Ex-rental Shelby GT-H Mustang a golden find
Bruce Thacker is convinced he was "destined" to one day purchase a Ford Mustang, after he first laid eyes on one more than 45 years ago.
"I reckon it was about 1967, I was working in Hanmer Springs at the time when I saw my first Mustang. I knew I was destined to own one ... I'm not sure what fascinates me about them, it might have been the fun aspect I suppose," says Mr Thacker.
His version of the Mustang, a 2006 Shelby GT-H, is certainly special, given the fact only 500 were made.
The model is based on the Shelby GT350H and is a 40th anniversary model, manufactured by Shelby American, a company that constructs high performance Mustang models under the Ford banner.
The car was only originally available at the Hertz rental car agency, which explains the black and gold-coloured paintwork.
It also has a rather distinctive bump on the bonnet, known as a ''power bump'', over the engine.
Mr Thacker has owned his Mustang, number 336 of 500, for about 18 months. His love for it hasn't waned at all and it's highly unlikely that it will.
"I like everything about it really, I don't think there's anything I dislike about it," he says.
"I just enjoy driving it and the pleasure of owning something that might have a bit of history about it later on. I don't ever intend to sell it, my investment is for the fun of it. There's only 500 in the world so I guess that makes it reasonably rare."
While there's several things to like about the Mustang - the shape, interior and engine being a few things - Mr Thacker was sold on another aspect when he first saw it on a computer screen on a Christchurch dealer's website.
"It's the colour I like most actually, I love black ... but it's a challenge to keep clean. The gold stripe just sets it off and makes it quite distinctive. The bonnet was made specifically for this model too, it's a very distinctive shape."
While there's a 4.6 litre, V8 engine lurking under the hood, Mr Thacker says the vehicle is, surprisingly, not all that thirsty compared to some other high-performance vehicles.
"They are not a powerful car, but it's reasonably economical. On a trip from Christchurch ... it used the high nine litre mark of fuel per 100 kilometres, so they can be economical if driven sensibly."
Because his Mustang is such a rare vehicle, Mr Thacker is reluctant to do any tinkering and the only modification he's done, if it can be called that, is installing some mud guards.
"That's all I intend to do," he says.
"I want to keep it factory standard. You can put a super-charger in the motor and on the rare quarter window you can put on some louvers, but I'm really not interested in that."
Mr Thacker takes great pride in his Mustang and thoroughly enjoys driving it.
Something he likes just as much is the looks and comments he gets from people on the street, or at the petrol station.
"I love it when people come up and want to talk about it. I get lots of comments coming from people young and old, it's especially surprising coming from the young ones, you'd think they would be more interested in Subarus or something."
- The Timaru Herald