Interests: Mustangs and Classic Cars

Brussels Legal spoke with Geoffrey De Maesschalck of Lovells about his interest in Mustangs and classic cars.

BL: Geoffrey, tell us about your hobby.

GDM: My hobby focuses on my classic Ford Mustang, which I have owned since 2000. But I have had an interest in the Mustang for about 12 years.

BL: And why did you prefer the Mustang to say a classic Chrysler or VW Beetle?

GDM: While I have always had a general interest in cars, Mustang clearly was the one to own. Nothing beats the beautiful classic lines of a Mustang.

For me it is just the most beautiful car! It has a great young sporty image and is a true American classic known by most people. You could say it was love at first sight!

BL: Your hobby involves more than just maintaining and driving your Mustang?

GDM: For sure. I regularly meet with other Mustang enthusiasts (we call ourselves "The Mustang Drivers") and that is mainly the opportunity to drive our cars. Through doing that we have got to know each other, made more friends and help each other out.

There are drives/meetings/weekends organised by other clubs and individuals and my friends and I also participate in those too.

I also organise a yearly drive called "Flanders Mustang Event" and maintain my own website www.mustangdrivers.be.

BL: So what future events have 'The Mustang Drivers" got planned for 2006?

GDM: A drivers' weekend at the end of May (Alsace, France); the 9th Flanders Mustang Event at the end of June; and most likely another weekend in Luxemburg in September. If anyone is interested in finding out more information, just visit the website.

BL: What have been the highlights of your Mustang interest so far?

GDM: There have been a few. I would pick out the 40th Anniversary Meeting in Nashville 2004.  Wow! 6000 Mustangs and thousands of enthusiasts in the homeland of Mustang. Also, the fact the Flanders Mustang Event has now become the biggest Mustang-only drive in Belgium.

BL: Is it fair to say this hobby has mainly a male following?

GDM: While there are female Mustang drivers in Belgium, it is true that it is mainly men that are into Mustangs.

BL: You also have a wider interest in classic cars. What is a classic car and why do you like them?

GDM: Any car over 25 years old in Belgium is called a classic car (also sometime referred to as an 'Old Timer').

I always had an interest in such old cars, but now I mainly prefer the American ones. But also like - and that might sound strange at first - the Toyota Celica (the classic one of course). But I must admit that car has always been known as "the Japanese Mustang"!

I know most other classic cars of course and have some (limited) knowledge on all the other brands.  But which car enthusiast does not know a Corvette, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, De Lorean, Bugatti, Facel Vega?

BL: What advice would you give someone coming to Belgium considering buying such a classic car?
GDM: When you want to buy a classic: make sure you know what you want; what your budget is; and then get as much information as possible before buying (from other hobbyists, the internet, books).

Registering a classic car is cheap in Belgium (around €27) and insurance is between €75 and €200 depending on the insurance company.

Unlike other cars, the owner of a classic car pays a fixed amount of tax, regardless of the engine size.

You can also decide if you want to get regulation check-up/M.O.T. yearly. Depending on that decision you can get a different number plate and some other different rules apply to.

BL: Does one have to know a lot about car mechanics to own a classic car?

GDM: It is strongly advisable to have a basic knowledge of mechanics to start with (before even buying a car perhaps) and then learning the tricks of maintaining the car. Make sure you know the weak points, the difficult points and the expensive ones.

Personally I think the better you know your car, the better you can maintain it and keep it on the road. And of course you will save money when you can perform repairs/do maintenance yourself. Loads of information is readily available (workshop manuals for instance) and other car owners can also teach and help you a lot and share their experience.

So yes any owner of a classic car should know the basics of mechanics! But for the rest: enjoy that classic - on the road, that is what they were made for!

BL: It is an expensive hobby (particularly with current petrol prices)?

GDM: The petrol is not the most expensive item; sometimes parts for repairs or maintenance are more expensive. And you know when you buy a classic American car (meaning a car with a big engine), that it will consume fuel. If you keep your original engine and do not make it a horsepower 'monster'. the fuel consumption is ok (considering the displacement of these engines). On the other hand, well-maintained engines are nearly indestructible.

And after all, every hobby will cost you money...

Author: Brussels Legal ©
Published: 12 January 2006
Location: Brussels Legal/Archive/Interests & Hobbies 
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