Friday, April 18, 2014

Mustang Alan, think you better slow your mustang down.



I was reading an article about the fiftieth anniversary of the Ford Mustang yesterday. It brought back some fond memories of that year, 1964. I was fourteen that year and when I saw the Mustang I knew I wanted one. Of course the ability to actually purchase any new car was many years away for pimply teenage Alan. For a long time I had to settle for other peoples cast offs, cars that already needed repairs the minute I drove away in them. Now a Mustang might not seem like such a big deal in this day, but back then there was almost nothing like it. So I was sitting back and reminiscing, wondering why I never did get myself a Mustang. Then it hit me. I did buy a Mustang. In fact I bought a brand new 1983 Mustang from Al Piemonte Ford in Melrose Park, Illinois. How could I have forgotten that I had bought what I always wanted? Easy, the entire experience was so horrid that I had erased it from my memory. It started with a with a misleading advertisement in the newspaper where Al Piemonte promised a new Mustang at an unbelievable price. Now who could imagine that a car dealer would run a misleading ad, that they would have only one car at that price and it was purchased before the ad even went to print? However, there were still many fine looking Mustangs on the lot at somewhat higher prices. I had Mustang fever and I wasn't going to leave without one. A big problem, very big problem, is that I did absolutely no research before driving out there. So when I drove away in my new Mustang after hours and hours of paperwork and negotiating, I had no idea what I had bought. First of all it only had four cylinders. For some reason I just assumed that a Mustang would have twice that amount. The first time I tried to burn rubber in a parking lot the car just went 'clunk'. I pretty much ripped the transmission out doing that, and back then warrantees were something like 1000 miles or one month, whichever came first. I also assumed that my new Mustang was front wheel drive because that was all the rage in 1983. It wasn't, and it never has been. The
The only photo I could find with my Mustang in it.
Mustang has always been rear wheel drive. That car also overheated from the first week I had it until the day I traded it in. It would overheat in the summer, it would overheat in January, it was such a piece of crap. They were never able to figure out why. Now back to the matter of the transmission. I bought a Mustang with a manual transmission because it was substantially cheaper. For a number of years I had been driving only automatic transmission cars, I had become used to that. One cold fall day I got into my four cylinder, overheating, manual transmission Mustang, and turned the key. The car lurched forward, over the parking lot bumper, and into the six inch thick piece of lumber supporting my neighbor's back porch. As splinters of wood, and bits of broken planters that had been on the porch bounced off of the hood of my car, I remembered. Manual transmission, push in the clutch.

7 comments:

  1. Al Piemonte is still selling cars. Now his son Marco has joined him. Chip off the old block. Oh and also Gary now sells Fords so maybe that new Chicago car you're looking for is another Mustang.

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  2. Holy cow you guys look young.

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  3. Dennis, I think I could fit one leg into the waist of those pants now.

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  4. You guys look 12. I've got a nice poster for you. 50 years of Mustang. from cool to crappy back to cool again. You owned one during the crappy years.

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  5. You knew they were crappy when they built the Mustang II on the Maverick frame.

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  6. Remember that crappy brown Maverick? Now that was a piece of crap!!

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  7. Actually I liked the brown Maverick. I drove it after dad had it, Lisa had it, and it was functional for six months until I sold it to a guy who used it in a robbery. The Police came to my house because he never re-registered it.

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