StopGear: Simon Teagle

  • StopGear, brought to you by AutoTrader
  • November 22, 2013
  • Ben Fahy
StopGear: Simon Teagle

There's perhaps no item more symbolic of an owner's personality than the car they drive. And creative types seem pretty keen on interesting cars. So every few weeks we ask someone in the biz to tell us about their steed. Last time it was TBWA\’s chief creative officer Toby Talbot and his Volvo P1800 and this time it's DraftFCB Media's general manager Simon Teagle and his 1966 Ford Mustang GT. 

Teagle says his love affair with the car started back when he was 14 or 15 and he saw a Francis Coppolla film called The Outsiders, which starred Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon and a host of other dreamboats. 

"The rich kids drove the Mustang and I thought it was a pretty cool car. So I determined that I wanted one. And 21 years later I got it." 

He says he bided his time until it was more affordable to import one (and he also had a house with a garage that "needed something put in it") so when the planets aligned he gave a company in San Francisco a brief for what he wanted. Three or four months later they found a car, checked it out and it was shipped over to New Zealand in 2007.

He’s done a fair amount of work to it since then, “ninja style”. And while he’s got someone else working on the engine, he’s put power steering into it, added new suspension and new disc brakes and pretty much given it a complete overhaul (there are still no cupholders, however).

"I’m a bit of a bogan. I bought my first car when I was 18. It was a Fraser 7, a Lotus kitset car. I raced that for a number of years. And that’s why I couldn’t buy the Mustang." 

He says there are a few of them around Auckland, but he hasn’t joined the Mustang club yet.

“A lot of people had the same idea I had. I don’t think there are too many left in America ... If it’s a fine day, I’ driving it. If it’s teeming with rain, I won’t. It’s not leaky, but it has an achilles heel because water gets in through the bonnet and it can rust." 

So how do people respond to a man in a muscle car? 

“It’s a combination really. Fortunately the people who think I’m a knob keep it to themselves. As it’s left hand drive, I am driving up to their driver’s side window. But all sorts of people tell me they like it. Little kids, old people … Unfortunately, it does capture the attention of the law and also quite a few boy racers who are quite keen on taking me on.”

And who wins?

“It’s even. Modern day cars have certain advantages. There’s a good reason the don’t build them like they used to.”

The Ford Mustang was first released in 1964, so it’s coming up to its 50th anniversary. But he says the 66 is a good vintage, with a few refinements and the original body (Steve McQueen drove a 1968 model in the famous car chase scene from Bullitt)

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