The Smokies from near Taig an Drama 66 Mustang Being the Pictorial Chronicles of the Life & Times of George Flew

May 24, 2017

In 1969, I returned home from college to resume my co-operative engineering job with Jackson Utility Division. When I arrived, my father greeted me with “Son, I’ve found you a car.”

When I started college in fall of ‘68, my father gave me his car - a 1959 American Motors Rambler Station Wagon, baby blue in color. I don’t have a picture of this desirable classic car but I found one on the Internet that someone had for sale. (I can understand selling it, but I can’t figure why anyone would buy it!) As you can see from the picture, this was a total chick magnet and you are probably surprised to know that I actually wanted to replace it. Especially when you learn that the front bench seats folded back flat and the back seat folded forward. This was a very desirable feature for a 19 year old boy. (I later gave the car to my sister to cancel a $5 debt.)

So Pop and I piled into his black Studebaker and  drove out to a used car lot on Airways Dr where he introduced me to a 1966 Ford Mustang. Vintage Burgundy with a white drop top, and black interior, it had a 289 V8, 4-speed transmission and Holley 4-barrel carb. I quickly forgot about the fold back seats of what my friends and I called the Amereecan Super Sport. With 15,000 miles and a $1500 price tag, I put it on a note and drove it off the lot.

I drove that Mustang through college and for the first three years of my working career putting well over 100,000 miles on it. Unfortunately, in my senior year, the left front quarter panel and then the driver’s side door panel were crushed in separate incidences (neither my fault as they happened while parked.) Being in school I could not afford to have it fixed and so continued to drive it as was. As fate would have it, the only picture I have was part of my wedding album that I no longer have access to. (Remember, no cell phones, no digital camera and Pop rarely brought out the old Brownie.)

In ‘76 I was offered a position with JUD which included a take-home vehicle. I had been pressured by a fellow employee to sell them the car for a couple of years. The car had several issues including the damage from school, a defective break pedal and it needed a replacement rag top (which had cost me $350 the last time I had it replaced.) Not wanting to be burdened by insurance costs on a car that I wouldn’t be driving and with the issues, I succumbed to the pressure to sell the car. After all, at that time it was just a 10 year old sports car with issues that I had paid $1,500 for. (And don’t even ask what I got for the car. That number is known only to me, the woman that bought it and God and I will take it to my grave. You can check with God in the Hereafter.)

I have since classified this decision as ONE OF THE STUPIDEST ACTS OF MY MEAGER LIFE!

So when I came across a 66 convertible, burgundy, 289 V8, 4-speed, rag top Mustang on eBay, my heart skipped a beat. Encouraged by Amy, I placed a maximum bid on it and sat back to see what happened. When in the last 60 seconds of the bid, my bid was topped, I got caught up in a bidding frenzy and, though I exceeded my max, I won the bid. But then, what price youth?

So on Monday, Amy drove me to Lexington, KY. I gave the car a test drive, paid a local mechanic to give it the once over (he cleared it for the trip back to Knoxville) and then, with shaking hand and a stomach full of butterflies, forked over a small fortune and took the keys in hand. After transferring my tools, jack and jumper cables to the trunk, we started back for Knoxville. The steering had a fair amount of play in it, but otherwise the important stuff, including brakes (which are disc) seemed up to the trip. The steering did give me some concern since there were several construction zones on the way back with narrow restricted lanes. On the plus side, the day was coolish as the Stang had no AC. Unfortunately, I wrestled with high engine temps and low oil pressure and so we were limited to about 60-65mph tops. Then, as we crossed the TN state line, we ran into rain. I couldn’t reach the right side vent window so I let the rain blow in and kept the seat wiped off. But I discovered a leak just above the steering wheel that continued to drip into my lap.

Almost a carbon copy of my original Mustang, it differs only in that this one is a GT (meaning a few additional bells and whistles) and it has a parchment and burgundy interior. The interior is also what they call a Pony interior which means the seat backs have embossed galloping mustangs. Being 50 years old, it’s not in perfect condition. Top priority is to get the slack out of the steering, make it more water tight and paint it. It needs a lot of love (where love=$.)

BTW, the song playing is “Mustang Sally” by the late, great Wicked Wilson Pickett. Just like my 66 Stang, it is simple but it sure has classic lines.

So here is a gallery of pictures of the newest member of the Flew family.

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