SAAC/CPR Review:
CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CT
2009 Connecticut Pinto-Bobcat Gathering
Sunday, September 13, 2009, Manchester, CT
(this page new as of 1/22/2010)

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CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CTWild Herd of Pintos Spotted in Manchester...

It all started with a broadcast event notice received from our hard-working CT Pinto buddy, Glastonbury's Bill Rainey of the CT Pinto/Bobcat forum, within an e-mail dated 9/1/2009:

"...The Connecticut Pinto Registry and CT Pinto / Bobcat are co-hosting a Pinto meet on September 12 2009 at Hartford Rd Pizza in Manchester CT from 4pm to?? Pinto and Bobcat owners or fans of these cars are welcome to attend (with or without their cars). Hartford Rd Pizza has a Car Cruze special: A slice of pizza and a can of soda for $1.99, and their contact information is 250 Hartford Rd, Manchester CT, 06040; phone is (860) 432 8800. A rain date has not been set, but check http://ctpintobobcat.com/index.php?topic=166.0 for a map and updates..."

Backing up a bit, it is no secret that Diane has had a serious, life-long interest in Ford Pintos, and finally, a few years ago, was able to acquire "the Pinto of her dreams," in the form of a nice, original, low-miles 1973 Ford Pinto Squire station wagon. Being impressed with the car myself, and sensing how much fun it might be to be able to perhaps form some "connection" with other Pinto enthusiasts in our state, I added "Connecticut Pinto Registry" (a.k.a.: "CPR" - online home at: http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/Pintos/CPR.html) as a side-light to the SAAC web site, where we could share our own Pinto enthusiasm, and solicit others.' Happily it's been even more of a success than we could've expected, providing lots of fun and opportunities to meet other CT Pinto people along the way.

CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CTWe are especially proud of the role that CPR played in the first-ever Muster of Connecticut Pintos that took place in Colchester, CT, in June 2006-be sure to check out Kit Foster's review of the event at: http://www.kitfoster.com/2006/07/midsummer-nights-dream.html .

But getting back to the fun of meeting other folks with shared interest in Pintos, it was with the help of our old-VW friends Bill Silvestri and Greg Mattesen, who ran across two spectacular Pintos at a Glastonbury cruise night in May 2006, and met the enthusiastic owners, Bill and Connie Rainey! Through Bill and Greg's happy intervention, we were eventually also able to meet Bill and Connie Rainey in person (which we did at the above-mentioned Colchester event just a month or so later)--two positively amazing Pinto People for sure!

I will not event attempt to describe Bill and Connie's unbelievable Pinto involvement and enthusiasm! They are absolutely on the "cutting edge!" Far from being "mere enthusiasts," they are historical and technical authorities on Pintos-and also master car builders and restorers of Pintos! To be able to view their amazing Pintos first-hand, and talk with them about all the technical features, one comes away more than impressed with Bill and Connie.

A short time after the Colchester event, Bill, who has been a long-time, very active participant at the world-wide home of Pinto enthusiasm, FordPinto.com, got the urge to develop a more locally-based and completely interactive web site where enthusiasts of Ford Pintos, and their Mercury cousins, the Bobcats, could visit, discuss, ask & answer questions, and just share enthusiasm. And soon, Bill launched his great site "Connecticut Pinto & Bobcat," online at: http://ctpintobobcat.com/ - and the rest, as they say, is history! Bill's CT Pinto & Bobcat online web project has been, and continues to be, a huge success and an invaluable resource for Pinto (& Bobcat) enthusiasts from our area, and well beyond also. We cannot give enough credit to Bill for "taking the bull by the horns" and getting it done!

Bill and Connie, being the energetic go-getters that they are, soon got the itch to leverage the goodwill and good reputation of their CT Pinto & Bobcat web site venture into creating and publicizing another gathering of Connecticut Pintos, Bobcats, and their enthusiasts, and also asked us if CPR would also be interested in helping promote the event (which we were of course more than happy to do; it should also be noted that Bill gives CPR far too much organizing/promoting credit--he and Connie did 95% of the legwork!). Bill and Connie worked to scout and secure a good venue, which turned out to be a wonderful pizza restaurant with a spacious parking lot, located in Manchester, CT, and very easy to get to off of the highway.

CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CTAs the planned event date (Saturday, September 12th, 2009, as noted near the beginning of this review) approached, ominous rain forecasts forced Bill to move the event up to Sunday the 13th. Thankfully Diane and I both had clear schedules for the 13th, and so it was "full speed ahead" up to Manchester in Diane's '73 that afternoon! We got there a little after the starting time, but still had a positively tremendous time participating!

We had the wonderful opportunity to meet Shari Lucas from Waterford in person (and her husband Bill), who's spectacular '71 Pinto we had admired earlier in the summer at one of the Essex Cruise night, also Al Rose, also from Waterford, who we had known via correspondence since 2004 (though the CPR site), but had never met in person until that day. And of course it was a great pleasure to see Bill and Connie Rainey once again, and ogle all the latest updates to their cars (Bill's yellow '77 turbo Pinto was, in particular, vastly different from the last time we had seen it, with many new body & engine mods, and also a flashy new paint job; Connie's super-cool orange '78 turbo Pinto was also looking typically spiffy, right down to its factory mags with white letter tires, and authentic period plaid interior upholstery).

Of course I also brought my camera along, and was very pleased to be able to snap a few pictures of the many beautiful Pintos (and one beautiful Maverick also) that attended the gathering. At one point one of the restaurant's workers also used our camera to record the very nice group shot that you also can see among the many views featured on this page.

Here's what Mr. Bill Rainey had to say about how it all worked out (this was posted by Bill later in the evening of the same day of the event, in the dedicated event thread at the CT Pinto/Bobcat site):

"...The weather was much better for the event today, but the switch did limit our attendance. We had 4 Pintos with two other ctpintobobcat members without Pintos.

Connie and I got there early to help block off a few spots so the cars could be together. Shari and Bill soon arrived, then Al, Chris, followed by Steve and Diane. It was great to see everyone again, and great to meet Shari and Bill. I had talked with Shari last weekend and let her know about this event. I hope we made a good impression.

CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CTShari and Bill met a couple with a Maverick earlier in the day and invited them to stop in; they did. I think his name was Chris, but I did not get the chance to talk with his better half so I don't know what her name is. They had a very nice car, and we hope to see them again.We had a few passers-by stop and say hi, and one even knew some history on Connie's car that we did not know. This was great because the story behind that car is almost as kool as the car itself.

Connie and I would like to thank all those that were able to attend, and we were sorry that others could not make it. This will not be the last event like this in CT, we will see you all at the next one!

We would like to thank Greg at Hartford Road Pizza again for letting us make the parking lot filthy with Pintos, and for the great pizza.

Also, I would like to thank Steve and Diane for the support from the CPR site. It's great that we can work together on things like this... Thanks again, Bill and Connie..."

And THANK YOU, Bill and Connie, for all the work you did to make this wonderful gathering happen! Keep up the great work with all your Pinto car projects, and also with the great "Connecticut Pinto & Bobcat" web site!

On to More Photos...

BELOW: Overall view of the Pintos (& Maverick) at the Hartford Road Pizza Restaurant parking lot.

CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CT

BELOW: Another overall view of Pintos and Maverick (closest right foreground). I think that's Diane (in the hat) admiring Shari Lucas' spectacular low-miles original '71 Pinto in this view.

CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CT

BELOW: An overall front view of some of the Pintos (Shari's '71 is unfortunately blocked in this view, by the Maverick, which is starting to pull out of the parking lot).

CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CT

BELOW: The amazing originality of Shari Lucas' '71 Pinto prompted a good amount of scrutinizing by the Pinto enthusiasts present--to find out the "correct way that the factory did it!" It is indeed a beautiful specimen of early Pinto.

CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CT

CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CT

BELOW: This is Bill Rainey's yellow '77 Turbo Pinto in the foreground, looking super-slick with front and rear spoilers, mag wheels, and whtie letter tires--awesome!

CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CT

BELOW: This is Connie Rainey's super-sporty orange (with white vinyl half-top) '78 Turbo Pinto, with Diane's '73 Squire wagon at the left background.

CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CT

BELOW: Connecticut Pinto-Bobcat Folks posed for a group picture before breaking up the 2009 Muster. Thanks again Bill and Connie Rainey for making it all possible!

CT Pinto-Bobcat Meet, 9/13/2009, Manchester, CT


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