Inspired By Our Mustang To See N. America

By John Z.

When I was a young man growing up in the 60s, I owned a 67 Mustang Fastback then a 71 Mach 1. Those cars defined my life for about 7 yrs. Then I met my future wife and my life changed adding responsibility, career, house, mortgage, and kids. My freedom had to be set aside for a while.

In 92 I bought an 86 GT as a hobby car to occupy my spare time and to help bond with my sons, but soon the old memories of freedom came flooding back. My wife and I found someone to watch the kids while we looked for freedom on the open road. We became immediately hooked. We were inspired to keep travelling everywhere we could go.

Comfort, reliability, and performance became a priority, so a few upgrades were in order. Fortunately, the Mustang hobby made it very easy and inexpensive to add stronger shocks and springs, frame stiffeners, disc brakes all around, and several more ponies under the hood. We were then able to hit the freedom road with a sense of dependability that we would return safely.

The trips and the miles kept piling on until we could tackle what became one of our goals. Route 66. Since our sons were now old enough to drive, we also wanted to introduce them to the sense of freedom that the road provides. We teamed up in a 2 car caravan to do the Route from Chicago to the Santa Monica peer. Our boys were also hooked.

After seeing our odometer roll over to '00000' for the 2nd time, I started to look back on how many of the 49 continental states, 10 Canadian provinces, and 3 territories we had covered. It was immediately obvious that a trip to Alaska was in order.

We don't like to just cross a state border and think we have seen the state, so no 'Cheater Aklaska' just in the pandhandle would be acceptable. It was Anchorage or bust, and we almost did. 

On the way home on a partially paved road between the Alaska Hwy and the Yellowhead Hwy in B.C. our Mustang finally did something it had never done before. It quit on us. Fortunately it was near a small town with one gas station, and the problem was just a dead alternator. Since the alternator was a generic type, they had one in the station and we were back on the road in half an hour. As I write this, with over 320,000 miles on the car, we still have not had a 2nd failure on the road.

Our inspiration to see all of North America in our Mustang has been mostly achieved as we have travelled through all States, provinces, and territories *accessible by road. Only Hawaii and Nunavut remain, but there are no roads there. We were inspired though to put 2200 miles on a Mustang rental car on a visit to Hawaii.

Clearly, Mustang means Freedom to us.