When Mike and Jean Hauser were first married, they decided to buy a new car in 1968.
Mike liked the sporty Mustang fastback and even considered the Shelby GT350.
However, it was about $1,400 more, so they opted for the non-Shelby Mustang fastback.
Since the difference between the two cars on today’s market is probably now $50,000 or more, the GT350 would have been a better investment.
However, few people still own a car they bought in 1968, so buying the more affordable one with a lower-performance 302 CID engine was the wiser choice for the young couple.
Still, Mike remembers the Shelby GT350 as an “almost” in his life.
However, their ’68 Mustang served Mike and Jean well, taking them across the country and back to California while Mike served in ‘Nam.
That was when Jean proved that she is admittedly not a “car person.”
After Mike sent word he was returning home from his tour of duty overseas, Jean realized she had not even washed his beloved Mustang in over a year and frantically cleaned the car inside and out.
But by then, they were a family and needed a bigger car for child seats and hauling all the paraphernalia that came with babies, so they sold the Mustang.
Although Mike and Jean owned several sporty cars over the years, Mike never forgot his cool Mustang.
Fast forward to 2006 when Mike decided to get a classic and cruise with the Angels, the Roamin ones, that is.
A fastback Mustang was the obvious choice.
After almost choking when he saw how high the prices of the legendary Shelby GT350’s had soared, he again opted for lower performance.
He found a ‘67 on Craigslist, located down in Roseville.
It had been completely redone by the owner, who kept it basically stock.
He had redone the engine, body and paint, as well as the interior. It had a 289 CID, four-barrel carb engine mated to a four-speed trans.
For options, it had power steering and brakes as well as a rare factory AM/FM radio (no, not stereo) that Mike says doesn’t exactly give high quality sound.
The only modifications were a non-stock steering wheel, aftermaket wheels and a Cobra-style engine dress-up kit.
When the owner had repainted it, he had stripped off the vinyl roof to repair rust issues (common for vinyl roofs over the years) and just painted the top.
The owner and his wife, both in their late 70s, had just bought a couple of full-dress Harleys and were going to take a road trip across the U.S., so the Mustang had to go.
He told Mike, “I’m so glad you’re an adult. I didn’t want to sell it to some kid.”
Who says classic cars aren’t for the young? … Well, in this case, at heart.
Since buying it, Mike has only had to do some suspension work and has reinstalled the vinyl roof.
Obviously the previous owner had done things right. Since buying it, Mike drives it locally as well as on cruises around NorCal with the Roamin Angels.
Although Jean has ridden with him on trips, she has only driven it maybe a half-dozen times, and only for a few miles each time.
Although she likes it, cars are just not her passion.
Still, she tolerates Mike’s other loves which now have expanded to include a ’55 Ford F-100 and an ’81 Vette.
But of all of them, Jean does prefer their classic Mustang.
For more about Ron Cherry and his writing, see www.rlcherry.com. For more information about the Roamin Angels Car Club, go to www.roaminangels.com, call 432-8449, write to Roamin Angels, PO Box 1616, Grass Valley, CA 95945, or just stop by IHOP on Taylorville Rd. Some Friday at 6:30 am for breakfast.