I have been writing about Mustangs for over 30 years, but I have never seen anything like Gerry Ayers' collection of late-model Mustangs. While most owners are content to store their cars in a garage or warehouse, Gerry wanted his SVOs, Saleens, and Cobra R in the house with him. As he told us, "Not many people can eat breakfast next to an '03 Mach 1, '95 Cobra R, and Saleen S281."
Each car is special in some way. Most are low-mileage, and several have never been prepped for delivery by the dealer. An avid SVO enthusiast, Gerry owns four of the supercharged four-cylinders, including what he calls the "holy grail" of SVOs-the last one built, a car that was originally purchased by Dan Elliott, brother of NASCAR driver Bill Elliott. He also owns several Shelby Dodges and a couple of Porsches, but they stay in the garage area.
Gerry also collects magazines,...
Gerry also collects magazines, model cars, posters, dealer material, and signs. If it has anything to do with his favorite cars, he collects and displays it in his home.
When Marcie Cipriani from the SVT Owners Association told us about Gerry and his unique home, we had to see for ourselves. As for his story, we'll let Gerry tell it himself. -Donald Farr.
In the automotive world, most vehicles get relegated to a garage or carport. The special ones gain entrance into museums, dealership displays, or private warehouses. I wanted something different. Mine were to come into a house with me so I could actually live with them. It wasn't a question of "why?" but "why not?"
Gerry's 3,600-square-foot home is located on a hillside in rural Pennsylvania. He asked that we not reveal the town.
This madness dates back to my first Mustang, a red pedal car. My father drove from town to town to find one as a Christmas present for me in December 1965. Next came Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars, electric racing sets, plastic model kits, posters, car magazines, and books. I was a car fanatic at a young age.
As early as high school drafting class, I designed and built small prototypes of homes that could hold both people and cars. Classmates shook their heads. By college graduation in 1984, I was working and saving for my first new car. I'd fall asleep at night studying brochures and reading road tests.
Here's the kitchen, where...
Here's the kitchen, where Gerry eats breakfast each morning next to his '03 Mach 1 with only 30 miles.
The new Mustang SVO tripped my trigger. With its small displacement and balanced acceleration, braking, and handling, it was more like a rival to the Porsche 944 than to the Camaro Z28. In my eyes, everything from the functional hood scoop to the rear biplane spoiler was wicked! I bought a silver SVO with all the options except leather interior. I still have it with 8,162 miles on the odometer.
SVO fever led to a few more, including an untouched '85 1/2 Competition Prep model, the '84 Detroit Grand Prix pace car with 9,975 miles that SVO powertrain engineer David Domine used as his Ford lease car, and the last SVO ever built, originally purchased by Dan Elliott. To me, it is the holy grail of SVOs. It sits in my living room, unprepped and untitled with only three miles on it.
Gerry's infatuation for SVOs...
Gerry's infatuation for SVOs started in 1984 when he bought this silver SVO. Today, it's stored in his living room with just over 8,000 miles.
By that time, there was a small problem. I was buying collector cars and having to pay rent for both their storage and my own personal living space. It was getting expensive, but as they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
In late 1999, I put down a deposit on an '00 Cobra R, but the dealership lost out in the lottery to get one. It was a blessing in disguise. Instead, that money went into a three-acre parcel of land. I then hired an architect to help me design a simple, efficient ranch home to enclose both me and my cars.
Gerry protects all the vehicle...
Gerry protects all the vehicle paperwork-dealer invoices, window stickers, etc.- in plastic sleeves stored in hardbound books.
Things didn't happen overnight or come easily. Opposition came from neighboring property owners who feared I'd litter my yard with old parts or rusty, rotting hulks. They envisioned loud exhaust rumblings at all hours of the night and frequent trailers coming up the lane. In other words, they saw a hot-rod bachelor who was going to lower property values.