If you want some insight into Tim Perry’s mind-set at any point in time over the past 30-plus years, just ask him what car he has owned. As with so many other young men, Perry initially wanted a car that would turn heads when he bought his first Mustang GT in 1983. Later, as he settled down and raised three children, Perry, a lifetime resident of Washington, D.C., had needs and priorities that went beyond impressing his friends and winning the occasional race at the drag strip.
“Later, I bought a Ford Aerostar all-wheel drive, which was nice to travel in with the kids,” he says. At different times, Perry has owned an Expedition, the Taurus SHO – a car he calls “the best Ford ever,” and one he logged 375,000 miles in – and an Escort GT. In total, he has owned 12 different Ford vehicles, some of which he bought for their muscle, others for their spaciousness and still others because of their fuel efficiency. “As the price of gas has gone up and down and my mood has changed over the years, Ford has always offered me whatever I was looking for.”
These days, Perry hasn’t limited his selection to just one vehicle. As a salesman for the largest wholesale distributor of food-service equipment and supplies in the Mid-Atlantic region, Perry drives between 150 and 250 miles per day. For those long days behind the wheel, he opted for a 2011 Fusion. “It’s excellent because I carry a lot of samples in it, everything from china glass and silverware to laundry detergent. It’s a comfortable car, which is important for me because I work in it everyday,” says Perry, who has been with his company for 32 years.
Perry says he has always chosen Fords to be his work cars because he knew they were reliable. “I used to have a chain account, which involved setting up all the restaurants in the eastern U.S. and that led me to drive from the Washington, D.C. area to Florida to Chicago to Boston,” he explains. “Ford was always a comfortable car to get in and I never worried about anything when I was getting out on the road.”
Perry’s second car—he calls it his weekend car—is all about pleasure. In 2005, he bought a 1971 Mercury Cougar, which has all of its original parts except for a new electronic ignition that he put in to boost its fuel efficiency. “It’s gorgeous. I get pulled over every five minutes by either a lady or a guy trying to buy that car from me,” he says. As much as Perry appreciates the attention, he has no intention of selling. “That car will be passed on to my kids.”