On Saturday, October 15, a very unique 2012 Mustang will be on the block at a live auction during the Get Your Heart Racing benefit on the Ford test track at the Dearborn Development Center in Michigan. The one-of-a-kind Boss 302 Laguna Sega is painted in the same School Bus Yellow color you motorsports fans will know from the Boss 302 that Parnelli Jones drove to victory in the 1970 Trans-Am Championship. But you might say this car has a bit more heart.
You see, it has been customized by Ford Designer Melvin Betancourt, 49, who suffered a serious heart problem 11 years ago and credits docs at the Henry Ford Hospital for saving his life. “I went to the doctor thinking I had a bad cold and the specialists at Henry Ford told me I had what is called an aortic dissection – a tear in the major blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart to the body,” said Melvin. “As a result, my aorta had grown to the size of a softball, and I needed immediate open-heart surgery.”
He then set out to use his customizing skills to create a car that could benefit cardiovascular care, research and education at the Henry Ford Health System. “I approached the project from a car collector’s perspective. I asked myself what would happen if they took me from today, put me back in 1970 and asked me to design a car for Parnelli Jones.”
While decals were used on the 1970 Boss 302, Melvin instead painted the black Laguna Seca graphics on the car, as well as Parnelli’s No. 15 on the doors and his name on the side rails.
And to bring things back full circle to Parnelli, the legend will be signing the Mustang during the Get Your Heart Racing event, making it even more of a collector’s item.
Other live auction items will include a Ford Championship Weekend VIP Experience in November – we’re talking three races, meeting Ford drivers and a personal garage and pit tour – and two tickets to the 2012 American Idol finale in April (hotel and airfare are all-encompassing).
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Edith and Benson Ford Heart & Vascular Institute at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and the Center for Cardiac Care at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital.
For more info, head to www.getyourheartracing.org or call (734)246-9583.