Monday, July 28, 2008

#428 Mustang Solly

#428 Mustang Solly

Don't confuse him with Mustang Sally. Another story, entirely. Anyway, here's Solly, maybe 80 years old and he pulls up to the curb in his 1964 1/2 Mustang. Yes. A 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang. Pitch black. You can comb your hair by looking in the paint job. Pitch black (you ever see pitch? It's really black!)

Red maybe-leather seat. V-8. Not a single piece of plastic on the exterior. Chrome bumpers, real chrome, too. Not "brightwork," but gen-yu-wine chromium.

Solly gets out of the car to ask directions. The door opens wide enough for this old guy to exit without imitating a pretzel. Says he's looking for the place where his buyer lives. It's down the block.

"Who restored this baby for you?" he's asked.

"I take my detailing seriously he says."

I'll say.

Lee Iaccoca would be proud. Better than when it left the factory floor in Dearborn.

Yeah, it's just a tricked out Ford Falcon. It wasn't a cult car in 1964. Just a compact with a big engine and fancy trim.

But that's when cars were cars, not rolling living rooms. No air conditioning. Didn't need it. The engineers figured out the air flow back then, and you were usually pretty cool. (Now you'd be VERY cool.)

No power steering or power brakes. Just a car. But WHAT a car.

So, we ask Solly, "how much the guy paying for this ancient bucket of tin?"

"Ten grand," he says, "probably asked too little."

In this shape, he's right. Fourteen-ish is more like it. But he wants to be rid of the thing. Needs the garage space to restore an Olds convertible.

Maybe he figured because the 'stang has a new gas tank, it's not all original. Some stuff just didn't hold up. And only Iaccoca would notice the difference. And only if he looked closely. Oh, and the lining in the trunk. It's new, too. But it looks like an oil cloth table cover from around the time the car came off the line.

By the time Solly got his directions straight, half the guys in the neighborhood were out there gawking at this thing. One brought along a shaver; muttered something about his bathroom mirror out for repair.

Hope he brings that Olds around when he finishes with it. But if he really does take his detailing seriously, it's going to be awhile.


--Last year we had a zillion Gypsy moths, raising huge complaints. This year, we had a spraying program and almost no caterpillars. And people are complaining about the spray.

--There's a lot of calcium in the water here. People go to great lengths and expense to get rid of it. And then, they go out and buy calcium supplements which they dutifully take three times a day.

--Some people just can't grow stuff. We had some flowers on the deck and despite loving attention, they died. We threw them into the woods, and now, with no care at all, they're thriving.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(R)
(C)WJR 2008

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