Friday, September 7, 2012

Early Mid-Life Crisis: The Shelby Mustang GT500


Maybe—somehow—he had an internal mechanism that knew Jesus would call him home early. I figure as much since he was a bit young to be amidst a typical mid-life crisis. Who knows? All I knew as a third grader was that my dad approached our driveway in some kinda car that made our windows rattle. And I loved it.
I knew at that age what a Mustang was. But this wasn’t anything close to the classic little Mustang that Iacocca et al contrived to fit on a chassis with the same basic dimensions and construct as their Ford Falcon. 
Their little flurry of brilliance made the assembly line start-up processes and up-front production costs for the original Mustang considerably lower. I’m sure you didn’t know this and I’m pleased that due to my impertinence and pursuit of random bits of inane information, you now do. Shut up.
My dad’s new Mustang was sleek and…for some reason I want to use the word…turgid. Turgid in that it seemed like it was going to burst…just sitting there. The restrained energy that my wide eyed pediatric self sensed from this car while it was parked was palpable. My buddies and a few of their dads came over to look at it and they circled it…my buddies in awe and their dads in jealousy. And I was too young to define it the way I can now but there was incongruence between my dad and the car. In my third-grade noggin’ it came off more like … “my dad and this car don’t really go together.” By the time I was in the third grade, my dad was in a three button sack suit, longwings and a dress hat…every day. And this Mustang seemed like it needed a driver who was a bit more Steve McQueen or James Dean-ish.
My elementary school was within walking distance of my house and walk I did…almost every day from first grade till sixth. But I begged my dad to drive me to school in his Cobra. I wanted to be seen in it I think, more than my dad did.  I don’t remember wearing a seat-belt but if I had, perhaps I wouldn’t have risen from the seat when we were stopped at an intersection. My little fifty-pound ass would levitate…or at least I thought I was…just from the teeth clattering rumble emanating from our idling Cobra Mustang.
And then it was gone. Faster I think, than its sudden arrival in our driveway. I figure that the Shelby Cobra Mustang had about a six week run in my dad’s possession. I don’t remember any words exchanged, voices raised or any conflict between my parents over the Mustang. And trust me; I remember plenty of arguments over other things. I figure my mama played some kinda Sun Tzu secret weapon ninja card on my dad and poof, that car was gone without even a whimper. Somehow I knew not to ask about it.
My dad subsequently darkened the driveway in some kind of predictable four door, non-teeth rattling whatever and not a word was ever spoken about...my Mustang.

Onward. Levitatin’… Emanatin’… And always over ellipsis-ing my stories.

ADG II 

11 comments:

LPC said...

That car was secretly yours. Your father was just hosting it for you. Now go find it again.

Gail, in northern California said...

Oh my...did this post ever bring back some wonderful memories. It wasn't a Mustang. Close though.

I attribute half of my gray hairs to a 1968 Chevy Camaro my daughter bought while still in high school. She spotted it out in a field. Paid to get it towed to our house. She and her dad spent most weekends rebuilding that little monster and she had to hold down two part-time jobs to buy parts. Rims and new tires she considered best Christmas gift. Ever.

She still has it. Takes it out occasionally for a bone-rattling drive. Fellas still stop what they're doing to watch.

Main Line Sportsman said...

I will give you a ride in my 69 442 ragtop and you can re-live 3rd grade memories...hell...I'll even drive you to school.
See early post about said muscle car lurking in the Sportsman's garage.

Patsy said...

A good friend of ours had a 442 dual-gate, he painted it with house paint, lol.

Just saw a bunch of GT500s and GT350s at the Limerock Historics this weekend. Beautiful. They even had an vintage Shelby Cobra.

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

The overuse of ellipsis is the sign of a free-thinker... stay with it.

Anonymous said...

I was out under the tree, working on my car ( you know, a new set of coat hanger wire on the pipes and a re-coat on the orange paint on the diff) and I asked Cletus... I said Cletus, fetch me that bag right 'ere- that Tumi bag. And he said, why ... and I said cause my sockets are in it and he just rolled over and laughed... He looked at me and said Sockets? Tumi? You see, Cletus was a Rowan and Martin fan, too. He like to died right there.

NCJack said...

Without going into any personal history, even when you're old enough to know better some things HAVE to be bought, but CANNOT be kept, and you know it going in. I suspect both your Mom and Dad knew that about the Mustang

maven said...

You know, the same thing dynamic happened in our family at about the same time, but it was of all things --- a small historic apartment building that my Dad bought. Now, gone with the wind. But it was going to be mine some day, dammit.

Cape Cod Kitty said...

Wonderful post.....for my Dad - a very conservative Yankee, it was a red Porche made in Germany to be driven in Germany....Oh my....parts and repairs were impossible. It did not last long but my brothers were agog, well, so was I! He moved on to a Peugeot.

yoga teacher said...

Just the other week I was picking up my pregnant foster kitty and talking with the wonderful animal hospital manager whom I've known for 10 years. A lower-middle-aged, glasses-wearing, makeup eschewing, sweet, animal rescuer for goodness sake! I was lamenting the cost of my 4 new AWD tires and she mentioned the cost of ONE of hers. Of course, I had to know what she drives. A SHELBY! Convertible!! Frickin' ORANGE!!! It makes me so happy to know that, besides rescuing animals, she also kicks ASS! Though I totally get that's not always a happy surprise in a husband or father.
(A certain someone showed up in an Audi TT shortly before the demise of his marriage.)

PS: How 'bout a kitten???

ADG said...

LPC…Instead of finding it again, I’m paying for LFG’s braces. And glad to do so.

Gail, in northern California…I LOVE the Camaro story. I had two of them and my brother in law to be had a ’69. The coolest part of your story is that your daughter still has the car. Send me a picture of it.

Main Line Sportsman said...I’ve GOT to start reading others’ blogs. Oh, and I’m done with school but you can take me somewhere and let me set my damn self on fire.

Patsy...House paint…with a brush. Classic.

Stankee-Whisky-Papa...thanks re ellipsis use. I couldn’t refrain if I had to. …

AnonymousWillie…I know you know this but…the coat hanger wire has to be spray painted flat black. If the day-glo orange from the diff oversprays and spackles the coat hanger pipe rigging, it’s gonna look tacky. I hope Cletus recovered from your multi-entendre-ed Tumi Socket to-him that you did.

NCJackie...I’m widja butcept the part about my mama agreeing that THIS particular thang had to be bought. I think she missed that meeting.

maven...small historic apartments don’t parallel this story in the same way that guns, boats, watches and time-shares might. But I’m sad that you aren’t in possession of the small, historic, apartment building. Damn.

Cape Cod Kitty...Porsche to Peugot…I reckon that’s the Cape Cod version of this South Carolina thang.

yoga teachie...I’m digging the Orange Shelby gal anecdote and am assuming that wasband ain’t got no TT no more. And… “PS: How 'bout a kitten???” Uh…no. 90% of all my life’s troubles so far can be linked back to kitty procurement antics. But thanks.

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