Islander’s car fully loaded with happy recollections
The Springtime Yellow paint is a little faded. There are door dings here and rusty spots there. It’s apt to stall on takeoff and is cantankerous about starting. It burns a little oil. None of that matters, though. Trudy Deen Davis’ 1966 Mustang convertible is a most cherished heirloom and the official vehicle of fond family memories.
Davis’ parents bought the car new in June 1966 for $1,663.
The car is about as close to original as they come, right to down to the original Maher Bros. dealer sticker above the back bumper.
The car apparently outlasted the dealership, which may have been a feat, because it survived two teenage drivers.
Davis’ mother drove it for years, but then her sister got it at 16 and drove it all through high school. Then Davis got it and drove it all through high school and college.
It sat for years unused, even spent time in the “barn” of classic-car legend.
Davis inherited the car about 13 years ago as part of her parents’ estate.
“All I wanted was the car,” she said.
The Mustang came equipped with Ford’s venerable 289 cubic inch V8, four-barrel carburetor and three-speed automatic transmission. Davis recalls that it came with a single exhaust system, but her mother demanded an upgrade. It’s sporting twin pipes and glass packs now.
“The dual exhaust is my favorite part,” Davis said. “It sounds like you’re going fast, even when you’re not.”
Aside from the exhaust upgrade, which is as old as the car, and a new convertible top, the Mustang has never had any major work.
A college sorority sticker on one window, the tassel from a high school graduation cap that hangs from the center mirror and one of those windowsill cup holders are about the only custom parts installed.
While Davis says it’s the rumble of those eight cylinders she likes best about the car, you get the idea that’s not really true.
What she talks about is the family trip to Florida in 1968; she, her sister, Mom and 6-foot-plus Dad all folded into the Mustang for 1,000 miles or so.
She talks about high school, having lots of friends and driving a Springtime Yellow convertible that sounds like it’s going fast, even when it’s not.
“We’d all pile into it after football games; see how many people we could get in,” Davis said. “I have high school friends who still ask me how the car’s doing.”
The Mustang still works for a living, but only part-time these days. Davis drives it when her SUV is in the shop and it makes trips to the Poop Deck on nice summer weekends.
The Mustang could use a little work, but Davis is very particular about who she’ll let do that. It’s not just a car, after all, it’s a vessel carrying a lifetime of family memories with a long road ahead.
One day, she’ll pass the Mustang down to her son; it’s already in her will.