COTM

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.
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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.
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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.
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Eddie and Pat Zihlman

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