Hot wheels: Born to be wild
When her husband gave her an ‘85 Ford Mustang GT convertible for Christmas a few years ago, Tamahere woman Anne Morrow, 60, was gobsmacked.
"He'd hidden it in my son's garage for several weeks, so the first I knew was when this beautiful red Mustang came rolling up the driveway, with a big red bow tied around it. That's definitely the best present I've ever been given," says Anne.
She is especially proud of her rego plate, "85MUZY - Born to be wild".
Imported from Florida, the automatic convertible is still in its original factory condition, with only 84,000 miles on the clock.
The Ford Mustang is America's most-loved muscle car of all time and the 1985 model was hugely popular thanks to plenty of grunt under the bonnet. With two sets of recessed headlights, enthusiasts quickly gave it the nickname "Four Eyes".
To celebrate the Mustang's 21st anniversary, Ford gave the car an internal makeover: a 5L electronic fuel-injected V8 302 engine.
"It's quite a powerful car really and I'm a bit nervous about driving it," Anne admits. "It has a left-hand drive steering wheel so you can't really see anything when you get stuck behind a truck."
She and her husband Norman have been members of the American Classic Car Club in Hamilton for about five years.
In December 2010, a friend had asked if she was interested in buying his Mustang, so they drove out to Koromatua to see it. "I just fell in love from the moment I saw it and said to my husband, we'll get that . . ."
Always quick to spot an opportunity to surprise his wife for Christmas, Norman later fibbed to her that the car had already been sold.
"I got really cranky about it and in the end I just gave up on the idea."
Then on Christmas morning, Anne was getting dinner ready when she looked out the window and saw her son driving up to the house in the very same Mustang convertible.
"He'd tricked me all along! My husband loves Christmas. He always buys me the most amazing gifts and he's good at surprises, too!"
She has since told Norman that her convertible is "only to be driven by me . . . it's a lady's car, really".