Car Of The Month - April 10
Joel & Lorilee Schleppi’s Torch Red GT
I vaguely remember the day my dad drove our family down to the local dealership to trade in our family car (a Mustang) for a new Ford Econoline van with a Turtle Top camper conversion (a vehicle my dad would later call “the worst I’ve ever owned”). At the time, I thought the van was awesome because now our “ride” had beds and a kitchenette.
Some years ago, I asked Dad if he remembered anything about that Mustang. His reply: “Yes, it was a 1970 Mustang Fastback, Bright Blue, black interior, 351-CID engine with a 2-barrel carburetor, manual transmission, décor group, convenience group, radio, round clock, tinted glass, competition suspension, F-70 white wall tires, trim rings and hubcaps, Serial Number 0F02H205441, purchased on July 13, 1970, for $2,189.52 including tax and title. Does that answer your question?” (He still had the window sticker and bill of sale.)
He regrets that he ever got rid of it (and so do I).
Some time later, I met the love of my life (my wife – not my Mustang). We really hit it off when we discovered each other’s love for Mustangs.
We got married about a year later, then really started getting the itch to own a Mustang. We loved the first generation ponies, but this car would be a daily driver for us, and we didn’t think we could find one with the appropriate child safety seat restraints for our daughter.
Then Ford unveiled the 2005 Mustang and we knew it was the one for us. Modern technology with the retro styling of the early Mustangs! We conducted an extensive online search of dealerships in Washington, Oregon and Idaho trying to find exactly the one we wanted.
Our quest led us to Shelton, where we traded in our 2001 Taurus (no tears shed there) for a 2005 Torch Red GT. As we left the dealership and accelerated up the on-ramp to the highway, my daughter (who was almost 4 at the time) yelled from the back seat “Go faster, Daddy!” (And we did.)
It was a great summer. The new Mustangs were just hitting the streets and few people had seen the restyled ponies before. Everywhere we drove, the car turned heads and moved complete strangers to engage us in lengthy conversations, wanting to know more about the car. We even had a couple on the ferry tell us I looked like Steve McQueen behind the wheel. (Talk about stroking my ego!)
We knew from day one this Mustang would be a lifetime member of our family. We didn’t want to look back with the same regrets my father and I have about trading in his classic Mustang. The license plate we got says it all: YEEHHAW!