Mustang Roots: 1987 Zimmer Golden Spirit

I recently scanned through a few old hardcover books of mine that documented 80s supercars. Among the various one-off AMGs and Gemballa Porsches was the classic Zimmer, apparently captured for its off-the-wall looks and V8 power underhood. I don’t think many automotive historians still consider the Zimmer anything approaching a museum-quality classic, but that doesn’t stop them from popping up with impressive asking prices like this example here on craigslist for $25,000. 

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Rocco for this find. The Zimmer pictured here is like so many others, with under 20,000 original miles and remaining in mint condition despite being purchased as the centerpiece to a collection in 1987. The Golden Spirit was one of several unusual builds from the mid-to-late 80s that seemed to indicate there were a lot of enthusiasts with plenty of cash to throw around who desired a car that looked like it had just stepped out of a mob film.

The interior didn’t work all that hard to hide its more humble origins, with liberal use of wood trim to hide the rather ordinary underpinnings. The gold-plated wood-rimmed steering wheel was a common site in everything from Jaguars to Lincolns, and of course, the Zimmer as well. This car is holding up decently, but it’s not as pristine as one would expect for such a low mileage car. The deeply bolstered sport seats are the one highlight, other than the ample power features.

The venerable 5.0L V8 engine did duty here along with multiple other applications, and the seller says this one is barely broken in considering the mileage. I’d still like to know more about this Golden Spirit’s past, especially as it relates to how many years it was laid up and whether it was maintained during those limited-use spans. Will these ever be truly collectible? No, but given how often they seem to trade hands, there’s still a small but passionate contingent that wants to own one.


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  1. canadainmarkseh Member

    I think they look good from the front but from the back theyre a disaster. You’ve got all those long flowing fenders up front and you get to the back and you’ve got a box with what looks like utility trailer tail lights. And what’s with the third spare tire on the back and I’ll bet it’s fake too. I think a rounded off back or even a sloped back would be better than this utility box. If I owned it I’d have to further modify it to make it look right.

    Like 3
    • DanaPointJohn

      The rear end design is a disaster! Bolting on that trunk/box is making the assumption that an owner would actually take this thing for a long road trip, where space for luggage was an important factor. By the mileage on the ones being offered for sale, it seems no one ever took them anywhere!

      Like 2
  2. Pat L Member

    Yes it is expensive Jeff, but less than half the asking price of this other active listing.

    Like 4
    • DanaPointJohn

      The one in the ad you linked is twice as much, but is a much nicer car. Twice as nice though, hmmm…

      Personally, there is nothing about these cars that have ever interested me. Never understood the attraction.

      Like 6
    • Chinga-Trailer

      The headlights on this white convertible are positively bizarre, even more out of place than the bowling trophy on the radiator grill and the VW fender turn signals! Is this car evidence that Zimmer sought to make their cars even more ugly??

  3. Chuckster

    Looks like something that certain guys use to check up on their ” girls “

    Like 12
    • Dave Mazz

      Right! I was thinking this is the car I’d use if I was starting a second career as a pimp. :-) :-)

  4. Joe

    Underpowered led sled.

    Like 1
  5. CanuckCarGuy

    I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I actually think this one looks good…despite the ostentatious styling, that normally I steer far away from. Asking price aside, I would own and drive this.

    Like 3
    • Blueovaldude

      I sorta feel the same way, there’s something about this thing that attracts me. Must be the Mustang roots, other than the 5.0 I see 79-93 doors but that can’t be it. I’d own it but would be kind of embarrassed to drive it.

      Like 2
  6. Chris In Australia

    Zimmer Vulgarian.

    Like 6
  7. Beaver

    I had one and just the looks you get driving down the road was worth it mine was paid for by All state when a DRUNK ran a stop light and I stayed in the Hosp for 6 days!! It was a blast to drive from the weird point of view!! HA! HA!

    Like 3
  8. J Liu

    Good grief..I’m afraid this car would garner more laughs than admiration. Sorry, but this is a Frankenstein car at its’ worst or should I say Zimmerstein?
    However, there are folks with different tastes who like this and thank goodness we all do not like the same car, otherwise that car would be un-affordable. And in fairness, it looks so much better than a Tesla…lol

    Like 5
  9. Dolphin Member

    Unfortunately there aren’t enough…er…[cough]…ahhh…do-dads on this ve-hic-le, otherwise I’d be all over it.

    Like 2
  10. Jack Quantrill

    Pimpmobile, just like in “Dirty Harry “!

    Like 2
  11. Comet

    There’s no accounting for taste.

    Like 1
  12. Cris Carver

    There’s cool 80’s throwback vibe to it, but I’d feel like a first class ninny driving it, let alone paying that much for it.

  13. David B

    I worked at the Zimmer plant in Pompano beach from 1980 to 1983 and we saw a lot of famous people come thru there to see their car being built I also traveled the country to do warranty work on the paint. It was a good gig back then and weather you like them or not they get a lot of attention as they did for us in Vegas back then in 1983. It also was a Mustang chassis that was extended 42” on the front and a fiberglass clip front and rear.

    • C

      So being famous (and I also assume rich) was never so obviously no guarantee of good taste.

  14. David B.

    It was the 80s and it was a different time people have different tastes obviously today it looks a bit overdone but back then people liked it enough to spend 73,000 dollars for one in 1983 dollars. Just go see your favorite 80s show and see a Hokie it is now same thing.

  15. Gary

    Used to drive by the plant in pompano Florida and remember seeing all the front clips taken off the mustangs and for some reason they were all black. They also made the Quick SIlver from pontiac fireos which I always thought were cool looking cars with big chrome bumpers.

    • DAVID B.

      Gary, It was a cool place to work for the 3 years I was there for some reason they always got the cars in black I guess easier for the engine bay not to be painted.

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