Mr. McQueen...your car, sir
I can only imagine the fervor that arose upon the unveiling of the Ford Mustang back in April of 1964. Despite its modest underpinnings and origins, the '64 1/2 Mustang (the "1/2" for coming out in the middle of the model year) became an automotive phenomenon the likes of which there hadn't been before save for the Model T. Or, since.
When I ran into this delightful little '67 this past weekend, I sprained my neck when I first saw it. And I swear it wasn't because my inner 12 year old said, "Oh. Look! A Mustang". No. It was because this is a seriously cool little car that happens to be, "A Mustang". Alright, the cheap red paint may have also have had a part in this car grabbing my attention but I digress.
My little red Mustang here can be generously referred to as a "ten footer". Meaning, from ten feet away she looks good. To be honest though, the closer you get to her the more you realize that she's more like a twenty footer. Ok. A thirty. Yeah. She's that bad. And that's a shame because Ford's updating of the original '64 1/2 for 1967, in my very humble opinon, made a cool car even cooler. Even this very tired example still oozes gobs of Steve McQueen cool. He drove a '68 GT390 (very similar looking to this car but with a fastback) to imortality in "Bullitt". Legend has it, Mr. McQueen thought so much of this car that he bought one right after filming was completed.
When I was a kid these cars, particularly the pokey six cylinder models like this (mostly likely a loveless 240) didn't get any respect and where often victim of hacky weekend mechanic "soup ups". This one doesn't look like its had too much done to it and perhaps that's part of the problem. Aside from an older (cheap and OMG shmaltzy) respray, the scattered rust bubbles, sagging front suspension and sliding and missing emblems tell me she's just been flat out neglected. There isn't a straight panel gap anywhere on her ta boot.
Sigh. I didn't take any pictures of the interior. I've found that while folks are fairly luke warm about strangers taking pictures of the exterior of their car, they really freak out when you start taking shots of the inside. But it's really nice. No cracks in the dash. The seats look solid. Whoever has got the dough and a lot of it has what appears to be a car with good bones to start from.
I don't know what I would spend to buy this little car if I was in the market for it but the lesser the better. When you factor in all the body work, suspension and power train work that needs to be done you're probably looking at at least $25,000. I think I'm being conservative in my estimate at that.
This is a base model, V-6 Camaro. That said, it still has plenty poke. Nothing like the V-6 Camaros of 20 or even 30 years ago. Remember the Iron Duke Camaros of 1982 vintage?
I Hate Myself For Loving You
I can't help myself. Every time I see one of these I, at first, get a little weak in the knees. Then I get sick to my stomach.
Mine was an Olds 307 powered '82. White. Red leather. No vinyl top. Simply gor-juss and she had me at "why...hello, thar!". Much like this 1985. Hmmm, she sure is lovely.
Then I quickly recall all the times she left me stranded. Or couldn't get me to where I needed to go. And how she burned my modest bank account for thousands and thousands in lame attempts to keep her running. I finally ditched her when the right front wheel came flying off. At first the car started "wagon wheeling" while I was doing 40 mph. By the time I could slow down to about 20, the tire came loose and rolled into a row of bushes in front of a bank.
1979-1985 Buick Rivieras, Oldsmobile Toronados and Cadillac Eldorados; I hate myself for you.
This Ain't No Replica
I was going through my wife's phone the other day (oh c'mon...you don't do that??) and I came across this photo she took of me mugging in front of this delightful little beast in the parking lot of the Home Depot in Avon last summer.
For those who think that a Corvette is too commonplace and a Viper too over the top, may we present for your viewing pleasure, a four hundred and twenty seven cubic inch, AC Cobra. Oh. My. Don't get too close. Those side pipes get really hot!
It's not a replica. Well, not a replica per se. It's a "continuation car". "Continuation" as in continuation of a series of spectacularly awesome two seaters started by the late, great Carrol Shelby back in the '60s.
Note that there's only a rollover bar for the driver.
Ford's now defunct Mercury division and I have a lot in common. My first car was a Mercury Comet. My wife was driving a bubble back Mercury Capri RS when we first met. My brother drove a 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis back in the early '90's. Most importantly Mercury and I are both "middle children". My wife is a middle child too.
Being a middle child can be tough. At worst you're either neglected and ignored or unfairly put in the cross hairs of demanding parents who are not happy that you're not exactly like the fair haired, much prized older sibling. At best, you're the star of the family rising above the train wreck that is your older brother or sister and becoming the solid example for how to get life done for your younger sib that your parents wished their first born was. Good or bad it's a different ride for us middlers. My wife and I came through fairly unscathed from the rigors of middle child-dom. Sorry to say, Ford's middle kid did not.
Mercury's, for most of their time here on this earth, were either a Fancy Ford or a "entry level" Lincoln. A Mercury, with the exception of the spectacularly unique and wonderful 1949-1951s, was never a "Mercury". My Comet was a slightly more upmarket Ford Maverick. I guess. I didn't think there was anything upmarket about it. My wife's Capri allegedly an upscale (tarted up) Mustang.
Pick a lane, Grand Pa. Ford never did. That confused buyers and ultimately killed you.