Manny's Mustang pristine from all angles
The licence plate on Manny Sim's 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback says it all really - NICE65.
Mr Sim is the third owner of the sleek black machine which arrived from the sunny US state of California in 2006. After having it repainted and a few modifications such as replacing the sunkissed dashboard, lowering the suspension and adding shiny new mags, all he has to do now is keep it clean and polished.
''It's a beautiful car to drive,'' he said.
''A lot of young kids say they like it. It's quite good to know that even the younger generation kids still enjoy a good car.''
The personalised plate on the car was a present from his daughter, he said, and sums up the vehicle quite well.
A fan of American cars, particularly Fords, he said driving in a car with the steering wheel on the left hand side was something he had become used to, although some passengers felt a little bit awkward sitting on the other side without a steering wheel in front of them.
The Mustang, which is automatic, has clocked up about 70,000 miles (112,654 kilometres) and cruises comfortably at about 105kmh. Surprisingly, it is very economical when it comes to fuel consumption. But like a lot of cars it depends how you drive it.
''I drove it back from Nelson when I bought it and picked it up and when I was driving it home, I just had a big grin all the way.''
It has a 289 cubic inch motor and has never been driven on a shingle road so even underneath, the car is in pristine condition. The upholstery is still original and a lot of people get to appreciate the Mustang when Mr Sim goes on rallies. It also features a collapsible back seat which converts into a tray to store gear. A panel at the back can be pushed out to open into the boot to maximise the space.
A windscreen sticker shows that the previous owner had been a member of the Automobile Club of Southern California for more than 10 years.
Mr Sim is a member of the Canterbury Mustang Owners Club, which is based in Christchurch.
MUSTANG FASTBACK FACTS
The Ford Mustang 2+2 fastback was introduced in mid-1965, about four months after the March production launch of the coupe and convertible.
The fastback gave a different vibe than the coupe and convertible. Ford designers sought to simply produce a low-key, sports-style coupe as the new family car. Its popularity was unexpected. But there was no mistaking that the fastback had the look and feel of a performance car, although it was powered by a modest inline six-cylinder engine, the standard 260-cubic-inch or 289-ci V8 engine. Whereas the coupe's roofline sloped sharply into the rear deck, the fastback's roofline dramatically slanted almost to the end of rear deck.
The fastback's roofline changed in 1967, when the fastback stretched in a straight line downward all the way to the lip of the rear end and incorporated the trunk lid as part of the roofline. The 2+2 fastback was produced from 1964 to 1968. The Mach 1 replaced the coupe and fastback as one hardtop version for 1969 to 1973 models. In 1969, the essence of the fastback remained, but the shortened roofline ntsG was shortened thatnte faintly echoed the styling of the 1965 to 1966 models.
Sales of the fastback were healthy: 77,079 in 1965; 35,698 in 1966; 71,042 for 1967 and 42,581 for the 1968 model. Source: eHow.com