You have a real passion for cars…
Not just cars, bikes too. In fact, I consider myself an enthusiast of all things that move. When I got my first car, a 1973 Mazda 808, I loved tinkering with everything, including the most important thing to an 18-year-old — the sound system. Mine was booming and I think my ears have been affected from those days — my wife Linda thinks it's just selective hearing…
You've always taken great care of every car you've owned…
I've treated them all with the respect they justly deserve — knowing that you completely rely on your car to get you to and from wherever you are going, I don't see the point in flogging a car from go to whoa. And who wants to break down in the middle of nowhere?
You had a couple of great cars back down under, right?
Before leaving Australia to relocate and work in the UAE, I owned a Holden Commodore (Chevrolet Lumina Supercharged V6 to the non-Aussies) and a Subaru Impreza S. Both were great cars, but as I wasn't sure how long my stay here would be, I sold them both — actually, my wife did as I didn't have time to arrange the sales myself.
You wanted something big and strong when you got here. What did you opt for?
A Ford Explorer as the family car but we needed a second mode of transport.
Coinciding with this need came the 2010 Mustang. I fell in love and bought it. Impulse buying — got to love it!
It's unique as it is the only Mustang in the current shape with the updated 4.6-litre V8. It boasts exceptional handling and acceleration. Fuel efficiency is great, especially for a muscle car. Linda benefits from it the most (loves having 300+ horses of giddy-up-and-go) as I commute to Abu Dhabi to work every day in the Explorer.
But, being a big kid with some money saved and wanting a new toy, I started to look around for something that I have always really wanted — a classic car.
Now we're talking! What were you after? Oldsmobile 442? Chevelle SS? Buick GSX?
Well, me being a 67 model, my classic had to be from the same year so that we could age gracefully together. The ideal car for me was a 67 Stang, as it is known all over the world and commands respect and gives you immediate street cred.
Great choice! And I'm not just saying this, but your 67 is the sharpest Mustang I've ever seen. But it didn't always look this good, did it?
No, it probably never looked anywhere near this good when it rolled out of the factory, but the restoration and modifications have all been tastefully done and I think as far as attention to detail goes, it's really up there with the best of them.
I won't argue with that! Tell us more…
It has a Street Fighter 302 Cubic Inch V8 (naturally aspirated) mated to Street Fighter automatic transmission with a B&M shifter. It's been painted dark blue and has a blue/ivory interior with a custom billeted steering wheel and blue LED interior running lights, not to mention modern AC and power steering systems. And yes, there's a booming sound system too! It has a 12-stack CD player with amplifier in the boot.
Under the bonnet, everything is either chromed or powder coated in baby boy blue paint, the same for the underbelly too. It rides on American racer five-spoke wheels and certainly isn't all show and no go. It looks and sounds awesome and can get up and go if desired but that's not my style.
I bet it makes everyone's day when they see it roar by…
It's like listening to the radio — everyone loves listening to the current hits but every now and then a classic comes along and makes you smile and this car certainly does that. For the 40+ generation I think it takes them back to the good old days in some way. Strangers stop and talk to me about this car and tell me how fabulous it looks and what wonderful condition it's in. I have had a few people ask if it is for sale. That happened during this photo shoot!
I'm not surprised, it really is a beauty. How often do you take it out?
I don't drive it a lot as that's not why I bought it — it's for special occasions. When I do drive it, it's always just in cruise mode and I sit on a maximum speed of 80kph on Shaikh Zayed Road or move slowly along Beach Road. People always take a second look and I get a lot of thumbs up and I always wave back in appreciation. Keep an eye out and give me a wave if you're out and about! The other reason for not driving it a lot is the cost of motion lotion — this car loves a drink and I only ever use the premium blend, it's worth the bit extra.
My kids love the 67 and say it's a cool car. We went to a five-year-old's party a while back and all the dads flocked outside in awe of the beast and it took me a while before I could join the party — it was a big distraction for the birthday boy's big day!
This one is staying in the family isn't it?
I hope so. When my son gets a bit older and is ready to take to the road, I plan to restore it again with him. I hope that my kids inherit my genetic love for cars and learn to appreciate them as I do.