Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mustang! Fifty-years Young!

My 78 Mustang
Proudly considered an "All-American" Car - I grew up admiring the Mustang!  When I started commuting to work & had to shop for a car - the Mustang above caught my eye!  After the test drive - it was a done deal :-)  We purchased this bright orange beauty in the early 80's used - with a 302-cubic inch 4.94L German made port & polished engine.  Before long it became obvious that the engine needed work, so after discussing options with my Dad - we decided to have the heads bored, replace the cylinders & increase the power.  With the removable t-tops - it was a blast to drive!
1990 Badlands
 We made several long distance trips in "Sunny".  But one of my favorites was when Jentry was on summer break & we drove to Iowa to visit my Grandparents.  On the way there & back we made stops at every interesting site we could find.  Devils Tower, Custer's Battlefield, The Badlands, Corn Palace, etc. :-)

"Sunny" was famous too!  Appearing in the 1984 movie Starman with Jeff Bridges at the wheel!   I drove Sunny many miles through the 80's - but by 1992 - it was time for a change!  We'd moved to the Homestead - I was working in Bellevue & on the road constantly visiting my portfolio of Condominium properties & attending board meetings.

I tried several different cars - but Finally one day a friend who'd noticed that I was driving a different car almost every day asked;  "Why don't you just try another Mustang!"  A light bulb went off!  Before Butch knew it - we were not just car shopping - but shopping for another Mustang! 
Smokey & Sunny - rear view
When we found the 86 GT with the 5.0 engine & I took it for a spin - literally - almost doing a full circle when I hit the gas... in the middle of Harbor Point Blvd. - it was love at first drive! (Sunny was sold to a guy I'd worked with - who'd long admired her.)
From the front~
"Smokey" was FAST!  I just love fast :-)  I would race my drive-time on some of my trips home.  My favorite long-haul was from Mercer Is. to the gate at home - with a record of 42-min.flat.  That was leaving Mercer Is. about 9 p.m. & was back in the day - when you could actually drive on I-5 & be one of the only cars out there - especially in the express lanes.
"Smokey"  86 Ford Mustang GT
But - there was the day I was coming up out of the south - turning onto the newly re-done I-90 bridge heading for the office & cruising...  when I caught the blink of bright red flashing lights behind me!  As I pulled over, the biggest, meanest looking real "Smokey" I could have imagined got out & approached my window.   I gave him my biggest, but sorriest smile ever & apologized for letting my foot get ahead of my brain.  He cited some sobering statistics about how speed kills & let me off.  By doing that - he's forever reminding me to slow down!  Way more effective than a ticket would have been!

Totally worthless on snow or ice, especially on Bellevue's hills...  The day came, I was working closer to home & actually had time to ride my horse.  Butch wasn't there to take us out with the horse trailer.  I didn't like driving the full size truck - so - I made the tough decision to trade Smokey in on a 4-wheel drive Jeep that would pull the trailer & get me somewhere in the winter.  I knew it was a Big mistake when I heard the squeal of the tires as the lot guy drove it off :-(  The Jeep's transmission soon went out & I decided that I wanted a Ford back!  That's when the Bronco entered my life...  It's Not the same - but it does the job & does it well!

One day in Snohomish though - I saw a black Mustang - with a leather interior the exact color of my saddle.  So - you never know - one day...  one day... :-)  In the meantime - I can dream about getting one of these!  50th Anniversary Edition.


  1. Agreed! nothing like a fast, smooth running, well made car on the open highway or on a twisty mountain road. I'm a BMW person myself :)

    1. Dad ended his career @ BMW in Boulder. There was a dark green convertable with a saddle leather interior... I kept telling him that I'd take it :-)


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