Nothing says summer cruising quite like a 1964 ½ Ford Mustang with the top down, so when the weather’s perfect Alan and Robyn Messenger jump at the chance to take theirs for a spin.
The Ningi residents have two Mustangs in the garage to choose from – the old and the 5L, V8 2017 model. “You can see I’ve got Miss Daisy and the rocket,” Alan says laughing.
He bought his first Mustang in 1999 and has owned six since then, importing five from the US. When asked why Mustangs appealed to him, Alan’s answer is quick and straight to the point.
“Steve McQueen. It has the mystique of the first rebel car,” he says.
And he loves the ‘64 ½ because “it’s the original and it’s a convertible”.
“You’re in the fresh air you can look around you can get the breeze, and occasionally get the rain. It’s more freedom,” he says.
“I was working in the US and there were a lot of cars on the market at the time as a result of the Global Financial Crisis.
“I negotiated and bought this one.”
It took him six years to transform the car from its former condition to how it looks today, doing everything himself except the paint job. “I have friends in the Mustang Owners Club QLD that did the paint,” he says.
The end result is amazing, even capturing Warner Bros' attention, who will soon be filming on the Gold Coast a movie about Elvis Presley. It will be under the direction of Baz Luhrmann.
Alan says Elvis had a convertible Mustang, and he expects to hear in the coming months, if his car will get the call-up.
Despite owning the car for about 13 years, and while it attracts plenty of attention on the road, Alan says it’s never been featured on television or in movies before.
It is shown at concourse and other community events, so Alan and Robyn drive it once a month or so to club runs.
“With a left-hand car, you’ve got to be more aware,” Alan says. “You’ve got to plan when you’re going to stop. It keeps up with the traffic and accelerates as well as others, just doesn’t like stopping like the other cars.”
It’s the drum brakes that can be tricky to get used to, along with small fuel tanks.
“You have to plan where you’re going and where the service stations are,” he says.
There’s also no power steering or airconditioning.
For various reasons, Alan enjoys driving both Mustangs but the new version has more creature comforts and is easier to park.
“It’s got everything you could want. It’s probably one of the first American cars that’s been designed properly,” he says.
“It’s comfortable for the driver and goes around corners well. A lot of people joining the club have the newer models.”
So, is there another model on the horizon for this Mustang-loving couple?
“I’m thinking of breaking with tradition and building an electric mustang. It would be a stealth car,” he says grinning.
Alan is already investigating what people are doing overseas, and it is estimated that he could buy the shell from the US and put an electric motor in it. It would certainly add a whole new dimension to summer cruising.
Visit qld.mustang.org.au for more information about Mustangs
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