conventional 1987 Harley Sportster owned by a man who identified himself as “John W.”

The four-hour show, held on the grounds of the Telegraph’s main office in Hudson, was preceded by the traditional “cruisin’ parade,” which gave owners a chance to show off their respective vehicles starting from Granite Clover Self-Storage on Northwest Boulevard. and running through Nashua, into Hudson and to The Telegraph.

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s Motor Mania is being donated to Good News Garage, a nonprofit auto repair and maintenance shop that accepts donated vehicles, repairs them and then donates them to low-income individuals and families in need.

A program of Lutheran Social Services, the Good News Garage partners with various shops in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.

As for Ahearn and his – more accurately, his wife’s – ’69 Mustang, he got a lot of help tracking it down from Nashua resident Linda Dube, a friend who happened to be one of its owners.

Dube had sold it to a distant cousin, whom she contacted for Ahearn. The man said the car wasn’t for sale, but agreed to meet with Ahearn and hear his story, he said.

“After we talked awhile, he agreed to sell it to me,” Ahearn said. “He said, ‘the only reason I’m selling it to you is because your story beats mine.’ ”

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443 or dshalhoup@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Shalhoup on Twitter (@Telegraph_DeanS).