Back in ’98 we acquired a 1967 Red Mustang Convertible. I say acquired because around that time we had dealings with certain people who had abilities to make things appear. Not illegally, just unconventionally 🙂
It was an odd time, the late ’90’s, with private jets and long cars and hotel penthouses but that’s a whole other story…….
The Red Mustang was an ex-rental car. In the city we lived in, tourists would rent cool cars to cruise the strip and hang out. It was a beach town, a glitzy resort town with lots of nightclubs and adult entertainment. A little bit of Miami mixed with a lot of Vegas.
It was a fun place, we were young and kid free, doing gigs, making money and playing hard.
So this car turns up. It was tired, it was rusty, it was a bomb but it looked cool!
It didn’t matter that there was a hole in the back floor 18″ in circumference. The carpet stopped you falling through. It didn’t matter that the seat wouldn’t go far enough forward and I used a booster seat to reach the pedals but still drove with my toe…..it was a cool car.
We looked good in storefront windows
It totally didn’t matter that it was quite unroadworthy and needed a lot of mechanical work………it was a cool car!
It was so cool that Suncorp Bank approached us to use it in one of their lifestyle loans commercials. While we were on our honeymoon, they borrowed it for 2 days.
We loved that car, we went everywhere TD or top down. It didn’t matter what the temperature was, we went top down. Luckily we lived in the sub tropics and it was warm mostly all the time. Although at night I was glad for a sweater or jacket. I learned very early to always bring something warm. It even had to be seriously raining before the King would stop to put the roof up. A light sprinkle was NOT going to spoil the image. He didn’t really care about my hair 🙂 I used hats and clips to keep it tame.
We went on road trips, yes those kind
We drove this car the long way home one Christmas vacation, spending the millenium New Years Eve at Ayers Rock (Uluru). There is nothing more spectacular than driving through the desert at sunset in an open top car. We did need to have the roof up during the day travelling out there though, even we had our limits. Burning to a crisp was not a fun idea. The entire back seat became an esky (cooler) for water.
Out there, where there are no speed limits, we did 100 miles an hour, just to see if the car could do it. The front end started to lift, it felt like it was going to take off so we wisely slowed down, then, realising we needed proof, we had to do it again 🙂
After that trip, all 5000 miles (8000kms), the poor thing needed a total rebuild. The morning, after we arrived home, the motor and the gearbox both blew up simultaneously. It got us home and then said ‘I’m done.’
After the rebuild she was a happy car. The body still needed plenty of work but under the hood was perfect. The wallet did need to recover before we could start on the cosmetics. 🙂
We drove it everywhere. It had pianos in the back, it had trees in the back and it had giant teddy bears in the back. There was nothing we couldn’t do with it.
It never had a garage, we lived on 10 acres out of town and there was no shelter for a car, so she happily lived outside along side the truck. Sometimes we’d forget to put the top up and it would rain but no serious damage was ever done.
Then we bought a house.
Things were going well, we were growing up, we were married and I was 18 weeks pregnant. The mustang got a garage. However she had to share her space with 5 tons of PA equipment. I don’t remember why the PA couldn’t live in the truck anymore but it didn’t. So jammed in a double garage beside all the big scary black boxes was our pretty little mustang.
The King, being the King, decided that it was absolutely mandatory that we back the mustang into the garage. His reasoning was twofold, first , it was easier to leave the house by just driving out of the garage rather than backing out and turning around and 2. It looked much cooler from the street when the garage door was open. (palm to face) Don’t even ask.
Now coming from 10 acres and basically parking anywhere, it was a little difficult to get used to the tight space of half the garage and backing in beside the wall of big black boxes. The precision came in leaving enough room all around to get out of the car and making sure it was far enough in to close the garage door but not too far to bang into the back wall……..
Can you reverse in that condition?
Taking into account my ever increasing girth, hormones and new home issues, backing the mustang into the garage was a becoming a little awkward. I complained constantly, saying it was too difficult and why was it so important ,blah blah blah. It fell on deaf ears and so back in we did.
I successfully managed the maneuover many times during the first few weeks but as I widened, my skills seemed to decrease. On this particular day I backed in as usual only to fall short by a foot. I couldn’t close the garage door so I got back in the car but only half way. My thinking was I only had to ease it back a foot so I’ll just sit in and use my left foot. This became my downfall because those of you who drive, are well aware that you don’t have the same feel for an accelerator in you left foot as you do with your right foot, which has been trained over many years to understand the complexities of driving.
So here I am sitting half in the car, my left foot on the accelerator, my right foot on the floor of the garage, I turn the key and proceed to reverse the mustang a foot further into the garage.
Our mustang, like most muscle cars, had a very sensitive accelerator and my left foot was new to this and so you can understand that when I put my foot down it was a little too heavily. The car lurched back and in my mild panic, with my right foot still on the floor I lifted my left foot to hit the brakes hard. My left foot obliged but didn’t move and my action of tramping on the brake caused an almighty tire squeal, the wheels spun then screeched backwards in what I can only describe as a blur……….The car stopped after an almighty bang, into the wall at the back of the garage. Luckily a steel lighting truss stopped me from ending up entirely in our bedroom. However that same lighting truss crumpled the back of the mustang quite substantially.
Watch out for that……….
So there I was almost through the back of the wall, the open driver’s door, crumpled and wedged against a protruding black box. I was very lucky not to lose my hand.
I managed to get myself and my huge belly out of the vehicle as the King and Wazza arrived at the side of the garage door.
Of course in those situations people ask the most redundant questions.
“What did you do?” The King raged. By this point I realised I was ok, nothing terribly bad had happened and I would survive. To which I answered, “Well obviously I just backed the car into the house!’ and then I broke down 🙂
After that we all burst into laughter. I explained how it happened. There was nothing to say after that. So we went back to work.
You would think that would be enough excitement for one day but no, not for me. It became apparent that I had somehow taken the phone system out. I couldn’t understand how but I suppose the wiring was in that wall. This wasn’t good because we were running the company from our new home at the time. So I spent about an hour on my cell phone to the phone company furiously trying to sort out the issue and get back to business.
While still being on hold, on my cell, to the phone company, my rolly polly body needed to use the bathroom.
This new house was rocking cool, it had a bidet, hot tub and a phone in the bathroom. There were marble tiles and mirrors everywhere. The bathroom felt like a 5 star hotel.
So into this haven I waddled.
And that is when I discovered the problem…………. I hadn’t broken any wiring in the wall. There was no need for any phone technicians to come out. The force of my bump had knocked the bathroom phone off the hook. (palm to face….again)
I hung up the phone and then I hung up my cell phone quickly and walked out shaking my head and laughing………. a lot. 🙂
But truthfully……….I AM an excellent driver. As for crashing the car, I justified it because the body needed fixing anyway. And that’s why you have insurance. Right?