Zimmer Motor Cars has had an up and down history, but they built some interesting cars over the years.

They fell within the neo-classic category—a category where the cars echoed the style of the past but are all modern tech under the skin.

Jerry Sutherland

Zimmer built these cars to order, so they had some high-end buyers across the world—including Saudi Arabia. This 2007 Zimmer Golden Spirit was built for a Saudi Arabian buyer who wanted the car for a personal museum. He hung on to the car for a few years, then it made the trip across the ocean and came back to the United States.

It ended up in a California auction—that’s where Merv Pidherney spotted it. He watched as it was bid up and then stuck his hand up when the auction was at last call—he had the winning bid and became the proud owner of a 2007 Zimmer Golden Spirit.

Merv went to register the Zimmer and found out it was the first one ever registered in his area. That meant he had to explain how and why this car was built, so he had to jump through a few hoops to get the car on the road. Eventually it worked out for Merv, but he had to make a few adjustments to the car.

The original Zimmer Golden Spirit was based on a Mustang Fox-body chassis but later versions like Merv’s were built on a stretched Lincoln Town Car chassis. This gave the Golden Spirits two more doors and a bigger list of luxury touches. You can see the Lincoln cab in the car, but that massive front end is pure Zimmer. The 4.6 liter, 239-horsepower Ford V-8 was retained in the Zimmer—as was the factory 4-speed automatic. 

The bumpers are all business on the Zimmer Golden Spirit, and they definitely retain the look and feel of a high-end late 20s/early 30s classic luxury car. There’s a custom-built Continental kit at the back—it really makes sense with a Lincoln undercarriage. The dual mount spare tires go back to an era when Hollywood stars drove cars that had the same look. 

Merv’s biggest challenge was looking over the massive hood of the Zimmer because it takes up most of the car’s front end. The interior speaks high-end Lincoln, but the outside tells a different story because this car is a people magnet.

The Zimmer was built for specific customers who wanted a car that didn’t look like every other car. Price was never an issue for the buyers, so they didn’t flinch at the $175,000 list price for these essentially hand-built cars.

These Zimmer Golden Spirits are like a parade on four wheels, so Merv’s car gets mobbed at every car show. He’s happy to explain the history behind the car and how his surprise bid brought the car home—and how it drives.

Merv’s car was an unexpected surprise but his Zimmer has paid off in crowd pleasing—something that would never happen in a private museum in Saudi Arabia.         

Jerry Sutherland

By: Jerry Sutherland

Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post,  Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.

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