While pursuing his Ph.D. in entomology—the scientific study of insects—Jack Hazelrigg realized that he and two of his fellow doctoral candidates all had the same bug: Mustang fever. When they weren’t in the classroom or research lab at the University of California at Riverside, Hazelrigg and fellow gearheads Chuck Beesley and Art Colwell would pass the hours in “car talk” centered around Colwell’s shiny new 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1.
“Art didn’t pamper his Mach 1,” Hazelrigg recalls. “We had some thrilling moments behind the wheel. We felt it had wings rather than wheels.”
Today, more than 40 years later, the three retirees remain close friends. Only now, each one of the Ph.D.s has his own Mustang. Beesley owns a black 2008 Mustang Bullitt™.* Colwell drives a black 2012 Mustang GT. And Hazelrigg joined the Mustang family by buying a red 2012 Mustang Boss® 302.
“I decided that if I was going to get a Mustang, I was going to go all out with the Boss,” Hazelrigg says. “It’s a taut ride. The car responds immediately. It’s equipped with Recaro®** seats, so it’s very comfortable as well.”
Hazelrigg everyday ride is a 2013 Ford Escape Titanium. But for special occasions, Hazelrigg dons his driving gloves and revs up the engine in his Boss. “My wife, Cynthia, claims I take on a different personality when I’m driving the Mustang,” says Hazelrigg with a chuckle.
For the 1,000-mile “break in” ride in January 2012, the couple drove north from their home in Chino Hills, California, to the San Francisco area to reunite with Hazelrigg’s college buddies. The men parked their Mustangs side-by-side at a spot overlooking San Francisco Bay, and all three took Hazelrigg’s new wheels for a spin. “Nothing had changed,” Hazelrigg says. “We acted like the same idiots we were back then.”
The trio had so much fun that they scheduled another reunion in San Francisco for in May of 2014. Hazelrigg just participated in his first rally—Mustang Madness at the Petersen Automotive Museum—so he has a few new car stories to share with his longtime friends. Says Hazelrigg: “We’re definitely a statement that one is never too old to enjoy the fun and thrill of a Mustang!”
* TM and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (S08).
** RECARO is a registered trademark of RECARO Beteiligungs-GmbH.