Oshawa’s Ted Grisley has always had a penchant for art and history. A librarian assistant with Toronto Public Libraries for the past 35 years, he relies on his 2006 Honda Civic to get to work.
When he doesn’t have to commute to Toronto, Grisley has two classic rides he can choose from. The first is a 1977 Chevrolet Nova that once belonged to his aunt. Grisley, who acquired the car in 2000, actually used it to take his driving license test decades ago.
His other head-turner, once that he has loved since he was a child, is a 1967 Ford Mustang 289 V8 convertible. He bought it from an Ajax-based seller who advertised it on Kijiji in January of 2015. Although he wasn’t looking specifically for a convertible Mustang, nor one painted in a unique colour called Frost Turquoise, Grisley tells us why he loves his vehicle.
“I was looking for a Mustang. I always thought they had a certain cachet to them, and I always liked the horse (logo) on the grill,” said Grisley. “I wasn’t looking for a convertible, but when I stumbled across this car, I fell in love with it. I wasn't crazy about the colour, either. I wanted something more traditional in black or red.
“It grew on me after a time, and it gets me a lot of attention when I'm driving. I think most people see the colour first, and then they see it’s a Mustang. I have the build sheet for the car, and it says that it is only one of 1,610 cars that has this paint colour.
“The car is mostly original,” he said of the Mustang, which has more than 320,000 kilometres on it. “I’m the eighth owner, and all the previous owners have kept it in good shape. The car is not a show car, but it's in very, very good condition. I don’t drive it in the winter. I have it sprayed every so often with oil underneath and I keep the car as clean as possible.
“It was built at the Dearborn Michigan plant. It has a V8 engine and has a 289 two-barrel carburetor. The engine, as far as I know, is original. It's never been opened. It's got black vinyl bucket seats, a black power top with the glass backlight.
“I have done some upgrades to it. It had manual brakes and I wasn't comfortable with that, so I converted it to power-assisted brakes. I also upgraded to electronic ignition since cars back then didn't have it. I am quite happy with the upgrades. Two years ago, I upgraded the convertible top and put in new carpet because, after 50 years, the black carpet had turned brown.
“Because of its colour, my car is hired out for people to take engagement pictures, for music videos and films. It’s been in the ‘Queen's Gambit,’” Grisley said. “It was in ‘The Kid in the Hall’ reboot, and I got to be in the background (of a scene). That was a lot of fun. I love films and classic cars, so it’s a wonderful marriage. It’s given me a lot of pleasure and fun.”
A CLOSER LOOK:
1967 Ford Mustang 289 V8 Convertible
A rare ride
“What I really like about it is it’s a rare convertible,” said Grisley. “The colour is certainly an eye catcher, and it gets a lot of attention. People in other classic cars giving me the thumbs up, and often, when I’m driving on the 401, I get people honking. That’s always nice. I take it to show-and-shines to display the car and talk to other owners. If I’m really in a good mood, I might allow people to sit in it.”
“For an older car it handles well,” he said. “Because there is no fuel injection, it doesn't have fast acceleration, but it has a good, smooth acceleration with a good rumble from the engine. But nothing obnoxious. It is good on the corners.” The Mustang has wire-spoked wheels and tires with white walls.
“You don't see white walls anymore. They’re rare, unless they’re on a classic.”
“One thing I tell any future classic car owners is that you shouldn't be shy,” Grisley said. “People are going to be drawn to your car. They're going to ask you questions, they're going to ask you about the history of it, and then they're going to tell you about how their great uncle used to have one when they were little.”
This article was edited for space and clarity. To be featured in Why I Love My Vehicle?, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Renée S. Suen is a Toronto-based lifestyle writer and photographer. Follow her on Twitter: @rssuen.
- BODY STYLE: 2+2-seater convertible
- DRIVE METHOD: Rear-wheel drive
- ENGINE: 4.7 L Windsor V8, 200-hp; 282lb.-ft. torque
- FUEL ECONOMY (CITY/HIGHWAY): 20.3 to 24.4/14 to16.8 litres per 100 kilometres
- CARGO VOLUME: 218 litres
- PRICE: Original 1967 starting price of $2,814 (U.S.)