THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1984 Zimmer Golden Spirit owned by the late Ted Paolotti
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
With the aura of a 1920s American classic car and easy-to-service mechanicals from a modern Ford Mustang or Lincoln Town Car, the Zimmer bills itself as “the finest neo-classic motor car ever manufactured.” The company’s website touts an exterior design that is “pure classic grandeur right out of the Great Gatsby era, handmade to the highest quality possible.” Paolotti cited this “overall look of the car” in his decision to buy the unusual coupe. “Virtually everyone who sees it gives me a big smile, a ‘thumbs-up’ sign or a horn toot if I’m on the road,” he said. “I have said to my wife many times that a half-million-dollar Rolls-Royce probably doesn’t get the looks that I get with my Zimmer.”
HOW LONG HE OWNED IT
WHERE HE FOUND IT
It was advertised at an online auction site by an eastern Pennsylvania owner.
“This is an original car and is in excellent condition with 8,900 miles on the odometer,” Paolotti said. “The car was built on a 1983 extended Ford Mustang platform. Any Ford dealer can maintain the car.” Special interior appointments include mouton wool carpeting, Italian leather sport seats, a wood and gold-plated Nardi steering wheel and German crystal bud vases. The exterior features teak running board treads, chrome-plated dual trumpet air horns and faux side exhaust pipes, and 24-carat gold-plated medallions and eagle hood ornament.
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“If you just want the joy of owning a collector car without the headache and money involved in restoration and maintenance, then this is the type of car for you,” Paolotti advised. “Buy a car that you don't see coming and going, and I think you'll be happier.”
He valued the Zimmer at $30,000 to $35,000.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“When I first decided to buy a collector car in 2003, I went looking for a 1941 Lincoln Continental convertible with the mounted spare (tire),” Paolotti said. “I just loved the ‘look.’ But two of my mechanic friends advised me that, unless I was prepared to pay the price of maintaining a 60-year-old car, I should probably change my choice. Then, in a small gambling town in Nevada in 2006, I saw my first Zimmer at an automobile auction. It was love at first sight. I searched high and low for six months and finally bought this one . . . with my wife’s concurrence.”