01 May Not Your Average Mustang
Today’s a bit of a history lesson in custom car building. Bet you didn’t see this one coming.
The car you see above is not normally a car you’ll encounter on the road. In fact, you may never see one in person, unless you’ve already been to the Volo Auto Museum. Heck, a large majority of the FMU staff had never seen one of these before. What you’re looking at is the coupe variant of a Zimmer Golden Spirit. For those of you not in the know, Zimmer is a neo-classic (meaning classic designs made with contemporary parts) manufacturer, who existed from 1978 to 1988. In those ten years, they created two models of car — the later Fiero-based Quicksilver, and the Golden Spirit. The Golden Spirit was the flagship of the company, and with one look it’s fairly obvious why that was. It brings about a desire for the old coachbuilt luxo-barges of the 1930’s.
Employing a rather large 175 people by its peak in the 1980’s, Zimmer was pushing out a good number of these cars per year (150+, give or take a few) and raking in $25 million in annual revenue. Which makes a lot of sense when you realize what these cars started out as. All of the coupe variants of the Golden Spirit were built on fox-body Mustang chassis. A new V8 Mustang retailed for about $18k in the 1980’s. A new Golden Spirit coupe retailed for $110k.
And if you look at it, this car does manage to capture what people loved most about post-Depression automobiles. The hood is longer than most current passenger cars. The wheelbase is measured in furlongs. The spare tire hangs out on the side of the car. There are “header covers” on the side of the engine compartment (note they are purely decorative; no actual manifolds inside). It has more air horns than most 18-wheelers. And the chrome. Let’s not forget about the chrome, which is everywhere, so you won’t be able to forget about it anyhow.
There are touches of the owner in this car, as well. Mostly in the hand-painted names that accompany each of the two doors. The owner’s name is on the driver’s door, and we can only assume that his wife’s name is the one on the passenger side. The interior is slightly lower-rent than the rest of the car, but there’s still wood and leather a-plenty throughout the cabin. Most of the dash and console area are repurposed from the Mustang as well, but Zimmer attempts to take it to a new level of class. Think of all the fancy wood in an Alpina interior, and multiply that by fifty.
Aesthetics are one of the most polarizing features of automobiles, and this car is no exception. Whether or not you like the old 1930’s style, and whether or not you like the modern era attempting to recreate that style, it’s certainly something interesting, which is why we had to show it to the world.