In 2006 my then thirteen year old son and only child, Joshua, came to me and said he wanted a mustang as his first car. Knowing I have been a lifelong Ford fan he felt asking for a mustang would help sell me on the idea. Having personally learned the value of sweat equity, in appreciating things in life, I decided we needed to find an older mustang to rebuild. We settled on a 1972 mustang Grande Coupe, 351 C cobra jet. We spent the next three years rebuilding the car working countless hours to complete the restoration. When we started the project Josh didn’t know the difference between a common or Phillips screw driver. Working on his own car had made the thought of mechanical work much more appealing than just helping dad on his stuff.
We stripped the car to bare metal, replaced the left rear quarter panel, and completely rebuilt the left roof tie to the trunk and tail light panel. We spent hundreds of hours filling and sanding the body to remove the slightest imperfection. We freshened up the motor and rebuilt the suspension with the help of friends and co-workers. Mom, my wife Cassie, became our interior specialist and quality control inspector.
By the end of the project my son’s knowledge and mechanical abilities had increased tenfold. He was very proud of his knowledge and he could tell anyone interested whatever they wanted to know about his mustang. His love for Fords became well known among his friends and our family. As a father seeing my son grow, learn and become confident in his own abilities was the greatest reward of all. His entire personality changed, he became confident he could do anything he wanted if he applied himself. Our family bound had grown to a level I had not dreamed possible.
Josh became an honor student and had plans to graduate at the end of his Junior year of high school to pursue a career in aeronautical engineering. Unfortunately God had other plans for Josh. Joshua died on March 26, 2010 of a very rare autoimmune disease called Wegner’s, which he was diagnosed with in January 2010, he was seventeen. His 1972 Mustang helps his mother and me remember to focus on the love, time and many blessings we shared with our son. Our love for him and our appreciation of Ford vehicles continues to grow. Thanks for your time.