Tales of Mustang Fastbacks – Two Classics at the Orinda Car Show


    The Orinda Classic Car Show is in its 19th year and will include about 175 American and European cars from the 1920s to the 70s, and modern exotics. Food, music and car-related vendors will accompany the cars on display. Enjoy this family-friendly outing Saturday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near Orinda Motors, along Orinda Way. Admission is free.
    “Land Yachts,” enormous American-made touring sedans, is this year’s theme and many will be there buffed and shined, gleaming in the sun.
    Orinda resident Buzz Weldy is more of a fan of fast cars rather than Land Yachts.
    Weldy is bringing his classic 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback, one of many show-worthy vehicles in his collection. The white and blue-striped Fastback is a 5-speed, with a 400-horsepower engine.
    Weldy came across it while shopping for high-end golf carts. The owner had traded it for a few of the pricey carts and it sat in the back of the showroom. Agreeing on a price, the classic sports car soon took its place in Weldy’s collection.
    He also owns a Shelby Cobra, a classic Porsche and a 1964 Ford Galaxie he races in Mexico.
    Choosing which car to show is easier since his brother moved out of town and can’t help with the set-up. “I don’t have enough drivers,” he said, with a laugh.
    Kirk Haley, also from Orinda, is showing his prized 1969 Ford Mustang GT Fastback. This car has history.
    As he remembers, Haley bought the car when he was in college and it was his primary car to get him to school and around town. Once he graduated, “I decided it was time to grow-up and get a regular car,” Haley said.
    He parked it on a major street with a for sale sign, and within two hours a buyer showed up with cash in hand. The buyer didn’t try to negotiate the price.
    “At that point I had a not-good feeling about it,” he said, wondering if he had underpriced it. For years, Haley would see Mustangs similar to his old one. He kept thinking he wished he never sold the car.
    “My wife said, ‘You need to get over this car.’”
    Fast-forward 26 years. Haley was in the neighborhood of the man who bought his Fastback and went looking for it. In an apartment complex, he spotted a car under a cover that was shaped like his ’69 Mustang, and took a peek.
    He came face-to-face with his old license plate. It was his car.
    “I figured it was gone,” he recalled.
    By letter, he asked the current owner if he had any interest in selling it. He had been working on it and it wasn’t running. The offer was, “if you can take it tonight, it’s yours.” He did.
    Fortunately, his memory of working on the electrical system came right back, and with one wire put in its proper place, the Mustang started right up. Car and owner have not been apart since.
    Haley has been part of the Classic Car Show since its second year.
    “It’s fun,” he said. “Every car has a story.”
    Proceeds from the car show help fund The Orinda Association’s Seniors Around Town (SAT) program, which provides free transportation for eligible senior citizens.

Celeste Altus can be reached at celeste.altus@gmail.com.

What You’ll Find at the Orinda Classic Car Show
The Sept. 9 Classic Car Show is a free event for the whole family. With its Land Yachts theme, expect to see:

  • 15+ Land Yacht luxury cars, from the late 1950s through 1970s
  • Lamorinda Idol contestants singing 12 to 12:30 p.m
  • Raffle with fabulous prizes, including a kid-sized electric Mercedes Benz
  • Two food trucks and Loard’s Ice Cream
  • Vendor booths
  • Orinda Historical Society
  • Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary promoting The Orinda Association’s Cars2ndChance donation program
  • Car product vendors, including Artdeshine
  • Mercedes of Walnut Creek with two new models
  • Cobra Experience Museum in Martinez showcasing the Shelby Cobra car from Ford vs. Ferrari.

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