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Saturday, February 28, 2009

1965 Mustang Convertible

In 1969, I drove a 1965 maroon Ford Mustang 289 four barrel hypo convertible. Of course, the car quickly became an extension of myself and seemed to help shape the way I viewed the world. More than a powerful motor and a unique style, the Mustang became my magic carpet to adventure and exploration. Most everyone loved to ride in the machine, top down, muffler bubbling, and eight track stereo blaring. I was lucky enough to purchase the car from my uncle, who had bought it wrecked and rebuilt it, so I guess you could say it was also an affordable status symbol. Driving the Mustang made me feel like a jet pilot free of the bounds of earth. As an eighteen year old, I passionately cleaned it and constantly maintained it to assure me a classic ride every time I turned the key. When other muscle car owners of SS 396's, GTO's, or Camaros pulled aside, I found it hard not to let them see how quick my Mustang could run. The car ran as much on testosterone as gas in those days, but I was careful never to be too reckless. The thrill was in the drive, not just in the speed. My Mustang and I took great care of each other. A few years later, I traded my Mustang for a Chevelle, a great car too; however, after my Mustang years, I never got that same passionate feeling driving other automobiles. I traded because of that human desire that the "grass is always greener." A lesson hard learned when possessing a young mind. Memories of my Mustang live on and provide me with colorful images of friends and good times. I wonder if the car exists today as an operational vehicle or as pieces of rust long disfunctional. I guess I long to see it as I knew it in 1969: a beautiful American classic. It breaks my heart to think my car has ceased to exist. In fact, I think a little part of me died when I sold the car, a part of my youthful freedom. It's really ashamed great cars aren't like diamonds, always sparkling in their original design and easily kept and maintained. Somehow the reality of both objects seems unfair--the automobile is so much more functional than the diamond and yet not nearly as durable. Maybe that's why I continue to like my Mustang so much. Like a departed friend, my Mustang left me with many pleasant memories after its demise. All friendships do end and we take pieces of our relationships formed within these friendships to our grave. But, oh, man, just to drop the top and tromp on that gas pedal one more time!
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