Car of The Month - May

Scott & Melissa Gates '66 Mustang Fastback

My Dad was always interested in older cars so I got to attend allot of car shows growing up and was drawn to the sixties era Mustangs. My first car was a 1967 Mustang Coupe, 289 3 speed that I bought at 16, with help of my parents, in 1985. It was definitely a Ford (Fix Or Repair Daily). I worked bagging groceries and stocking shelves at the Navy Commissary to make the loan payments but was worth it to have that car. It was a great car, never left me stranded for long and was fun to drive. My dad and I enjoyed some memorable times, some good and some not, as we restored that car. I had that Mustang until 1991, the year I got married. It wasn’t until 2002 that I was able to consider finding another Mustang and located a1966 Silver frost GT Fastback just north of Dallas. The vehicle was in good shape and highly optioned, but needed some mechanical work. It has been work in progress over the years, doing minor restoration to having the original engine and transmission rebuilt. My Mustang was running good until the meeting in March when the power steering slave cylinder decided to leak all the fluid out while driving on Mopac. Needless to say, it was tough turning into my neighborhood. However, it provided an opportunity to solve some issues. The slave cylinder was rubbing on a header so decided to replace with a Borgeson integral power steering box (no slave unit needed) which worked great on the Bluebonnet Cruise. At least I am making progress!

Thank you for selecting my car for this month’s Car of the Month!

Scott and Melissa Gates

Car of the Month-April

Mike and Diane Escueta's 2004 Mach I

I became a mustang lover when I was sixteen when I helped my best friend partially restore his 69 mustang. It took us almost two years to prep the exterior for painting, remove the interior, replace the carpet, replace the reconditioned seats, and rebuild the 289 motor. It was quite a project and it kept us out of trouble when we weren’t playing sports. I got my first Mustang before I attended college. It was a ‘77 V6 Mustang my grandmother bought for me. Since that time, I have had four Mustangs but I always wanted to own a Mach 1. I upgraded to an ‘83 Mustang GT when they came out. I had to get rid of it in 85 due to speeding tickets, my driving record, and the fact that I was going to flight school in the Army to become a helicopter pilot. I still owned a Ford vehicle; it was an F-150 XLT. I got my wife a Taurus in ‘90. In 1999, I replaced my F-150 with another XLT and got my wife an Explorer in 1998 to replace the Taurus. I replaced the Explorer with an Expedition in ’06 though I still wanted to own a Mustang. I convinced my wife in 2001 that I needed to have a 2002 GT, she relented and I got one. The next year the Bullitt came out, and I said I had to have a green one just like the one Steve McQueen drove in the movie. I was lucky she said no. I played golf and was friends with the son and co-owner of Orchid Isle Ford. I had purchased my last three vehicles from the family dealership and they had always taken care of my family. In ‘03, the Mach 1 came out and Joe Hanley said that my dream had come true. I could now own my own Mach 1 and he said he could get me one. Lucky for me, it took me until the next year to convince Diana to let me get the car of my dreams. I was also fortunate that the ‘04 Mach 1 was also the 40th Anniversary Edition. I got to pick either the one pictured above or the red and black one. I fell in love with this one and the rest is history. It now has 9,300 miles and is kept in the garage under a Cover Craft custom Pony cover. Thanks for selecting our car as the “Car of the Month”.

Car of The Month - March

Neal & Kathy Armstrong's 1968 Coupe

A diamond stud earring was in the ashtray, right where Chad said it would be, and I returned it to him the next day. He was most appreciative to get it back, knowing his mom would have a fit if she found it was missing. Seventeen-year-old Chad, following the fashion of the day in the '80's, had gotten his ear pierced and was occasionally borrowing his mother's earring when the need arose. Unfortunately, he had forgotten to take it out of the car before he parked in the Beall's lot at 183 and Lake Creek Blvd. with a "For Sale" sign in the windshield.

It wasn't an easy decision: selling the Mustang his grandmother had given him on his birthday, only 5 or 6 months earlier. Ever since he was a little kid, he'd loved grandpa and grandma's car. When he and his mother visited them in Sacramento, California, he would sit in the driver's seat, in the garage, and pretend to drive. Grandpa had purchased the San Jose-built Gulfsteam Aqua coupe new on March 1, 1968 at Downtown Motors in Sacramento, and it had been his pride and joy right up to the day he passed away. The new-for-1968 302 cubic-inch 4-barrel V-8 gave this car wings, and the air conditioning, power steering, power disk brakes, tinted windows, AM radio, and Cruise-O-Matic transmission made life on the road comfortable. For some visual pizzazz, a deluxe exterior package, featuring a louvered hood, set off by the Parchment vinyl top, deluxe wheel covers and wide-oval whitewalls were added. But the particularly unique feature was a full-width bench front seat in the deluxe parchment interior. (What grandpa might not have known is that there were only 853 coupes built in 1968 with that deluxe bench seat, and only 27 of those had Gulfstream Aqua paint.)

The teen years are challenging for young guys, some more so than others. Chad had unfortunately found himself in arrears to the county court due to an indiscretion, and with the Mustang being his most valuable asset the choice was regrettably clear. The good news was that after paying his debts, he'd have enough left over to buy that motorcycle he'd been lusting after for a couple of months. What he could not foresee was that the motorcycle would be totaled within a few weeks. . .

Fingering the keys, Chad looked at the check in his hand for a long time. He glanced at the car, back at the check, and finally at me, and handed over the key-ring. On September 29, 1988, after 20 years in Chad's family, the stewardship of "6T8" (as the coupe later became known) was transferred to Kathy and I in exchange for what was possibly generous currency. Perhaps it was a fair price, considering that its life of being garage- kept in a semi-arid climate insured a completely rust-free body, but the coupe's 148,000 miles of "experience" had taken its toll mechanically, in spite of the regular maintenance documented by careful record-keeping. A worn-out front suspension, non-functional second transmission gear, well-used front seat, carpet, and door panels, splitting headliner and dash pad, and the engine's heavy overcoat of greasy dirt all indicated that this car was ready for a serious freshening.

While it still wears a repaint applied in 1987, as well as an incorrectly-seamed and now aged vinyl roof, a hefty folder of receipts speaks for the repairs and upgrades performed in the 22½ years we have owned 6T8. A restored interior, rebuilt rear suspension, front suspension, brake system and steering, the cleaned-up and repainted engine compartment, rebuilt original J-code engine - including some mild performance components, and the upgraded 15" x 8" chromed wheels, were the major investments. Safety, reliability, decent handling and performance, and presentability are top priorities to ensure that we have a "ride" we can use to participate in all of MOCA's activities for years to come.

Thank you for selecting "6T8" as the March Car of The Month!!

Neal and Kathy Armstrong

Car of the Month - February

Eddie and Pat Zihlman's 2011 GT

Our Mustang is a 2011 GT that we ordered from Ford to our specs. The most interesting aspect is not necessarily the car itself but more the why. While I attended the University of Texas here in Austin from 1967 through 1972 I happened to see a 1967 Shelby GT 350 and fell in love. No way as a student that I could afford it so I just dreamed. After college I moved back to the Wichita Falls area, and in 1975 an acquaintance had one he wanted to sell but he had neglected to put anti-freeze in it and froze the motor. He replaced the heads and promised to get it running for the agreed price. We signed the papers and off I went, ecstatic. After driving it awhile I checked the dip-stick and found foamy oil... not happy but at least I had my dream car so off I went trying
to fix it in my grandmother's one car garage. I can't tell you how many friends I went through trying to get it running the only one that stayed with me is my now wife of 35 years, Pat. In 1976 our first child was born, we decided that we needed to buy a home and looked how we could get the down payment. Realizing the GT 350 needed more work than we could afford we decided to sell if for the down payment.
Fast forward to 2006 and the realization came that owning another Shelby was not in the cards, because I was having trouble staying awake while driving. I deferred a lot of the driving to my wife. After a procedure that required an anesthesiologist we were informed that I had sleep apnea so severe that every time I hit REM I stopped breathing. I am now the proud owner of a CPAP machine that has changed my life drastically. I no longer get sleepy while driving! Moving on a few years, retirement approaching, kids out of the home Pat agreed it was time for me to have a car of my choosing, not one that was required to meet family needs. I knew I really missed that GT 350 but decided to be "practical" GRIN! and look at the new 5.0 GT's. We went car shopping to try and decide what options we wanted knowing that we would order it to get exactly what we wanted, so on June 6, 2010 the order was placed for a Performance White GT with
Brick Red interior, 6 Speed Manual with 3.73 rear end, and Brembo brake package, plus almost everything else imaginable including "Bun Warmers" for Momma (Pat). On July 6 it arrived! This car is everything I had hoped. It brings a smile to my face just looking at it. We were so proud of it we started to take it to the local gathering at 1431 and 183.
Now for the full circle part of the story: At one of the gatherings I saw a 1967 GT 350. A gentleman walked over to ask about our Mustang and I asked him if he knew who owned the GT 350. His response "I do". I started to tell him our story of owning one and he asked our names, he said, "That is your car, I bought it from you" We were shocked to say the least and so happy to see it was still treasured. The owner is also a member of MOCA, Don Metz. It has been our pleasure to remake his acquaintance and to meet the other members of the club.
Eddie and Pat Zihlman