There were four signs on the windshield of the red 1967 Ford Mustang coupe parked Friday next to the aqua-colored 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible at the concours part of the annual Pacific Grove concours auto rally.
One sign was the Mustang’s rally number: 129. Another identified the car’s year, make and model. Another noted “Original Owner” and the other proclaimed the distance that owner has driven the car: 493,400 miles.
Turns out the owner is Judy Burdick, who lives in Salinas, inland and some 35 miles from this town overlooking Monterey Bay.
Not only has she owned the car since she bought it new when she was 30, the Mustang has been her only car, and a good share of that mileage came over the course of 37 years of a long daily commute to work. She said she also visits Pacific Grove quite often, and that the furthest she’s ever gone in the car is to Los Angeles.
Why did she buy the Mustang?
“My Falcon gave out after six years. These had come out a couple years earlier and I thought it was very beautiful. It was the styling. And the power, the V8 engine,” she said.
Speaking of the engine, the one in the car is the third, though she doesn’t really count the second one.
“The garage destroyed it,” she said, adding that after the garage replaced the engine it had destroyed, “I stopped going to that garage.”
“Now I have a very good mechanic,” she noted.
She’s also had the car painted three times, each time retaining its original factory color. The only other major change was an upgrade of the original audio system.
Do the math and you can figure that Judy Burdick is 79 years old, though still seemingly as ageless as her approaching-half-a-million-miles Mustang.
She has no plans ever to sell her car, and already has made arrangements for it eventually to go to her nephew.
But she shows it and drives it not only daily but in events such as the Pacific Grove concours auto rally. Begun in 1995 by the local Rotary Club, the annual event during Monterey Class Car Week includes a concours on Lighthouse Avenue in downtown Pacific Grove, followed by a rally that includes the famed 17 Mile Drive past Cypress point and through Pebble Beach.
Photos by Larry Edsall