Old car enthusiast rule: After you wreck a fast car, always buy a faster car...
Following the untimely demise of the Volkswagen GTI in the spring of 1987, I set out to find a replacement that would be effective on the autobahn but that I could also take back to the U.S. in 18 months. I needed to buy a new or used American spec car. My 1977 Porsche 911 was German spec—and honestly it was not that reliable a car anyhow. Luckily there were some good options available.
For some reason I have always been more of a Ford guy than a GM guy. Comparing the Mustang GT and Camaro IROC-Z, the Ford looked to be the better, and more modern choice. It was also a bit smaller: important on narrow European city streets. My mind made up, I bought a train ticket... Huh?
Service members stationed overseas who want to buy a new American car are at the whim of the Army/Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). The nearest AAFES Ford concession was in Fulda, hundreds of miles to the south. I headed down on a Saturday and ordered a 1988 Mustang GT in dark gray with gray cloth. Leather was only available in the convertible. The car came standard with a 5.0 High Output V8 rated at 225 horsepower; and of course I chose the five speed manual transmission. I then waited patiently for my dream car to arrive. I waited, and waited, and waited. Months flew off the calendar, just like in old movies.
|I ordered the exact color combination as in the brochure.|
Finally somehow I tracked down the phone number of the Ford dealer in New Jersey responsible to get cars headed to Europe through customs at the Port of Newark. They didn't know anything. I begged the guy to go and look for my Mustang. When I called back 15 minutes later (the middle of the night in Germany) he had found the car—in the back of the lot covered in dust. A paperwork error. He promised to get it rushed out the next day.
|Zweihundert funf und zwanzig Pferdestärke|
Later than night I wrecked it.
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