picture post1986 Zimmer Quicksilver

1986 Zimmer Quicksilver banner

1980 Zimmer Goldern Spirit

Zimmer Motor Cars Corporation debuted in 1978 as a maker of neo-classic automobiles (contemporary cars with era-influenced styling). Their first model was the Golden Spirit, originally and briefly grafted onto Mercury Cougar running gear. After 1979, model change-ups at Ford led to the use of Mustangs thereafter (shown).

Zimmer Golden Spirit coupe

Having kept most of the Mustang’s mid-section intact, Golden Spirits could seat four. If buyers wanted something even more unique, in 1983 it became available as a convertible and, about a year later, an ultra-rare four-door.

1986 Zimmer Quicksilver and Golden Spirit

Boutique and faux antique cars were never my thing but that’s not an absolute statement. In 1986, Zimmer introduced their second model, the Quicksilver. Sure its styling had been dialed up to 11 but it managed a classic vibe without going retro.

1986 Quicksilver Zimmer

This chrome-tipped two-seater was actually the off-duty brainchild of, then-current GM designer, Don Johnson; it was Johnson that successfully pitched the idea for the Quicksilver to Zimmer. Keep in mind, this was 30-plus years ago.

1986 Quicksilver Zimmer

Like the Golden Spirit, Quicksilver is rear-wheel drive but don’t let the long hood fool you. That’s where the spare tire and luggage are stored. Its engine is mid-mounted.

1986 Quicksilver Zimmer

On the other side of that unabashed chrome-work (a feature seldom attempted since the late 1960s) was a 2.8-liter V6 that fed 140 hp through a three-speed automatic. Is this starting to sound familiar?

1986 Quicksilver Zimmer

Is it starting to look familiar?

1986 Quicksilver Zimmer

If you haven’t noticed, the Quicksilver, like so many other boutique cars, was derived from Pontiac’s Fiero (in this case, following the addition of 16 inches to the wheelbase, ahead of the windshield). Now, I happen to really like the Quicksilver’s styling.

1986 Quicksilver Zimmer

For 1986, I think its looks were bold and forward-thinking. However, for 1986, I think it was grossly overpriced at around $50,000—especially considering the interior was unaltered Fiero, with Italian leather and walnut veneering. Today, even though just 170 were made, they scarcely fetch $30,000 (more likely, upper teens).

1986 Quicksilver Zimmer C&D cover

“Status! Power! Success! Zimmer! Zimmer?” As the story goes, when Car & Driver ran the Quicksilver on their cover, for April 1987, it marked their lowest sales to date and they were flooded with subscription cancellation requests. Tacky presentation aside, I don’t understand the hate.

1986 Quicksilver Zimmer ad

Here’s a print ad for the Quicksilver.

2015 Zimmer Goldern Spirit convertible

In case you’re wondering, the Quicksilver was cancelled after 1988 (coinciding with the Fiero’s untimely death) and the entire Zimmer company closed up shop shortly after. All the rights were later acquired by a fellow named Zimmer (no relation!) and the Golden Spirit is again being produced. The cost can approach $200,000, yet they still use Mustangs for the coupes. Though, following the demise of Lincoln’s Town Car, the sedans are now based on Cadillac’s latest CTS.

The pictures of the red car were sourced from an ad on Hemmings.

Here is a link to the current Zimmer Motor Cars website.