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Wesley Ryan of San Antonio, Texas, had to sell his beloved 1993 Ford Mustang 17 years ago for the most heartbreaking reason: His wife, Laura, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Money from selling the car was needed to help pay for her medical treatment. The story had a happy ending for Laura, which, of course, is what mattered most.
But Wesley never forgot about his Fox-body Mustang, nor did the rest of his family. In its own way, the car was a member of the family. When Wesley sold it, it was “one of the biggest sacrifices I’ve seen him have to make for us, for all of us,” said his son Jake. “I know how much it broke him seeing that car drive away from him. A day I’ll never forget.”
Then something happened a few years ago. Jake found Wesley’s Mustang for sale. Unfortunately, it got away. But then it came up for sale again recently. In a cruel twist of fate, it was being sold because the owner’s mother had ovarian cancer and the money was needed to pay for her medical treatment.
Jake bought it. Secretly. The video of Wesley being reunited with the Mustang again after almost two decades went viral, and someone in particular was very moved by what he saw. That someone was Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford. Generational heritage and family values are deeply rooted in Ford DNA, and Bill knew he wanted to do something for this special family.
Ford then contacted Performance-tuner John Hennessey of Hennessey Performance about helping to restore and rebuild the Mustang, including installing a new engine and transmission.
“We get asked all the time if we do restorations, and we say, “No” to about 99 percent of these kinds of projects due to the unknowns of time, cost, etc.,” said John. “Our business modifies new or fairly new cars and trucks for increased power. So we try to keep our build times to 30 days or less for most of what we do. But for this special family, the Ryan family, we said “Yes” to this request.”
In addition to providing funds for the project, Ford also donated $1,000 to Warriors in Pink®/Henry Ford Cancer Center to support research and treatment.
The completed car will be unveiled and presented to Wesley in the days leading up to the Woodward Dream Cruise on August 17.
“I had to do what I had to do to support my family,” said Wesley. “That's what you're supposed to do to make sure they succeed.”