Car Of The Month - Sept 10
Al & Joan Shott's 1966 Convertible
The life of a teenager in the ’60’s revolved around sports, girls, and in my case, cars. Friday nights were spent attending the local high school football game, followed by heading over to Shoney’s Big Boy Drive In. There we would have the required burger, coke, and check out all the hot new cars. Gas was 29 cents a gallon, and a dollar would put the gauge back where it started. Saturday night was spent going to the movies, followed by the required cruising.
My father was an aerospace engineer and passed the auto gene onto me. This was his job, and we traveled a lot, including Michigan (the Detroit auto show was a regular event) New York (we were there for the World Fair and got to see the first Mustangs) Alabama (warm summer nights) and finally, the Pacific Northwest. Mom had the family station wagon, and he always had to have something new and unusual. It became a family event. Whenever he was late coming home, we wondered what he would show up with this time. There was the Tempest, the finned “pink” (actually faded red) Chrysler, the Falcon, and then the Karmen Ghia. This left me as a teenager with the choice of what to drive on the weekends. Mom’s station wagon had certain advantages, but with a six cylinder engine, it wasn’t very cool. Dad’s Karmen Ghia was a convertible, but the 50 horsepower engine did not do much at the drive in. So the choices came down to Jeff’s Kaiser J or Caleb’s 1966 Mustang - Wimbledon white with red interior and a 289, it was the logical choice.
We were styling and having fun in the all-American way!
Fast forward many years when Joan finally looked me in the eye and said, “Enough of dragging me to these auto shows. Get rid of the motorcycle and you can buy the muscle car of your dreams.” (Tired of riding alone, little did she know I had been scouring the internet for months.) There were many options, but the search quickly narrowed to vintage Mustangs, specifically 1965-1966 Shelby’s. I was looking at three GT350 clones, when my brother called and told me to look at an ad on Craigslist. Pulling it up, I saw a green 1966 GT350 convertible with white stripes. It looked great in the ad and Bob was more than willing to send me photos after photos. Every couple of minutes, my computer would produce another email with more photos. I kept forwarding them to Joan and finally she told me to stop the “auto porn” and go get it. The negotiations were terrible for me, as he knew the car was already sold. The only restriction was that I agree to join Mustangs Northwest!
Many hours have been spent in the garage modifying and adjusting the car to fully make it mine. These have included a new stereo, wooden steering wheel, repairing the gauges and several changes to the engine. Right after my purchase, our son Henry got a 1989 Mustang GT so we have become a two-pony family. So now when the sun comes out, the top goes down, classic rock and roll is on the stereo and Joan and I head to Golden Gardens to enjoy soft ice cream or Dick’s drive in for burgers. The all -American way!